Omega Center Tourbillon
ref. 5910.30.01, cal. 1170
v.1b

In 1994, the world's first OMEGA Central Tourbillon wristwatch was created in celebration of the brand's 100th anniversary (1894-1994)

The Center Tourbillon is an AWESOME piece.

Specs:


(Sorry, lighting is bad on this one.)

The watch looks like it sits high from the last picture, but in fact, in person, it rides well on my small 6 1/5" wrists. EVERYONE comments on it, WIS and non-WIS alike (not so sure this is a GOOD thing...)

Bezel offIf you get a chance to see it, you must. The hands are painted on two crystal plates, which rotate on top of one another to display the minutes and hours. The gearing for the plates is moved to the periphery of the dials, to make room for the escapement and tourbillon cage in the center. This layout and time display scheme was used back in the 70's in Omega's beautiful and unique 18k Mystere quartz watch. (can't find my jpg...)

case backBecause of the layout of the gearing, the normal crown is only for topping off the mainspring. Timesetting functions are back set, from the second flat wheel on the back, sort of like a JLC Futurematic.

At this time, there is no display back offered, but boy, if there were...:-)

under dialThe automatic movement uses a more expensive platinum rotor for ideal mass and winding efficiency, and indeed, the winding efficiency is excellent. Finish is top notch, and the case is gorgeous - massive, without being clunky. I feel the rose gold case gives the best total effect, offering a warmth that perfectly highlights the high mech nature of the tourbillon. The yellow gold is too "cold," and although the Pt is nice as well, it is a bit too heavy for my taste (it is also nearly impossible to find.) WG is an option...

If there is anything I don't like about it, it is only the finish of the Omega logo on the tourbillon - since it is literally and figuratively the "center" of the watch, it should have had a nicer finish than the flat matte that Omega chose. Normally, I don't like bright polished finishes too much, but in this case, it probably would have integrated better with the overall design.

This watch is a landmark, imho, actually breaking new ground rather than just slapping yet another module onto a basic common ebauche. It is deserving of wider appreciation and respect.

ThomasM

The following is official Omega copy -

All the escapement parts - pallets wheel, pallets and sprung balance - are assembled in a small mobile cage that makes one complete rotation in one minute. This ingenious device eliminates performance variations due to gravitational forces and thus assures optimum accuracy in the mechanical watch.

The OMEGA Central Tourbillon watch is equipped with a totally new designed self-winding calibre :

The 18 k gold case is in yellow, white or pink gold; 18 k gold silvered or blue guilloche dial. Hours and minutes displayed by hands painted on two revolving sapphire discs at the edge of the tourbillon, which itself carries the seconds hand and the OMEGA symbol.

The tourbillon system is integrated in a small rotating mobile cage, which eliminates performance errors of mechanical watches in vertical positions. The top part of the cage consists of the seconds hand and the OMEGA symbol. (End Omega official copy.)

Footnotes:

Louis Brandt started his comptoir d'etablissage in 1848, and sometimes Omega traces their history back to 1848 (for example, for the Centennial Jubilee Editions back in 1948)


It is unusual for a Swiss watchmaking company to shorten their history, but maybe Omega wanted the poetic use of 100 year Centennial to go with their introduction of the Center Tourbillon.

The better, more professional pictures are Omega stock photos.
The amateur, poorer quality pictures are my own. :-)

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