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A tale of two cities - Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite and Omega Seamaster Exclusive Boutique Singapore Limited Edition

A tale of two cities Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite and Omega Seamaster Exclusive Boutique Singapore Limited Edition

What you should know if you wish to spend time in North Korea and Singapore.

North Korea has been moving ahead with the times literally. In May 2018 for example, the East Asian country pushed forward its time zone by half an hour. This placed North Korea in the GMT +9 time zone, similar to that of South Korea and Japan. One month later, in June 2018, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump held their very first summit in Singapore. Eight months later, on 27 and 28 February 2019, Trump and Kim met for their second summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Now what was the impact of North Korea’s 2018 time zone change? Well, perhaps there is now just one clock that hangs on the wall in the demilitarised zone, the town of Panmunjom in particular where the President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, met with Kim Jong Un in April 2018. The state-run Korea Central News Agency or KCNA had reported that two clocks were seen side by side by Kim Jong Un on the wall. One was indicating South Korean time and the other that of North Korea. Two clocks and two separate time zones were not to his liking and North Korea’s supremo thereafter pledged to have the country’s time zone changed back to what it was back in 2015 – GMT +9.

Among other things, North Korea’s time zone change also had an impact on Glashütte Original’s Senator Cosmopolite watches. Why? When first launched in 2015, the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite featured 36 time zones, one of which was North Korea’s GMT +8.30 that has now become redundant. As North Korea was the only country with GMT +8.30 hours and there was no replacement city, this means that there is one less time zone to display on the Senator Cosmopolite.

Senator Cosmopolite

Senator Cosmopolite - now with 35 time zones Glashütte Original

This also explains why the more recent Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite in stainless steel currently features 35 time zones. Unlike its two older siblings in red gold and white gold, the Senator Cosmopolite in stainless steel has a newly designed day and night indicator. 

Speaking of which, did you know that Singapore had once shared the GMT +9 time zone, the same time zone as Japan? It was during the dark years when the Imperial Japanese Army occupied Singapore between 1942 and 1945. Singapore was also in a time zone with a half-hour offset. From September 1945 to 1981, Singapore’s time zone was GMT +7.30 hours. It was only on 1 January 1982 that Singapore’s time zone was moved forward by half an hour to become GMT +8 and this has remained till this day.

Singapore celebrates the bicentennial of its founding in 2019 (1819 to 2019). It was on 28 January 1819 that Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles and his expedition party first landed on Singapore. On 6 February 1819, a treaty was signed between Raffles, Temenggong Abdul Rahman and Sultan Hussein Shah of Johor that allowed the British East India Company to set up a trading post in Singapore. This led to the founding of Singapore.

Two centuries thereafter, on 28 January 2019, the very same date of the British expedition’s landing on Singapore, Omega launched the Seamaster Exclusive Boutique Singapore Limited Edition. 

This is a handsome piece commemorating Singapore’s bicentennial of its founding. It is discreet on the dial side, with no hints whatsoever of this timepiece bearing any links to Singapore such as the country’s flag or name. The domed white lacquered dial features a blued Omega logo as well as blued hands and indexes. 


Seamaster Singapore Limited Edition

Seamaster Singapore Limited Edition Omega

It is only when it is flipped over to view the case back that anyone familiar with Singapore will be able to identify iconic landmarks that have been laser-engraved on the grey inner ring. We counted and discovered 11 landmarks that visitors to this island city would have probably spotted. These include Cavenagh Bridge, Marina Bay Sands, the Merlion, the Super Trees and Flower Dome, both of which are found at Gardens by the Bay.

Seamaster Singapore Limited Edition

Seamaster Singapore Limited Edition Omega

The Omega Seamaster Singapore Boutique edition is equipped with the Master Chronometer Calibre 8800 that can be viewed through the case back of its 39.5mm diameter stainless steel case. The Omega Seamaster Exclusive Singapore Limited Edition is offered only at the brand’s boutiques in Singapore and is priced at SGD10,500 (around USD7,800). 

Limited to 200 pieces in line with Singapore’s bicentennial, this Omega Seamaster Boutique edition is rare and worth serious consideration as this is the first time the brand has made a limited edition for Singapore. “This 200th anniversary of Singapore’s founding is significant and that is why Omega agreed to produce it,” explains Jose De Cardoso, President, Swatch Group Singapore. “Moreover, when will Omega decide to produce a limited edition for Singapore again?”

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