One hundred and forty-one. That’s how many new models Omega introduced this year at Baselworld. However, three of them in particular, for very good reason, have been enjoying the lion’s share of buzz at the show: the Omega 1957 Trilogy Limited Edition Speedmaster, Railmaster, and Seamaster replica watches – each, a pitch-perfect re-issue of its own CK29XX variant also released as a trio 60 years ago. Since they can be bought separately, or together in a singularly epic boxed set, we thought it best they be examined together.
Note that the watches sold as individual pieces and those in the set are identical for all but one detail that might bug some. On the dial under the Omega logo there is text that identifies the watch as those in the box set with their corresponding number out of 557. Practically, this makes sense to immediately identify the watches as part of the even more limited edition Trilogy set. I can imagine future “mixing and matching” being a problem, so it’s a solution, for sure.
For this sixtieth-anniversary release that we originally debuted, Omega cheap replica watches dug deep into its own archives to reference its best surviving examples of each model to create a truly accurate and cohesive re-issue set. Therein, each watch is the end result of an impressive commitment to re-create most minute details on the source material, right down to the corduroy-lined presentation boxes and the etched Omega logo in the center of each crystal. Even the slightly nuanced differences between the Omega text fonts and logos between the dial, crown, caseback, and bracelet clasp have been recreated – a nod to an era where a lack of cohesive marketing assets led to subtle inconsistencies in type, size, and shape. Even in today’s vintage re-issue mania, it’s still a dedication that’s not often seen in modern watchmaking, and a huge part of what makes this release exciting for many.
Just as in 1957, there’s a fair amount of design cohesion between Omega’s “holy trinity.” Each carries Omega’s signature “Broad Arrow” handset, finished in the same hue of beige Super-LumiNova – a nod to the aged tritium look on vintage watches from that era. Much has already been said about this stylistic choice, but whether or not you like it, it can’t be denied that white luminous paint just wouldn’t have captured the warmth or the spirit of the originals in quite the same way. It also yields a comparative wrist experience to the vintage originals, except these are fully capable and ready for an entirely new generation to wear as they were originally intended.
Like the SM300 released in 2014, the Omega 1957 Trilogy edition “tropic” dials (subtly lightened to mimic the fading common on many vintage dials) of the major minute indexes have been laser-etched out of the dial and then filled, thereby increasing the amount of paint used (and thus the intensity of the luminosity) while also neatly creating a subtle degree of depth despite the absence of any applied elements.