De Ville Co-Axial: Omega's Sporty Dress Watch
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.
With a Co-Axial Escapement Since 1999
The co-axial escapement is one of Omega's greatest achievements. In 1999, the Swiss manufacturer chose a De Ville to debut this technology. The escapement was part of the caliber 2500 (based on the ETA 2892). 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 contains various sporty dress watches, which are water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft) and come in stainless steel or rose gold. The De Ville Co-Axial is available on three bands: leather, stainless steel, or gold. The dials are purposely kept simple, and the indices and narrow hands lend this timepiece an elegant feel. In terms of color, you can choose from matte black, shimmering dark blue, chocolate brown, or 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.
Co-Axial calibers come with certification from the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute ("Contrôle officiel suisse des chronomètres," or COSC). Manufacturers send their movements to the institute for testing. Only movements with a certain level of accuracy receive certification. However, Omega's Co-Axial calibers go a step further and are also resistant to magnetic fields of up to 15,000 gauss in strength thanks to their silicon balance springs.
Reasons to Buy a De Ville Co-Axial
- Low maintenance and shock resistant thanks to a co-axial escapement
- COSC-certified chronometer precision
- Sporty and elegant three-hand models and chronographs
- De Ville Co-Axial Annual Calendar also available
- Stainless steel or gold cases
Prices at a Glance: De Ville Co-Axial
|Reference number||Price (approx.)||Material, function|
|4188.8.131.52.02.001||28,500 USD||Rose gold, annual calendar|
|4184.108.40.206.03.001||22,500 USD||Rose gold, chronograph|
|4848.40.31||7,100 USD||Stainless steel, split-seconds chronograph|
|5941.31.31||7,100 USD||White gold, date|
|4533.40.00||4,300 USD||Stainless steel, second time zone|
|4831.40.00||2,600 USD||Stainless steel, date|
Prices for Three-Hand Models
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 rose gold cases are particularly elegant. One example is the ref. 4220.127.116.11.02.001. This timepiece features a silver-white dial and gold Roman numerals. The hour, minute, and second hands are also gold. Inside the case, you'll find the caliber 8611 with an annual calendar. You can find this watch in mint condition for about 28,500 USD on Chrono24. Pre-owned pieces are few and far between.
Gold models with a simple date display are significantly more affordable. Take the Hour Vision ref. 418.104.22.168.13.001, for example. It comes with a rose gold case and the caliber 8501, which you can view through the sapphire crystal case back. Its dial and minute track are chocolate brown, while the golden hour marks sit atop a silver ring. Three gold hands and a date display at 3 o'clock complete the look. This model sells for around 14,500 USD new and 11,500 USD pre-owned.
If you can do without gold, you may prefer one of the stainless steel editions. The ref. 422.214.171.124.03.001 combines a dark blue dial with white gold hands and Roman numerals. Its power comes from the caliber 8902 with an annual calendar. Again, a display case back provides a view of this movement at work. Omega mounts this model on a nine-piece link stainless steel bracelet. Prices for a never-worn version sit at roughly 8,700 USD. Used watches remain a rare sight on Chrono24.
Another option is the De Ville Prestige Power Reserve. In addition to a date at 3 and small seconds at 9 o'clock, this watch features a power reserve indicator at 6 o'clock. You can choose from models in stainless steel (such as the ref. 4126.96.36.199.02.001) or gold (such as the ref. 4188.8.131.52.02.001). The former demands about 3,700 USD new and 3,200 USD used. You can purchase the gold edition for between 6,900 and 9,200 USD.
The De Ville Co-Axial With a Stopwatch Function
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 can choose between stainless steel or rose gold for the 42-mm case. Both versions are available with a silver, black, or blue dial. While the rose gold variants are only available on a leather strap, the stainless steel editions come on either a stainless steel bracelet or a leather strap that matches the dial.
The gold ref. 4184.108.40.206.03.001 with a blue dial and strap costs around 22,500 USD on Chrono24. You can save some 7,100 USD by purchasing a used timepiece instead. Omega officially lists this model for 29,000 USD.
Stainless steel models like the ref. 4220.127.116.11.01.001 are more affordable. A new version will set you back approximately 6,600 USD on a stainless steel bracelet. The same watch sells for about 4,400 USD pre-owned. If you'd prefer a timepiece on a leather strap, be prepared to spend between 5,100 and 6,100 USD depending on the watch's condition.
Earlier chronograph models are even less expensive. These timepieces have three subdials at 3, 6, and 9 o'clock. Set aside around 4,800 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. One example is the ref. 418.104.22.168.06.001 on a stainless steel bracelet. You can call this timepiece your own for roughly 7,100 USD in excellent condition.
The De Ville Co-Axial Chronoscope GMT (ref. 422.214.171.124.13.001) was the rattrapante's twin model. Instead of a split-seconds function, this watch can display a second time zone thanks to a central hand that points to a 24-hour scale around the dial's edge. This timepiece requires an investment of about 6,200 USD new and 5,100 USD used.
What is a co-axial escapement?
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.