Omega has unveiled a new dressy Seamaster Edizione Venezia collection as a tribute to the Italian city that provided the famous seahorse symbol that has graced the back of Omega’s Professional watches like the Seamaster, Speedmaster and the Railmaster. The new collection will be sold exclusively in Venice.
Omega launched the Seamaster in 1948 and in the Fifties, the brand felt that it needed a symbol to represent the Seamaster’s diving heritage and ocean spirit. The answer was found by a member of Omega’s design department. Jean-Pierre Borle, who who already created the iconic “Observatory” medallion used in theConstellation models, was inspired on a visit to Venice by an image of Neptune, the Roman God of the Sea, driving a chariot pulled by seahorses. Venice’s famous gondolas too have sculpted representations of Neptune’s Seahorse on each side. If you'll notice, the seahorse on the Omega caseback wears bridles.
Omega says Venice embodied the meeting point of culture, history and elegance – perfectly matching the attributes of the Seamaster models. Venice represents a place where many ocean explorers had once begun their voyages. Upon seeing the exquisite craftsmanship of the Seahorse, Omega knew that a symbol for its Seamaster collection had been found, and the emblem began appearing on models from 1957. Eventually, the symbol would be used on all of Omega’s professional tool watches like the Speedmaster, Seamaster and Railmaster (pictured below) since the Sixties.
The Edizione Venezia is a tribute to that story as well as the city. A dress watch reminiscent of the timepieces it made in the Fifties, it is presented in a more modern 39.5 mm wide case. This watch is available is two case materials, an 18K Sedna gold version paired with a dark brown leather strap or a stainless steel version fitted with a black leather strap. The domed opaline-silvery dial on each model draws its design influence from the vaulted ceiling effects of Venetian architecture, and features 12 applied indexes as well as elegant “leaf” style hands.
The Venice theme even extends to the spherical crown, which follows the shape of the dome of St Mark's Basilica and gives the timepiece a classic, timeless look. The famous Seahorse medallion has been laser engraved on sapphire crystal of the caseback and the words “Seamaster” and “Edizione Venezia” have been transferred onto the inner caseback ring. There is also a transferred pattern which closely resembles the intricate detail of Venice’s own flag.
Both versions come presented in their own special black-lacquered presentation box, lined in burgundy velour reminiscent of a Venetian gondola's interior. Omega uses the Caliber 8800 movement used in the 39.5 mm Seamaster Planet Ocean on the steel version while Caliber 8801 (with an 18K Sedna gold balance bridge and oscillating weight) is used on the gold version. The watch can only be purchased at the brand’s Boutique in Venice, or at T Fondaco dei Tedeschi by DFS and is priced at $5,755 (steel) and $12,900 (Sedna Gold).