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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


FIRST EDITION -
OMEGA DE VILLE PRESTIGE TONNEAU ‘JUMPING HOUR’






An interesting timepiece produced in small numbers, reportedly 2,000 in total, the OMEGA De Ville Prestige Tonneau ‘Jumping Hour’ was available in either a salmon-pink or white dial and in stainless steel or yellow gold. The tonneau or barrel shaped watch measured 30mm x 33mm x 40mm and featured an hour window at 12 o’clock. The dial sits beneath a sapphire crystal which has an anti-reflective treatment on both sides.




The Salmon-pink dial model 4536100 features a central stamped sun motif, the design of which is carried on into the minute track. An unusually shaped minute hand is the only hand on this watch and in company with the applied OMEGA logo are applied numerals at 10 minute/second intervals which alternate with applied hour markers.

Power for this elegant and unique timepiece is courtesy of the chronometer-certified OMEGA calibre 1221, with circular-grained, rhodium-plated finish and Geneva wave decoration. Water-resistant to 30 meters. Alligator leather strap.


Model reference 4853.61.01 was available in a yellow gold case with brown alligator strap.











Pictures – omegawatches.com



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Discussion Starter · #2 ·


OMEGA 1894 CENTENARY COLLECTION



While Louis Brandt opened his comptoir d'etabilissage, a sub-contracting sales office for watch manufacture in 1848, the first completely new movement did not go into production until 1894. In 1994 OMEGA produced just 100 sets of a special series of three watches to commemorate this special anniversary. Two of the watches had line dials and the third, a wonderfully artistic floral dial made of enamel.




The two very fine and rare “ line ” dial watches were in platinum with two-toned silvered dial and pink gold with two-toned pink gold dials respectively. The dials featured applied markers on an inner hour track with Roman numerals at 12, 2, 4, 8 and 10 o’clock which alternated with dot indexes. A small seconds sub dial was located in the six o’clock position. An outer minute track bore line minute markers with accents at five minute intervals and each minute was presented graduations, each representing a fifth of a minute. The dial itself was split into four quadrants by intersecting perpendicular black lines meeting in the center of the leaf-style hour and minute hands.




A spectacular aesthetic offering comes in the third presentation of the series with its’ very prominent enamel, cloisonne flower in the central zone of the dial. To preserve the beauty of the floral arrangement, the dial is therefore kept as elegantly minimalistic as is possible with a Champagne chapter ring with applied gold dot and facetted indexes with the hands in yellow gold matching the case and crown. The Omega legend which is crowned by the symbol which is in applied yellow gold is placed unusually in the six o’clock position and follows the curvature of the dial.


Power for the Omega Centenary Limited Edition is courtesy of the cal 269 ( lined dial models ) and cal 286 ( cloisonne flower dial ) with 17 jewels and straight-line lever escapement, monometallic balance, shock absorber, self-compensating flat balance spring and index regulator. The case measures 35.7mm and is 10mm in depth in respect of the lined dials and 11.2mm for the cloisonne flower dial with a display back and appropriately signed on the dial, case and movement.








Pictures – antiquorum.com


















Please Note that our Homage to Bienne Series was created to present the timeless beauty and desirability of rare and unique OMEGA watches. As such most of these items are discontinued though some may be replaced by newer models



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Discussion Starter · #3 ·


OMEGA SPEEDMASTER PERPETUAL







The Speedmaster Perpetual, vintage 1991 was made in celebration of the 700th anniversary of Switzerland and sold primarily in Japan. It is housed in the case of the 39mm Speedmaster model with an unusual feature of an octagonal signed crown and complete with tachymetre scale on a gold bezel and Moonphase correctors located in the band beneath the bezel adjacent to the 250 and 160 UPH positions.

This very fine and rare timepiece featured a 30 minute totaliser with month and leap year indicator in the 9 o’clock position, a 12 hour totalizer with days of the week ring at 6 o’clock and a small seconds sub dial with date ring at 12 o’clock. In addition, a Moonphase indicator at 3 o’clock crowns the OMEGA name, symbol and “ Perpetual ” legend. There is an outer minute and sixty-second track which is graduated to a fifth of a second. Black baton hands facilitate instant readout of time and timing functions while the central chronograph seconds is in yellow gold.

