Omega’s flagship watch of 2015 was the Globemaster, a retro-inspired classic – yes, it’s worthy of that mantle – that had the honour of housing the brand’s first Master Chronometer certified movement. We loved pretty much everything about it. The size (39mm), the not-too vintage styling, the fluted bezel and of course the METAS certified movement. Everything about the watch was just right and it received a rapturous reception in both Eastern and Western markets, not something that happens every day.
So the announcement of the Globemaster Annual Calender last month was met with surprise and trepidation. Not because of the addition of a calendar – an annual calendar is one of the most useful everyday complications you can have on a watch – no, it was the implementation of the calendar that raised our eyebrows.
We would have expected a far more conventional date disc and aperture system, but instead Omega delivered a calendar where the month is indicated by a central hand, with each month displayed in the spaces between the hours. The date is shown through a more familiar window at six. Omega isn’t the first to make the most of the convenient fact that there are 12 hours on a dial that neatly correspond with the 12 months. H. Moser & Cie are famous for it, and the Rolex Sky-Dweller also uses a similar system. It’s an elegant solution that can lead to a very clean and uncluttered dial. Which was why I was surprised by Omega’s flowing calendar script, which in press photos at least, mars the elegant simplicity of the Globemaster.
The other eyebrow-raising feature of the Globemaster Annual Calendar was the size. Omega was lauded for introducing the Original Globemaster at 39mm, a case diameter which critics and enthusiasts tend to agree is the perfect Goldilocks size for this style of dressy/casual piece. Well, given that the Omega bumped the case size on the Annual Calendar up to 41mm I can only assume that critics and enthusiasts are out of touch, and that the luxury-watch buying people prefer a slightly larger case for this sort of watch. A suspicion only confirmed by the fact that Rolex increased the size of the Datejust to 41mm too.
Based on these points I was nervous walking into the Omega booth at Baselworld. Would the Globemaster Annual Calendar be too busy and too big? Honestly, given how great the original was, I was afraid they’d pushed it too far with this version. But then again, press photos can be notoriously misleading. The only way to be sure was to try it on.
Thankfully my fears were significantly assuaged as soon as I slipped the Annual Calendar on my wrist. Yes, it’s a different watch to the Globemaster, and the increase in presence is noticeable, but not over the top. The months on the dial are also far more subtle in real life, compared to the photoshop renders. The dial colours of blue, opaline white or two different shades of grey are all amazing by the way, especially the dark grey. Having said that, I don’t love the radial flip on the month text – the way the lettering changes direction halfway through the dial – but I’m more than willing to concede that as a personal gripe.
The watch is powered by the METAS certified Cal. 8922/8923, which, aside from all the bells and whistles we’ve come to expect from the Master Chronometer watches features an instantaneous date jump at the end of the month. Oh, and the date only needs adjusting at the end of the February.
After having spent some time with this new Globemaster I’m relieved that the Annual Calendar represents a healthy evolution of the model, building on what made the original so good, without going overboard.
Omega are offering the Globemaster Annual Calendar in steel, steel and Sedna, full 18k Sedna as well as a very beautiful limited edition platinum option.
Omega Globemaster Annual Calendar Australian pricing
The steel model has an RRP of $11,300
The steel and Sedna gold model has an RRP of $14,200
The Sedna gold model has an RRP of $31,150
The platinum model, limited to 52 pieces, has an RRP of $63,000