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Watches - Feature Article

Omega 1957 Trilogy Watches. Three watches for the ages

1957 was something of a banner year for Omega. 

In that year they released three watches that would each go on to become classics. Moving away from the dressy designs for which Omega were best known, the company launched a ‘professional’ line-up with a radical new, sportier and chunkier aesthetic. Those three watches were the Speedmaster, Railmaster and the Seamaster 300.

In 2017, to celebrate six decades since their release (and to the delight of Omega’s fans and collectors) they produced limited edition versions of all three. 

Limited to 3,557 pieces each, or as a boxed collection of 557, these 60th anniversary pieces offer an authentic alternative to vintage originals. 

With careful attention to detail, every watch in the 1957 Trilogy recreates the look and feel of the originals, right down to the size, textures and even the tiny engraved logo on the crystal. 

Omega used advanced digital scanning technology to provide accurate representations of the original watches—including cross-sections and dimensions. This, along with drawings of the original models, served as the design templates for the new watches, which were slightly revised in some areas but remain true to the 1957 models.

According to Omega Museum curator Petros Protopapas, the brand’s product development team worked closely with the museum team to get everything just right.

All three watches are cased in brushed and polished stainless steel and feature black “tropical” dials. In the only significant aesthetic departure from the originals, the stainless steel bracelets have been updated for strength and feature a retro-style Omega logo on the clasp. And, in a nice touch for the purists, each of the logos on the watches are in a different style, a reference to how individual suppliers in the 1950s interpreted the Omega logo.

The Railmaster 60th Anniversary Master Chronometer 38mm

The original double-case anti-magnetic Railmaster CK2914 was designed for scientists, technicians or anyone working close to electrical fields. 

The original’s stripped back and unpretentious style has been carried over into the 2017 model, though the vintage indexes are slightly deepened to allow a stronger glow from the Super-LumiNova filling. Still, the dial of the Trilogy Railmaster looks convincingly vintage. The font used for the 3-6-9 and 12, even the Omega logo, look exactly as the vintage model’s. 

The measurements of the case are technically identical to the vintage pieces, too. At 38mm, it’s something you rarely see in a marquee model these days. The lug width is the same 19mm as the original Railmaster CK2914. (Actually all three models share the same lug width.) 

The case back is screw-down and the watch is water resistant to 60 meters. An updated crystal comes in a scratch resistant sapphire with anti-reflective coating and, in keeping with the original watch’s purpose, this Railmaster is powered by the caliber 8806 which can resist magnetic fields of up to 15,000 gauss. 

The Seamaster 300 60th Anniversary Master Chronometer 39mm

The first Seamaster 300 was sought after for its water-resistance. Its black dial, broad arrow hour hand, bi-directional diving bezel, and recessed triangular hour markers created a purposeful watch for active divers. 

The 2017 model, which is based on the original CK2913, features a black aluminium bezel and retains the original Naïad sign on the crown, which back in 1957 was a mark of the watch’s water resistance. The Seahorse (or hippocampus) on the caseback also harkens to the original. Inside the 39mm case beats the outstanding, modern, Omega Master Chronometer caliber 8806. 

The Speedmaster 60th Anniversary Limited Edition 38.6mm

The original Speedmaster, called the “Broad Arrow,” was the very first Speedmaster and the first chronograph watch with a tachymeter scale on the bezel as opposed to printed on the dial—a feature designed for race car drivers. 

Since its first release, the Speedmaster has inspired a massive following both in and out of the watch world, and today stands as one of the most passionately sought after watches on the market today.

Like the other two Trilogy pieces, this Speedmaster is a faithful re-creation of the original watch, in this case the CK 2915-1, but it comes with all the benefits of modern manufacturing techniques. 

Its steel case is 38.6 mm in diameter, with both polished and brushed facets and the traditional slim-lined Speedmaster straight lugged outline. It uses simple pump pushers and a thick, signed crown with a small vintage Naiad symbol within the centre of the Omega logo. 

Its movement is the current version of the manually wound caliber 861, first introduced in 1968. In some respects the 60th anniversary Speedmaster stays truer to its ancestor than the Seamaster and Railmaster as it uses a Hesalite crystal and a hand-wound movement instead of having a sapphire crystal and a modern Co-Axial Master Chronometer movement. 

This limited edition set includes all three watches and a special strap kit with both leather and NATO straps, and a tool for swapping them out. Each watch in this set features its edition number on the dial and comes in a corduroy fabric-lined display box that displays the Omega logo and the words “OMEGA High Precision.” 

All of this heritage goodness fits inside a handsome box-joined wooden case. A brushed metal plaque on the box’s front displays the words “Trilogy 60th Anniversary” above the set’s edition number out of 557.

This Trilogy collection could be all the daily wearers you need for work, free time or on holiday. It could be a precious possession to a hand down. Or even a guilty pleasure to be enjoyed for years to come. In any case, each of the watches of the 1957 Trilogy are not just beautiful toys, but powerful tools.

Shop Omega Trilogy Set here.