The Omega Railmaster 18.104.22.168.06.001 was introduced at BaselWorld 2017 as a new take on one of the brand's iconic tool watch lines. This morning I had it in our studio for a few pics.
The first generation of modern Railmasters (left) was introduced in 2003 and discontinued around 2010-2011. After a few years of absence the series was re-introduced at BaselWorld 2017, alongside the limited edition from the Trilogy series (right). While the latter is a true throwback to the original in terms of design, the present watch sports an updated and more contemporary look. It is based on the latest generation of the Seamaster Aqua Terra, though Omega went out of its way to give the Railmaster a look and feel of its own - more rugged and less ornamental.
The Omega Railmaster 22.214.171.124.06.001 has a stainless steel case of 40mm, a size not found on the Aqua Terra. It is completely brushed, including the bezel and the bevels on the lugs. The bracelet has undergone the same treatment, loosing the polished center links found many other Omega watches.
The closed back is a cool nod to the instrumental nature and heritage of the Railmaster, though it must be noted that with Omega's latest generation of movements it is no longer a necessity in terms of shielding against magnetic fields. The engraved seahorse looks stellar, and the Naiad lock makes sure the alignment is always spot-on.
As indicated above, the Railmaster is powered by one of Omega's latest in-house movements: caliber 8806. This METAS-certified chronometer sports a co-axial escapement and a free sprung-balance with silicon balance spring. It is resistant to magnetic fields up to 15,000 gauss. Power reserve is 55 hours. And -this one is for the purists- there is no date!
The silver dial of the 126.96.36.199.06.001 sports a fine vertical brushing pattern. The hour markers are slightly recessed and then filled with 'Vintage' SuperLuminova. Four oversized Arabic numerals and a so-called 'crosshair' add some direction. The hands are of the pencil type - and even these are brushed!
The Omega Railmaster 188.8.131.52.06.001 is fitted with a stainless steel bracelet with screwed links and a pushbutton operated butterfly clasp. There is no fine adjustment on the clasp. The Railmaster with silver dial is also available on a leather NATO strap as reference 184.108.40.206.06.001. With the darker dial it comes on either the bracelet (220.127.116.11.01.001) or a rather funky tweed-like strap (18.104.22.168.01.001).
This Railmaster seems to be a polarizing watch with people either loving or hating it. I fancy it, and I think Omega made some interesting changes to the Aqua Terra platform. While Omega's high tech movements arguably made a dedicated Railmaster model obsolete, I feel the spirit of the original was captured well with this latest version. I highly encourage you to come see it in person!