Power is derived from the OMEGA cal 1160 rhodium-plated movement with a straight-line lever escapement and bearing 27 jewels, “oeil-de-perdrix” decoration, monometallic balance, shock absorber, self-compensating flat balance spring and micrometer regulator.




The screw-in caseback is engraved “Schweiz – Suisse – Svizzera, 1291 – 1991, Speedmaster Perpetual” at the edge and “Maison Fondée en 1848” in the center.





Pictures – antiquorum.com




















Please Note that our Homage to Bienne Series was created to present the timeless beauty and desirability of rare and unique OMEGA watches. As such most of these items are discontinued though some may be replaced by newer models



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Discussion Starter · #4 ·


OMEGA USINE DE GENEVA TOURBILLON







A rare and important find, this Tourbillon was the fourth of twelve movements made in 1947 for the Geneva Observatory Trials. In 1987, seven examples of such movements using a seven and a half minute Tourbillon regulator were encased and sold, thereby making this one of a very rare series of watches.

The case in polished sterling silver possesses a lapidated bezel, concave lugs and display back. A push button for setting the hands of the watch is located in the 4 o’clock position on the side of the case. The dial in a matte silver finish has painted black Dauphine numerals adjacent to an outer minute track and a subsidiary seconds dial is featured at 6 o’clock. This exclusive and rare timepiece which features blued steel baton hands is simply signed with the OMEGA name and Tourbillon legend along with the OMEGA symbol of the original style.

Power for the Omega Usine de Geneva Tourbillon is courtesy of the 25-jewel OMEGA calibre 30 movement which originates from 1947 and comprises a 2/3 plate, maillechort, the 7.5 minute Tourbillon regulator with a two-part rhodium-plated brass cage which is held by three screws. There is a Guilaume balance with a Breguet overcoil and index regulator. The case is 36mm in diameter with a depth of 11.5mm


Special Note - Guillaume Balance

In 1899, Dr. Charles Edouard Guillaume noticed that steel with an addition of 44.4% nickel had a negative square coefficient of thermal expansion. This alloy, combined with brass in bimetallic lamina, makes its expansion close to quadratic. Balances with bimetallic rims made of anibal (anibal, an alloy invented by Guillaume, stands for Acier au Nickel pour BaLanciers) and brass are usually called Guillaume balances, or, as their inventor called them, integral balances. When combined with special balance springs, they exhibit remarkable temperature stability, on occasion not exceeding 1/50 second per day at 1ºC.







Pictures and data – antiquorum.com

















Please Note that our Homage to Bienne Series was created to present the timeless beauty and desirability of rare and unique OMEGA watches. As such most of these items are discontinued though some may be replaced by newer models
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·


OMEGA 1940s CHRONOGRAPH







Originating from the late 1940’s, this is a rare Gentleman’s wristwatch in 18-carat pink gold. The case measuring 37.5mm in diameter and 12mm in depth sports an inclined bezel and rectangular push buttons for the chronograph functions.


The brushed silver dial features facetted indexes again in 18-carat pink gold in all but the 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock positions. An Arabic 12 in applied metal appears above the original-style OMEGA symbol and legend. Sunken guilloche totalizers are the 30 minute at 3 o’clock, 12 hour at 6 o’clock and a continuous seconds counter at 9 o’clock.






The outer edge of the dial bear some interesting features being

- an outer minute and seconds track that is graduated to 1/5th second intervals with black Arabic markers at 5 second intervals

- a tachometer scale in blue

- an outermost pulsometer in red which is graduated to 30 pulsations


To complete the dial of this very fine and exceptional timepiece are Feuille or leaf hands in pink gold with the central chronograph seconds hand and hands for the totalizers in black.


