FRIDAY WIND DOWN: Omega at the Winter Olympics and a special release for MB&F FRIDAY WIND DOWN: Omega at the Winter Olympics and a special release for MB&F

FRIDAY WIND DOWN: Omega at the Winter Olympics and a special release for MB&F

Zach Blass

It’s the Winter Olympics, an event that once again raises baffling questions for those of us who haven’t grown up in Alpine regions. Why is that skier carrying an assault rifle? What are those curling guys doing with little brooms? And what in God’s good name is the sport of monobob? But then, of course, we inevitably get sucked in and soon find ourselves cheering on some beardy Norwegian who’s just nailed a death-defying ski jump.

Witnessing the weird and wonderful nature of the Winter Olympics also makes you appreciate the daunting challenge facing Omega. Beijing 2022 marks a special milestone for the brand as they celebrate their 30th occasion as Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games.

Yes, for exactly 90 years, Omega has been the ultimate name in sports measurement, recording the dreams of the world’s best athletes, and continually developing the technologies that every result depends on. What that actually means is worth unpacking. With the Summer Olympics alone, Omega has to perfect micro-second technology that can record a vast range of events from the break-neck speed of the 100m to the sprawling length of the marathon (all the while ensuring their timing is totally infallible). Then they have to do the same with the Winter Olympics, this time making sure their equipment can also work with similar precision in sub-zero blizzards. In short, it’s one hell of a responsibility and a real testimony to the power of the Omega brand. If accuracy is the true benchmark of timekeeping, the Olympics are the ultimate endorsement.

When Omega began its Olympic timing role in 1932, the company fulfilled its task with just one watchmaker and 30 stopwatches. This year in Beijing, the operation will entail a team of 300 timekeepers and 200 tonnes of equipment.  Updates this year include gadgets to detect false starts in speed skating, new tech to help with jump analysis in figure skating as well as upgraded displays for ice hockey with LEDs integrated within the plexi-glass around the rink. The logistical complexity of all this is mind-boggling. In fact, making the first watch on the moon suddenly seems comparatively straight-forward.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Luke (who, in true Olympic style, is now passing on the baton to Zach to finish the rest of the Wind Down. Look, here he comes now in his lycra bodysuit on ice skates…)

Watch meme of the week: In life there are trade-offs

Watches can be expensive, so acquiring and maintaining a collection definitely involves sacrifice for the majority of collectors. While my brother took trips across Europe, I blew my expendable cash on the next Grand Seiko that caught my fancy. To most, it would seem crazy to choose a timepiece over an amazing trip abroad. But this is the life of the average watch collector. “One in, one out” is not just a catchy phrase within the watch community, it’s a very real reality that is part of the strategy of collecting.

Wrist shot of the week: Rafa wins his 21st Grand Slam Title at the 2022 Australian Open


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A post shared by Richard Mille (@richardmille)

In the scheme of wrist-shots, what we have above is a piece unique. Already a top-tier flex to wear a tourbillon Richard Mille watch (named after you) while playing tennis on one of the four largest stages in professional tennis. The cherry on top here is that this particular capture of Rafael Nadal on the court, with his RM 27-04 in full view, is that it is the exact moment Rafa officially wins the 2022 Australian Open and breaks the record for most Grand Slam titles – his 21st.

The Richard Mille RM 27-04 Rafael Nadal notably boasts a manually wound tourbillon calibre within its highly robust case, but aesthetically the really neat component of the watch is its open-worked dial with tennis racket string motif. A very cool watch and a very cool moment for Rafa and Richard Mille.

Recommended reading: “MB&F: the First Fifteen Years” Catalogue Raisonné

MB&F: the First Fifteen Years is a Catalogue Raisonné written by venerated members of the watch industry Suzanne Wong and William Massena and published by Abrams and Editions de La Martinière. Now, if your French is as poor as mine is you’re probably wondering what in the world a “Catalogue Raisonné” is. It’s actually a comprehensive, annotated listing of all the known works of an artist. But have no fear, the book is in fact written in English.

A common practice in the art world, a Catalogue Raisonné has never been done before for a watch brand – so leave it to the forward-thinking MB&F to pave the way. The book documents every single reference the brand have released from 2005 to 2020, including prototypes and pieces that were never officially announced across 312 pages along with spectacular corresponding photography. For those familiar with the watches, but less familiar with the genesis of the brand, the first 30 pages recaps the beginnings of MB&F and their first 15 years of manufacture and design.

A total of 2,000 copies will be produced of which the first 1,500 are reserved for MB&F and their partners and will be sold in a special protective box made of the same high-density foam used to package MB&F timepieces at a retail price of CHF 198 (with deliveries scheduled Summer 2022). The remaining 500 books will be sold through the publishing houses’ networks at a retail price $170 USD (with deliveries scheduled in October 2022). With copies limited, like their timepieces the books will likely sell fast – so head here to lock in your pre-order now.

Our favourite Time+Tide coverage of the week:

An open letter to Bulgari: Please consider making this version of the Serpenti, and I’ll buy one

Bulgari Serpenti Misteriosi

When Andrew and I were in Dubai recently for Dubai Watch Week, we had the chance to get a closer look at a Bulgari Serpenti in rose gold and white ceramic. The owner of the watch, Eleonor of @theiofj was more than happy to oblige, and Andrew swapped her his 15500 Royal Oak for a moment while we tried it on. As Andrew proceeded to take an obligatory wrist roll, I leaned over and said two words: “I would”. Perhaps then Andrew thought I was kidding, but when I expressed at one of our editorial meetings the idea of writing this letter I he realised I was not playing around. The watch is already phenomenal as is, but, with the introduction of the latest Misteriosi collection, there is now a production model that much closer to my ideal vision. Head here, with an open mind, to find out just what exactly I am proposing and begging Fabrizio to realise for the Serpenti line.

VIDEO: The Doxa 600T collection remixes the 1980s with a fresh new vibe

The Doxa 600T collection represents an exciting change of pace for the brand. Instead of the tonneau-cased pieces that are so redolent of the 1970s, this collection skips forward to the ’80s. This was a decade that proved significant for Doxa as it was bought by the Aubry Freres Company, a takeover that resulted in a host of new designs. The 600T collection now delves into that era for fresh inspiration. Check out the full video overview above for more on this hot new range of Doxa watches.

HANDS ON: Clean and serene, the new TAG Heuer Autavia COSC GMT carries no excess baggage

It’s no secret that Ricardo is a bit of a GMT fiend. There is just something about the complication that gets his horological juices flowing. Which means when a brand decides to release a GMT, he is all over it. Click here to check out his full hands-on review, or check out our video review above.