New OMEGA Prestige Watches Brings Collection to 409


OMEGA has introduced six new watches to its Prestige line. We could delve into their design, but let’s face it: they look pretty much like every other member of the Prestige family. Saying that, there is a difference . . .

The new timepieces are the first in the OMEGA Prestige collection to receive the Swiss watchmaker’s in-house Master Chronometer certification. That means they’ve been subject to “eight tests over 10 days to ensure superior precision and magnetic resistance.”

Because OMEGA Prestige buyers were dissatisfied with their watch’s lack of precision and magnetic resistance? I don’t think so. While I don’t work around an MRI machine, I’ve never had a mechanical or automatic watch fail from magnetic interference. Nor have I heard of a modern OMEGA that didn’t keep good time.

Then again, I don’t drive my Audi S4 at 155 mph, but it’s nice to know it could. My Spring Drive Grand Seiko is “only” accurate to one second a day, but that didn’t put me off buying it. As OMEGA Prestige watches ain’t cheap, the MCC upgrade is a good thing, not a bad thing.

The introduction of Prestige collection-wide Master Chronometer certification is a marketing move based on economy of scale. If you’re making movements for tens of thousands of watches, why not standardize best practice?

When it comes to the OMEGA Prestige line “all” means a lot. The collection is now 409 watches strong. By strong I mean weak. If ever there was an example of overchoice, the Prestige line is it. (In contrast, Seiko’s Presage web page only displays 79 watches.)

To be fair, the OMEGA website’s filter serves-up only 92 OMEGA Prestige watches in the dress watch sweet spot (38mm to 40mm) and just 52 for buyers who want a larger timepiece (40mm to 42mm). Seven calibers, eleven dial colors, three case materials and four bracelet materials – the world is your oyster! Pretty much perpetually.

I’m not sure how many watches have which of those options, or how many have a small seconds subdial at the three vs. the six, or roman numerals vs. batons (the filter doesn’t include those subcategories).

Meanwhile, the six new OMEGA Prestige watches presage the changes across the line. Maybe.

All of the [new] De Ville Prestige models feature an AR-coated domed sapphire crystal, with mechanical versions also equipped with a sapphire case back. The larger models [above] have new, redesigned crowns compared to their predecessors . . . quartz models will have a solid case back with a Chronos God medallion.

A special range of dial materials and finishings will also be available for these watches. The bracelet’s end-link integration has been improved, and the old sliding clasps have given way to butterfly clasps. Plenty of small improvements all play their part to make the new De Ville Prestige models more refined overall.

“Are these watches my favorite in the Omega catalog?” Frat boy Nacho Garzon asks himself, nibbling on the hand that feeds. “Well, I can think of a few others that I’d personally prefer.”

So can I! Here’s one I chose earlier – after spending ten minutes wading through the online catalogue. Truth be told, I can’t be bothered to find others. But I was inspired to dial-up some vintage Beach Boys.

Nor, I suspect, can an aspiring buyer trying to select his/her/their OMEGA Prestige watch online. Who must then contact a boutique, where the odds that their chosen timepiece is in stock are almost as slim as the new Prestiges. Or slimmer.

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