just for something different, i thought i'd post a few pics for discussion of a couple omegas we have. janice got both these pieces years ago from the same original owner family. the first is a very unusual jumbo size seamaster from 1956. it has a very retro looking tutone dial that is hard to appreciate in these pics. the colors are a very '50's mild creme center section with a dusky green outer circle, and with the pink gold hands and markers it really pops visually. kinda reminds me of the vintage '50's American cars tutone color schemes. for a movement it has the rare version #491 19 jewel rotor automatic. the beads of rice bracelet was a newer addition that the omega service center mounted on the watch for the owner during it's last service probably 15 or 20 years ago. this watch has a real cool wrist presence and really appears big to the eye, dwarfing the 1601 next to it
this next one is a 1961 constellation chronometer originally equipped with a piepan dial that is rarely seen in this 14393 sc case model number. an interesting early 60's example with the 561 movement and heavy gold capped lugs and bezel. this watch also received a newer beads of rice band during it's last service.
any other vintage constellation and seamaster fans here? please post them!
I have always found Omega movements to be some of the most beautiful to look at. Especially the post bumper autowinds. I also have always felt the Omega was every bit Rolex's equal up to and through the 60s. But in the seventies, Omega and so many other Swiss watches fell victim to the electronic revolution, while Rolex and Patek rose above it and survived and prospered.
I think as a vintage watch Omega has continued to suffer because in the post sixties (the last 50 years)they were considered less expensive or "cheaper" than Rolexes and so they were not maintained as well. At the same time an interest in black dials on Omegas led to many of them being redialed with less than perfect results. All of this leading to the feeling that Omegas are a level below Rolex.
When I go Omega browsing I usually find watches I consider either "under cared for" or "over-priced". And I never feel I'm looking at a watch I could slap on my wrist and jump in the pool with. When looking at the non-screwback cases I could never feel safe trusting them to be as water tight as a screwback.
It is possible to find excellent examples, but in far fewer instances than with Rolex. As for modern Omegas...here they are on par with modern Rolexes...not worth the money.
But I keep looking...and one day I'll find one I will be happy with...probably a late sixties non-pie pan Constellation in stainless steel. Will look nice on a medium tan croc strap.
I've been lucky enough to own some fabulous Omegas over the years.
I've unearthed about a dozen issued SM300 divers, and well remember a conversation with the guy who ran the military horological workshops at Herstmonceaux. He devised the tests to which the British military issued dive watches were subjected, both when new from the manufacturer, and each year subsequently.
He told me that the Omega movements were far nicer than the Rolex ones, but unfortunately weren't as well protected by the Omega cases. The earliest Omega divers had the Naiad crown, which didn't screw down, and the crown guards were less prominent than those on the Rolex divers. The Omegas kept turning up at the workshop 'looking like a spirit level' full of water, with a bubble of air in the middle!
We can see the same difference in case integrity in the vintage Speedmasters, which usually show more changes due to moisture etc than their Rolex (Daytona) equivalents.
Most of the watches in the pics have gone to better homes now, and now that I have a birth year Speedie, I'm going to have to release the lollipop hand watch too.
Steve.P (Login 2wsxcde3) VRF Member 188.8.131.52
It was PG too >
April 20 2012, 10:33 AM
I could of snagged it for about 40K at the time but just didn't have the spare readies. I later heard of one identical changing hands for a 100K - may have even been the same watch.
A grand lugs in PT also went for about 400K. Some times I wish I had gone down the Connie collecting road rather than the DD to be honest. There are so many more interesting variations and I really see them as huge future collector items and the best value for money vintage money can buy. The gold dials on Omegas were really actually gold too.
between me and you I think the early speed-masters are a better watch than the Daytona also. NASA certainly thought so.
A modern "brick" bracelet which is very heavy and solid, about 300 grams or 0.3 kg. Nice finish on the case and bracelet with an excellent Piguet movement.
Old, Grumpy, and Tired. I love it! My friend at Omega Museum in Bienne told me that I should not even think of selling it because the number of production was very very small comparing to the later batches with 861 movement. Not too many around with everything original either.
A chocolate 321 which is a 105.003, all original! I love it dearly.
A wonderful 105.012 with 321 movement of course. Best condition I have ever handled. A permanent collection.
A funky 70's! Actually from 1973 or 1974. Nice and cheap!
A technically interesting chrono with famous Piguet 1186 reincarnated as Omega 3612. The first automatic rattrapante with vertical clutch coupling debuted in 1988. Still one of the best rattrapante movement with "isolation" mechanism to isolate a split second hand wheel from overloading the running hand wheel when a split second hand is stopped. Neat feature that most people would not give a dime, but very neat nonetheless.
All these watches are much cheaper than Rolex's (actually ANY single one of them is much cheaper than a Red Sub!) which show that you can still have fun with reasonably priced and good quality watches. This is an Off Topic thread, of course!