I published this review exactly a year ago. I consider it one of the best reviews I ever did. Not because it is perfect in writing, or was the best read article on FW, but because it is a watch that simply moved me. But does it still move me, after one year and after trying the all stainless steel one and seeing the new Annual Calendar models? You can read that in the updated section, below.
Omega Globemaster Sedna
“This must have been the feeling my grandfather had when he put his gold Constellation on his wrist in 1969.” This review could be as short as that. However, I am not writing this review for myself, but for you, our readers. Perhaps I should have saved this description of my feelings and emotion for the end of this article, but now you at least now the association I have with this watch.
In the late 1960s, my grandparents sold their bridal boutique and used some of the profit to buy themselves a nice pair of watches. Gold Omega watches with gold bracelets. At the time, Omega was known for its highly accurate movements. Fast forward +40 years, I have inherited this gold Omega Constellation (with gold bracelet) from my grandfather and I only put it on my wrist once or twice a year (Christmas is such an occasion to take it out of the safe). It is a 34mm wrist watch, so for me it isn’t very wearable on other occasions. However, every time I put this watch on I try to imagine how it must have felt to purchase this watch in 1969 and wear it for the next 42 years, every single day.
Although I received a gold/steel Constellation in the 1990s myself for graduation and bought a full gold Speedmaster Professional just over a year ago, I had some ideas about how this must have been for my grandfather. Let there be no misunderstanding, the Constellation from 1969 is more important to me than the other mentioned watches – or any other watch that I own.
Suddenly, a few weeks ago, when I put the Omega Globemaster in Sedna gold on my wrist, it hit me. The 39mm gold case, gold applied hour markers, the new in-house developed movement and a beautiful leather strap with gold folding clasp: a perfect fit. More important than any specification or technical innovation, I got that sensational feeling that this must have been how my grandfather felt when he put his newly bought Omega Constellation on his wrist for the first time: proud. Having known him for a long time, I am pretty certain that he did some proper research at the time to ensure he would buy a quality timepiece. No other watch ever gave me the shivers.
I am totally biased here. If it would have been a Datejust he bought or a Memovox, I was probably over the Moon with a new Datejust or Memovox. But he didn’t. Even though the Omega Globemaster might not be perfect or does remind some people (due to the ribbed bezel) of a Rolex, it is a perfect watch to me. For the reason(s) stated above.
That is perhaps the essence of buying a good timepiece anyway. No matter whether we – or one of our colleagues from other watch magazines – are either enthusiastic or very critical towards a watch, a watch should speak to you and do something (good) with your emotions.
So in short, you could say that I don’t need to be convinced about this watch, it speaks to me to a great extent. But for you, my dear readers, this might be totally different. Perhaps you see a gold piece that doesn’t speak to you as it does to me. Perhaps you need to know more about the heritage of the Omega Globemaster, the association with the Constellation and – of course – the METAS certified Master Chronometer movement.
Omega Globemaster Sedna Gold Review Starts Here
Let’s assume the above didn’t happen. I just got this Omega Globemaster Sedna gold in for review from Omega and gave it a try for a couple of weeks. But let’s go back a bit further. On a Wednesday evening in March 2015, the press day of BaselWorld, I – together with some of the Fratelli – was in the crowd to witness the introduction of the Globemaster. To be honest, the people at Omega seemed more enthusiastic and thrilled by this new model than some of the journalists that were also there. “It is a Datejust” someone whispered, and it didn’t take long before another few people made similar remarks.
I don’t exactly get the association with the Datejust other than the bezel and to be honest, Omega has used similar bezels long time ago as well. The case shape is totally different and so is the dial. During that evening, they also showed some Omega Constellation models from the past that had quite some similarities with this Globemaster (but you already got this from my introduction above I think).
The Globemaster Name
The Globemaster is part of the Constellation-family and the resemblance is undeniable. So why did they use Globemaster? Well, officially Omega didn’t really state this in their press releases or spoke about it during BaselWorld, but the Globemaster was an existing Omega model in the 1950s. Actually, the Globemaster was identical to the Omega Constellation. However, due to some patent on the name, it was impossible for Omega to deliver a watch with the name “Constellation” to the US market. So they dubbed it ‘Globemaster’ for a short period of time. Why Omega used Globemaster for this new model is not very clear to me to be honest. One of the few logical reasons I can think of is that they didn’t want to make it a Constellation.
The current Constellation (with claws) finds its roots in 1982, when Omega introduced it as the Constellation Manhattan with its typical claws that pressed on the sapphire crystal (I did a write-up on the 25th anniversary of that model in 2007, here). So in that respect, the new Globemaster would be an odd looking Constellation. Collectors and enthusiasts immediately recognize the Globemaster as an inspired piece by those 1960s Constellations though.
