Delving into my vintage collection I came across one of my old favourites – the Omega Seamaster. This particular model is the 1949 collection series steel version with sweep second hand.
Classic Omega Seamaster 2577-6 – Cal351 or 354 – 17 jewel Auto
I particularly like this model as it is about as good as it gets – The serial number dates it to the beginning of 1950 and it has a great condition 351 or more likely the 354 auto mechanical “Bumper” 17 jewel movement inside. This early bumper rotor is quite rare as it has a fairly short range of perhaps 300 degrees as Omega originally designed. It has around 36 hours spring reserve which is very commendable. It is matched nicely by the classic detail of the outside. Wonderful dial face with hard riveted Gold dagger batons and numerals, (quite difficult to distinguish in the photos, but these are gold colored when seen against the stainless case) – the almost perfect condition “radium” luminous filled hands plus that extra touch of a wonderful “Art deco” red painted sweep second arrowhead hand. The naturally aged patina of the dial itself give an almost 2-tone effect owing to the dial curve and if you look closely you can see in the center, the Omega embossed logo on the original Hesalite armoured crystal.
Omega 351/354 bumper automatic
The case is stainless steel and in very good condition and the back is very clean screw down original too with apparently a 30m Water Resistance, but I might pass on that! The crown is the original Logo version and the leather strap a standard Omega 18mm fitting, which completes the whole thing.
Dimension wise it’s a nice 35mm diameter and 42mm lug to lug, so a good size even for today and of course it IS a good choice for any vintage watch collector – there are many versions around at the moment which represent pretty good value as they are a quality and classic watch. Just shop around for the best quality and finish you can get and you won’t go far wrong.
Recently picked up this nice Omega Cal 1444 Quartz 6 jewel Swiss movement watch. This is a Constellation chronograph with day and date sub-dials in a white dial with gilt zone counters model dated around 1987 in stainless steel with a solid gold bezel and sapphire crystal. It also has lume filled main hands and a center seconds sweep.
Omega Constellation Cal 1444
From the Omega International Collection which started off life in 1984, the basic premise is still around today, though the T bar is actually quite rare. At only 35mm although a Gents watch, today it is very much a unisex item and can be worn equally by the ladies. In fact my wife borrows it already!
Croc strapped T bar Constellation
Solid press fit back with silicon washer and 30m Water Resistance completes a neat model and is a good addition to my Omega case.
Classic 1987 with solid Gold bezel
Neat Omega Constellation 6 jewel Quartz
So what does a watch like this cost?
This one was in auction and cost under £200 which was a very, very good buy.
It is in about as good a condition as any pre-owned watch I’ve seen with virtually no scratches, a perfect sapphire crystal. Even the Omega gold sticker is still applied to the back, which is pristine with no tell tale “opening” marks that you see so often on older watches. The dial is perfect and the strap though not original is a very high quality French Crocodile leather and more importantly is a perfect match to the T bar lugs and IMO as good as the original.
The quartz movement once I opened it up was a pristine – 6 jewel, Cal 1444 M903 Swiss marked DC398.1069 which is a high quality Omega original which takes a Renata or Maxell 371 or SR920sw 1.55v silver oxide battery.
So very pleased with my purchase – but now I’ve just to pry it away from my wife!