It’s not so long ago that I posted a rather lengthy review of my 18 months plus ownership of the Blue Dial Globemaster (Reference 126.96.36.199.03.001). Since then I have become the happy owner of the limited edition re-issue of the 1957 Railmaster (Ref: 188.8.131.52.01.002); a watch that has more or less found a continuous home on my wrist over the last month. How can that be when the Globemaster is so good? To answer that fully you need to think of this as an extension of the original Globemaster review (https://omegaforums.net/threads/%E2%80%9Cthe-idiot-button%E2%80%9D-%E2%80%93-or-a-real-world-ownership-review-of-the-omega-globemaster.62685/) to put things in the correct context. The route to acquiring my Railmaster was unconventional to say the least (the story can be found here: https://omegaforums.net/threads/influences-on-your-current-collection.62122/#post-775479) in the “Influences on your current collection?” thread, so no need to go over that again. It would have been easy enough for me to paste together some historical and technical trivia about the Trilogy LE Railmaster, to pad out this review but that would be rather superfluous as there are plenty of other (paid?) reviews out there that fulfil that role far better than I ever could, so as with the Globemaster I shall limit the waffling to my own real-world experiences; warts and all. Which means you should look away now if you are at all squeamish. The Railmaster was more-or-less an impulse buy for me. There was little or no research done prior to sale, no weighing up against the Speedmaster and Seamaster siblings, no analysis of potential future or residual value. No; absolutely none of that was part of the acquisition process. It was simple, overwhelming desire. Put another way, the designers (back in ’57) and the re-engineers more recently nailed it! Job well done Omega! My Railmaster has been on my wrist and on its bracelet almost continuously since the first day. It has not been given any special care or caution in that time, so has acquired ….how shall I say this….a certain amount of “patina” and it has gained that patina far more quickly than my Globemaster did. Comparing the GM and RM I don’t think these two like one another very much. One gets to jet around the world (occasionally) while the other gets all the wrist time, but has to go to work every day. The Globemaster is the serious one; professional, responsible, dependable, taking the knocks without complaint. The Railmaster is the cool Rock’n’Roll party animal, always getting into scrapes and trouble and it shows! It’s kind of odd that the Railmaster has spent so much time on the bracelet as I find it looks best on a NATO strap and not even the official Omega British Khaki (sand colour) one at that, but rather a no-name cheapy in dark olive green. and rather photogenic on the leather strap The official Omega NATO is (as always) of excellent quality and very soft, but the hole spacing just doesn’t suit me, they are in the wrong positions; a pity. Nevertheless the Railmaster has proved to be attractive and generally comfortable on the bracelet. When the weather was really hot a few weeks ago I found the micro-extension system to be a bit lacking in adjustment range (circa 4mm in three steps) but as the weather has become cooler it’s now fine. The overall bracelet quality isn’t up to Globemaster standards, the finish seemed to me to be rather razor-edged, lacking some of the finesse of the GM, but the brushed centre links lend the ensemble a very elegant 50’s look. The polished outer links are an absolute scratch magnet (more on that in a moment)….but strangely this isn’t irritating me; it’s as if the Railmaster is making itself vintage/aged …. all by itself. Given that Omega have mastered the art of forming Tungsten Carbide into intricate and highly polished forms I wonder why they didn’t consider this material for the Trilogy bracelets outer links? Total wrist time? Well, the GM has hardly had a look in since I purchased the Railmaster. This ought not be the case as the GM has the better dial, better legibility, more practical functionality (date and quickset hour), more robust bracelet, bezel made of Indestructium (OK Tungsten Carbide) and more practical overall surface finish (brushed where it counts). Despite all those plus points I have only worn my GM on a few foreign business trips since buying the Railmaster. So what is it that’s causing me to want to wear the RM all the time? Let’s go through each of the elements one-by-one. The Crystal The Railmaster crystal has this awesome multi-radii curvature to it; something not present on the other Trilogy pieces. I think the good folks at OF.net who focus exclusively on the Seamaster and the Speedmaster are really missing something here. I first experienced something like this on the Globemaster Annual Calendar and thought back then that I would love to see such a crystal on another watch…and here it is on the Railmaster, but it’s even better. It just looks and feels sooo nice. Here’s a shot of the LE Seamaster crystal for comparison (it’s pretty similar to the GM’s by-the-way). Size (Height, lug length, case width and diameter) The Railmaster has to my eyes a near perfect case shape and size. It isn’t especially thin, in fact it’s only a whisker less than the Globemaster, but the domed crystal and relatively flat case/caseback give the impression of a fairly low-profile watch head. On the bracelet or coupled to a thin aftermarket NATO means it will sit low and snug on the wrist. I can’t explain why but the GM appears to stand taller on the wrist. The lug-to-lug length (48mm) seems spot on, but combined with a relatively small case/diameter (38mm), so it manages to pull off the trick of looking vintage (small) and also looking modern (large) at the same time. I hope it and its relatively diminutive siblings trigger a general move away from the current super-sized models, but I’m not go to hold my breath in anticipation. It’s accurate and not overly fast! I was curious to know a) how accurate the Railmaster is over an extended period and b) how representative the METAS test results are to real-world usage. All I can say is a) impressive and b) spot on! Here’s the evidence after 7 days use without intervention. So, looks, size, bracelet/strap adaptability make the Railmaster an absolute winner. But there is a dark side to the story that you need to be aware of. If you can deal with it then you will have an ace watch, if not you will no doubt become deeply frustrated and a pain in the xxxx at your local OB/AD. OK, what am I talking about here?. I can’t speak for the other two in the Trilogy set but when you get the Railmaster itch you’re gonna ….scratch! Last warning before the scary stuff.. Here’s the current state of my RM after a months’ worth of normal Longbow abuse. The lugs aren’t doing too badly The bezel is suffering a bit Typical desk-diver scuffs on the bracelet links and clasp But the super-duper polished caseback has taken the brunt of it. I wonder if Omega has used soft vintage steel in the Trilogy watches. If this had been on the Globemaster I think I would have freaked out, but somehow on my Railmaster I don’t mind one little bit. The RM is possibly the first watch that I have owned where I am unable to find anything that I would like to change or significantly improve because any weaknesses it has are somehow right for this watch. My Globemaster should be the better package…in theory, but the Railmaster has managed to deliver something vintage but without all the limitations and liabilities that go with such watches. If you have the chance to try the Railmaster live I can strongly recommend it, but don’t be under any illusions about it being limited, rare or increasing in value. I think there will be plenty spare later in the year as it doesn’t quite fit into most people’s clichéd view of what an Omega should be. The Railmaster is a bit of a misfit in that Limited Edition Speedmaster/Seamaster crowd, which is probably why I like it. You might have been wondering why on earth the review is entitled “Christine: My ’57 LE Railmaster Reality Check” there is a reason. I first saw the Railmaster at a BaselWorld highlights event in the Hamburg OB but it didn’t really klick; perhaps because it was surrounded by all the other watches and in particular the two other ’57 LEs, all of which were covered in other people’s sweaty finger prints. However, when I went again to the OB some weeks later to do a ’57 LE Photoshoot I fell in love with the RM pretty much instantly but something strange happened. As I saw the limited edition number and mentioned that “double 4” would be bad luck in most Asian countries two things occurred: 1) I noticed a scratch on the case back acquired during all the strap/bracelet swapping and 2) a tune popped into my head. That tune was Harlem Nocturne. You know, the one played in the film scene from Christine where Arnie says “OK show me” and the ’58 Plymouth Fury starts repairing itself. Since then my Railmaster has the nickname “Christine”….I’m still waiting for the scratches to disappear though.