METAS certified Master Chronometer
The Constellation used to be the flagship of the brand, and although it lost that title a bit through the years, one could say that this new Omega Globemaster Sedna gold being the first Master Chronometer deserves that title again. Although many Omega watches have a Co-Axial movement and are rated Chronometer by the COSC, they went a bit further with this Globemaster. The Omega Globemaster Sedna gold has a caliber 8901 movement (the steel versions have caliber 8900) that has been METAS certified. I did an extensive article when METAS was just introduced last year and again when Omega introduced the first Globemaster that was certified Master Chronometer and presented to Swatch Group CEO Hayek.
The caliber 8901 movement is a self-winding movement with – of course – George Daniels’ Co-Axial escapement and anti-magnetic up to (at least) 15,000 gauss. Due to the use of special alloys, the movement itself is anti-magnetic unlike some other anti-magnetic watches that are using specific case constructions (soft iron core) in order to be resistant to magnetism. And yes, magnetism is one of the worst enemies for a mechanical watch, in case you are wondering what the fuzz is about. Magnetism is everywhere and magnetic fields have become bigger due to the use of all sorts of electronic devices (tablets, laptops but also think of airports and other places with a lot of equipment).
Caliber 8901 has a 60 hour power reserve due to the use of two barrels in series. This 8901 caliber has an 18 carat Sedna gold rotor and balance bridge. The finishing is the same as the often discussed caliber 8500 and 9300 movements.
Whether METAS is a big deal I will leave up for you to decide, but for me – with a previous life in auditing – I would say it is great that there is an independent third party (METAS) that certifies the testing process and the results from a watch manufacturer. Some other brands have their own standards as well, but you – as a consumer – have to rely on their blue eyes that the testing has been done in a proper – and sufficient – manner. Unfortunately some of these brands have relatively high return rates, so I really wonder sometimes what the added value is of their testing procedures.
No More Returns?
Quality control is so important on a good (and expensive) timepiece, nothing is more delusional for a customer than having to return a watch to the retailer and be without for the next X months because someone didn’t do his or her job right. Trust me, I’ve been there.
Having witnessed the METAS Labs in Bienne, I am convinced that this does add value to your watch. Not in terms of money perhaps, but in terms of your own confidence in the product. I do doubt whether someone will buy a watch because it is METAS certified, I really do, as you buy a watch because of its aesthetics, price tag etc. There are a lot more reasons to choose a certain model than because of the METAS certification. But in the end, almost all Omega watches with in-house developed Co-Axial movements will be METAS certified (a process of years) so you can pick any of those at some point and have the benefit of having a certified watch. Next models to become METAS certified are the De Ville Hour Vision and the titanium Omega Seamaster PloProf 1200M.
In any case, with the Omega Globemaster Sedna gold you buy a very accurate and reliable movement with an awesome matching Sedna gold finish.
The dial of the Omega Globemaster is unmistakably ‘Omega’. The opaline silverypie-pan dial (refers to an upside down pie-pan) is awesome and although also used to indicate dials in other (brand’s) watches, the Constellation is the pie-pan dial watch. A few years ago Omega did a Constellation (Manhattan based model) in Sedna gold with pie-pan dial to commemorate the 30th anniversary or something of that model (here), but it was slightly disappointing to me personally. It couldn’t be more different from the Globemaster today.
About a year ago I did an in-depth story on vintage Omega Constellations and showed you some models with a proper pie-pan dial. The Omega Globemaster Sedna gold that I had for review definitely reminded me of those. Although these vintage models are breathtaking in my opinion, I am happy that Omega didn’t do an exact copy of these watches in terms of case, dial and hands. Longines did something similar not too long ago with their Conquest (click here, we compared the old and the new), and also then I made the remark that someone who fancies the original will probably go after the original and refrain from buying the retro edition.
Not your grandfather’s watch
The Omega Globemaster Sedna gold is not your grandfather’s watch, it is a modern watch by design (39mm case) but also in terms of manufacturing using the latest innovations and standards in the Swiss watch industry (Computer Aided Design, use of materials, high-tech production equipment and of course the caliber 8901 movement).
You can’t compare these watches based on the product as they are so different, except for some design elements of the original 1950s and 1960s Constellations that you’ll find in the Globemaster as well. The pie-pan is an obvious one. The hands are totally different though. No more short dauphin hands but long baton hands, in Sedna gold. The hour markers are wide stick markers with luminous (Super-LumiNova) material inside. Both the hands and hour markers are very visible in low-light conditions. The arrow shaped hour markers like the ones on the image above could have been nice as well, but perhaps it would look a little bit tacky today.
