The final, and largest of the X2 & Byzantium models, the X2 Chronograph holds a special place in Omega’s history as the only real square cased chronograph the brand has ever produced to date.
A Large, Art Deco Inspired Chronograph
The De Ville X2 Chronograph shares much of its design with the cheaper and more common De Ville X2 Big Date including the highly stylized dial and square case. What sets this watch apart from other Omega's is that this watch is the only true square case chronograph Omega has ever produced.
It sounds like a rather unlikely claim, that this is the only square case Omega chronograph that has been produced and if anyone can find one to prove me wrong I would love to hear it and amend this article. They've come close a few times, with 1970's Speedmasters that are square-ish or TV-dials and some odd Seamaster models like the Jedi. There's even a ladies Constellation Quadra chronograph in quartz that's nearly a square case but not quite.
This all makes the De Ville X2 Chrono a rather interesting and special piece in Omega's rather vast back catalog.
While the X2 Big Date is certainly polarising and the chronograph is very similar, the large sub-dials go a ways to tone down some of the extremes of this design by replacing the large hour markers and breaking up the center.
The chronograph sub-dials almost take on the look of a vintage sports car gauge cluster in their large and slightly crowded design. Legibility is never the priority, the X2 never pretends to be a tool watch like the Speedmaster Pro and form comes entirely as a priority over function.
The De Ville X2 chronograph is about personality, style, and makes no effort to be everything to everyone. For that I'm glad, as so many of Omega's best and most fun designs come when they explore a tangent to the fullest and go a bit mad.
The Final Piece in the Square Case Family
The De Ville X2 Chronograph is the final piece in Omega's modern family of vintage styled square case models. Others in this series include:
The original Museum Limited Edition No. 2 Cosmic 1951 Moon-Phase
and finally, the Omega Byzantium & Rare Limited Edition Variants
Case & Straps
At 37 x 37 mm, the X2 Chronograph is the largest member of the square case family by far, followed by the 35 x 35 mm X2 Big Date, and 33.5 x 33.5 mm Byzantium.
This enlarged case is necessary not only to allow for a larger dial, but also to make room for the uniquely parallel mounted pushers on the side of the case. Most of the more famous square case chronographs like the TAG Heuer Monaco use pushers mounted at an oblique angle to line up with the movement, which is easier to design around.
Omega instead opted to mount the pushers flush with the side of the case, in the same plane as each-other. While it may seem minor, I really appreciate the willingness to do things the hard way to preserve the purity of the square case design.
Despite this unusual pusher arrangement, and the elongated rather than round pushers, Omega still maintains the same 50 meters water resistance offered by the other square case models.
To appreciate how the case comes apart and goes together, it is well worth watching this Youtube video below:
Effectively you have a mid-case which the pushers and crown are mounted to, with attached lugs as the meat in the De Ville sandwich, with a compound curve sapphire crystal placed atop that. The front bezel and case-back then form the burger buns, and the entire thing is tensioned together by four screws which run from the case-back into the bezel through the mid-case.
Due to this case being larger than all other of this design, Omega had to also increase the lug width by 1 mm up from 20 mm to 21 mm. This is something that does need to be kept in mind when strap shopping as the more common 20 mm straps will leave a gap and 22 mm may need to be squashed or trimmed at the ends to fit.
All models of the De Ville X2 Chronograph come exclusively on alligator deployant straps with single-fold Omega deployant clasps.
All models of the De Ville X2 Chronograph are powered by the Omega Co-Axial Calibre 3202 movement.
This movement is fundamentally very similar to the Calibre 3313 Co-Axial movement used in a wide range of other models and is based on the F. Piguet 1285 design.
The Cal 3202 oscillates at 28,800 vph, is chronometer rated, and features a column-wheel operated chronograph mechanism, a vertical clutch assembly, hacking, and no date. It features a bi-directional automatic winding system with a 52-hour power reserve.
The Co-Axial mechanism used in the Cal 3202 is the first generation two-level system which was designed by George Daniels to be slimmer than his original three-level design. This allows it to be used in slimmer movements like the Calibre 3202. There were some teething difficulties with this escapement and calibre, which were addressed by Omega by around 2010.
More information about this family of movmements and their upgrades can be found in this thread on Omegaforums below:
The final upgraded version of the Calibre 3202 is the 3202C, while early versions will be 3202A. The Calibre 3202C features the 3-level Co-Axial escapement which is also found in the Calibre 2500D time only movement and is known to be trouble free and reliable. There is an upgrade kit available from Omega that is applied at time of service which will replace the escapement and main-plate entirely and convert an Calibre 3202A to a 3202C. This kit on its own is not inexpensive and for this reason, it may be better to get a factory Omega service rather than going through an independent watchmaker for Calibre 3202A movements.
