Limited Edition of 1,941 Pieces
This ninth Omega model in the Museum Collection bears the appellation “Milestone 41”, a curious name to call a replica of model CK 2080 that was originally launched in 1938. The ‘milestone’ part of the description has me intrigued as well. Does it refer to the 50,000 CHF price paid at Antiquorum 2007 for the 1941 delivered watch that inspired this homage piece? (see first picture above)
No matter, because the decision to honour this essentially military chrono-tachy-telemeter piece was an excellent choice. Said to be popular with high-ranking officers during WW2, the original was powered by a calibre 33.3 CHRO T1 manufactured by Omega’s stable-mate, Lemania. Acquired by Omega during the Great depression, Lemania movements went on to power some of the most famous chronographs Omega ever produced.
The original olive button chronograph was dapper looking to say the least. The reset pusher was part of the functionality of the crown, and the case, with triple mobile lugs attached to a nicely chamfered hood, gave the watch a blue-blooded, military feel. The design conjures up dreams of waxed mustaches, flying leathers, being behind the joystick of a Spitfire, dropping a load on those confounded Jerries and honking and hee-hawing over some droll riposte in the officers' mess!
The original 37.5 by 12mm case was made of stainless steel, however Omega has enlarged the case by .5mm and fashioned it out of 18 karat white gold. The Milestone 41 is powered by a hand-wound Omega calibre 3202, a work-up of the base Piguet calibre 1283 and similar to the engine that powers number three in the Museum Collection, the Officers Watch. It is a COSC certified chronometer fitted out with Omega’s proprietary co-axial escapement system.
I would have liked to have seen the Lemania-based calibre 1861 under the bonnet of this piece as it would have maintained a link with the Lemania heritage of the original. Tough as old boots, the calibre 1861 is a direct descendant of the famous calibre 321, and to compare it to the finer and more delicate Piguet-based 3203 would be like standing a builder’s labourer alongside a ballet dancer. But, I suppose this illustrious member of the Omega Museum Collection will spend more time in its elegant box than bouncing about in a theatre of war as did the original and so robustness isn’t part of the brief.
The dial is a marvel, varnished black, replicating the original telemetric scale on its first outer ring. It features a minute track on its second outer ring and a “snail” tachymetric scale on the inner ring based on 1000 units per hour. The hour indexes and 12 and 6 numbers are coated with Super-LumiNova.
Comparing old with new, it has to be said that Omega has faithfully replicated the most alluring features of the vintage piece, and that is very much part of the attraction of the Milestone 41. While in no way a daily banger, this museum collection wonder will look as good in an opera box as it would in a Wall Street bull pit.
Click on the photographs for enlarged view