Dating a vintage omega pocket watch

02-Apr-2020 00:38

I’ve encountered cases, where a dial signed “Chronometre Omega” was fitted to a non-RG 30mm movement. A non-RG 30mm movement a “chronometre” dial = frankenwatch. This is nothing more than a 5XX base without the automatic winding assembly. They were mostly used in the Geneve collection, however, a few Seamaster De Ville models had it as well.

dating a vintage omega pocket watch-80

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This movement was the Omega caliber – a 19‴ (19 ligne; for more info on the ligne as a unit of measurement, check out our story from last year) with several important characteristics.

This was in 1894 still something of a novelty – though the first patent for keyless works allowing both functions through a single crown had been granted in 1845, by Adrien Philippe (who would with Antoine Norbert de Patek, go on to found Patek Philippe) the field was still very much open to experimentation, with a patent granted for the system used in the 19‴ caliber in 1894.

The caliber was referred to as the Omega caliber – the Greek letter Omega is the last of the Greek alphabet, and was chosen as a fitting name for the 19‴ family of movements as they were intended to be the last word in accuracy and reliability, in watchmaking.

Assembly of the movements and watches will take place at Omega's Atelier Tourbillon.

According to Omega, the original components will include bridges, mainplates, escapements, and as well, bimetallic temperature-compensating balances with their matching blued steel overcoil balance springs.

If you see a 60X series movement in a case with a reference that tells you it’s a model which is supposed to be equipped with a 5XX-series automatic, that’s obviously wrong. The 321 is always marked as such and always has copper-colored plating.

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