The De Ville X2 Chronograph is significantly more limited in variety than others in the square case family like the Byzantium and Big Date. There are no limited edition models or country specific versions, just two standard steel models and one in 18K red gold.
All models share a quite similar dial pattern, with running-seconds at 9 o'clock, chronograph minutes at 3 o'clock, and hours at 6 o'clock. The two upper sub-dials are quite large, while the lower hours sub-dial is quite unusual in design. Instead of having a 360-degree rotation sub-dial, there is a 180-degree sub-dial with a double ended hand.
The way this hand works, is it begins rotating clockwise with the long end of the hand, which points to the outer track, running from 0 to 6 hours in half-hour increments. Once it reaches 6, the short end of the hand begins again pointing to the inner track from 6 to 12 hours. While slightly unusual, it isn't necessarily difficult to read and makes half hour readings easier than on most chronograph designs thanks to the added resolution.
The two upper sub-dials meet to some extent in the middle and share the applied number 20 which happens to be in the same location for both. Other key indices are also in applied white gold including on the hours sub-dial.
The inner area of the two upper sub-dials features a concentric circle texture which is subtle to see face-on but becomes more obvious at an angle.
The two stainless steel models, the black dial Ref 418.104.22.168.01.001, and white dial Ref 422.214.171.124.02.001 are the two most common versions of the De Ville X2 Chronograph by quite a margin.
Both dials feature luminous hands with non-luminous dials and feature beautifully finished applied dial furniture in rhodium plated white gold, but carry a monochrome design without detailed texture changes unlike the 18K gold version.
The black dial 4126.96.36.199.01.001 features a matching black alligator strap, while the white dial 4188.8.131.52.02.001 features a distressed brown strap.
18K Red Gold
The 18K Red Gold version of the De Ville X2 Chronograph, Ref 4184.108.40.206.01.001 is a very special watch and by far the most desirable and attractive of the set. More than simply a re-colored black dial, this model features an entirely bespoke chocolate and black dial to suit the warm hue of the case metal.
The outer chocolate-brown part of the dial features a metallic starburst pattern with a tremendous depth to it which emphasises the hour markers and sub-dials in the foreground. The sub-dial area is separated by a rose gold border and within it is a gloss black center section, with black concentric circle texture on the inside of the sub-dials.
Finishing it off is a brown alligator strap and matching rose gold single-fold deployant clasp.
As the red gold model is the only 18K version and is not limited, there are far more of these in circulation than most would expect.
The De Ville X2 Chronograph, like the rest of this modern square case family, is very poorly known and understood. These watches just were never marketed particularly widely and while they were often in stock at authorized dealers when new, they were originally quite pricey and often overlooked at that time.
This was even more the case for the chronograph version as the Calibre 3202, like the Calibre 3313 watches it was related to, was a costly higher-end movement and attracted a much higher MSRP. I remember seeing these watches in steel with price tags similar to the Planet Ocean Chronograph and almost double the price of a Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch.
All these years later, things have changed greatly. The depreciation on the De Ville X2 Chronograph has been enormous, and there are examples on eBay right now as of January 2023 for sale at $2,450 in good condition. That is an astonishingly good deal for a chronograph of this quality.
Condition wise the major factor is the case. The dial and hands should be perfect given the good water resistance and anything less should be avoided. The degree to which the case has been dented, scratched or damaged is key, a clean example will look terrific, while a badly worn one, especially one with damage to the bezel or lugs will look very poor indeed. Similarly, you will want to avoid any watches that have signs of excessive polishing causing softness, especially to the hard edges around the lugs.
Servicing is the biggest cost with these watches and they pretty much all are due or over-due. Any eBay seller or dealer claiming to have serviced it themselves should be treated with skepticism unless a receipt from an Omega service center or Omega certified independent watchmaker can be provided.
The cost of a full factory service is quite a lot, especially considering the relatively low purchase cost of the watch but it is well worth doing. Once the watch has been fully overhauled to Calibre 3202C spec, it will be an entirely trouble-free, accurate and reliable watch.
I have a real soft spot for the X2 Chronograph and the entire square case line. These watches all suffered from a rocky beginning and an initially excessive price point yet have matured beautifully into a terrific value and highly reliable novelty on the secondary market. Whether you like the Chrono, the Byzantium, the Big-Date or the Museum Edition, these square cases have something for everyone, all at extremely compelling price.
Discussion thread on Omegaforums can be found here: