Note that while I, Matt Smith-Johnson, am doing the main watch review, other members of the aBlogtoWatch team will weigh in at points below with their thoughts on Omega’s Globemaster collection and their respective experiences.
Each ABTW team member must choose the omega-bang they want to wear, and I am the all-stainless steel model with a silver plate and bracelet. For me, all-silver seems to mean that you are more concerned with personal completion and line design. You will lose some details when using a watch with several colors or different types of materials. An all-steel watch, on the other hand, needs to have a solid design foundation to work with. It’s like an all-white drive – it has a great outline, or it looks like you’re opening a cheap refrigerator.
That said, I am also a huge fan of the yellow gold version, especially on the alligator strap. In fact, I really love how the leather looks on the Globemaster. Since I’m already a fan, however, I figure the steel bracelet levels out the playing field and my personal bias enough to make this a fair review. Now, let’s get down to brass tacks.
From what I have gathered after years of watchnerdery, the name Globemaster comes from the name originally given to US market Constellations in the mid 1950s. This was due to a legal dispute with Lockheed Martin, as their warplane-become-civilian-transport was called the Constellation, affectionately known as the “Connie.” If you spend a bit of time on Google, or fall into an Omega forums click-hole, you can find some images of these non-branded Globemasters from the 1950s. You could also just take my word for it and spend your time like a surface-dwelling human being.
Surface-dwelling, the real thing is that w actually print some pre-pie-pan dials with the name of Global Overlord. If you can find one, you will notice that the current global overlord uses the same script to handle its dial. This is an interesting callback, and I do not know why ω decides to revive this forgotten naming convention.
I really love the hand, the face of the black star of the omega global overlord, I must say that the blue dial is a striking variant. The hour markers are very simple and modern, but work 12-faceted dialing.
Back to a bit of history, the Omega Constellation was definitely a status symbol in its day, but an icon was made when Omega adorned its Constellation watches with the pie-pan dial. This design feature has been rumoured to have been the work of the all-encompassing Gerald Genta, yet I’m quite sure those murmurs come from some similarities between the Constellation and the Universal Geneve Polerouter. What you can’t dispute is the lasting impact that dial would have on Omega’s history, and it’s something I am very happy with on the Omega Globemaster.
I’m also a big fan of the date at 6 o’clock as it keeps the design neat, symmetrical, and simple. For this watch it just works, and it adds to the class-factor.
Next up is the re-interpretation of the C-shape case, which was definitely designed by Gerald Genta (Praise Be To Genta) and is a throwback to the Constellation models of the 1960s. The fluted bezel wasn’t always present on vintage references, but I’m glad Omega included it. To address the elephant in the room, it makes this watch a stylistic rival to the Rolex Datejust, and I think that’s a good thing. I’m not a Rolex guy myself, but I can understand why people appreciate them: they are versatile timepieces you can dress up or down, and that’s what we have in the Omega Globemaster as well.
While wearing the Omega Globemaster, I found the case shape exceptionally fetching, and at 39mm wide x 12.5mm thick it was the perfect size for my 7.125” wrist. And the case back! I took off the watch many a time to examine the beautifully finished co-axial caliber 8900 and observatory medallion. This is probably my favourite feature of the watch, and it has to be one of the watch-porniest case backs out there… With exception to Andersen Geneve, of course, which is more literal than mechanical.
Another thing the Globemaster has going for it is the chamfered and polished edges on the case and bracelet. It’s a sharp feature that really helps accentuate the lines carried throughout the design, and it’s done in a simple and clever way.
There is only one detail that makes me the first and second link bracelet for omega Globe, which is a small gap between the fit. The link itself is much smaller than that of an oyster-shaped bracelet, which is really fantastic, but my wrist seems to have a bit of a small pitch to optimize all the links. I have some Redbar companions to punish me for being too picky when discussing this detail (it’s actually a bit noisy, a friend screaming “Spiral Gaps, Buddy!”) But that’s something I noticed. If your wrist is about 7.5 “or the end, the pitch of the links looks perfect on the lap, so remember if you detail-obsessed like me.
Once again, Global Overlord represents the combination of Old and New. Omega Globe is the first standard collection of watches produced in the title “Chronomater Guru” which means METAS-certified performance in each in-house-made sport watch. These are truly anti-magnetic watches with a durability design that eschews the elegance of a modern retro design.
The design of ω borrows from their historical clues from several different models, leading to a vintage-homage fusion of elements. Those without the brand consciousness of history do not need to understand the design synthesis to see watches inspired by the past, but in the architectural works really modern feel.
When the Omega Globemaster first came out, I felt that Omega really missed a marketing opportunity to define who a “globemaster” is, and then to try and match that demographic with the watch. For me, a globemaster is someone who not only regularly travels for mostly professional purposes, but also has a comfortable degree of cultural experience and literacy to not only survive in strange places, but also find interesting and new things in those places even as a foreigner.
Not to sound narcissistic, but I actually think people like professional bloggers would easily qualify as globemasters. Omega should have emphasized this lifestyle as a personality type and created campaigns designed to show people like me (a professional blogger) wearing the Globemaster around the world and showing why it is both style-wise and function-wise a good timepiece choice. Oh well, I suppose I’ll be the only one promoting that message for now.
Another missed opportunity is for Omega to market the Globemaster as the “hands-on guy’s” Rolex Datejust. While the latter piece enjoys success as being the perfect blend of watch and men’s jewelry, Omega might have success marketing the Globemaster and the engineer’s dress watch. Just an idea, but sooner or later the watch industry has got to start doing marketing like this or its going to continue to miss out on getting the attention of Western men in many of their advertising messages. As it stands now, Omega doesn’t seem to hide that many of its products aim for Rolex product types. Omega has a lot of good propositions to make given their strong products, but right now they (like many of their colleagues) aren’t doing the best job in communicating those values to the mainstream consumer who will be the cornerstone of global demand.
