When we hear the term Co-Axial today, we immediately think of Omega and their extensive use of the escapement but not many know the story of how this came about. It was actually George Daniels, the famed British independent watchmaker that developed this escapement that allowed for a longer-lasting movement and less lubrication. Though many consider this escapement one of the most important inventions in watchmaking today, when he presented this to the likes of Patek Philippe and Rolex back then, they showed no interest. Though Daniels invented the Co-Axial in the ’70s, it was only in the 80’s that Nicholas Hayek from Omega realised the potential of this advancement and signed a deal with Daniels. And as they say, the rest is history.
When it was finally ready to put into use, Omega commemorated this achievement with the release of this limited edition DeVille in 1999, marking the first-ever Omega watch to use this escapement. This example, in white gold, was made in a limited edition run of 999 pieces and features a silver grained pie pan dial reminiscent of the vintage Constellations. Furthermore, the 38mm case has angular lugs that in my opinion looks like an evolution of the original ‘dog-leg’ Constellation case. The feuille hands along with the angular white gold applied markers on the dial really adds depth to the dress watch and completes the look.
This Omega Deville Co-Axial is historically important in more than one aspect. It marks a first for Omega, representing a turning point, as the co-axial escapement has become synonymous with their identity, with countless models adopting it. Furthermore, it represents a piece of George Daniels history, where this partnership with Omega allowed him to finally industrialise his most important contribution to horology.
With original George Daniels pieces selling for six-figure sums, the Omega DeVille Co-Axial Limited Edition is certainly an undervalued piece at a fraction.