186.0013 Omega Equinoxe ‘Reverso’
What happens when you take a Reverso and force it to listen to Take Me Home Tonight by Eddie Money (what a jam) on loop for a year? You wind up at one of the great oddities of the 80s. This is the ref. 186.0013, arguably the height of Omega’s experimental years in the throes of the quartz crisis. It’s Jordan Belfort crawling out of a Countach in watch format. There have been more technically competent watches for sure. There have been more beautiful watches. But, honestly, I’m not sure there has ever been a ‘cooler’ quartz watch, for what it’s worth. Élégante, Reverso, Zeitwerk, and Royal Oak, you can all eat your heart out.
Yes, Royal Oak. It’s such an interesting watch conceptually that it’s easy to overlook the fact that this is an integrated case design. In fact, it’s one of the more interesting, with a completely cohesive design language, the only-just-so octagonal bezel runs into a perfect bevel on the lug which meets its bracelet. Almost in a nod to the Royal Oak, its digital side has four bolts with exposed srew-heads running through it, except these are actually functional.
Which leads me to another bit worth mentioning. Like a Zeitwerk (yes, I really am comparing an Equinoxe to a Zeitwerk), you don’t have to choose between analog or digital time-telling. The Zeitwerk combines them with analog running seconds and digital hours/minutes. The Equinoxe simply allows you to choose what mood you’re in. Omega were the first to combine a digital and analog display from one calibre in a wristwatch, in the ‘Montreal’ Chono-quartz, a monstrously-cased chronograph that I actually own and wear frequently. James May has one as well. This calibre 1655 is just a more advanced application of that tech. You don’t even lose the chronograph. If you’re feeling a bit Paul Newman, use a Lap Timer on the digi-side.
Look, this is all a bit tongue in cheek, no one is cross-shopping an Equinoxe with a Zeitwerk or Daytona. But there is a deeper thread here worth mentioning. Despite all its merits, the Equinoxe is not at all crazy valuable. You can just go and buy one if you like them and you’re a bit patient, without *that* much consideration. It’s just pure fun, no auction results or hype, isn’t that what watches should be? It just comes with an extra side of Alphaville.
This example is in pretty great condition too. These have never been very collected, so often they are quite abused. This one has a relatively tight bracelet and all functions operating as they should. A light polish, but really nothing worth fretting over. It comes from a well-regarded Vietnamese retailer.