At its best, the Omega Globemaster is a masculine-looking dress watch with the movement equivalent of the engine from a high-end luxury sedan: smooth, powerful, and full of cool tech that you might not know when you’ll need it, but you sure appreciate that it is there. This is a solid product that just needs its marketing niche better carved out for it so that the right people can be informed about this collection.
David Bredan says: We are yet to discuss one of the more important and interesting features of the Omega Globemaster collection: its groundbreaking Master Co-Axial movement that in fact was debuted in the Globemaster family of watches and is slowly making its way into other Omega collections. Called the Caliber 8900, this automatic movement is an evolution of the 8500 movement that the brand industrialized in 2014.
The term “Master Co-Axial” (and sometimes Co-Axial Master Chronometer, as occasionally Omega uses both to describe the same thing) refers to Omega’s newly developed, METAS-certified anti-magnetic chronometer-tested movements. That sure is a mouthful, but in a nutshell what you need to know is that all Omega Globemaster watches are equipped with movements that have passed both COSC chronometer tests (hence receiving an official chronometer certificate) and also Omega’s more stringent and thorough in-house tests, procedures that have been authorized by and are closely audited by METAS, the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology.
METAS-certified watches (mind you, METAS certifies the in-house testing process that watches pass and not the individual timepieces) are subjected to eight different tests which test the accuracy of both uncased and cased movements both before and after exposure to 15,000-gauss-strong magnetic fields, claimed water resistance, power reserve, rate deviation between 100% and 33% of power reserve, deviation of rate in six positions, and the average daily precision of the watch.
In essence, with any and all Omega watches that feature a Co-Axial Master Chronometer movement, you get both a movement and a watch that has passed these stringent in-house tests at Omega.
As a nod to some of its vintage Constellation pieces, Omega designed a new case-back for the Globemaster, displaying a medallion in its center, stamped with an image of an observatory, representing the precision awards that the brand received during the “famous” chronometer observatory trials. While it will mostly be more hardcore watchnerds who will be familiar with observatory trials, the case-back nicely complements the dial and case design. Oh, and if obscure details are your thing, we’ll say that the eight stars above the observatory represent both the eight most important precision records that Omega set and also the eight METAS-certified criteria that the watch (and its movement) have passed.
The self-winding 8900 features a nicely decorated automatic rotor (in gold on the 8901 movement version fitted to the gold- or platinum-cased Globemaster), offers a 60-hour power reserve, and runs at the more unusual rate of 25,200 beats per hour.
Bilal Khan says: Matt, Ariel, and David have done a pretty great job discussing the Omega Globemaster, so I’ll talk about my experience wearing the watch and fill the readers in on anything more I feel they should know. The model I wore broke the mold of watches I am usually drawn to in several ways. First off, at 39mm wide the Omega Globemaster is smaller than the 42mm that I’m usually looking for as a minimum size, but the well-proportioned lug-to-lug width provides a substantial enough look on the wrist.
Secondly, I almost always prefer a bracelet to a leather (or NATO) strap, but I was immediately and strongly drawn to what I later realized may be the most “old-fashioned” Omega Globemaster available, the version in yellow gold on a brown alligator strap. There is something about the contemporary proportions, impressive METAS certified 8900 movement, and self-assured design of the somewhat stuffy yet inarguably dapper yellow gold and leather that when experienced in combination resulted in a watch I couldn’t take off for weeks.
David expounded on the benefits of the METAS certified movement enough, and I am going to basically agree with what Ariel said about the movement and its impressive anti-magnetic qualities. I’m going to bet that many, if not most, mechanical watch enthusiasts have had their fair share of unpleasant experiences with a watch running fast due to magnetization. There’s nothing flashy or sexy about it, but knowing the Omega Globemaster is resistant to 15,000 gauss should give you enough peace of mind that an accidental brush with some random source of magnetism (they’re everywhere!) doesn’t give you a headache.
I did want to mention that there is also an Annual Calendar model which I didn’t get to wear for any significant duration of time, but did get to try on and play with for a little bit. With styling that may not be for everyone, the Omega Globemaster Annual Calendar watch (hands-on here) does come in at 41mm wide, so if you’re looking for a little more heft on the wrist, that will do it.
The Omega Globemaster prices in steel begin at around $7,700 for Matt’s reference 126.96.36.199.02.001 and go up from there. The reference 188.8.131.52.02.002 model I wore in 18k yellow gold on an alligator strap has a significantly higher price, retailing at $21,600. David reviewed the two-tone reference 184.108.40.206.02.001 with white dial, and Ariel’s was the reference 220.127.116.11.03.001 two-tone steel and Sedna gold with blue dial, both with a price of $12,000. I really loved wearing this watch and I agree with Ariel that a cohesive and thoughtful marketing campaign could cement the Omega Globemaster’s market standing as a watch that rivals offerings from the Swiss Green Giant.
Matt Smith-Johnson says: Minor infractions aside, I spent a whole lot of time wearing the Omega Globemaster, and I was definitely sad to see it go. It took up a whole lot of wrist time, and I found that it was surprisingly versatile. I tried on the leather strap version as well and although I really loved that folding clasp and alligator band, it would probably make the watch harder to dress down, and I perhaps wouldn’t have worn it as often as I did on the bracelet.
Either way, this watch really made me feel a bit special when I strapped it on my wrist, and again when I took it off to admire the movement. The details are really something, and I’m not writing off the Omega Globemaster as a future contender for a portion of my paycheque. It’s a solid watch that pays homage to an icon in a clever way, and I think it’s a solid addition to the Omega catalogue.