July 13, 2010
Omega La Magique watch – one of the world’s great watches
Omega La Magique – Many watch collectors have heard of it, very few have actually seen it
The legendary Omega La Magique is amongst THE thinnest watches in the world, 18k gold, and known in watch collector circles as the ‘Phantom Watch’ as most collectors never get to see one in person. Paul Godbold the founder of Luxurious Magazine has one in his own watch collection and having seen it, it is every bit as extraordinary as people that have seen it state. To give you some idea of the incredible technical build of the La Magique, look at the image below showing how thin the watch is.
30 years ago only 261 of these Omega La Magique watches were made, think about that for a moment, there are almost 7 Billion people in the world, billions of them wear watches and Omega made only 261 La Magiques! If you are looking for a watch rarity ratio then this has to rank right up with the very rarest.
The La Magique was a pure test of Omega’s craftsmanship, with mystery hands (sapphire discs) – ultra flat (2.6 mm), rectangular, 18K yellow gold gentleman’ s quartz mystery wristwatch with transparent dial center.
The opaque watch face allows you see see through the face with the only the floating hands showing, very much a mystery to how this is done.
Omega La Magique Technical information
Extraordinary technical details make The Omega La Magique one of the slimmest and stylistically most interesting watches ever created. The casing is only 2.6 mm in thickness and is rolled from pure gold ingots.
Instead of having 22 hands there are two paper-thin revolving sapphire glass discs marked with gold dust. The quartz movement which drives them is placed off-centre. This enables the La Magique watchface to be transparent and the skin or sleeve of the wearer to show through. So the watch can adapt to the colour of its surroundings. Apart from obvious refined technology the Omega La Magique also offers a quality of craftsmanship almost unmatched today. Cog wheels have to be fitted to the 0.12 mm sapphire discs. This is something that cannot be done by the best independent horological experts needing a specialized team at Omega Geneva the daunting take of putting the watch together piece by piece. There is absolutely no room for error in such a slim watch. The same care is taken with the strap which is stitched by hand and its gold clasp hand-moulded.
Omega La Magique Technical Information
WITH GENTS CROCODILE LEATHER STRAP
BA 191.8523 Z
Limited but not numbered
Omage La Magique Movements:
Type: Quartz electronic analogic
Caliber number: 1356/1357
Cal. 1356, created in 1981, superflat
(Produced only in 643 pieces)
Cal. 1357, created in 1981, superflat
(Produced only in 261 pieces)
Omega La Magique Case:
18K solid yellow gold
Omage La Magique Case back:
Omega La Magique Dial:
Transparent disc on the center with “floating ” hands, surrounded by a black background with gold hour markers
Omega La Magique Crystal:
Omega La Magique Bracelet:
Crocodile leather strap
More Omega La Magique product information including variations:
Swiss ref. = LA 523.1025
Delicate transparent version (2.6 mm thickness) derived from the “Dinosaur” watch style, sapphire crystal and back, 18K gold case with bow, hinged support stand on back transforms the watch into a tiny table clock.
International Collection : 1982-1983
Swiss retail price (1982) : CHF 6’250.-
Also available in 18K solid yellow gold with 92 diamonds on bezel and case lugs (0,41 ct.) and “grain d’orge” 18K solid gold chain bracelet (BA 491.8525, CHF 14’800.-) or in 18K solid yellow gold with 92 diamonds on bezel and case lugs (0,41 ct.) and crocodile strap (BA 291.8525, CHF 9’200.- to 9’600.- depending on case lugs).
How many of these are still in existence is anyone’s guess, over time some would have been lost, many irrepairably damaged due to how thin the watch is. If there is, in a worse case scenario only as few as 50 of the original 261 left then I’m a very lucky man to own one!