Omega has unveiled their latest watch made in support of Orbis, an international non-profit whose mission is to reduce preventable blindness in the poorest parts of the world. The new watch (actually, a pair of watches) takes the De Ville Tresor as a starting point and adds some rather subtle design flourishes to make this something special. Let’s take a closer look.
The De Ville Tresor is among the most formal watches in Omega’s enormous collection, and at 40mm these new Tresors strike a modern dress watch tone in their sizing and execution. So many of Omega’s core models are iconic sports watches, it’s not often that we think of them as makers of more traditional dress pieces, but the Tresor is a good reminder that they’re one of the biggest brands in the world for good reason, and can do just about anything. The Tresor (and certainly these watches in particular) have a very obvious refinement, and benefit from the same technical know-how that goes into the making of Omega’s most tech forward Speedmasters and Seamasters.
These new Tresors both feature the same gradient blue dial but have different bezel options. One is a clean, polished stainless steel bezel, and the other has been set with diamonds. We don’t often cover diamond and gem set watches on Worn & Wound, but this release gives us a good excuse to discuss the appeal of such a watch, as it’s paired with another piece that’s a little less blingy. Diamonds, of course, are not for every taste, but a well executed diamond setting is quite a thing to behold from a pure aesthetic and craft point of view. The fact that this Tresor is a 40mm watch (and presumably targeted to men) is a somewhat interesting and most certainly welcome development. Diamonds have been popping up in men’s watches for years, of course, but usually in a slightly more subtle way (think diamond markers on a Datejust, for example). It’s fun to see Omega flexing a bit here, and reminds me a little of last year’s first Speedmaster with a 321 movement – you’ll remember that one was in platinum, with white gold markers and meteorite subdials. Omega tends to do interesting, unexpected, things with precious metals and stones, and I think that’s true with this watch as well.
The Orbis link can be found only once per month on these watches, in the form of an image of a stuffed teddy bear taking the place of the “8” on the date display at 6:00. The bear is in the same light blue color as the seconds hand, which provides a nice contrast against the darker tones of the dial. A stuffed teddy bear has become a signature gift from Omega to juvenile patients who get Orbis care, and is actually a tool used by doctors to explain the surgery to their patients.
Both watches are powered by Omega’s hand wound Calibre 8511, featuring a red gold balance bridge, which is naturally all on display through an exhibition caseback. Calibre 8511 features the co-axial escapement that is now common to almost every Omega product, and fitting a hand wound movement to what is essentially a very formal, modern dress watch feels like the right choice to keep it as slender as possible.
No pricing information is available on the two new De Ville Tresors seen here just yet, but head to Omega’s website (they have a dedicated section devoted to their Orbis partnership) for more info as it becomes available.