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⌚Omega's Laboratory Changes the Watch Industry!

Omega's new lab testing, our thoughts on Watches and Wonders, and more!

Welcome watch nerds

This is Watch Bites. This week, we’re detailing some industry-shaking news from Omega, doubling up on Bulgaris, and more, so check your wrist, turn up your screen brightness, and let’s get into it!
🍿 5 min read

Here's what we got today:

  • Bulgari breaks another thinness record

  • Move over COSC - Omega launches its own certification

  • The first watch in the WNBA!

  • A new Rexhep Rexhepi for gem fanatics

The numbers above represent market trends in secondhand watch prices. The “Price“ column represents the average secondhand price for the top 30 watches of each brand. This data is sourced from Watch Charts.

Watch News

Omega’s Bold Challenge to the COSC Certification

Omega has been lighting up the proverbial group chat recently with some fantastic watches and now, with its confidence at a decades long high, the company has announced the launch of Laboratoire de Précision, an officially-authorized testing lab for accuracy in watches and the soon-to-be arch nemesis of everyone at the world-renowned Contrôle Officiel Suisse Des Chronomètres (COSC) laboratories.

Although Omega doesn’t expect to be the only watch company to use this new testing facility, there’s no doubt that this move bolsters the firm’s stake in the global watch market and furthermore, that it will increase not only their output but the quality of their watches too. With standards of measurement supposedly 10 times higher than current practices, Omega’s new lab should bring the masses closer to true chronological excellence (whatever that means in practice) and enable competing watch makers to analyze the performance of their tickers like never before.

It may seem geeky now but this is about to change the watch world as we know it.

Watches and Wonders - An Exciting Disappointment

Watches and Wonders 2024 ended only a few days ago and like most watch geeks out there, I waited with bated breath for rumors of new timepieces, upcoming collaborations, and industry revelations to be confirmed (or denied).

Expecting fresh drops from the biggest names in Swiss watches and updates on upcoming projects from 2 of the 3 Haute Maisons (sadly, AP was not in attendance), we were ultimately given a mixed bag of novelty watches. Grand Seiko delivered more of the same with their SLGW003, which is a lovely yet uninspiring timepiece that’s every bit as ‘GS’ as you’d expect. On the other hand, IWC’s Portugieser Eternal Calendar adds a warmth of vintage elements to its namesake range. Perhaps no better-looking Portugieser exists… Nomos premiered new colors, Parmigiani Fleurier tempted the minimalist in all of us, and Rolex disappointed with a run-of-the-mill GMT-Master II (at least the bezel is pretty cool).

An amazingly-rendered ticker from Ressence and Patek’s casual new World Time are certainly eye-opening but they don’t make up for the fairly unsurprising watches on show this year. You can’t win ‘em all, I guess…

Watch Fact

Tissot, a brand underrated by many, has a history of innovation. After introducing the first mass-produced pocket watch in 1853, they went on to release the first pocket watch with 2 time zones and the world’s first anti-magnetic ticker. Not too shabby…

3-Watch Collection

3 Watch Collection: Affordable Decadence Edition

Are you tired of scrolling through lists of watches that demand you to sell your house (and your family) in order to afford them? While high-end watches are great, they don’t feel so good when you’re sleeping in a bus stop. We’ve all been there. Here’s a list for every budget-conscious luxury fanatic.

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Skipper (Sport watch) -  Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Pops of color, the glass box case treatment, perfect legibility, and a solid build make this Carrera an absolute steal for $6,750. There are very few watches that can compete with this for the money.

Cartier Tank Must SolarBeat (Dress watch) - Although its SolarBeat photovoltaic movement may put some people off, this Cartier bears all of the brand’s most iconic design elements and aside from being a wonderful thing to look at, is endlessly practical in its simplicity. For $3,300, you can’t really complain.

Tudor 1926 (Everyday watch) - With a self-winding mechanical movement, 38 hours of reserve power, and 100 meters water resistance, this humble Tudor is surprisingly practical. Equally happy sitting in an office as it is going into the wilderness, this $2,000 watch is a no-brainer if you’re after an approachable, every-day timepiece.

Total Collection Cost (USD): $12,050

Watch News Bites

Quick Bites

  • Bulgari has announced the release of their ultra-thin Octo Finissimo  Tourbillon in black titanium, meaning it’s much stronger and much…blacker. As if that’s not enough, they’ve also just re-taken the world record for thinnest watch ever made with their Octo Finissimo Ultra, beating Richard Mille by the width of a hair with a timepiece that measures just 1.7mm thick. There are only 10 being made, and they’re not cheap which is ok, because you’d probably break it anyway.
    Read more

  • Rexhep Rexhepi has done it again, debuting an update to the Chronomètre Contemporain II line that is as captivating as any watch of its kind. This model mirrors its rose-gold forebear with one exception - Ruby indices. It might not sound like a lot but this tasteful touch exemplifies Rexhepi’s minimalist approach. An eye for detail is a necessity in watchmaking and it’s evident that Rexhepi’s view is one of exceptional finesse.
    Read more

  • If you’re sceptical about the practicality of a double-sided watch then perhaps De Bethune’s latest release will bring you around. The DB Kind of Two Grande Complication is more watch than most can handle and in every way, at the top of its class. An ultra-light titanium tourbillon, moon phase, and a leap-year indication are just a few of the complications ‘under the hood’ of this ticker. It’s not cheap but then again, only five exist.
    Read more

  • Tissot has just announced a very interesting collaboration, releasing the first ever WNBA watch on the cusp of the 2024 draft. Equal parts playful and cool, the Seastar Wilson WNBA isn’t a timepiece for ladies as much as it’s one for sports fans in general. A strap that bears the texture of a basketball is just the tip of the ice-berg when it comes to eye-catching features.
    Read more

Vintage Watches

Vintage Corner: Rolex Precision Disco Volante ref. 9919 (1960s)

Slim, minimal, and endlessly stylish, Rolex’s take on the Disco Volante style is somehow both modest and bold. There’s nothing about this watch that would, say, alert a thief to its value and yet, in the right room, it’s guaranteed to turn heads. The manual-winding calibre 1210 is robust in its simplicity as is the case in its design - 18k gold all around with a completely unaffected gold dial. Despite its talents, this has always been an under-the-radar watch and ironically, if there ever was a time for it to shine, it’s now.

Pre-Owned Watch Deals

Watch Scout by Watch Bites

Panerai Luminor PAM00027

  • Case: Stainless steel, 44mm

  • Condition: Very good

  • Box & Papers: Yes, box and papers included

Audemars Piguet Code 11.59
  • Case: White gold/rose gold, 41mm

  • Condition: Excellent

  • Box & Papers: Yes, box and papers included

Patek Philippe 5905P

  • Case: Platinum, 42mm

  • Condition: Very good

  • Box & Papers: Watch only

Watch Meme

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*Watch Bites does not provide financial advice. None of this is financial advice. This is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. Please be careful and do your own research!

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