They say that "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas", well maybe not this time. Few times experiences like this get shared by collectors or the press online. Last weekend we had the honor to be part of a very exclusive group of VIP watch collectors that were treated to an exhilarating weekend in Las Vegas, all courtesy of our friends from Omega. The fascinating weekend at The Bellagio Hotel, not only included a VIP Penthouse loaded with almost every single reference across the different Omega collections but also with all the novelties presented at Baselworld earlier this year. During this amazing weekend we had the opportunity to enjoy the Speedmaster Apollo 11 45th Anniversary, the Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph 'Lunar Dust' reviewed here, the new Seamaster 300, the Speedmaster Mark II, the Speedmaster Mark II Rio 2016 Limited Edition, the Seamaster Bullhead reviewed here, the DeVille Tresor and of course plenty of vintage and modern references including the highly popular Speedmaster 'Dark Side of the Moon'. After a quick flight from Chicago we arrived in Las Vegas almost an hour before noon. By 12:30pm we were already enjoying the good life in the company of a vintage Seamaster 300 on the wrist of one of the most renowned Omega collectors. Below you will find a side-by-side shot of the new Seamaster 300 —featured while at Baselworld 2014 here— and its predecessor from the late 50s and of course the mandatory watch on my wrist shot.
After getting acquainted for a couple of hours and after perusing almost a dozen watches including all Baselworld 2014 novelties, another classic made its appearance. This time we are talking about a vintage Speedmaster Mark II, that we decided to photograph next to the new Speedmaster Mark II reissue just launched a couple of months ago and reviewed here. Without a doubt, Omega did a great job at keeping the DNA of the original Mark II and upgraded what was necessary to make the watch even better. Kudos to Omega!
Later in the evening we enjoyed a short and straight to the point product presentation conducted by Omega's Brice Le Troadec —President of Retail USA—, Gregory Kissling —Head of Product Management— and industry veteran Jean-Claude Monachon —Vice President Product & Customer Service. As we mingled around collectors and members of the Omega team that hosted us, we enjoyed a few cocktails, perused a handful of great watches and savored some hors d'oeuvres.
After a wonderful start of the evening at the Omega VIP Penthouse, we then headed for a great dinner at the Lakeside restaurant at The Wynn. While the food at Lakeside was spectacular, the watch talk was even better. As we enjoyed the fine food selection and the exceptional wine choices, we wrapped up our first night in Las Vegas in the company of some great people.
During our second day in Las Vegas, the best was yet to come as we prepared ourselves for a thrilling helicopter flying experience to the Grand Canyon. Considered by many as one of nature's wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon is a place that one needs to visit at least once in a lifetime. Of course, before heading there we continued to enjoy our time in the company of great people and tons of watches. Frankly, it was a very tasteful group with a variety of watches on the wrists that we rarely see at other events.
Now, something really special happened on the morning of the second day. As it is typical, we watch collectors have very creative minds and we like to think of what a watch would look like with a different strap or perhaps on a bracelet when the watch is only sold on a NATO strap like the Speedmaster Apollo 11 45th Anniversary Limited Edition. Well, this creative and inspiring thinking of watch collectors gave birth to a unique watch combo that will for sure make the Speedmaster Apollo 11 45th Anniversary Limited Edition even more appealing. Have you ever thought about how this watch would look on a bracelet? Well, no need to keep imagining what it would look like as we have it right here for you. This is perhaps the best addition you can make to the watch once you get it later this year. Additionally, we were also able to enjoy the world premiere of a newly developed Tourbillon nicknamed 'The Bellagio'. Separate posts to follow for both of these timepieces but we did add a picture of each to this post.
Finally it's time to talk about the exciting helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles —446 km— long, up to 18 miles —29 km—wide and attains a depth of over a mile —6,000 feet or 1,800 meters. Nearly two billion years of Earth's geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock. To get us there, Omega hired Maverick Helicopters which made the experience just unforgettable. A full post on the helicopter ride to be published tomorrow as the Speedmaster 'Lunar Dust' accompanied us on the mission. For now, these pictures will give you a good idea of what we have in store for you.
To wrap up a very exciting day where the adrenaline levels were quite high for many, Omega treated us to a very nice dinner at Jasmine at The Bellagio. Jasmine is located directly in front of the amazing and iconic water fountains at the hotel and is a place were we enjoyed more watch talk and great Cantonese cuisine. After a delicious meal, Cirque du Soleil awaited us but not before one amazing vintage chronograph in rose gold from the 1930s made its appearance along with a fine lapel watch pin.
Another great experience in the life of a watchlifestyler and special thanks to Omega for thinking of us and including us within this exclusive group of collectors, furthermore, for letting us enjoy with them what watches and the good life are about. Nevertheless, on our flight heading home, nature gave us a little treat to remind us that the best things in life are still free. Enjoy the last picture as the sun was setting during our flight and please stay tuned for tomorrow's post on the fascinating helicopter ride with the Speemaster 'Lunar Dust'.
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