Forgotten Omega Ironmaster

When it comes to Omega, the easiest to think of are Speedmaster, Seamaster, De Ville, Constellation. But in fact, in addition to these hot-selling models, Omega has also produced many series such as Railmaster, Louis Brandt, Ranchero, Cosmic, Emerald, Geneve, etc. in its brand history. And in these forgotten series, the most ‘outrageous’ is Railmaster. In 1957, Omega launched three watches for the professional market in one go, namely Seamaster 300, Speedmaster and Railmaster. Each of these three watches has its own emphasis. The Haima 300 has improved the water resistance on the basic version of the hippocampus. The Speedmaster has shifted the speed scale from the dial to the outer ring. This design makes it easier to measure the speed when racing. Railmaster has enhanced anti-magnetic capability. When it comes to Railmaster, most cousins ​​will be curious. In the impression, most of the memories about the use of watches and clocks on the Railway are ‘American Railroad Pocket Watches.’ In 1891, six people were killed when two trains collided in the United States. Investigations afterwards found that the cause of the tragedy was actually a staff member’s pocket watch stopping for 4 minutes, which caused train scheduling errors. In order to prevent the same accident from happening again, the United States has set up the ‘Railway Pocket Watch Standard’, which requires that the travel time error within 30 seconds per week, and check regularly. The American railway pocket watch pursues precision. Why did it become known for its ‘anti-magnetic’ ability when it came to Omega? The reason is that in the 1950s, trains running on railways gradually no longer burned coal, but switched to electromagnetic drive. The strong magnetic field will undoubtedly interfere with the accuracy of railway timepieces. At the same time, the popularization of electricity also makes anti-magnetic a selling point, so Omega took the opportunity to launch the Railmaster. In order to be antimagnetic, Omega used a device called ‘Faraday Cage’ in this Railmaster, which was invented by British scientist Michael Faraday in 1836. When two mediums with different magnetic permeability are put into the magnetic field, the magnetic field will change abruptly at their interface. At this time, the size and direction of the magnetic induction intensity B will change, that is, the refraction of the magnetic induction line will be caused. . For example, when the magnetic induction lines enter the iron from the air, the magnetic induction lines deviate greatly from the normal, and therefore have a strong convergence effect. A cover made of a soft magnetic material with a large magnetic permeability allows most of the magnetic field lines to pass through the wall of the cover, and the cavity in the cover has very few magnetic lines of induction. This achieves the purpose of magnetic shielding. At the same time, once the soft iron material is detached from the magnetic field, its magnetism will completely disappear or most of it will disappear, so it will have little impact on the movement. To put it simply, the soft iron material does not stick to people. Block the movement when it is in danger, and do not evolve into a dangerous person when it is not in danger. Although electrification is becoming more and more popular and the magnetic field environment is increasing, Omega has not received the expected market feedback after launching the Railmaster. At the same time anti-magnetic watch, Rolex Milgauss, IWC engineer Inginieur, the same, eventually went to production, disappeared in the eyes of the world. In 2017, Omega launched the 60th anniversary of Seamaster 300, Speedmaster and Railmaster. To commemorate the brand’s official release of three limited edition replica watches, so that the world can see the appearance of the year again. The remastered Railmaster continues the 38mm steel case and aperture design of the year. In addition, the case shape adopts the design of the year, with two different metal treatment methods, such as wire drawing and mirror polishing, making the lug lines more angular. Continuing the original iconic ‘Broad-arrow’ pointer, it has the characteristics of the Omega era. It only has a simple ‘big three hands’ time display, and there is no extra function. The reason is that the fewer openings in the Faraday cage used for antimagnetic protection, the better the antimagnetic effect. Therefore, there are no openings other than the two positions of the pointer axis and the crown axis, and there is no practical calendar window. In the design of the engraved dial, the Omega Railmaster uses a tropical dial ‘Tropical Dial’ that has been turned into a light brown for a long time by ultraviolet radiation. At the same time, for the sake of antiquity, the color of noctilucent is also specially modulated, which is derived from the brownish yellow brought by the natural decay of radium noctilucent. However, in a dark environment, the artificially made Super-LumiNova night light can still emit green light, and the traditional radium night light will not fail. Although the original acrylic material was not used, but sapphire was used instead, but Omega reduced the arc of the arch, and produced a beautiful halo at a specific angle. What’s more special is that the inside center of the sapphire watch engraved by this Railmaster is stamped with a small ‘Ω’ imprint, just like it was then. The watch brand Omega originated in 1848 and is now the year when the Swiss Confederation was established. In 1948, the 100th anniversary of the brand was born. Therefore, based on the experience of making waterproof watches for the British army during World War II, Omega wanted to use rubber to produce waterproof rings, instead of the lead rings, shellac, and grease that were common at the time. Finally, a series called ‘Seamaster’ was born. During a tour of Venice, Omega designer JEAN-PIERRE BORLE discovered the seahorse decoration on the side of the gondola ship, and made this pattern into the logo of the seahorse series. Because of its waterproof design in the early days of the hippocampus series, the target customers were people who were inclined to sports, rural, outdoor, so it won the reputation of ‘professional’. In 1957, the Speedmaster and Railmaster were introduced as special watches known as ‘professional’. Then, the Seamaster’s hippocampus logo was continued. After removing the back cover, you can directly see the Cal.8806, the self-produced movement inside it. Compared with the original Railmaster, the biggest difference between the replicas is not the automatic winding function, but the complete elimination of the ‘Faraday Cage’ Faraday cage. As mentioned earlier, the ‘Faraday Cage’ Faraday cage is like adding a protective cover to the movement. However, while protecting it, it also isolates other functions, such as the watch can not have a calendar window, back through, and it can not completely shield the magnetic field from interfering with the movement. Omega has revolutionized its technology and has anti-magnetic treatment at the source. First, the most critical and sensitive material for the production of mechanical hairsprings was changed from metal to ‘silicon’. Second, components such as escapements, gears, and springs were also made of anti-magnetic metal. In the end, the movement’s antimagnetic capability reached a staggering 15,000 Gauss, which was 15 times higher than the 900 Gauss of the original version. In daily life, such a high magnetic field environment can hardly be found, so the ‘Faraday Cage’ Faraday cage, which will increase the thickness of the entire watch and is not beautiful, has been completely eliminated. In 1957, Omega launched three watches for the professional market in one go, namely Seamaster 300, Speedmaster and Railmaster. Speedmaster followed NASA on the moon, and the Seamaster 300 became one of the best-selling dive watches. Although Railmaster was re-launched during the period, it still seemed to pass by on the stage of history. However, we should not forget it. After all, Omega researched the reserve anti-magnetic technology in this series and extended it to other brands under the brand.