Dr. Edwina Davies reviews the Omega De Ville Annual Calendar, a gorgeous watch presented in a platinum case, with blue details on the dial and an annual calendar complication.
Literally “of town” and it would suit the man about town. It is certainly urbane, elegant and refined.
There are a number of versions in the De Ville collection in red gold and steel, with black or white faces, metal or leather straps to match but it is the white–faced platinum version with the startling blue features which I find the most striking, understated, so simple and yet so engaging.
Names conjure up all sorts of images. For some “De Ville” will evoke memories of the Cadillac de Ville, seen as the epitome of luxury and elegance which ceased production in 1995. But this watch has a more subtle elegance. More sleek, more stylish was the Panther de Ville with its flowing wings and large headlights imitating the Bugatti Royale. It was the car for the rich, listed for many years as Britain’s most expensive production car. It was the car from which Cruella de Vil, swathed in furs, alighted.
However, whilst the Panther had elegance it was also ostentation. This watch is not ostentatious but is sleekly elegant. Only about sixty Panthers were made, hand built, and this watch is also a limited edition crafted with all the skills haute horology can proffer.
The cool, elegant platinum De Ville Annual Calendar.
The dial looks back at you with a clear fixed gaze with the blued numerals dominating the white face. It has absolute clarity. There are no superfluous details to distract.
The crystal domed sapphire crystal, scratch-resistant and anti reflective glass ensures a clear view of the features.
The blued raised roman numerals have squareness, a solidity which is quite masculine.
The hands are sword shaped but with the end chamfered, squared off to a bold line. Nothing could be simpler than the strong, slender line of the seconds’ hand. The definition of all is uncompromising and clean cut.
At 3 o’clock two simple apertures accommodate the month and date. The wider rectangle showing the month in simple black upper case. A smaller aperture is used for the date with the font in a heavier line.
The dial bears of course the Omega name and logo, simply depicted in black and its offering of Co-Axial and chronometer. The De Ville collection name is black but in upper case, with enlarged “D” and “E” in emphasis, attention seeking, supported by a black underlining, subtly retro.
Whilst you are presented with a simple classical round face, there is modernity to the styling and a level of refinement and purity of line and form which is almost hypnotic.
The case is a symphony in platinum, swathing the face, uncluttered, with the same bold confidence which characterises the dial. It measure 41 mm.
The interhorns are graceful with flowing lines like those of the Panther, but minimalist, no intrusion on their line, absolutely in harmony with the rest of the case and the dial.
Similarly the simple facetted, knurled, crown with its Omega logo, rests quietly at 3 o’clock, traditional and trustworthy.
That it is made of that most precious and rare metals, platinum, states that this is a luxury watch.
The transparent case back affords a view of the movement.
The self-winding movement is the Omega 8611. It is and annual calendar with instantaneous jump and only requires adjustment each Leap Year.
It has a Co-Axial escapement which affords greater stability and precision.
Reliability and durability are paramount so it has a silicon balance spring on free sprung balance. The choice of material reduces friction and enhances durability. Its two barrels are mounted in series and provide more stable power. Automatic winding in both directions reduces winding time. The oscillating mass and balance bridge are in red gold.
The finishing is in Geneva waves in arabesque, an attractive undulating embellishment exclusive to Omega.
It has a power reserve of fifty-five hours.
A simple black leather strap compliments the unfussy face.
It is water resistant to 100 metres.
Of the nine variations offered in this collection this is the one which stands out with its cool palette and strong yet not showy elegance. It has a charisma that comes from a simple but beguiling face.
Model: Omega De Ville Annual Calendar – Platinum on leather strap
Case: Platinum; 41.00 mm diameter; 14.15 mm height; water resistant to 10 bar (100 metres); sapphire crystal to both front and rear.
Angus is a self-confessed watch addict and is frequently asked to contribute to various printed magazines and websites around the globe. He also writes for individual watch companies on matters of horology and has appeared on television and radio as an industry expert.