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An ownership review of the Omega Globemaster, or “The Idiot Button”

  1. Longbow

    Longbow Aug 25, 2017

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    Since no one has put up a long(ish)-term ownership review of the Globemaster yet I thought I would have a go. It’s based on another post on OF in which I tried to highlight the main pros and cons of the GM with some additions here and there to fill a few gaps.

    I won’t bore you with the story of its acquisition, nor the crazy antics that I have got up to with my GM (well perhaps one or two); rather I wanted to pull together some of the main observations, likes, dislikes and emotions that this watch have provoked. So, here are my thoughts on the Blue dial Omega Globemaster after (approximately) 18 month ownership.

    Maybe I should start by saying a few words about size, weight and other dimensional stuff.

    Considering a case diameter of 39mm, you would be forgiven for thinking that the Globemaster is a rather modest sized watch compared to Omega’s other offerings, but the dial represents a large part of that dimension (circa 30/31mm) with a feeling of a lot of open space between the inner tips of the hour markers, i.e. it looks bigger than it really is. From lug to lug it’s 46mm which is actually less than my latest acquisition, the ’57 LE Railmaster (48mm) although you wouldn’t believe it by just glancing at the two side-by-side.
    Longbow Globemaster 1.jpg

    The GM is not a lightweight. With a sapphire crystal and sapphire display back mounted on a steel bracelet you are looking at a max. weight of 162g; the watch head contributing 71g of that mass.
    Longbow Globemaster 2.jpg

    The mathematicians and accounts amongst you will have already figured out that the bracelet is a thumping 91g, which isn’t that surprising when you know that each removable link in the bracelet is at least 2g or more. Speaking of which, these things are worth a closer inspection.
    Longbow Globemaster 3.jpg

    They are not your ordinary oval, symmetrical affairs; almost every surface has a complex compound curve, they are truly miniature works of art, much like the rest of the watch. Everywhere you look on the GM there are subtle design features for you to discover and keep you fascinated in the months and years to come.

    So, back to weight, the GM is heavy. If you are not a fan of heavier watches then the GM on steel is probably not for you. Perhaps you should be thinking about the OEM leather strap and deployant buckle combo…
    Longbow Globemaster 4.JPG

    Longbow Globemaster 5.jpg

    ….or looking more towards vintage Constellations, the one shown above far left comes in on the bracelet at a flyweight 80g!

    A case thickness of 13mm is, in my opinion rather; well, thick, for any watch. I would have liked it to have been a little slimmer so that it would fit more easily under shirt cuffs with cuff-links.
    Longbow Globemaster 6.jpg

    It does fit but it’s tight.
    Longbow Globemaster 7.jpg

    Is the Globemaster a dress watch or a sports watch? It’s a question that seems to crop up quite often and I’m not sure that you can give a cut and dried answer. I think it does most things well but it works a little better with the more casual look; jeans and a polo shirt perhaps. It is a watch that encourages you to chill out, dump the suit and tie and go get a cool beer at the beach bar or hang out at the night club.
    Longbow Globemaster 8.jpg

    You might want to swap the leather strap for the bracelet before you go to the beach though.

    On the subject of bracelets I must confess that I made the classic Noob mistake of buying my Globemaster on the leather strap first and later adding the stainless steel bracelet. This is an expensive way to acquire any watch. In my defence, I didn’t find the bracelet very comfortable initially. The strap by contrast was surprisingly comfy; better than any other I have tried. But I digress, so back to that steel bracelet.

    If you put a GM with Steel bracelet on your wrist (where else?) and run your fingers over the watch head and bracelet you will have a smooth refined experience. The upper, outer edges of the bracelet and watch head are chamfered and polished. The bracelet is a precision piece of work with minimal gaps and tight tolerances; it’s a delight to look at and the feel matches the looks.
    Longbow Globemaster 9.jpg

    The only gap of note is where the bracelet meets the end links.
    Longbow Globemaster 10.jpg

    However, that high quality chamfered bracelet edge is not the one next to your skin. The lower edge of the bracelet is simple and sharp. It seemed to me to be razor sharp.