Power is derived via the Lemania-based, manually-wound OMEGA Cal. 321 with rhodium plating, 17 jewels, straight-line lever escapement, monometallic balance, shock absorber and self-compensating Breguet balance spring. The OMEGA 1940s chronograph was presented on a leather strap with a gold-plated OMEGA buckle.




Pictures – antiquorum.com


















Please Note that our Homage to Bienne Series was created to present the timeless beauty and desirability of rare and unique OMEGA watches. As such most of these items are discontinued though some may be replaced by newer models
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·


OMEGA ST CHRISTOPHER’S WATCH








This very fine and rare center seconds, Staybrite mid-sized traveller’s wristwatch which dates back to 1939 bears an unusual silver and enamel dial depicting the universally-recognisable image of St. Christopher, the patron saint of travellers. Curiously, it also features a rotating bezel for calculating elapsed time.


The solid, polished and brushed case featured an inclined rotating bezel with serrated edges and straight lugs. The dial is a matte two-tone silver with a central green enameled medallion depicting the popular image of St. Christopher wading through a river with a walking stick and carrying on his shoulder the Christ child against a “rays of glory” background. Black Dauphine numerals are set alongside an outer minute and seconds track while blued steel “éventail” or fan hands are employed in conjunction with a blued steel center seconds hand that features a circular counterweight. The OMEGA St. Christopher’s watch is powered by the rhodium-plated cal 23.4 SC movement bearing 15 jewels, straight-line lever escapement, cut bimetallic balance, Breguet balance spring and index regulator. The watch is by no means large indeed by any standard, with a case measuring 28.5 mm in diamater and possessing a depth of just 9.5 mm. The watch retailed for 725 French francs in 1939 which was considered an extremely high price at that time.



Note - Staybrite is a steel alloy containing 0.2% carbon, 18% chromium and 8% nickel. It is a corrosion and heat-resistant stainless steel that takes a fine polish and is therefore often used for making watch cases. Like 316L it was used in the manufacture of hospital equipment.







Pictures – antiquorum.com














Please Note that our Homage to Bienne Series was created to present the timeless beauty and desirability of rare and unique OMEGA watches. As such most of these items are discontinued though some may be replaced by newer models
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·


OMEGA 1930s FLYBACK CHRONOGRAPH







Offered in Staybrite steel, this is one of the early flyback chronographs offered by OMEGA. A flyback is a complication which employs a single push of a button for simultaneously stopping, resetting and restarting the chronograph function of a watch.


Thus in this rare example while the button at two o’clock is used to start the chronograph, the co-axial button for the fly-back is located in the crown.




The white dial features Breguet numerals adjacent to an outer minute track bearing Arabic markers at 5-minute intervals and divisions to 1/5th of a second. Two counters are present. At the three o’clock position is a 30 minute totaliser and a subsidiary continuous seconds counter is located at nine o’clock. The fine Breguet hands in blued steel and the central chronograph seconds hand is highlighted in red.


The power source for this fine early flyback chronograph measuring 37.5mm in diameter and 13.7mm in depth is the seventeen-jewelled OMEGA Cal 33.3 with rhodium-plating, straight-line lever escapement, cut bimetallic compensation balance and Breguet balance spring. In its’ original guise, it was presented with a leather strap and signed OMEGA buckle.






Pictures – antiquorum.com






















Please Note that our Homage to Bienne Series was created to present the timeless beauty and desirability of rare and unique OMEGA watches. As such most of these items are discontinued though some may be replaced by newer models
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·


OMEGA UNVEILS ITS’ NEW IN-HOUSE
DEVELOPED AND ‘ MANUFACTURE ’ MOVEMENTS








2007 has been an important year for OMEGA with the most significant step it has taken being the launch of its in-house movement, the 8500 and 8501. These new calibres are incorporated for the first time in a revolutionary collection of timepieces within the new De Ville range, the Hour Vision.





