OMEGA Orbis DeVille Trésor

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OMEGA Orbis DeVille Trésor money shot

The OMEGA Orbis DeVille Trésor is a minimalist marvel – a 40mm stainless steel three-hander with a domed gradient blue dial, polished hands, a bright blue second hand, 18k white gold applied indices and a to-dye-for black leather pin-and-buckle strap. It’s simple yet perfectly formed. Flip the OMEGA Orbis DeVille Trésor over and the hits keep happening . . .

OMEGA’s Calibre 8511 shelters beneath the exhibition caseback. The hand wound version of the Swiss watchmaker’s in-house Master Co-Axial movement is a horological babe. It’s also got brains, resilience, stamina and a long list of accomplishments and capabilities.

OMEGA Orbis DeVille Trésor caseback

Manual winding movement with Co-Axial escapement. Resistant to magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss. Free sprung-balance with silicon balance spring, two barrels mounted in series. Balance bridge in red gold. Luxury finish with exclusive Geneva waves in arabesque.

Crosstown rival Rolex’s overwrought Cellini collection can’t match the purity or mechanical excellence of OMEGA’s très chic Trésor. Priced at $6500, the OMEGA is a lot more affordable than the $15k-and-up Rollies.

Orbis flying eye hospital

Like the OMEGA Orbis Prestige and Speedmaster preceding it, the limited edition Trésor benefits Orbis International, famous for its flying eye hospital. The date wheel highlights the connection; Orbis’ blue bear logo appears instead of the number 8. (Why 8, I have no idea.)

To celebrate OMEGA’s support of Orbis International and its fight against preventable blindness, a playful collection of De Ville Trésor timepieces has been created. Designed to raise a smile and raise funds, these watches can truly make a difference.

Yes, well, how much of a difference?

Orbis bear OMEGA

Although Orbis’ COO’s $500k p.a. compensation package seems a tad high, it’s a legit charity. Eighty-six percent of funds raised go to the actual work.

Be that as it is, neither OMEGA nor the mainstream watch press show any interest in revealing what percentage of the watch’s purchase price goes to Orbis. Nor do we know how much money, if any, OMEGA donates to Orbis on an annual basis, apart from contributions tied to individual watch sales.

OMEGA Hour Vision Blue

I’ve contacted both OMEGA and Orbis for the financial deets. Nada. Meanwhile, an old Orbis presser gives us a clue . . .

OMEGA announced its Global Corporate Partnership with Orbis in January 2011. In addition to their incredible [unspecified] ongoing support, OMEGA created a special watch [in 2014] — the Hour Vision Blue [above] — to celebrate this partnership. $100 USD from the sale of each watch is donated to Orbis and its Flying Eye Hospital.

If that’s the arrangement for the OMEGA Orbis DeVille Trésor, it seems both miserly and misleading. A $100-per-watch donation is less than the Texas’ sales tax, by a factor of five.

Again, it’s entirely likely that OMEGA writes a tax-deductible corporate check to Orbis above and beyond any agreement vis-à-vis their Orbis-branded watches. (They’ve certainly spent a lot of money on PR.) Which reminds me: no part of the OMEGA Orbis DeVille Trésor is tax deductible. All money donated directly to Orbis is.

OMEGA Orbis DeVille Trésor on its side

I’ve raised this mystery watch contribution issue before (relative to “greenwashing“). I reckon save the planet/charity donation watches are a scam. A cynical ploy to move the metal by appealing to the public’s guilt better nature. Unless, of course, the facts of the charitable contributions are made public.

OMEGA Orbis DeVille Trésor presentation pack

The OMEGA Orbis DeVille Trésor is a magnificent timepiece. Orbis is a worthwhile charity. OMEGA’s corporate collaboration has its heart in the right place. All we need to know: where’s their wallet in this?

7 COMMENTS

  1. Maybe a better French speaker can help me out with this. Trésor means “treasure”. But to get DeVille to translate, I had to break it into two words, as which point De Ville Trésor online translated to “From City Treasury” which I doubt is totally correct.

    I suspect that the teddy bear is roughly shaped like an 8. Fringe theory would be that it has something to do with their first plane being a DC-8.

  2. The date wheel highlights the connection; Orbis’ blue bear logo appears instead of the number 8. (Why 8, I have no idea.)

    Oscar beat me to it. The bear is shaped like an “8.”

    If that’s the arrangement for the OMEGA Orbis DeVille Trésor, it seems both miserly and misleading. A $100-per-watch donation is less than the Texas’ sales tax, by a factor of five.

    Again, it’s entirely likely that OMEGA writes a tax-deductible corporate check to Orbis above and beyond any agreement vis-à-vis their Orbis-branded watches. (They’ve certainly spent a lot of money on PR.) Which reminds me: no part of the OMEGA Orbis DeVille Trésor is tax deductible. All money donated directly to Orbis is.

    Yes… this kind of virtue signaling and “social credit by proxy” bugs the shit out of me. Over the years, after some natural disaster, I get solicited by various organizations to donate to the cause THROUGH them. They collect the funds and the (presumably) pass it on to those in need in a grand gesture that conveys all the “social credit” to them (and none to you). That’s not to suggest I feel a need for such recognition. It’s that I don’t want OTHERS to get such “recognition” AT MY EXPENSE (literally).

    My own profession’s organization appealed to members for donations to benefit the earthquake victims in Haiti… we give the money to the professional organization, and then THEY forward the money to the relief efforts. Why do I need a middleman, when it’s easy to do it directly?

    Why would I add a “donation” to St. Jude Children’s Hospital (a worthy cause) to my check at Chili’s restaurant, when I can VERY EASILY donate DIRECTLY to St. Jude (online) without the middleman??? I find it all quite weird, really.

    It’s a form of virtue signaling these days, and I find it distasteful.

    Nice watch, but WAY too pricey for me.

    • PS… there is now an element of social shaming that comes with refusing to donate to the middleman in the context of a professional or other type of organization. “Why won’t you donate??? (you’re a horrible person).”

      Anyhoo….. that’s a tangential rant. As Emily Litella (Gilda Radner) would say, <em"Never mind."

  3. I want to add that Omega seemingly did publish if not finance 2 documentaries about Oris which is another form of support but I also think this is a bit of a scam

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