A positive takeaway from the dramatic events of the past year-and-a-half is the shift in consciousness around sporting activities and the importance of exercise for physical health and mental wellbeing. The Omega Speedmaster Chronoscope pays tribute to those earlier tools used to observe and record the pace of life — particularly the thrilling adrenaline-packed activities at the racetrack. In this time of flux, the Chronoscope also offers a reminder of more focused engagements before our smartphones and wearables stole our attention and set the pace for a very distracted, always-on existence.
A chronoscope (from Greek “chronos” meaning time and “scope” meaning to observe) is described as “a device used to accurately determine the duration of a phenomenon”, and the latest update on the Speedmaster does this on multiple levels with the aid of three timing scales and its Coaxial Master Chronometer Calibre 9908 inside. On its bezel, the Tachymeter is a feature of a classic chronograph and together with the two innermost scales of its dial, measures speed based on distance. The telemeter measures distance on the dial’s outer scale based on the speed of sound — for example, an approaching Joburg thunderstorm. And if you’re the sort that never misses a beat, the pulsometer will track your heartbeat on its 30-pulse-per-minute scale. The beautifully symmetrical dial of this 43mm chronograph also features a 60-minute small-seconds counter and the 12-hour recorder.
The detailed “snail” design of the dial is inspired by Omega chronographs of the 1940s as are the leaf-shaped hands and “spiral” track pattern that elegantly runs beneath the Arabic numerals. While there is plenty of old-world charm, the Chronoscope is brought up to date with a modern case design, and the power and accuracy of the manual-winding Calibre 9908. Visible through the sapphire crystal on the caseback, the movement has an improved power reserve to 60 hours, achieved by including twin barrels with anti-wear diamond-like carbon coating. The column wheel mechanism is also used to ensure the accuracy of the multiple functions.
There are six polished-brushed stainless steel references of the Chronoscope with three dial and bezel colour options: a blue dial with silvery subdials and a blue anodised aluminium bezel; a silvery dial with blue bezel ring; and a racy silvery panda dial featuring blackened subdials with red highlights, and black bezel. All pieces are water resistant to 50m and are presented on a steel bracelet or a selection of leather straps. A luxe Bronze Gold version is crafted from a special alloy made with palladium, silver and 9-carat gold. It features an oxidised bronze dial with a special patina. The tachymeter scale on its brown ceramic bezel ring is executed on a vintage-look enamel.
Retailing from R155,000 at omegawatches.com or Swatch Group SA 011 911 1200.