Once known for producing its’ own movements and indeed holding the unique reputation of being the producer of the first industrialized movement, the coming of the calibre 8500/8501 heralds a new era for OMEGA. Following the successful incorporation of the Co-Axial escapement into a number of self-winding movements beginning with the calibre 2500 eight years ago, Omega now produces all of the 202 components of the new calibre. In embarking on this ambitious project, OMEGA’s aim was to up-grade its existing proprietary Co-Axial technology. The Co-Axial escapement touches the very heart of the watch by re-engineering the component that provides the regular transmission of energy to the mechanism. Together with the free-sprung balance, the Co-Axial escapement offers optimal stability to the watch’s running rate over long periods and enhances the performance of the timepiece. In addition, the need for oil in this tiny component is virtually eliminated.





The automatic mechanism is driven by a highly efficient bi-directional rotor. The energy is then transmitted through two barrels providing the watch with an impressive power reserve of 60 hours. Adjusting the watch when travelling through time-zones is simple since the hour hand can be moved separately from the minutes and seconds hands. The 8500/8501 calibres naturally are COSC-certified chronometers.





As you would expect from a movement of this category, great care has been taken in the finishing and decorating of the components. In the case of the Calibre 8501, the rotor and balance bridge are fashioned out of 18-carat red gold. The presence of 18-carat red gold components is reminiscent of OMEGA’s rich watch making heritage since historically red gold had been used in OMEGA movements. The screws, barrels and the balance wheel are all blackened. This was to create an unusual and contemporary matt finish. The bridges and the rotor are decorated with an “arabesque” Côtes de Genève pattern which in itself is a world premier.





In the case of the 8500, the elegant monochrome look is created by using all rhodium and black details, rendering a futuristic finish to this timepiece.




The beauty of the movement is clearly visible through sapphire glass apertures in the side of the case and through the sapphire crystal case back. Omega’s future, clearly visible through the looking glass.









Pictures - omegawatches.com







 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·


THE X-33 PROTOTYPE







When the requirement was established for a new wristwatch with multi-functional capabillity and which met all the criteria for flight-qualification, OMEGA produced two prototypes. The first was made in a batch of 100 units





It featured a single case back but offered a low-decibel alarm.

The second prototype incorporated a double caseback which amplified the alarm to 80 decibels – the loudest alarm on a watch. Development of the X-33 thus began in 1995 with evaluation of the units produced being made by astronauts on both sides of the Atlantic as well as pilots of the Blue Angels and Thunderbird squadrons. The evaluative process which lasted a total of 5 years concluded with the advent of the Speedmaster Professional X-33. At the specific request of NASA, titanium was used as the case material owing to its’ properties, that of being hypo-allergenic, non –ferrous, non-magnetic, light and being extremely robust. The watch featured an analogue and a digital display in company with many higher functions which were a result of the evaluative process.




The Flightmaster above, numbered 09/22 was made in 1996. It was housed in a titanium case and presented on a titanium and stainless steel bracelet with deployment clasp. Its’ polished, brushed case featured a bezel with minute and seconds divisions. Its’ double caseback was secured by no less than nine screws. The dial of this new watch which was then still under wraps highlighted a green display with luminous painted baton indexes. An outer minute track had 1/5th sub-divisions for seconds much like its’ manually-wound sibling. Luminous inserts were provided for the feather-shaped hands with the main shaft of the minute hand painted in red.


To be flight-qualified, the X-33 had to satisfy its’ evaluators of the following criteria –

- accuracy to within -0.3 to +0.5 seconds per day
- water and pressure resistance to 3 bars
- shock resistant to 3500 g's
- be antimagnetic
- temperature resistant from -20 degrees C to +70 degrees
- have a special alarm
- lighting
- pass all vacuum tests


In addition to absolute time the watch also displayed
Military time,
Universal Time (GMT)
and mission elapse time (MET)

with an an alarm for each. This was a necessity since while most tasks on spacecraft are performed according to MET, the Space Shuttle uses Central time and the ISS is on Universal Time. Thus having all these times available on one watch it reduces the need for multiple watches. That apart, it is however not unusual to see astronauts wearing two watches, often in the case of the “X-33” one with a titanium bracelet and one with a Kevlar bracelet. This purpose of this is provide the user with instant recognition of which watch was performing which function. The name eventually given to the watch was the Omega code name for the project. It was to become so popular that the name was retained as the designated name for the watch. It was then decided that the watch would be placed in the Speedmaster Professional line due to its association with manned space flight.


