Luxury watches full of easter eggs

by Marc-Andre Schmid

Easter egg hunts are loved by everyone. Be it movies, paintings, video games, or watches, discovering hidden features and details always adds excitement to any interest or hobby. Luxury watches often have hidden details, serving as functional design elements, anti-counterfeit measures, or simply as a byproduct of changes in the manufacturing process. Even if you wear your watch every day, there might be a hidden detail that you have not noticed before. So grab your loupe and find a well-lit room because we are breaking down some of our favorite luxury watch Easter eggs to get you in the holiday spirit.

 

The laser etched crown in sapphire Rolex cyrstals

One of the most well-known Easter eggs in the luxury watch industry is the tiny Rolex logo that is laser-etched onto modern Rolex sapphire crystals. This insignia can be found at the 6 o'clock position on the crystal and was introduced by Rolex in 2001 as a measure to combat counterfeiters. Nowadays, all Rolex watches (except for the Milgauss, which has a green-tinted sapphire crystal) come equipped with these laser-etched crystals. However, the logo can be difficult to see, especially on light-colored dials, and requires magnification and proper lighting to be fully visible. It is also worth noting that some service replacement crystals may have a slightly different etching, with a small "S" located within the coronet logo to indicate they are genuine service replacement parts.

The-laser-etched-crown-in-sapphire-Rolex-cyrstals-Zurichberg

The tiny Rolex logo laser-etched onto modern sapphire crystals at the 6 o'clock position is a well-known Easter egg in the luxury watch world. Rolex introduced this feature in 2001 to prevent counterfeiting, and now all their watches (except the Milgauss with its green-tinted sapphire crystal) come with a laser-etched crystal. However, the insignia can be difficult to see, especially on light-colored dials, and requires proper magnification and lighting. It's also important to note that some replacement crystals have a slightly different etching with a tiny "S" inside the coronet, indicating they are genuine service replacements.

 

The Omega logo in hesalite Speedmaster crystals

It's well-known that Rolex is a brand that uses anti-counterfeit measures such as laser-etched logos on its sapphire crystals, but what many don't know is that Omega has been doing this since the 1950s. In the center of Omega's acrylic crystals, there's a tiny Omega logo that's difficult to spot without a magnifying glass. While most Omega watches now feature sapphire crystals, the classic Speedmaster Moonwatch still uses a traditional Hesalite crystal. If you look at the center of the Hesalite crystal, you'll see a small Omega logo just above the hands. This is a clever anti-counterfeit measure that helps ensure the authenticity of the watch.

The-Omega-Logo-in-Hesalite-Speedmaster-Crystals-Zurichberg

Omega has been incorporating hidden anti-counterfeit markings into their watch crystals since the 1950s, although this feature is mostly found on the brand's acrylic crystals. One of the most notable examples is the small Omega logo located directly in the center of the acrylic crystal of the classic Speedmaster Moonwatch. While most Omega watches now feature sapphire crystals, this detail can still be found on select models. For instance, the limited-edition 1957 Trilogy watches feature domed sapphire crystals that also contain the small Omega logo etched into the center. These watches are meant to be near-exact replicas of their vintage counterparts and the inclusion of this subtle detail helps to maintain their authenticity.

 

The two-colour lume on Omega Seamaster watches

In the past, luminous technology in watches relied on radioactive materials to make them glow in the dark. However, modern advancements in lume have revolutionized the industry, allowing watch manufacturers to produce dials and hands with a variety of different colored lumes. With these advancements, luminous material can be customized to a specific color, and can even emit a different color when it glows in the dark. This provides watch enthusiasts with an added level of customization and personalization in their timepieces.

The-two-colour-lume-on-Omega-Seamaster-watches-Zurichberg

Recent advancements in luminous technology have allowed watch manufacturers to create dials and hands with various colors of lume. Omega is one brand that has fully embraced this innovation, particularly in their Seamaster collection of dive watches. All modern Omega dive watches feature two different colors of lume. The minute hand and zero marker on the bezel insert are treated with green-glowing Super-LumiNova, while the remaining hands and hour markers receive lume that glows blue. In daylight, the luminous material appears plain white. However, in the dark, the contrast between the two colors makes it easier to track elapsed time against the rotating bezel. This feature enhances the watch's functionality and adds a stylish touch.

 

The two different dials of the Rolex Submariner 116613LB

Rare and unusual dial variations can greatly increase the value of a Rolex watch. One example that is often overlooked is the gloss blue dial fitted to early models of the Rolex Submariner reference 116613LB. It's important to note that there are actually two different blue dials for this reference number. Despite the lack of attention from the collecting community, this dial variation is highly sought after by collectors due to its unique and distinctive appearance.

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In 2009, Rolex updated the blue two-tone Submariner with a blue Cerachrom bezel and a bright blue dial with a flat glossy finish. This was a significant departure from the previous metallic sunburst finish on the dial, and the brand intended to make the dial better match the bright blue hue of the ceramic bezel. However, many collectors were not pleased with the change, and the gloss blue dial was discontinued in 2013, returning to the previous sunburst style for the blue versions of the two-tone Submariner. It's worth noting that there are actually two different blue dials for the Rolex Submariner reference 116613LB, and the gloss blue dial is a relatively short-lived variation that is not often talked about in the collecting community.

 

The zirconium oxide etching on ceramic Omega dials

Omega has been incorporating ceramic into their manufacturing process in recent years, with ceramic bezels and cases becoming an option in their catalog. A more recent development has been the use of ceramic dials, particularly in select dive watches from the Seamaster collection. To denote that the dial is made of ceramic, there is a small marking located at the center of the dial, just below the hands. The marking reads "ZrO2," which stands for zirconium oxide, the type of ceramic used by Omega for its various components. This subtle detail is a testament to the brand's attention to detail and commitment to using innovative materials in their watches.

The-zirconium-oxide-etching-on-ceramic-Omega-dials-Zurichberg

Unlike traditional metal dials that are coated with various surface finishing layers to achieve a certain look, Omega’s ceramic dials are made from a single sheet of zirconium oxide ceramic, which provides a distinct aesthetic. This material is incredibly resistant to scratches and UV light, ensuring that the dial will maintain its appearance for a long time. The color of the dial is determined by the natural color of the ceramic material, and in many cases, Omega will use laser engraving to create a deeper and more modern look. With these unique features, Omega’s ceramic dials offer a blend of durability and style that is hard to match with traditional metal dials.

 

The Glowing Head on the Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday “Ultraman”

Omega has a reputation for incorporating fun elements into its watch designs, and this is evident in the second Speedy Tuesday edition Speedmaster, which takes inspiration from a vintage Speedmaster model called the Ultraman and the Japanese TV show, 'Ultraman.' The watch features two colors of lume, which is not uncommon for Omega dive watches. However, the brand also included a secret design element that can only be revealed under UV light. The watch’s small running seconds sub-dial has a hidden ‘Ultraman’ logo that glows bright orange when exposed to UV light, adding an element of surprise and playfulness to the already unique timepiece.

The-Glowing-Head-on-the-Omega-Speedmaster-Speedy-Tuesday-“Ultraman”-Zurichberg

Omega's second Speedy Tuesday edition Speedmaster pays tribute to both the vintage Speedmaster model nicknamed the Ultraman and the Japanese television show 'Ultraman'. The watch features a hidden design element that can only be revealed under UV light. The silhouette of Ultraman's helmet is located inside the running seconds sub-dial at the 9 o'clock position. This feature is barely visible in daylight but springs to life when exposed to ultraviolet light. The Ultraman head glows bright orange, in contrast to the green lume used on the hands and hour markers. Omega even includes a UV light among the various accessories in the box for the Speedy Tuesday Ultraman. This hidden Easter egg is one that the brand wanted everyone to find and enjoy.

 

The Internal Antimagnetic Shield on the Rolex Air-King 116900

The Easter egg hidden in the Rolex Air-King reference 116900 is so discreet that you need to open the watch's case to see it. While most people are aware of the Rolex Milgauss' internal antimagnetic shield that safeguards its movement from magnetic interference, few know that the now-discontinued Air-King model features the same internal shield. It shares its case and movement with Rolex's line of scientific antimagnetic watches.

The-Internal-Antimagnetic-Shield-on-the-Rolex-Air-King-116900-Zurichberg

The Rolex Air-King reference 116900 shares the same internal shield as the Milgauss to protect its movement from magnetic fields, although it does not feature any text on the outer caseback like its antimagnetic cousin. If you remove the outer caseback of the Air-King ref. 116900, you will find another caseback with the symbol for magnetic flux density, the letter 'B' with an arrow above it. The outer caseback is made from stainless steel and prevents moisture and dirt from entering the watch, while the internal caseback is made from ferromagnetic alloys that are carefully selected by Rolex to redistribute magnetic fields and protect the movement, similar to the Milgauss.


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