Vintage Watch Update – 26th May 2017 | 26.5.17

Vintage Watch Update No. 112

First up this week is an Omega Ref. 2292 made in 1944 for the British Government. During the Second World War, the Air Ministry ordered watches from a number of different manufacturers, these included the Ref. 2292 from Omega. The dial and hands were specially made by Omega for this model and were designed for use by pilots and navigators in the R.A.F. The cases were composed of a steel back and an upper case made of ‘Duralumin’ which is an alloy consisting of aluminium, copper, magnesium and manganese. Duralumin has a more matte, silvery white appearance than steel and is much less reflective, therefore helping to prevent distracting glare from the upper case whilst the watch is in use.

The watch is accompanied by an Extract from the Omega Archives which confirms the watch’s supply to the British Government on 17th May 1944.

Photographed next is an Omega Speedmaster Mark II from 1970. This watch is fitted with its orignal stainless steel link bracelet which is detachable and can, as the photographs above show, be replaced with a leather strap if preferred. The massive tonneau-shaped case and matte black dial are a great combination and the case measures 41mm in width.

Above is an 18ct yellow gold Cartier Vendôme wristwatch from c. 1975. This is a most attractively designed wristwatch which dispenses with the traditional arrangement of extended lugs, thereby allowing the pure circle of the case to be interrupted only by the ends of the strap. The white dial is a signature Cartier configuration with black Roman numerals and blued steel sword shaped hands, known as epée.  The gold case is rich and warm in tone and provides excellent contrast to the dial and hands. This watch is accompanied by a modern Cartier fitted presentation case.

Shown here is an automatic Omega Ref. 2402 from 1953. This watch has a very rare champagne dial with a highly unusual numeral configuration which comprises applied gold, faceted hexagonal and losenge shaped numerals, together with an Italicised Breguet ’12’. The outer minute track is in a rarely seen ‘mono-rail’ style rather than the standard single dash or full ‘rail-track’ style. The steel case has stylised tear-drop lugs.

The stainless steel automatic Omega Ref. 14776 shown above dates to c. 1958 and has a silvered dial with raised indexes and alpha-shaped hands. Cased in stainless steel, the lugs have faceted edges and the watch is powered by the 20 jewel, calibre 471.

Pictured next is an Omega De Ville Ref. 166.5020 which is hallmarked for 1972. This classic solid gold Omega dress watch incorporates Omega’s excellent automatic calibre 565 which has precision regulation and provision for quick date change via a second setting to the crown. The dial has a matte, cream finish with applied gold indexes which, like the hands, have blackened inserts to enhance their legibility.

And rounding off this week’s newsletter is a Tudor Royal from 1953. A very attractive lady’s wristwatch, the matte silvered dial has raised gilded Arabic numerals and contrasting blued steel hands. The solid gold case has stylish, gently flaring lugs. Tudor’s ‘Royal’ models were, during this period, fitted with 17 jewel movements, rather than the 15 jewel movements fitted to their standard models. The watch is fitted with a new leather strap and a gilt-metal Rolex buckle.

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