Functions of the X-33 as tested

- TIME ( hr, min, sec )
- perpetual calendar ( day, date, month, year )
- ALARM
- MT elapsed mission time up to 999 days
- MA elapsed mission time alarm
- UT universal time (two timezones with day number)
- UA universal time alarm
- CDT countdown up to 100 hrs with alarm
- CHR chronograph to 1/100 second up to 100 hrs
- End of battery life indicator


Dimensions

Diameter 44 x 49 mm

Case Depth 15mm



A pilot’s impression of the X-33
http://www.timezone.com/library/comarticles/comarticles631681530107424115








Pictures - antiquorum.com, sources





:)




Houston


 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·


THE CONSTELLATION MEGAQUARTZ 2400
MARINE CHRONOMETER








It was produced in 1974 and yet nearly 38 years later, remains the most accurate and arguably, most technologically advanced wristwatch in the world. First unveiled to the world at the Basel Fair in 1970 when it was powered by the calibre 1510, this unique watch was developed by OMEGA in collaboration with the Battele Institute of Geneva. The first production model was made available to the market in 1974, again powered by the calibre 1510. Its’ measured rate of accuracy was around 10 times superior to a standard quartz watch and achieved through a specially-designed tiny disc-shaped resonator vibrating at an incredible 2,539,296 times a second.

The pinnacle of its’ development was a high frequency version, powered by the calibre 1511 which earned the title of Marine Chronometer from the Astronomic and Chronometric observatory at Neuchatel. At the conclusion of a 63-day rigorous test, the mean rate of variation was no greater than 2 thousandths of a second per day – that’s 0.73 second per annum!!! It therefore meant that OMEGA has been the only company ever to produce a wristwatch that has received Marine Chronometer certification.

The Megaquartz 2400 was also the first watch to be equipped with an adjustment device which allowed the changing of the hour hand without affecting the minutes and seconds timing mechanism. It also provided a fine second adjustment for synchronizing seconds with an official time signal.

The steel watch featured a 14k yellow gold bezel and an integral OMEGA bracelet with deployment clasp. The bezel was secured with four screws. The fine adjustment for seconds was located on the side of the case at 4 o’clock while the serial number of the movement is to befound on a 14K gold inset on the inclined of the case in the 6 o’clock position. The legend "MARINE CHRONOMETER" was signed across the top of the black dial. This distinguishes the two versions of the watch which merit the official and unique certification. Only the watches powered by the calibres 1511 ( case reference ST 398.0836 as pictured above ) and calibre 1516 ( case reference ST 398.0832 which is pictured below ) merit this certification. Production volumes for the two calibres were 1,000 for the cal 1510 in 1974 and 7,000 in respect of cal 1516 in 1976.







Pictures – antiquorum.com
Information – omegawatches.com and Bill Sohne




 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·


OMEGA SPEEDMASTER PROFESSIONAL APOLLO XI
– 25TH ANNIVERSARY LIMITED EDITION







A very fine and rare piece since its’ production run numbered only 500 units in 1994, this Speedmaster Apollo XI 25th Anniversary was presented in 18K white gold in company with a white gold deployment clasp.

As with the standard Speedmaster, it featured a black bezel with tachometer scale but additionally bore a screw-in sapphire crystal caseback with a numbered engraving which read “ Speedmaster Professional – Limited Edition ”. The silver dial had applied silver and black baton indexes along with sunken counters for the continuous seconds, 12-hour and 30-minute registers. The outer minute track was graduated to 1/5th of a second. Curiously the legend “Chronometer” appears in the dial of the watch and raises the real possibility that the cal 864 from which was derived its’ power may have been chronometer-certified.

The unique cal864 which was a derivative of the cal 863 with rhodium-plating, 17 jewels and straight-line lever escapement and launched in 1992.




Pictures – antiquorum.com




 
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