Case design and bezel are somewhat similar to the Constellation with C-shaped case from the 1960s (and early 1970s), but the thickness and profile shape is totally different. I used to own a C-shaped Constellation (but flipped it quickly again as I didn’t really rely on the f300hz tuning-fork movement it had inside) and it wore very different on the wrist.
Its 39mm case is perfectly sized and actually wears a bit bigger than that. The case is quite thick, due to the movement which gives a very nice wrist presence. Of course, the solid 18 carat Sedna gold case also makes sure that this watch has presence. The brown alligator leather strap is soft and definitely of high quality. The watch comes with a Sedna gold folding clasp, with pushers to open it.
The Much Discussed Bezel
The ribbed bezel that does show some similarity to the Datejust and Day-Date is very nice, especially in the Sun-light. A smooth bezel could have been nice as well, but the watch is more play-ful this way in my opinion. As you can see on all the Omega Globemaster Sedna gold images in this article that Bert Buijsrogge took, the case has a beautiful satin brushed finish and two fine thin beveled facets on both sides that have been polished.
Prices start at €6400 Euro for a stainless steel Globemaster with a leather strap. The Omega Globemaster Sedna gold I reviewed has a slightly different price tag of course, €18.200 Euro. There are some other models with stainless steel bracelet, bi-color with strap or with bi-color bracelet, in yellow gold and the top of the bill is their limited edition platinum version. The collection ranges from €6400 Euro for the stainless steel versions to €37.300 Euro for the platinum Globemaster.
Premium for Gold
That is a lot of money, period. For me it is always difficult to see why a gold watch has to be almost three times as expensive as a steel watch, as the material itself isn’t roughly 11-12K more expensive given the weight of the gold. Steel is also a bit harder than gold, so the wear and tear of CNC tools is also different. So the premium for a gold watch perhaps also lies in the fact that less are made and to keep it more exclusive. But I am dropping some assumptions here.
Nevertheless, the Omega Globemaster Sedna gold is an awesome piece that has been influenced by some great timepieces from the past combined with the latest technology when it comes to materials and mechanical movements. The METAS certificated Master Chronometer movement with its Sedna gold rotor and bridge is surely a very nice ingredient that does deserve a transparent case back. The watch wears great on the wrist due to its size and shape and the pie-pan dial is a joy to look at.
Needs to be gold
This watch can’t do much wrong in my book, due to the reasons I shared with you at the beginning of this article. The list price of €18.200 Euro is far outside of my comfort zone right now and Omega isn’t cutting me any “journalist deals” like many other brands do (yes, also we have to go to the boutique or retailer) and I am afraid the stainless steel model will not give me the same sensation as the Omega Globemaster Sedna model did. However, aside from my bias for this watch, I am definitely going to give the stainless steel version a try (with the blue dial) as I think that this watch has a lot going for it as a dress/non-sports watch on a leather strap.
The Master Chronometer certification is not the most important aspect for me, but it surely will be a conversation-maker with other watch geeks and proofs that this movement is as reliable as those old caliber 56x and 55x workhorses were in the 1950s and 1960s.
More information on the Omega Globemaster can be found here.
Update After One Year – 2016
As written in the introduction of this review, one year has passed and truth to be told: the Omega Globemaster Sedna is difficult to get out of my head. I’ve tried the stainless steel version for quite a bit of time (here is our review), but it isn’t for me. I don’t like the bracelet (too sharp around the edges as well) very much, and would prefer it on a leather strap at all times.
A Touch of Gold
An Omega Globemaster needs a touch of gold. I am by no means fan of bi-color watches, but for the Omega Globemaster I think it looks even better than the model in stainless steel. As long as it is on a leather strap. Preferably I would still settle for the Omega Globemaster Sedna gold watch, as originally reviewed here. However, the stainless steel model with blue dial and Sedna gold elements on a leather strap is somewhat more accessible.
The Omega Globemaster Sedna in 39mm is – to me – a perfect watch, in gold. The bi-color model with Sedna gold comes close as well, but I simply prefer the all gold model. The Annual Calendar version of the watch, released during the last BaselWorld show, is a tad bit larger (41mm) and has a lot of writing on the dial. Although in the flesh it isn’t as bad as on the (press) images, but it isn’t as clean as the original 39mm version.
During last BaselWorld, I was able to try the Sedna gold version once more, for a couple of days actually. The Omega Globemaster Sedna still moves me and there are only few other watches that have the same effect on me. It is also what makes buying watches so great, to buy the piece that really gets to you. In my case, I am saving up for a Globemaster for my 40th birthday next year. I will let you know once I succeeded.
Omega Globemaster Sedna Gold Image Gallery
*This article appeared first on October 30th, 2015. More thoughts, details and photos have been added since.