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OMEGAMANIA WORLD TOUR EXHIBITION IN LONDON


Garrard & Co, 24 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4HT



Established in 1735, Garrard is the oldest jewelry house in the world. In 1843 it was bestowed the honour of Crown Jeweler by Queen Victoria. 2007 sees it as the location chosen to be the London venue for the Omegamania World Tour Exhibition.







As you ascend to the first floor, you draw ever closer to the event that is nothing short of the experience of a lifetime as you see the first displays of the exhibition






where on show were

a collection of fine and rare pocketwatches



including the very decorative Basil II “ Le Bulgaroctone ” which was made in Fbbruary 1914 for the Swiss National Exposition in Berne where Omega won the “ Medaille d’Or ”



amidst a selection of gentlemens’ wristwatches



a striking reminder of Omega’s long association with the Olympic Games in the set of six chronometer-grade Split-Seconds Olympic Timers



which come accompanied by the original Omega transport box

and a working model of a “ Straight-Lined Lever Escapement ” set as a foreground to the “ Chronometre' De Bord ”, a rare, keyless 8-day Marine chronometer.




Then your eyes venture towards the Queen Mary Room, named as such since this was the very room in 1911, when the store was built where Queen Mary and her husband had their crowns fitted. The crowns were of course made by Garrard in their official capacity as Crown Jeweler.



The Queen Mary Room


Picture - Catherine Moser


Picture - Catherine Moser


As seen from the south west corner of the room



The first display is the Constellation collection




Pride of place for me has to be the Observatory Dial Chronometre which was first sold in December 1954

The observatory logo has since become symbolic of Omega’s long-held flagship range.

In the vertical display case to the left of the Connie display are more chronometers such as the Geneva Collection and an example of the prized piece recently acquired by my brother-in-arms GJ



and the case to its’ right houses the contemporary electronic pieces of the 70s



including the “ Dinosaure ”, the thinnest watch ever produced which is seen here above “ Le Magique ” alongside the “ Time Computer ”





Moving round to the east side we have more chronometers followed by a display of Speedmasters, both terrestrial and otherwise

as represented by the fast man on four wheels



and the last man on the moon


This being No. 1/3000 of model ref 3574.51.00


A commemorative of Mission 13




Lume as seen on another rare species, the automatic Speedy Pro




Moving round to the other side, just beyond “ Connie Corner ” one encounters a perfect example of the f300HZ from the era of tuning fork movements



and some Seamaster Calendar chronometers



followed by a succession of chronographs, beginning with divers,



then onto a collection of “soccer” timers



and the deep sea types






to Omega’s great role in the conquest of the sky




and indeed space





Omega had much to celebrate in this arena as judged by this most splendid of collections




The Speedmaster Missions set was flanked by vertical displays containing some very desirable sets



including a trio of DeVille chronometers in white, yellow and pink gold



a rare and unusual floral representation in the Cloisonne Flower Dial, part of Set No. 70 of a 100 set limited edition series created to celebrate Omega’s centenary in 1894.



a representation of Omega’s role in the time-keeping of great sporting events



and a final view from the east side



In the background beneath the poster of the Observatory Dial are “ Goodie Bags ” containing the much-prized, glossy leaved 600+ page catalogue of the Omegamania Thematic Auction, a boxed Omega pen, a copy of the Spring issue of Vox Magazine – a publication of Antiquorum, the world’s leading auction house in the field of horology who are handling the Omegamania sale and a hard-backed catalogue of the Crown Jeweler, Garrard & Co.

Refreshments were available in the southwest section of the Queen Mary Room, adjacent to the 007 display.


Antiquorum holds the Omegamania Thematic Auction in Geneva on April 14 and 15 with a live satellite link to the Baselworld watch fair. It has taken a year for all the exhibits and sale items to be sourced and refurbished, for the press and sale material to be produced and a world tour exhibition which began in Milan in February and which will end in Geneva on April 12, the likes of which we probably are unlikely to see in our lifetime to be organised. I was indeed privileged to be at Omegamania.


My thanks to the many who made the viewing, discussions and pictures enjoyable, memorable and possible, namely –


OMEGA WATCHES in Eastleigh, Hampshire
Eva Mansfield, Frederic Nardin for the discussions and mailings, electronic and otherwise


THE OMEGA BOUTIQUE in Bond Street, London W1
Jonathan, Simon, Richelle, Faye and Ash who additionally over the past months, have assisted me with information, indeed too of how to wind my Speedy Pro and answers to members’ questions so this in some small way, is to say a Big Thank You for all your time, patience, warm welcome and good humour


ANTIQUORUM Auctioneers
Catherine Moser for some of the key pictures and press information which appears in this report, my guided tour of the exhibition, co-ordinator of my dress style for the cocktail preview and showing me the workings of my week-young (!) camera


GARRARD & Co
Imogen and Roger for the history, data and information on Garrard.


For further information, please visit -

www.omegamania.com



Enjoy Everyone :)


Houston
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Fellow WTF member Rick Atkins visited Omegamania with his wife Helen on the second day of the exhibition. His report and images of this historic occasion are presented below. Thanks Rick:)



Brilliant Zin,


Thank you for taking time out to put into words what was a brilliant exhibition and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view such a number of Omega, and indeed generally horological, rare and significant timepieces.

The items individually and collectively on display were awe inspiring and you had a genuine feeling of being amongst something incredibly special. I too felt honoured and lucky to be given this opportunity.

I shall be watching the auction live on the internet on the 14th and 15th with interest. I can honestly say that all 300 lots for the auction were of interest (yes, even the quartz watches ;)).

I shall not commentate on the pictures I took because Zin has done such a wonderful job of capturing the atmosphere and highlights of the exhibition. So, I shall merely add a small selection of the pictures here that I also took on the day that I hope further embelish Zin's review.

Although, I would just like to thank Zin for his wonderful company through out and for blagging us both an Omegamania Press Pack which weren't generally available.





































Rick.



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