The De Ville Co-Axial is the direct successor of the first Omega watch with the unique Co-Axial escapement. This watch is perfect for both everyday and formal wear and boasts impressive shock resistance, low maintenance, and chronometer precision.
The Co-Axial escapement is one of Omega's greatest achievements. In 1999, the caliber 2500 (based on the ETA 2892) became the first ever to be outfitted with this type of escapement by the Biel-based watch manufacturer. It was then placed inside a De Ville. Even though almost every Omega watch features this technology today, the men's models in this collection still bear the official name De Ville Co-Axial as a nod to this earlier era.
This collection is made up of sporty dress watches, which are water resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft) and come in stainless steel or red gold. The De Ville Co-Axial is worn on one of three bands: leather, stainless steel, or gold. The dials are purposely kept simple, and the Roman numerals and thin hands lend this timepiece an elegant feel. In terms of color, you can choose from matte black, shimmering dark blue, chocolate brown, or a silvery white.
Omega currently offers this timepiece as a chronograph and as a three-hand version with a date display or annual calendar. Watches with three hands are 41 mm in diameter, while those with a stopwatch function are 42 mm. Earlier editions of the De Ville Co-Axial were also available with a GMT function, power reserve indicator, or a split-seconds chronograph (rattrapante).
|Reference number||Price (approx.)||Features|
|4126.96.36.199.02.001||26,100 USD||Annual calendar, red gold|
|4188.8.131.52.03.001||20,300 USD||Chronograph, red gold|
|4848.40.31||7,500 USD||Split-seconds chronograph, stainless steel|
|5941.31.31||5,800 USD||Limited run of 999 pieces, white gold|
|4533.40.00||4,600 USD||Second time zone, stainless steel|
|4831.40.00||2,600 USD||Date, stainless steel|
If you're looking for a dress watch that pairs just as well with a polo shirt as it does with a suit, you may enjoy the three-hand editions of the De Ville Co-Axial. Current models with red gold cases are particularly elegant. Expect to pay around 26,100 USD for a timepiece in 18-karat gold with an annual calendar . You can save about 12,700 USD if you choose a gold model with a simple date display and leather strap. Prices for new stainless steel models sit between 4,300 and 6,000 USD.
Older De Ville models tend to be more affordable. They are easy to spot since they feature line indices instead of Roman numerals. Plan to spend around 2,600 USD for a well-maintained timepiece in stainless steel. If you'd prefer a gold edition, that price climbs to almost 6,400 USD. Frequent travelers should take a look at the GMT version. This watch displays the time in a second time zone by means of an additional central hand and a 24-hour scale. An example in very good condition costs around 4,100 USD.
The De Ville Co-Axial Power Reserve is yet another former model. In addition to the small seconds dial at 9 and the date at 3, it also includes a power reserve indicator at 6 o'clock. Be sure to have 2,800 USD on hand for the stainless steel version or 8,600 USD for the one in gold. This watch's successor is now a part of the De Ville Prestige Power Reserve series.
Collectors may be drawn to the limited edition in honor of George Daniels, which premiered in 1999 and had a limited run of 999 pieces. Daniels was the inventor of the co-axial escapement. This exclusive timepiece comes in white or red gold and costs between 5,800 and 8,100 USD depending on its condition.
The De Ville Co-Axial chronograph edition has a sportier feel. Current models feature a small seconds dial at 9 and a combination minute and hour counter at 3 o'clock. The date display is located at 6 o'clock. You once again have the choice between stainless steel or red gold for the case. On a brown leather strap, the gold version changes hands for about 20,300 USD. Prices for those in stainless steel come in at around 6,400 USD.
Purchasing a chronograph from the previous collection can save you a good amount of money. These timepieces have three subdials at 3, 6, and 9 o'clock. Set aside around 3,800 USD for a 41-mm stainless steel watch in mint condition. In the mid-2000s, Omega also produced a split-seconds (rattrapante) version of the De Ville Chronograph. While it also has three subdials, its date display sits at 11 o'clock. What's more, there is a third push-piece at 10 for taking intervals. You can purchase an example in very good condition for about 7,500 USD.
The De Ville Co-Axial Chronoscope GMT was the rattrapante's twin model. Instead of a split seconds function, this watch can display a second time zone. This is accomplished using a central hand that points to a 24-hour scale around the dial's edge. You'll need a good 6,000 USD to purchase this timepiece.
British watchmaker George Daniels invented the co-axial escapement in the 1970s. His goal was to create a reliable, shock-resistant, and low-friction escapement by combining the benefits of a Swiss anchor escapement with those of a chronometer escapement. To do so, he placed two gears on an axis, one on top of the other (hence the term 'co-axial'). This allowed the use of lubricant to be reduced to a minimum, making this escapement much lower maintenance than an anchor escapement.
After 20 years of offering his creation to every major watch manufacturer, Omega recognized its potential and bought the rights. They then worked together with the movement manufacturers at ETA and the escapement makers of Nivarox-FAR to develop the co-axial escapement for series production. All three companies are members of the Swatch group. The escapement made its industrial debut in 1999 inside an Omega De Ville as a part of the ETA-2892-based caliber 2500.
Since then, Omega has continued to improve the escapement and has outfitted almost every new timepiece with a Co-Axial movement. The original Moonwatch is the only outlier, as it is still equipped with the manual caliber 1861.
The latest development is the Co-Axial Master Chronometer. It comes with all the advantages of a Co-Axial chronometer but with the added benefit of antimagnetic materials like silicon and titanium for the balance, anchor, and anchor wheels. Timepieces with this movement can withstand magnetic fields of over 15,000 Gauss.