Best known for iconic tool watches like the Seamaster, Railmaster, and Speedmaster, Omega has earned their plaudits as a watchmaker focused on developing tough watches that can take a beating and operate in exceptional environments. Perhaps pushing that notion to the extreme, the Omega Speedmaster RAID is a privately-offered variant of the iconic Speedmaster designed for an elite tactical unit of the French police called the "Research, Assistance, Intervention, Deterrence," or "RAID" for short. Founded in 1985, the RAID unit is perhaps one of the most formidable tactical policing units in the world, with just 450 highly trained members.
Beginning life as an idea thought up by famed French watch collector, dealer, and distributor Antoine de Macedo after he befriended members of RAID and was gifted one of the unit's medallions, Antoine then approached Omega to create a limited-edition timepiece that featured the RAID medallion as its caseback, and in 2017 the watch was born. With the inscription "SERVIR SANS FAILLIR" (to serve unfailingly) further linking the watch to the elite unit, each of the 250 pieces produced is numbered and uses the unit's emblem to denote its remarkable story.
Never publicly offered, these 250 watches are exceptionally rare due to the fact they were offered to members of the RAID unit only. Designed with the intention of being an understated watch, much like how the unit themselves must operate on missions, the watch retains much of the Speedmaster's conventional external design, except for its subdial hands and chronograph hand.
Coloured blue, white and red, as they appear on the dial, the subdial hands recall the French flag, as once again referenced by the timepiece's central chronograph hand, with a French flag blue white, and red tip. Featuring a unique RAID-customised box, the watch comes with the same RAID medallion that inspired its caseback and two NATO straps. One is a stealthy black, and the other follows the French flag convention that finds itself on the handset of the watch.
Powered by the iconic cal. 1861, this manually wound timepiece retains its original design and aesthetic while celebrating the brave service people within RAID. A unique watch with an intriguing story as far as its origin is concerned, the Speedmaster RAID is a watch that deviates from Omega's usual formula for creating limited edition timepieces which is just another reason to love it for its unconventional history.