The De Ville Hour Vision was introduced in 2007 to celebrate the launch of its exclusive Co-Axial calibres 8500 and 8501 developed in-house by OMEGA.
The 41 mm case of the De Ville Hour Vision adopts the modern trends for larger timepieces and glistens with eye-catching details that proudly announce OMEGA’s presence in the highest echelons of watch making. Four sapphire glass apertures on the sides of the case, as well as the more traditional sapphire glass case back, fill the heart of the watch with light showcasing the mechanical pedigree and the beautiful details of the rhodium OMEGA Co-Axial calibre 8500 or rhodium and 18-carat red gold OMEGA Co-Axial calibre 8501.
The Hour Vision embodies the new direction of manufacturing for OMEGA without forsaking the classic good looks of the De Ville family. Details such as the four glass openings located on either side of the winding crown, at 9 o’clock and between the lugs of the traditional round De Ville case shape, give the watch a contemporary and sophisticated feel as well as highlighting the technical superiority of the watch, both inside and out.
The glass apertures are not just an attractive feature but a technical breakthrough: an entire sapphire case is set into the stainless steel or 18-carat red gold case so that the watch is still waterproof to 100 metres and shock-resistant up to 5000 G.
On the dial finely honed details show the complexity of workmanship that has gone into every element of this timepiece. The 18-carat red gold Hour Vision is available either with a brown or silver dial. The stainless steel version is presented with either a black or silver dial. On all the models the most striking feature is the grooved rhodium plated hour track complemented by elegantly faceted solid gold hour markers.
Light catches the diamond-polished facets of the hour markers as the central seconds hand sweeps around the dial. The hour and minute hands are both faceted and diamond polished along the length of their sides creating an elegant contrast and play on brushed and polished finishes, in either 18-carat red gold or 18-carat white gold, to match the colour of the case. The date window positioned at three o’clock is framed with an applied diamond polished 18-carat red gold or 18-carat white gold frame. A discreet minute track runs alongside the outer rim of the dial and the OMEGA logo is applied in either 18-carat red gold or 18-carat white gold, depending on the model. The dial is clearly visible through the anti-reflective coating applied to both sides of the sapphire crystal glass.
All the components of the OMEGA Co-Axial calibres 8500 and 8501 have been created exclusively for OMEGA from inception. Not content with just creating an exclusive manufacture calibre, OMEGA has optimised the precision of their proprietary Co-Axial Escapement and free-sprung balance by improving its design and using a larger (13 lines) sized movement. This officially certified chronometer (COSC) movement has a 60-hour power reserve stored in two barrels in series and is driven by energy from the bi-directional winding rotor.
Together they offer excellent stability to the watch’s going rate over long periods and enhance the performance of a truly superlative chronometer. Changing the hour is simplified by a mechanism that allows the hour hand to be adjusted without interrupting the movement of the other two hands, ideal for precise re-setting when traveling through time zones. The “Côtes de Genève” in arabesque, blackened screws and the use of precious metals highlight the refined nature of this new calibre.
The De Ville Hour Vision is presented either on a black or brown alligator leather strap that is integrated into the case between the newly designed lugs. The strap features an insert to avoid strain and cracking of the leather at the joint with the lugs and is fastened with a fold-over clasp (in either 18-carat red gold or stainless steel) ensuring the watch remains securely fastened yet offers maximum comfort to the wearer.
The metal bracelets (including a new patented screw and pin system allowing a very easy adjustment) feature an entirely new design and look and, set in the metal bar clasp is a butterfly deployant with an 18-carat gold polished OMEGA logo.
OMEGA Calibres 8500/8501
OMEGA has been working on improving the mechanical watch for over half a decade and when setting out on the Calibre 8500 project, OMEGA’s aim was to up-grade its existing proprietary Co-Axial technology which improves precision over long periods. Introduced in 1999, the Co-Axial escapement was first developed by the respected British master watchmaker Dr. George Daniels.
The Co-Axial escapement touches the very heart of the watch by re-engineering this component that provides the regular transmission of energy to the mechanism. Together with the free-sprung balance, the Co-Axial escapement offers optimal stability to the watch’s running rate over long periods and enhances the performance of the timepiece. In addition, the need for oil in this tiny component is nearly eliminated.
The automatic mechanism is driven by a highly efficient bi-directional rotor. The energy is then transmitted through two barrels providing the watch with an impressive power reserve of 60 hours. Adjusting the watch when traveling through time-zones is simple as the hour hand can be moved separately from the minutes and seconds hands. The 8500/8501 calibres are COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres) certified chronometers.
As befits a movement of this category great care has been taken in the finishing and decorating of the components. In the case of the Calibre
8501, the rotor and balance bridge are fashioned out of 18-carat red gold. The presence of 18-carat red gold components is reminiscent of OMEGA’s rich watch making heritage as historically, red gold had been used in OMEGA movements. Screws, barrels and the balance wheel are blackened – as opposed to heat treated blued steel – to create an unusual and contemporary matt finish. The bridges and the rotor are decorated with an “arabesque” Côtes de Genève pattern which is a world premier.
In the case of the 8500, the elegant monochrome look, created by using all rhodium and black details, give a futuristic finish to this timepiece: a very successful reinterpretation and modernisation of OMEGA’s watch making aesthetics. The beauty of the movement is clearly visible through sapphire glass apertures in the side of the watchcase and through the sapphire crystal case back.