    Why does Omega do this? It’s exactly the same issue on my new LE Railmaster, but it’s especially frustrating on the Globemaster because there is a chamfered polished edge on the underside of the watch head that suggests this feature could have been carried through into the bracelet, just like it has been done on the upper side, from watch head to bracelet.
    Longbow Globemaster 11.jpg

    Anyway, I finally got round to buying the bracelet and had those sharp edges knocked off with an almost imperceptibly small but beneficial extra radius added to the outer links.
    Longbow Globemaster 12.jpg

    Now the bracelet is super comfortable. Omega please note, I want to wear my watches on my wrist, not shave with them, so please dump the razor edge finish on future bracelets.

    Remember the dress vs casual question? One point to note; if you have a habit of doing dumb-ass shit like me, such as putting your GM on a rock next to waves washing over a sandy beach …
    Longbow Globemaster 13.jpg

    …you are going to get lots of little sand corns in between those precision bracelet centre links, which will cause it to lock up in the most strange (unwearable) form. Still, easy enough to fix with 100m water resistance; just dunk it under the water, slosh it around a bit and leave it to dry off.
    Longbow Globemaster 14.jpg

    The “butterfly” clasp on the GM bracelet was the first that I had ever tried on an Omega, the others being sliding and/or fold-over types.
    Longbow Globemaster 15.jpg

    It seemed pretty fiddly initially but soon became second nature to operate. The quality of construction and finish is first class. I can remember thinking a month or so ago (while trying on the latest Rolex Sub) that the way it snapped shut was somehow more satisfying than on the Glidelock…which is already excellent. It’s also fairly low profile, well-formed and rather inconspicuous compared to other clasps, e.g. the latest ’57 Railmaster extension clasp.
    Longbow Globemaster 16.jpg

    The clasp can also act as a protector for the pretty caseback medallion
    Longbow Globemaster 16b.JPG

    Since I thought the OEM Strap was so good I probably ought to say a few words on that topic. I don’t know if my particular model was a well-worn, broken in shop window display model or not but the strap was orders of magnitude better than any other new leather watch strap that I have tried. I can clearly recall my prevaricating and procrastination when asked if I wanted to buy the GM on its steel bracelet…
    Longbow Globemaster 17.jpg

    Longbow Globemaster 18.jpg

    ..but as soon as Peter (the sales guy in the OB) swapped it onto its leather strap I was hooked and I mean INSTANTLY!
    Longbow Globemaster 19.jpg

    In matters comfort and ease of use the strap plus deployant was everything that the bracelet wasn’t: lightweight, supple, comfortable, and easy to operate. So here’s a tip for you: OBs don’t like giving direct discounts (who does?), but they are a little more flexible when it comes to additional stuff purchased at the same time. So if you are going to by a regular Globemaster, buy it on the steel bracelet and haggle over additional strap(s) and deployant clasp.

    Something to note about the OEM Omega leather deployant strap is that it is shaped to fit the watch head…
    Longbow Globemaster 20.jpg

    Longbow Globemaster 21.jpg

    ..and is not capable of being folded flat at the spring bar. If you try to do this you will just end up creasing the top of the strap as you can see in the next image.
    Longbow Globemaster 22.jpg

    So it is not ideal if you like to store your watches in those flat pouches.

    Concerning colour there is something you should be aware of. The blue dial GM’s OEM strap looks black until you hit it with strong flash and see that it is in fact blue.
    Longbow Globemaster 23.jpg

    Under normal (read office) lighting conditions it mostly looks black but it will probably appear dark blue under natural sunlight. If you are one of those guys that likes to keep watch strap, belt and shoes reasonably colour matched then blue will eventually become a nuisance and you will consider swapping to some other colour…which is when the fun starts with the deployant, but I will come to that later.

