Dr. Edwina Davies reviews the De Ville Chronograph OMEGA Co-Axial Calibre 9301. She is keen to point out that not only has this watch a handsome exterior but a trusty heart within.

De Ville Chronograph OMEGA Co-Axial Calibre 9301

“Handsome is as handsome does” is a popular adage. The caveat has always been not just to judge by appearances, not to be beguiled by a handsome face, that “beauty is only skin deep,” but not in this instance. Here is a handsome exterior and within a trusty heart.

As might be anticipated from this most respected brand, good looks are married to innovation and craftsmanship.

OMEGA has always been synonymous with the creation of beautiful timepieces and at the cutting edge of development within the watchmaking industry.

The press release for this watch appeared on this site in March last after Baselworld 2012 but merits closer scrutiny.

The Dial

The blue of the 18ct. red gold model captivates immediately. Wonderful azure, reminiscent of Homer’s “wine-dark sea”, deep in tone, a blue into which you can sink soulfully, seduces you. This watch attracts the eye and holds it.

De Ville Chronograph OMEGA Co-Axial Calibre 9301

The 18ct gold facetted Roman numerals stand out in their richness against the blue, perfectly proportioned, at the outer limits of the dial. The seconds are delicately defined centrally, in an inner chapter ring within the number’s circle.

Elegant, svelte, gold hands sweep the hours and minutes whilst an even more slender hand marks off the seconds.

The hour hand is not just elegant but has the added credential of being adjustable independently without affecting the setting of the minute and seconds hands. This is a boon when travelling from country to country and having to change the time to accommodate the different time zones.

Two domed sub-dials rest at three o’clock and 9 o’clock. That at 3 o’clock has two small hands marking both the 60 minute and 12 hour counters. At 9 o’clock is the small seconds dial. Their dainty hands are polished and facetted, the marker batons delicate, finely depicted. It is the fine detail of the seconds, of the chrono counters and the legibility of the hour markings which distinguish this dial. There are no distracting details.

At 6-oclock a simple aperture has the date displayed against a black background, unobtrusive and yet clearly defined because of the gold numbers prominent in their window, distinguished from other numbering and details of the dial which are against a blue backdrop.

At 12 o’clock the OMEGA symbol and name rests and in the lower half of the dial the credentials of movement and its Swiss origins are defined.

The lines and form are classic. Everything works in concert.

A clear vision of all is afforded by the domed sapphire crystal glass with its anti-reflective coating.

The Case

The case is 42mm in diameter and has a height of 15.90mm.

The warmth and lustre of the gold enhances the blue of the dial, polished and brushed for added interest.

As with the front, the sapphire crystal back is anti-reflective, domed and the case back securely fixed with screws.

The lines are matchlessly sweeping, the interhorns gracefully flowing to complement the lines of the case. The bezel is wide its rich gold framing the face. Blue can be cold but not on this occasion.

The knurled polished crown with its OMEGA logo rests conventionally at 3 0’clock with the chronograph push buttons, smooth and shiny, resting traditionally placed at each side of it.

The Movement

This watch draws on OMEGA’s ground-breaking innovation. It offers the Co-Axial escapement introduced first in 2007 and a balance spring, made from silicon, the “Si14” on OMEGA free sprung-balance, affording smoothness in action. Silicon is more durable than other materials. It also delivers greater wear resistance and, therefore, greater stability over time. Stability means better accuracy. The two barrels have an anti-wear DLC coating again reinforcing the watch’s longevity. So, here is a watch which within its stunning exterior proffers dependability and performance. Innovation can be hazardous but not in this case. Reliability is proven.

De Ville Chronograph OMEGA Co-Axial Calibre 9301

It houses 54 jewels, has a frequency of 28’800A/h and with two barrels proffers a power reserve of 60 hours.

The chronometer is officially certificated, if guarantee more than the OMEGA name is needed.

The Co-Axial 9301 is self-winding in both directions.

Those are the technical details but then through the domed sapphire crystal back admire the artistry. Look at the soul of this watch. You can check the specifications, all clearly stated on the reverse but then enjoy the aesthetics. The rubies, the marriage of the blackened screws with the black silicon balance wheel, the gold rotor and balance bridges, and the sweeping curves of the Geneva waves in arabesque that carry the eye around to alight on each exquisite detail. It is pure joy, opulent and rewarding.

Other Features

Alternatives are offered to the fashionable blue and wonderful gold version. It is also presented with a silver dial and there is a stainless steel version which offers the choice of silver, blue or black dial, but this year blue is the colour of choice.

Exemplary in its technology and manufacture, the watch is waterproof to 100 metres.

The strap is of alligator, deep blue like the face, with a polished fold-over clasp.

One cannot envisage that with a watch of this quality a warranty is needed but it comes with one for a generous four years.

Conclusion

Here is elegance. External beauty, blue imparting serenity, and peerless precision and cutting edge technology are delivered. The specification details the OMEGA innovations it enfolds. Eschew the warning not to be distracted by a handsome profile. Beauty in this case is much more than skin deep. It is beautiful throughout and totally dependable.

Technical specification

  • Model: De Ville Chronograph OMEGA Co-Axial Calibre 9301
  • Reference: 431.53.42.51.03.001

  • Case: 18-carat red gold; diameter 42.00 mm; water resistant to 10 bar (100 metres); sapphire crystal to front and rear.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; central seconds; date; chronograph.
  • Movement: OMEGA Co-Axial 9301; self-winding both directions; officially certified chronometer;  frequency 28,800 vph; 54 jewels; power reserve 60 hours
  • Strap: Blue alligator strap on 18-carat red gold deployant.

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