It never ceases to amaze me how much anticipation, excitement and then outcry follow an Omega release.
A year ago in recognition and celebration of the huge community of watch enthusiasts dedicating a specific day of the week to their beloved Omega Speedmaster, Omega launched the Speedmaster “SpeedyTuesday”. This was Omegas response to a conversation with Robert-Jan Broer the founder of Fratello watches who asked Omega to do something special and “not a cap or a T-shirt or a pen or a button..”. So omega agreed produced the ‘SpeedyTuesday’ watch.
The release went public on their website and their Instragram page and as Omega chose to release 2012 watches – the year ‘#SpeedyTuesday’ started, and these sold out in hours.
However Omega are renown for producing limited edition watches. Quite probably more so than any other brand in the industry. The limited editions of just the Speedmaster’s alone borders on the ridiculous. Here are just some…
- Speedmaster Racing
- the First Omega in Space, aka ‘FOIS’
- the Moon Watch 42mm – celebrating, 40 years since Apollo 15
- The Moon watch 40mm –
- Omega Speedmaster Apollo
- Omega Speedmaster 2998
- Omega Speedmaster snoopy
- Omega Speedmaster missions (22 separate mission watches available individually or in a combined case)
- Omega Speedmaster ’57
However its not just the number of ‘limited editions’ that Omega have produced, but also the production run that really is not that limited. Take for example the 2008 Omega Seamaster Professional Bond watch (ref:220.127.116.11.01.001) of which Omega only made 10,007 watches as a limited edition. yes you did read that correctly, ten thousand and seven watches as a ‘Limited Edition’. In comparison Panerai’s typical yearly quota for models in their Luminor range are about 6500 watches.
So it was nice that Omega released the initial SpeedyTuesday in a relatively low numbers however as a consequence many were left wanting as this was a very popular watch.
Following on from last years initial “SpeedyTuesday” release Omega have this year produced another watch under the same label.
On Tuesday 11th July, Omega announced via its website and Instagram the new #SpeedyTuesday Limited Edition “Ultraman” Ref:318.104.22.168.01.001. The watch would be produced with the same production volume as the last – some 2012 watches in total and would come with its own special presentation case. Other details include a hesalite crystal, colour coded NATO, and a UV light on the end of the strap changer which when used on the dial reveals a silhouette of Ultraman’s face on the 9 o’clock subdial. Incidentally, the strap changer itself is shaped like Ultraman’s Beta Capsule
Although the watch is unavailable until mid-august, customers could make a reservation for the watch through their website and this year due to high anticipation that Omega were about to release another special edition, collectors were ready and poised on Tuesday morning to ensure they were able to acquire it. As a consequence, all the watches were reserved in exactly 1 hour, 53 minutes, and 17 seconds according to Omega!
And so follows the outcry. By the way in which Omega chooses to release these special edition watches, it provides no warning to collectors or consumers and massively disadvantages whole communities. In this instance all watches had gone before anyone in America had even heard about it. Furthermore Omega’s online reservation system kept crashing and provided wildly inconsistent results at times reporting it was “under maintenance”. Users on social media were reporting that they had tried multiple times to make a reservation only to find the system crashed at the confirmation stage with on screen buttons not working to accept confirmation.
Here is just a small excerpt from Instagram of the outcry to Omega..
For such a large company it is disappointing and unnecessary for customers to endure this kind experience. Omega have a huge and loyal fanbase and this is not how you treat customers. I would love to see a formal response from Omega to its loyal fans, but for now in the absence of being able to actually order the watch from Omega, all we will be able to enjoy are the press pictures.