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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?