In 1957, Omega published the very first Railmaster, the reference CK2914. We all consider dive watches and hearty chronographs as instrument watches, but the Railmaster was a tool watch of a different kind: It was a watch for scientists who could stand up to the magnetic fields encountered in the lab. As you likely know, magnetism can wreak havoc on a mechanical watch, distorting the balance spring and affecting its ability to maintain a secure frequency, and thus keep accurate time. The CK2914 utilized a gentle iron inner case as a Faraday Cage and a milder dial to shield the movement from outside magnetic fields of strengths as much as 1,000 Gauss. Omega was not the only watch manufacturer creating this kind of watch. Similarly, IWC has the Ingenieur, which really arrived before the Milgauss or the Railmaster, debuting at 1954. By that time, IWC already had a history of producing anti-magnetic watches for pilots, so the Ingenieur appeared a logical next step. Two decades later, it would find an overhaul by Gerald Genta at the form of this Ingenieur SL and now the brand has kept the lineup living as a collection of racing-inspired watches, even though that’s a story for another time.While technologically advanced and functional for a very special type of wearer, the more Railmaster was not a top seller for Omega and the version had been retired in 1963, just six years after its launch. You have to remember, this was the age of typewriters, rotary telephones, and manual transmissions — watch wearers weren’t contending with a world filled with electronic equipment, all which generate some level of magnetism a mechanical watch must deal with in one way or another.
Once again, the Railmaster was back in the file cabinet. During its lack, Omega switched their engineer’s eyes back to the problem that first inspired the watch –magnetism. Now utilizing silicon in the motion–that is non-ferrous by nature–along with other non-ferrous alloys, Omega announced in 2013 their caliber 8508, first featured at the Aqua Terra >15,000 Gauss. As its name suggests, Omega outdid the preceding norm of 1,000 Gauss by 15 times, developing a watch that needs no shielding to perform (or outperform, as the case may be, those with soft-iron cages) as the movement itself can’t acquire magnetized.Omega introduced this technology to more of the calibers, and finally started to submit them through a new testing process, making their >15,000 Gauss, chronometer-rated movements the name of “Master Chronometers.” In 2017, 60 years after launch the Railmaster and equipped with an arsenal of industry-leading tech, Omega has attracted the Railmaster back. And while you might be considering the LE anniversary model that got a lot of attention last spring, it is really this new non-limited version that actually matters.Sporting the Master Chronometer caliber 8806 using a co-axial escapement, the Seamaster Aqua Terra Railmaster is a true spiritual successor to the original, and a visual evolution on the subject. The iron cage is still gone, but the anti-magnetic theory that first defined it is still at its core. But perhaps what makes this view so intriguing to worn&bull is that for the very first time a Master Chronometer watch will be accessible only shy of $5,000 at $4,900 MSRP to a ring ($5,000 as exhibited on bracelet). While this certainly is far from inexpensive, for a tech-laden watch in the significant luxury brand, it is very competitive and reflects a unique “entry” luxury offering that any watch enthusiast ought to know about.
I understood right off at Baselworld last year that this is really a watch that I wanted to spend time with. But while many of the new releases are coming to advertise over the summer months, this watch wouldn’t be landing wrists until much latter in the year. I needed to be patient. Eventually, however, a set of Railmasters made their way to HODINKEE HQ, and that I knew it was worth the wait.I chose to devote my week primarily with the version of this Railmaster you see above, with the black dial along with the stainless steel bracelet, even although I did wear the gray dial version using a leather NATO strap for a day or two only to get the full experience.The Seamaster Railmaster comes at a 40mm stainless steel case that measures a hair over 12mm thick. The result is something that feels really hardy both in the hand and on the wrist with no too heavy or chunky. You are not going to mistake this for a vintage watch by any means, but that’s not the point. What makes the dimensions actually work though is your sense of proportion. The way in which the bezel is incorporated into the case is simple but effective and the duration of the lugs in connection with the size of this situation makes it feel like a compact, no-nonsense package.The completing on the Railmaster’s case is almost totally unique in the modern watch universe. Not one. You definitely see some grain, particularly on the sides of the scenario, but it is not dramatic, and that I get the feeling that the opinion will age tremendously well, taking marks and scratches. The jagged lugs are quintessential Omega and to me they are essential to making this design work.
In 1957, Omega published the very first Railmaster, the reference CK2914. Most of us consider dive significant and chains chronographs as instrument watches, but the Railmaster was a tool watch of another sort: It was an watch for scientists that could resist the magnetic fields encountered in the laboratory. As you most likely know, magnetism can wreak havoc to a mechanical watch, distorting the balance spring and affecting its ability to maintain a secure frequency, and thus keep accurate time. The CK2914 used a soft iron inner case as a Faraday Cage and a thicker dial to protect the motion from outside magnetic areas of strengths as much as 1,000 Gauss. Omega wasn’t the only watch maker producing this type of watch. Likewise, IWC has the Ingenieur, which actually came before the Milgauss or even the Railmaster, debuting at 1954. By that time, IWC already had a history of producing anti-magnetic watches for pilots, so the Ingenieur seemed a logical next step. Two decades later, it would get an overhaul by Gerald Genta at the form of the Ingenieur SL and now the brand has retained the line living as a selection of racing-inspired watches, even though that’s a story for a different time.While technologically innovative and practical for a very specific kind of wearer, the more Railmaster wasn’t a top seller for Omega and the model had been retired in 1963, only six years after its launch. You have to remember, this was the era of typewriters, rotary telephones, and manual transmissions — see wearers were not contending with a world filled with electronics, all which create some amount of magnetism a mechanical watch must deal with in one way or another.
When the topic of luxury watch brands comes to mind, Omega is probably among this first you think about. Even when you are not into watches, then odds are you are aware of the brand. Whether it’s because of their long and rich history (which we detailed here), a relative who wears one, ubiquitous networking, event sponsorship or James Bond uttering the word “Omeeega” to a train, they are a household name. Then, should you fall into the trap of turning into a watch enthusiast, then it will not be long till you discover yourself with one in your wrist. They are among those brands that are so core to the mythology of the contemporary watch, that it’s impossible not to be intrigued by their story and the watches they’ve created over the years.For most folks, the very first Omega they will think of is that the Speedmaster, also for good reason. The first watch worn on the Moon, it is as iconic as a watch can be, still a mainstay for its brand, and contains the special characteristic of being mostly unchanged for the last 50 years (that the Speedmaster Professional, that’s). It’s among those few watches that’s just as much a cult classic as a favorite success. But, it is only one watch that the brand is famous for, and this year at Basel 2017, Omega celebrated not just the Speedmaster, but two other vital watches that were released together with it in 1957, the Seamaster 300 and the Railmaster with close visually identical, limited edition rereleases.While not the Speedmaster in caché, the Seamaster 300 is surely a well-known and considered timepiece. Highly collectible and aesthetically intriguing, it is a significant part of Omega’s history. The Railmaster, however, is a little bit of an underdog. Alongside the Rolex Milgauss and IWC Ingenieur, it had been one of a few watches released in the mid-twentieth century that coped with the ever-growing concern of magnetism, specifically for railroad engineers and other specialists exposed to magnetic fields.
|Year||2018 inkl 19% MWST|
|Price||5,900 € (= $7,408)|
|Availability||Ready to ship in 3-5 days|
|Power reserve||55 h|
|Case diameter||38 mm|
|Dial numerals||Arabic numerals|
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|3.557 Exemplare limitierte Railmaster|