    If you trawl around OF for some of my earlier posts you will see that I have tried almost every conceivable strap and bracelet combination on my Globemaster. It’s been on the OEM blue leather strap, a light brown (non-Omega) one…
    Longbow Globemaster 24.jpg

    ..a dark brown Omega one…
    Longbow Globemaster 25.jpg

    … the proper Omega deployant and a cheapy aftermarket depolyant (which was crap by the way).
    Longbow Globemaster 26.JPG

    Omega OEM strap changing is not per se particularly difficult, as their straps have handy cut-outs which ease spring bar tool access at the watch head. The same cannot be said for the strap end that fits into the deployant clasp. It’s a tight fit and I mean really tight fit between the strap and clasp, which of course looks great but is an absolute sod if you want to swap straps but only have one clasp. This is the moment when you turn the clasp over to see if there is an alternative way to improve spring bar access. It is also the point at which you discover ….THE IDIOT BUTTON.

    That’s it, right there above the “E” of “Omega”.
    Longbow Globemaster 27 - The Idiot Button.jpg

    There ought to be a hazard warning sign here instead of the Omega logo.

    If you are stupid (like me) and chose engineering as your career, you are probably the sort of person that will find such buttons irresistible. You have already figured out that if you push on the thing, you can slide the cover plate out of the way to reveal the mechanism underneath with the hope of gaining better access to the spring bar from the rear.

    What you need to know however, is that as you gently slide that plate to one side an impossibly small spring is going to fly out, at about Mach 3, bounce off your head and disappear into the furthest flung corner of your home/office etc. The spring is of course a vital part of the clasp release pusher mechanism which will not work without it. If you are lucky enough to recover this little bugger, you can look forward to a long night trying to re-fit it. You will make this mistake only once. Be warned…do not push the IDIOT BUTTON!

    After such ordeals you will inevitably invest in a bag of spring bars and try “normal” straps. To this end my GM was forced to endure a Sinn 104 leather strap with a Citizen buckle, which was actually rather good, and even a non-Omega shark mesh bracelet..
    Longbow Globemaster 28.jpg


    ..as well as a Rio Olympics NATO “swim lane” strap.
    Longbow Globemaster 29.jpg


    This is probably a good time to point out that the gap between the central body of the watch head and the spring bar is quite small.
    Longbow Globemaster 30.jpg


    The consequence of which is that not all straps / bracelets will fit. You can easily fit non-Omega thin NATOs to the GM,
    Longbow Globemaster 31.jpg


    ..but the real Omega NATO straps are higher quality and a bit thicker which presents something of a challenge if you stick with the standard spring bars. The solution? Curved spring bars, which your Omega Boutique can supply.
    Longbow Globemaster 32.jpg


    Be careful if you decide to do the crazy shark-mesh thing. I think it looks great in a rebellious sort of way, but if the mesh links are on the thick side they are going to scrub on the watch head in the middle (where the spring bar to case gap is smallest).
    Longbow Globemaster 33.jpg


    Remember the controversial fluted bezel debate; “It’s a DateJust copy” vs “no, Omega were first” blah blah? Surprisingly I hardly notice the bezel anymore. I say surprisingly, because it was the feature that attracted me to the GM initially. It put on a most entertaining “light show” under the Omega Boutique spot lights. But this isn’t so noticeable under natural lighting and is completely overshadowed by the dial, which I will address below.

    As an aside, the manufacturing process for the bezel is pretty interesting and you can see how Omega turns rather dull tungsten carbide into a sparkly jewel.
    Longbow Globemaster 34.jpg


    The case by comparison goes from dull to sparkly to subtle – nice!
    Longbow Globemaster 35.jpg


    And here are the case back bits’n’bobs for completeness.
    Longbow Globemaster 36.jpg


    That tungsten carbide bezel has proved to be very robust. Despite my best (worst?) efforts to mess up my GM, the bezel is still scratch-free….which is far more than can be said for the rest of the watch.
    Longbow Globemaster 37.jpg


    OK, now to the main selling point of the Globemaster – the dial design and colour.

