OMEGA ambassador Michael Schumacher had an astounding Formula 1 season in 2002. His achievements equalled or even broke records established by such legendary names as Juan-Manuel Fangio and Alain Prost, securing the Ferrari driver a place in the annals of Formula 1 history. As a long-term partner of Michael Schumacher, prestige Swiss watchmaker OMEGA celebrates the motor racing star’s historic five world championship titles with a limited-edition model whose lavish design is an appropriate tribute to such an extraordinary achievement.
April 4th 2003 – read more below the gallery
Only one other Formula 1 driver has won five world championship drivers’ titles: Argentinean Juan-Manuel Fangio, who stormed to success during the very first years of the sport, taking the title in 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956 and 1957. Though numerous drivers have since beaten Fangio’s points total of 277, only Michael Schumacher has managed to equal his record five championship titles. In doing so, he also set a new record for the total number of Grand Prix victories, with 53 of his 114 podium positions being in first place, beating Alain Prost’s previous record of 51.
Though OMEGA has already issued limited-edition Speedmaster RACING timepieces to celebrate Schumacher’s individual victories, something very special indeed was required to commemorate such an historic achievement. The model chosen for this star treatment was the Speedmaster Broad Arrow, a fine example of a superlative chronograph, thanks to its exclusive OMEGA column-wheel chronograph movement, OMEGA calibre 3303. The column-wheel mechanism ensures precision operation of all the watch’s chronograph functions and its vertical coupling ensures that there is no delay in the start, stop and reset of the chronograph seconds hand and counters. However, due to the sophisticated production techniques required, column-wheel mechanisms are only offered by a handful of watch manufactures and are therefore much sought after.
The calibre 3303 also uses OMEGA’s free sprung-balance without index, which offers better regulating stability. As a result, the self-winding movement, which has a power reserve of 55 hours, has obtained chronometer certification from the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institue [Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, COSC].
This prestige movement is housed in an equally prestigious case, finished in 18-carat red gold. The luxury theme continues with red gold accents distinguishing the watch’s look: brushed 18-carat red gold bezel with tachometer scale, applied 18-carat red gold hour markers on the dial, 18-carat red gold “Broad Arrow” hour and minute hands and red gold hands for the chronograph seconds and the sub-dials, which are outlined by rings.
The black dial (the traditional Speedmaster dial colour, as seen on the original Speedmaster Professional “Moon Watch”) displays the typical Broad Arrow configuration of 30-minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock, 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock and continuous seconds at 9 o’clock, with a red gold on black date window situated above the 6 o’clock hour marker. The ultimate touch of personalisation on the dial is Michael Schumacher’s name written in red gold in lower-case letters on either side of the sub-dial at 6 o’clock.