Omega DeVille Co-Axial Chronometer Price
The Trésor shares its name with a model first produced in 1949 – it too was offered in pink gold with a simple three-handed dial, but it came with an automatic “bumper” movement, very popular in Omega watches of the day. The original Trésor was oversized at 37.5mm in diameter and featured a pared down dial with prominent hour indices atop a sterile ground, a signed crown, and a svelte gold case. It was a watch built and priced for South American markets, and as a result it remains largely unknown to most casual collectors today. The new model takes visual cues from the original, retaining the personality that encapsulates the distinct charm of vintage Omega dress watches. Might this be the best post quartz-crisis dress watch to come from Omega?
Why do we clamor on about vintage dress watches? Rarity, patina, and personality are the easy answers, but when it comes down to it, watches that enjoy the most modern technology usually have a tendency to eschew any air of restraint when it comes to design. At the end of the day, most of us will choose the ageless qualities of less-is-more design, comfort on the wrist, and usability over trendy complications and sexy materials. The overlap of impeccable style and cutting-edge functionality is a sparse landscape.
The Omega De Ville Trésor
The De Ville Trésor sits at the intersection of Omega’s design past and its current progression into redefining the modern mechanical movement. It’s a dichotomy that represents the best of Omega’s growing line of diverse watches. Rather than remaining content with re-creations and homages to their historically significant watches, Omega has leveraged an evolutionary approach with the Trésor. It manages to balance a distinct conservatism and restraint with a thoroughly modern construction and execution. While the watch manages a comfortable and familiar presence on the wrist, there is something unconventional about the view from the backside.
Watches of this sort tend to rely on classic execution and finishing when it comes to the movement. Flip over a Royal Oak, a Calatrava, a Patrimony, or an 1815, and you’ll find a beautiful-yet-classic view of their respective movements. These are the bar-setters, the examples to which other luxury watches aspire. The Trésor, on the other hand, is home to Omega’s caliber 8511, a manual winding, co-axial affair replete with exotic materials and a wholly original composition that fills the entirety of the exhibition case back. It’s modern, unexpected, and almost brutal at first glance. While we wouldn’t exactly call it elegant in the same way the aforementioned watches are, the 8511 is a welcome departure within the category and one that pushes the boundaries of our luxury watch expectations.
If recent trends are any indication, modern watches are meant to come with fussy, oversized cases and dials, useless complications, and unreasonable dimensions. The Trésor puts all that out to pasture, proving that modern watches can indeed embrace the ideals we find so appealing in vintage watches: restrained design, manageable in size, and no extraneous complications. It embodies everything we love about dress watches, and in an unashamedly forward thinking manner.
On The Wrist
The Trésor is 40mm in diameter and a scant 10.4mm (by our measure) in height. It presents zero problems on the wrist, and slides under a cuff with no fuss. The exhibition sapphire back has the slightest bit of curvature, so as not to sit perfectly flat on the wrist. It’s a watch that rests discreetly on the wrist, making easy work of full day wear. Quite simply, it sits the way every dress watch should on a wrist. When you need it, a quick read of the time is easily discerned thanks to large, applied hour batons and thin but striking minute, hour, and second hands. They are all finished in gold, which contrasts nicely with the off-white or “silvery opaline” (as Omega calls it) dial. Depending on the lighting, the gold markers and hands can be reflective and difficult to read, but more often than not they worked wonderfully.
The real star of the show here is the “clous de Paris” patterned dial. It’s subtle enough to not get in the way of functionality, yet distinctive enough to enrich the entire experience. It hammers home the vintage inspiration without hitting you over the head with its presence. The texture is perfectly even throughout the face and begs a closer look; it’s one of those special details that elevates the watch from being merely good looking to downright beautiful. As much as we like the usefulness of the date aperture at 6 o’clock, it’s the one thing holding the Trésor back from being truly perfect.
The only visible signage is the old-school omega icon and name at 12 o'clock and the "Master Co-Axial Chronometer" above the date window. The modern typeface chosen for the text contrasts with the throwback execution of the logo in a way that belies the overall theme of the watch, that duality placing vintage brilliance alongside high-tech execution. The crown is also emblazoned with the Omega symbol, reminiscent of the older models. The size and shape of the crown fit the case dimensions perfectly, but its diminutive size makes it slightly difficult to operate. It's a sacrifice we can live with.
The leather strap and case-matching buckle not only look the part, but they also provide maximum comfort and practicality as well. The strap is thin as not to overpower the case, and the tapering ends make for simple manipulation. A folding clasp would easily overpower the watch itself and is better left off in this instance.
The Omega Caliber 8511
Within the Trésor beats an entirely new movement from Omega, the caliber 8511. Unlike the rest of the watch, there is nothing vintage about it. It is a manually-winding affair with two barrels providing 60 hours of power reserve. Where the action happens though, things get a little sexier. The 8511 features a Si14 silicone balance spring set inside a co-axial escapement. Oh, and it can withstand magnetic fields of more than 15, 000 gauss, a feat that thankfully goes mostly unlabeled on the dial (it's what the "Master" indicates). The balance bridge is set apart visually thanks to its red-gold finishing. It’d be hard to miss, regardless, as the escapement is set just to the left of 6 o’clock.