    I’m not a journalist or professional writer, so this is the point where I get hugely frustrated as I don’t have the poetry and eloquence to convey just how fabulous the blue Globemaster dial is.

    Since I showed the case build up I suppose I ought to show how Omega transforms bare metal into the GMs Pièce De Résistance.
    Longbow Globemaster 38.jpg


    et voilà!
    Longbow Globemaster 39.jpg


    (I wish I had taken a better photo of this)

    The dial will change apparent colour from one moment to the next depending on orientation and lighting conditions.

    Sometimes it looks teal..
    Longbow Globemaster 40.jpg


    sometimes black

    Longbow Globemaster 41.jpg


    sometimes two dimensional (as above) then in the blink of an eye the three dimensional faceted “pie pan” reveals itself.
    Longbow Globemaster 42.jpg
    It can appear uniformly matt and then suddenly with a small rotation of the wrist you see the sunburst brushed surface sending two rays of light in opposite directions across the dial like a gamma ray pulsar.
    Longbow Globemaster 43.jpg

    18 months on and I am still surprised at the huge spectrum of emotions this watch dial triggers.

    If this dial doesn’t make you smile then you are probably in need of a holiday in the sun.
    Longbow Globemaster 44.jpg


    The GM isn’t a Top Trumps bragging rights tool, rather a watch you have to own and experience to understand and if you find yourself in that fortunate club you will quickly forget any thoughts about loss of value or lack of double red this or precious metal that and simple smile whenever you have cause to glance down at your wrist to check the time; which will be more often than not.

    Pricing and residual value is a bit of a moot point. Omega says the GM on a steel bracelet is worth 6300€ new. The grey market says otherwise. A good used one like mine can be had (in Germany) on Chrono24 for just 4200€ and unworn for 4500€, before you even start haggling. Will the price drop further? Probably, unless Omega artificially limits production numbers and starts hiking prices.

    As before, you can find many photos of the GM dial here at OmegaForums, so go hunting and enjoy! The Globemaster is a visceral delight, whatever the specifications may or may not reveal.

    Longbow Globemaster Fin.jpg


    FIN
     
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  2. oddboy

    oddboy Zero to Grail+2998 In Six Months Aug 25, 2017

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    dibs on the Railmaster!

    ..ok, now i can go back and read. looks like a great post!
     
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  3. Don Bocadillo

    Don Bocadillo Aug 25, 2017

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    Great read, thanks!! That dial!!! ::popcorn::
     
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  4. mikechi22

    mikechi22 Aug 25, 2017

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    Great post! I fell for that watch when too much OF convinced me I needed a Speedmaster. I went in to try one on and saw immediately that my Barbie wrists couldn't pull it off! I saw that blue dialed GM and added it to my list! It's really a superbly conceived watch and your post is like a love story!

    Now, about the aftermarket, I was thinking in all these months of watching the sales on OF, I have never seen one come up. Do you suppose that the members who buy them, keep them? Or does it not have much traction in this community?
     
  5. Jwit

    Jwit Not a doctor, but plays one on ΩF Aug 25, 2017

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    This is a fantastic write up that definitely conveys your strong emotions about this piece. Your photos are phenomenal and you certainly just made me want one more than I already do. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to hearing your 5 year update :D
     
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  6. georgeszaslavsky

    georgeszaslavsky Aug 26, 2017

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    Very good and thorough review. The Globe Master is more or less the modern reedition of the connie pie pan. It is unique because it is sturdy and dressy at the same time. It is also very different from the same old usual datejusts you encounter everywhere and also way much more original.
     
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  7. dougiedude

    dougiedude Carpe horologium! Aug 26, 2017

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    Beautiful, to the points, review.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    I haven't bought a modern Omega in quite awhile, but this one (especially after your fine review) truly speaks to me!
     
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  8. Longbow

    Longbow Aug 26, 2017

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    You're welcome!

