There are limited edition watches and then there are ‘limited edition’ watches. Omega, as a brand, offers both with their limited edition Speedmaster, Seamaster, Constellation and De Ville watches. The watch we’re discussing here, the De Ville Central Tourbillon (reference: 518.104.22.168.56.001), falls into the latter category as a boutique exclusive. Only three will ever exist.
The watch’s 38.7mm case is fashioned from 950 platinum however you’re unlikely to see much platinum on inspection because the bezel, casebody and lugs are covered with 170 baguette-cut diamonds. This De Ville’s Co-Axial calibre 2637 movement has also been given the diamond treatment – no less than 289 single-cut diamonds have been set onto it. All told, this watch carries 459 diamonds totalling just over 10 carats.
The titanium tourbillon cage sits dead centre of the dial and is visible – and protected – by sapphire glass that has anti-reflective treatment on both sides. The tourbillon completes one full revolution every minute and it is encircled by the rest of the calibre 2637 movement, which as we said earlier is covered in 289 single-cut diamonds.
The movement itself is self-winding and when fully wound offers a power reserve of 45-hours. It features a free-sprung balance, which allows for more precise adjustments and the watch itself has been certified as a chronometer by the COSC or ContrôleOfficiel Suisse des Chronomètres.
18K red gold facetted indexes at the 12, 3 and 6 o’clock positions can be seen on the dial and Omega says that the brushed 18K red gold hour and minute hands are applied to the sapphire crystal, while the 18K red gold seconds hand is set in the tourbillon cage.
The tourbillon’s oscillating weight and bridges are made from 950 platinum and are polished by hands. Omega has also seen fit to distinguish each individual piece with the watchmaker’s initials, which are engraved on the back of the main plate.
The De Ville Central Tourbillon is only offered on a grey leather strap that boasts platinum stitching and a polished platinum foldover clasp. Though it’s unlikely a watch like this will ever find itself under or in water of any depth, Omega says this watch, like all of its Central Tourbillon models, is water resistant up to 30 metres.
The limited edition number of the De Ville Central Tourbillon is engraved by hand on the caseback. The watch, as you’d expect, ships in its own leather presentation box, which also happens to be a watch winder. A three-year warranty covers the watch but, at the time of going to press, regional pricing wasn’t available.
Believe it or not Omega’s Central Tourbillon design is over 20 years old. This design hit the market when Omega launched its first modern tourbillon movement back in 1994 – it’s a design that we fancy, and one that we think is still unique and modern, even today.
As an expression of one’s wealth, the De Ville Central Tourbillon pulls no punches. For those that know their watches, the hand finished nature of the movement, and the inclusion of the tourbillon complication signifies a very high-end watch. And for those that don’t know or aren’t interested in watch complications or movements, the platinum case, premium strap and sheer volume of diamonds on display screams money.
For watch lovers, there are some great details on these three limited edition watches beyond the attractive tourbillon complication – we particularly like that the watchmaker’s initials are engraved on the back plate.
As far as serving as wrist art, we much prefer the Central Tourbillon design without the lavish use of diamonds that you see here. If you’re interested, Omega’s online catalog still lists two variants (click here) of the Central Tourbillon design; a limited edition which is likely sold out by now and another numbered edition (pictured just above) that you may still be able to find through one of their many boutiques.