When discussing Omega’s limited editions, it’s generally pieces from the Speedmaster or Seamaster lines that spring to mind – and certainly when it comes to the Rio 2016 releases, it’s the Mark II Speedy and the brightly-bezelled Seamaster that have been chewing up most of the bandwidth. But if you ask me, Omega’s finest Rio LE is this exceptionally classic piece. Designated an ‘Olympic Official Timekeeper’ it’s one of three (very) limited edition chronographs, all slightly different, offered in white, yellow or, in this case, pink gold.
It’s a traditional chronograph in the purest sense, a perfectly sized 39mm case, with polished bezel and brushed middle section, and distinctive lugs. It’s powered by the Co-Axial Calibre 3203, a manually wound movement that’s sadly hidden away behind a commemorative caseback. But the most striking element is the dial. With its rich white lacquer finish, finely printed black Breguet-style numerals and blued-steel hands it’s a picture of vintage perfection. It’s also a very restrained dial for a chronograph, with limited text and, somewhat surprisingly for an Olympic tie-in, no chronograph scale.
It’s elegant on the wrist, as gold chronographs are wont to be and, apart from the more modern size and ‘Co-Axial’ descriptor on the dial, could well have been made in 1946 rather than 2016. But aside from being a timeless take on an Olympic watch, it’s a reminder that there’s no point trying to pigeonhole Omega. Yes, the brand produces large numbers of high-profile special editions, such as the main Olympic releases and the James Bond watches – but it also makes stunning ones like this, with little or no fanfare, just because it can.
Omega Olympic Official Timekeeper Co-Axial Chronograph Australian pricing and availability
The Omega Olympic Official Timekeeper Co-Axial Chronograph, $20,275 in pink gold, limited to 188 pieces