    The hard part is staying objective and balanced when you really like something.

    Thankfully I'm not in anyone's pocket so I can say what I really think which in the case of the Globemaster is overwhelmingly positive.

    To be fair though, I'm currently wearing my '57 LE Railmaster which is just WIS heaven. Everything reduced to the pure essence of what a wrist watch should be.

    GM vs RM .... tough call. I still think the GM wins on the grounds of its 100m water resistance, making it the more flexible option.

    Is the GM my dream watch? No. An Omega version of the VC Overseas UltraThin in Stainless Steel might be. Or perhaps a re-issue of the Seamaster 168.023 with sparkle dial and METAS caliber....
     
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  9. sdre

    sdre Aug 26, 2017

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    Thanks for review. I've posted my sla017 up to trade for a globemaster but no bites thus far. I'm a huge Nato guy, so do you see the GM being worn on the Nato often?
     
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  10. Longbow

    Longbow Aug 27, 2017

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    If the question is "have I seen other folks wearing their GM on a NATO strap" the answer is no, I haven't even seen another person wearing a GM in the wild!

    Can I imagine the GM on NATO? Sure, but it's an unusual look. I have a strange feeling that I'm the only person who has even tried this configuration.....it's lonely being a trailblazer.

    The lugs are a bit short on the GM for NATOs to be a complete success, the LE Railmaster does it better and watches with fixed bars are better still.
     
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  11. sdre

    sdre Aug 27, 2017

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    Could u do me a huge favor? Could u post some pics of your GM on a nato ( maybe different colors, dark and light) as well as the rail master?

    I have put both tudor and sla017 up for sale on watchuseek and while I'm in no hurry to sell them, I'm dying for the globemaster.

    I'm also checking out the rail master and aqua Terra.
     
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  12. oaclondon

    oaclondon Aug 27, 2017

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    I wasn't so sure about this watch when it first came out, but I'm growing to like it
     
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  13. jaguar11

    jaguar11 Aug 27, 2017

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    Amazing review and an enjoyable read. Thank you for posting!
     
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  14. José9

    José9 Aug 27, 2017

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    Nice review, thank you for sharing!
     
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  15. Kmart

    Kmart Aug 27, 2017

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    Great post! One day I hope to be as enthusiastic about one of my watches as you are about your GM. :D
     
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  16. Longbow

    Longbow Aug 27, 2017

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    No sooner said than done! I'm glad you asked me as it was a lot of fun to prepare. Since I couldn't decide which images I liked the most you can peruse the lot. I decided to skip the RM on NATO as that would be a bit too much thread drift.

    Enjoy!
    00 The NATO candidates.jpg 1 Beige.JPG 3 Beige.JPG 4 Beige.JPG 5 RIO.jpg 6 RIO ws.jpg 7 RIO Sparkle.jpg 8 Black.jpg 9 Black ws.jpg 10 Black head on.jpg 11 Brown.jpg 12 Brown ws.jpg 13 Dark Olive.jpg 14 Olive Head on.jpg 15 King of the hill top of the heap.jpg 16 Dreaming of Globemaster.JPG
    Note to the observant amongst you: at least three straps are the wrong size, but they were close enough to give an impression of how the GM would look.
     
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  17. Longbow

    Longbow Aug 27, 2017

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    Buy a Globemaster and you will be!:D
     
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  18. 2ar2c1

    2ar2c1 Aug 27, 2017

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    excellent review, thanks
     
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  19. kkt

    kkt Aug 27, 2017

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    I like the "swim lane" strap! I haven't see one of those before.
     
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  20. sdre

    sdre Aug 27, 2017

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    OMG I love u. Thank you sir! Too kind

    Wow. It looks great on natos! Can be dressed down and up! Looks like I will need to find one!

    Wondering white or blue though? I was considering white as my omega speedy pro is black face and my tudor is a sub-like watch as well.
     
    Edited Aug 27, 2017
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