Introduced in 2004, the OMEGA De Ville Byzantium with its striking square case design pays tribute to the city of Istanbul, whose historical name was Byzantium until AD 330 and after that it was renamed Constantinople and made the capital of Roman Empire. Since 1930, the city is known as Istanbul.
The OMEGA De Ville Byzantium takes inspiration from a city that has through the ages been the meeting point of East and West: today’s Istanbul, yesterday’s Constantinople and history’s Byzantium.
Incorporating oversized or multicoloured numbers on its striking dial, the Omega’s De Ville Byzantium, the only gents’ watch in the standard international collection from the brand to have a square case, features an elegant vintage design which recalls the brand’s first full calendar complication watch, the Cosmic, dating from 1948.
A closer look to the standard black dial reveals an intriguing combination of Roman and Arabic numerals. A fusion of East and West as well as a successful marriage of classic and modern characteristics, this configuration gives the dial a hitherto unattained symmetry. The time is indicated by the same classic diamond-polished and facetted Alpha hands found on Omega’s high-end De Ville Co-Axial models, which have luminous Super Luminova inserts for superb low-light and night-time legibility.
The watch’s square case in stainless-steel measures 33.4 mm by 33.4 mm and has a case back fixed with screws that helps guarantee water resistance to 50 metres / 167 feet. The most distinctive touch is undoubtedly provided by the facetted triangular lugs with contrasting brushed and polished faces, which also serve an important function as the attachments for the black alligator leather strap with stainless-steel foldover clasp.
A plain polished stainless-steel bezel is the perfect complement to the uncluttered dial, with a domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on the inside completing the high-quality aspect of this timepiece. The De Ville medallion stamped on to the case back depicts the god of Time, Chronos, and recalls the long line of prestige timepieces in the De Ville collection, which is over 30 years old.
The OMEGA De Ville Byzantium is equipped with the Omega calibre 2500 Co-Axial Escapement calibre, an exceptional self-winding movement which combines Omega’s proprietary Co-Axial Escapement technology with the Omega free sprung-balance without index to offer improved long-term accuracy and reliability.
This unique movement – which has a luxurious rhodium-plated finish with Geneva wave décor, circular graining and gold-plated engravings – offers a power reserve of 48 hours and has official chronometer certification from the Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC).
Furthermore, Omega also produced a stunning jewellery version of the De Ville Byzantium in stainless steel with a white mother-of-pearl dial, Roman and Arabic numerals set with a total of 109 diamonds, a ruby cabochon set on the crown and a claret alligator leather strap.