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Omega Ref. 7418 Gilbert Albert
Not many watch designers have garnered personal fame. Most have worked in anonymity, sheltered under big brand-name umbrellas.
But then there are the few watch designers who managed to grow into icons of the industry on a personal level. Gerald Genta is one, for sure. But Gilbert Albert (1930-2019) is certainly among the greatest. His daring designs bridge the divide between horology and art.
Gilbert Albert made a name for himself as a young designer at Patek Philippe, where he drew the “Ricochet”, among others. He later moved to Omega, of which we see a fruit here.
This is a stunning example of a Gilbert Albert wristwatch by Omega, dating back to 1966.
At first glance, you may mistake this beauty for a bracelet. And even if it was ‘only’ a bracelet, it would still be a masterpiece. Its flowing, organic shape drapes over the wrist in a beautifully elegant fashion. Its seemingly random texture reminds us of a flourishing coral reef.
Although it looks solid, it is comprised of hidden articulating links which provide a supple fit. A mere glance at the inside reveals this is not just a designer’s work of art, but also the fruit of masterful craftsmanship in goldsmithing.
And then we come to the watch itself. Discreetly hidden from view by a beautifully engineered lid. This watch was made in the philosophy that it is bad form to check the time at a party. So this beauty enables its wearer to secretly check the time at her convenience.
Powered by a back-winding Cal. 640X, this Omega features a dial that measures a diminutive ten millimetres.
This mesmerizing Omega Ref. 7148 in 18k yellow gold is now available at Amsterdam Watch Company.
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Omega was founded in La chaux-de-fonds by Louis Brandt in 1848, although the company would not be named Omega until 1903. It is one of the most successful Swiss watch houses, both in terms of sales and historical significance.
Louis Brandt was already rather innovative before his Omega days. He developed the very first minute-repeater wristwatch with Audemars Piguet in 1892. Although Brandt died in 1903, Omega would not lose its innovative nature. Among its biggest accomplishments are the manufacture of the first tourbillon wristwatch movement in 1947 and the first large-scale commercial implementation of George Daniels’ co-axial escapement in 1999.
The biggest highlight in Omega’s history is undoubtedly the moon landing in 1969. Both Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin wore Omega Speedmasters on the lunar surface. But there is so much more to this Swiss powerhouse. They launched the very first dive watch with the Omega Marine, all the way back in 1932. That is some twenty years before the Blancpain Fifty-Fathoms and Rolex Submariner would redefine the category.
Omega has no shortage of hit collections. From the Speedmaster to the Seamaster and from the Constellation to the De Ville, with tons and tons of variations within all of those lines. You may opt for a yellow gold pie-pan Constellation or for a chunky Ploprof. There is something for everyone.
And that is before we go into Omega’s military history, including the Dirty dozen MOD-issued field watch. And we cannot forget James Bond, with his tricked out Seamasters since 1995’s Goldeneye.
No wonder then, that we love Omega so much!
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