As you may know, I am a big fan of Omega sports watches. I have an early Speedmaster and a Seamaster for quite some time now, but the Railmaster was on my wishlist for years…Maybe I was just waiting for the good one to show up !
Born in 1957, the Railmaster reference 2914 is part of the famous trilogy of "technical" watches: The Speedmaster was designed for the sporty man, eager to measure short time. The Seamaster addressed unquestionably amateur or professional scuba diving, thanks to a new crown to increased tightness. Finally the Railmaster, was more specifically invoking an impressive resistance to magnetic fields. In summary, the trilogy of "technical" Omega was not addressed to Mr. everybody, but in a market segment played by the dynamic Man, that was efficient to identify and strongly assert "niche" worn by model. Marketing strategies of our time have therefore invented anything in this regard.
The Railmaster was designed to withstand magnetic fields of about 1000 gauss. Technically, this performance was made ??possible by several features. These include double box. The first and second steel (within the first) soft iron called Mumetal insensitive to the effects of magnetism. It does not say advertising is that the dial itself has a thickness of about 1 mm against 0.4 mm for a "normal" dial.
Now at last, here’s my watch. As I am a fool for “tropical” dials, I needed to find an example with a special dial color… Even if it’s quite uneven, I like it a lot: It has a lot of “wabi” and a character of its own.
My watch is a reference 2914-2, it has the “broad arrow” hands that were fitted from 2914-1 to 2914-3 (2914-3 to 4 had dauphine hands).
The Railmaster has a great case: 39mm is quite large for a 1950’s watch, especially with such a large dial “opening”. Because of the anti-magnetic structure, the watch is also quite thick and feels bullet proof on the wrist. I love the case of my watch, which has kept its sharp bevels.
The watch still has its original naiad crown, a very sexy detail to me. The theoretical water resistance of the Railmaster is 60 meters.
The first Railmaster - until 2914-2 - did not have any Seahorse on the backcase, as you can see on this picture. The inside caseback has the usual Omega engravings.
The movement in my watch is the cal. 284 - created in 1955 - with central sweep-second hand and 17 jewels. Other Railmaster references are fitted with either cal. 285 created in 1958, or cal. 286 created in 1961
In conclusion, the Railmaster is now one of the favourite watches in my collection. I like the character of my example and also the philosophy of the model, especially designed for scientists, technicians, electricians, etc…working within close distance of powerful electric currents. In 1954, Rolex introduced its Milgauss model. In 1955, IWC countered with the Ingenieur . And in 1957, Omega joined the anti-magnetic party with the Railmaster. What was the attraction of these fiercly anti-magnetic watches? Was it inspired by the Cold War and Space Race, when science was pushing limits and making news? We don’t know for sure, but we love the watches.