News — 22 January 2013

By Laura Rensing

 

We all know the Omega Speed and Seamasters; it has graced wrists of celeb both on and off-screen and is one of the most iconic timepieces in the luxury watch brand industry.  Much less well-known is the Omega Flightmaster.

 

The Omega Flightmaster is a little like Thor’s younger brother (or perhaps the super hero actor’s real-life sibling); like one of the younger Kardashians—that is, the Flightmaster is made of a lot of the same components. But for some reason hasn’t had the same success as its main line.

 

The Flightmaster was designed to be the conqueror of aviation watches.  Highly technical, with seven different watch hand, the manually wound timepiece powered by the 911 caliber powered the many functions of the watch.  The crowns color coordinate with the watchbands, adding a little more readability to the timepiece.

 

So where did the watch go wrong?  The 911 movement was only a slight evolution of the mechanics of the Speedmaster, and the watch was chock-full functions.

 

For one thing, the Flightmaster was one of the largest luxury watches on the market.  The 42.6 mm case was huge, and the awkwardly shaped case wasn’t as streamlined as its Speedmaster cousin.  Additionally, the multiple watch hands were more distracting than informative; the lack of a definitive symmetry in the dials and hands could quickly become too much for the eye, especially considering the clean-cut lines that fashion dictated in the ‘60s.

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However, one decade’s loss is another one’s gain; the same bulky design comes across as quirky to the modern eye, and the shape is not as bizarre to us as it was to the classicists of the ‘60s.  Modern tastes have acquired a taste for vintage pieces, and the unique look and less mainstream design of the Flightmaster has its own appeal for the modern audience.

 

And of course, even though the Flightmaster is not as well-revered as its close design line, the Speedmaster, the watch is still an Omega classic.  The Flightmaster can be a quirky piece for a watch geek’s collection that is easily recognizable in a whole host of timepieces.

 

Though not one of Omega’s sleeker designs, there’s an odd sort of appeal to the watch.  Oversized and under acknowledged, the Omega Flightmaster is a hauberk in Omega’s development of luxury watches, though it does a great job of standing on its own as well.

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Sarah Johns