In addition to illustrating part of the brand’s history and showing the considerable potential of the OMEGA Museum, the Museum Collection meets a clear demand among collectors for historical timepieces from the company. The Museum Collection made its debut in 2001 with a re-edition of a 1938 pilot’s watch. The 2002 OMEGA Museum Collection model was a replica of the square-cased version of a calendar watch from 1951.
Introduced in 2003, the third watch in the collection is re-edition of a rare type of chronograph from 1945, a unusual watch with a tachymetric scale from 400km/h to 20km/h on the dial together with telemetric and pulsometric scales.
In keeping with the Museum Collection philosophy, this re-edition retains the same essential characteristics of the original, save for a few minor improvements to bring it up to the latest technological standards: a domed, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment, clearer markings on the dial, better quality leather for the strap and water resistance to 30 metres.
The watch case retains the original 1945 diameter of 38.4mm, as well as its distinct look of the period: entirely satin-finished, with only the very smallest of polished areas on the bevels of the bezel and chronograph pushers. The crown also has the typically intricate grooved design of the period. The case back has a special museum limited edition inscription, as well as the limited-edition number, engraved on it.
The watch is driven by the OMEGA calibre 3200, a manual winding chronograph movement manufactured exclusively for OMEGA by Frédéric Piguet SA. This movement has a prestige column wheel mechanism to ensure precision operation of the chronograph functions and a power reserve of 55 hours when fully wound. Like all prestige OMEGA movements, its surfaces are finely finished with circular graining, Geneva wave décor, rhodium plating and gold-plated engravings.
The black Opaline dial is adorned with gold feuille hands, a chronograph minute counter at 3 o’clock and continuous small seconds at 9 o’clock. It provides the backdrop for the various instrument scales in gold:
- Tachymeter: The tachymeter is a standard feature of most high-end chronographs. However, whilst most tachymeters have a single scale reading down to 60, the OMEGA Museum Collection 2003 has three separate tachymeter scales (in yellow gold) that are graduated down to 20. The tachymeter can be used to calculate the speed of a vehicle by measuring the time taken to travel a reference distance of 1000 metres. Equally, the scale can be used to calculate the hourly output of a machine, for example: if the time taken to produce one item is measured, the tachymeter scale gives an immediate indication of how many such items the machine produces in one hour.
- Telemeter: The telemetric scale (in red gold) allows calculation of the distance from the observer of an event that is both visible and audible. The best practical example of its use is in a thunderstorm: the chronograph button is pushed when a flash of lightning is seen and then stopped when the thunderclap is heard; the central chronograph hand pointing to the telemeter scale then indicates how far away the storm is from the observer in kilometres.
- Pulsometer: This scale (in silver) is used to take a person’s pulse based on 15 beats. The chronograph is started on the first beat and stopped on the 15th; the pulsometer scale then indicates the heart rate in beats per minute.
Presented in a special Museum Collection gift box, this historical OMEGA timepiece is fitted with a brown alligator leather strap with satin finished buckle.