The name De Ville was coined by Omega’s U.S. agent Norman Morris in the 1960s to add a sliver of working class respectability to a collection of entry-level Seamaster monocoques that were part-assembled in America. It was a name closely associated with automobile manufacturer, Cadillac. The commandeering of the De Ville name by Cadillac - translated from French, it means ‘City’ - was quite appropriate, when you consider that some of its models in the 1960s were the size of a small one.
Omega so liked the name that it adopted it and there evolved a complete collection of watches under the De Ville banner, which, by 1967, had become the largest collection within the Omega stable. From its lower price point origins of simple, but youthful models adaptable to the latest fashion trends, the De Ville has come to exemplify urban sophistication - with a price tag to match.
While the Constellation lays claim to ‘Dress Watch’ status, it is the De Ville that has become a symbol of style and elegance. From the design and finish through to the in-house calibre 8611 co-axial movement that facilitates an instantaneous jump calendar complication, the Hour Vision Annual calendar is a watch for those who appreciate excellent case sculpture, function without the fussiness of a tool watch and high tech horology.
The novel features of this watch are threefold. The annual calendar feature that factors in months with 30 and 31 days, the glass casket-like construction of the case that offers four lateral openings made of sapphire crystal and a cutting-edge silicon balance spring that offers an unprecedented level of accuracy in a series production watch.
The Deville Range comes in eight models and a limited edition signature piece: four in red gold and four in stainless steel, all with dials identical in design to that of the Limited Series. Prices start from around the 8500 dollar mark, give or take 500 dollars depending on the generosity of the authorised dealer. For a high-value watch, this price is in the medium range, and I truly believe that Omega has hit the ‘Classic’ mark with this beautiful timepiece.