Since the company was founded in 1848, Omega has pioneered a huge range of innovations. Britain’s Royal Flying Corps chose Omega watches in 1917 as official timekeepers for its pilots and again in 1940, RAF Pilots watches were supplied by Omega. The 40s also saw the first tourbillon wristwatch and the first of the famous Seamaster watches, whilst the 50s and 60s introduced the legendary Constellation, Speedmaster, Seamaster 300 and Railmaster. Over these years, everyone from John F Kennedy to Elvis wore Omega watches on official duties. What’s more, in 1962, astronaut Wally Schirra took his Omega Speedmaster to space on NASA’s Mercury Sigma 7 mission, and in 1969 two Speedmasters landed on the moon, worn by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.
During the early 1950s, the ‘Triple Date’ watch became very popular among, of course, those who could afford them! Patek Philippe, Rolex, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin and Universal Geneve, in addition to Omega, all produced them in low numbers, and these watches are highly collected today. The 18ct vintage Rolex model now commands a price approaching £100,000, and the Patek Philippe, circa £200,000.
These are all achingly beautiful watches and each has the same basic dial design layout as the Omega watch you see here. This watch also shows the cycle of the moon and so it is named the Omega ‘Cosmic’. The watch also has the rare 35mm 18ct Omega Swiss made case. Omega Cosmics are rare, but in an 18ct 35mm case they are incredibly so, particularly when found in such top condition as this.
Incidentally, modern Triple Date Moonphase watches are becoming popular once more – again among those who can afford them! Several watch houses have recently begun to revive their back catalogues and re-release models based on these 1950s designs. For example, Patek Philippe has recently released a Triple Date Moonphase Annual Calendar, priced at close to £40,000 in 18ct gold.
Just wonderful! Silver-White, with applied gilt spearhead hour indices and matching original ‘Dauphine’ hands, with the classic ’50s subsidiary seconds dial at ‘6’, which also doubles as a moon phase indicator. This is the classic Triple Date dial design to which many watch houses adhere. We particularly love this dial design as is so completely symmetrical, neat and attractive, yet manages to convey so much!
Setting this watch is very simple and straightforward. Setting the day of the week is done first. This is achieved by rotating the hands until the correct day is shown. The month is then set via a small pusher on the edge of the case at 2 o’clock. The date of the month is then set via a pusher at 4 o’clock. Finally, the moon phase is set via a pusher at 8 o’clock. An important point to remember is never to advance any of these functions while the hour hand is anywhere close to the 12, as this can harm the movement. Another point to note is that the month does not auto advance at the end of each month, so this is done manually. As long as one remembers these points, the watch will perform faithfully.
The days and months of this watch are, of course, shown in Church Latin, which was used for Non-English speaking markets during this period. If anything, we think this adds to the character of this fascinating watch, so does not detract from the value.
This is the original dial which has been restored to the highest standards by our dial restorers, which are considered to be the best in the UK.
The watch contains its original Omega 17 Jewel, Calibre 381 hand-wound, Triple Date Moonphase movement. This movement superseded the earlier Omega Calibre 321 Triple Date, on which this movement is based. This movement has in fact, four ‘complications’, in that it indicates the day, the date, the month and the phase of the moon. This was quite an amazing feat when this watch was first produced, yet this movement was completely designed and produced in-house by Omega. Even more remarkably, these watches are accurate and reliable, provided they are regularly serviced and are not abused. Also, because this movement was produced by Omega, servicing and replacement parts are not a problem.
This movement is correctly signed Omega Watch Co, Swiss, with 17 Jewels, the calibre number 381, and the movement serial number 13,386,868. The serial number dates the watch to 1952.
Our vintage Omega specialist watchmaker has given this movement a full inspection, overhaul and service and commented he found it to be particularly clean and well maintained. Upon completion, he has carefully calibrated the watch. After our final checks and prior to photography, the watch was found to be keeping time to within +1 second per day! This was tested and confirmed by our electronic time-grapher and is truly outstanding for any watch of this age. As can be seen, the movement is in sparkling clean condition.
We are therefore very happy to offer the watch with a 12 months warranty*. With care and with regular servicing around every 3 years or so, we would fully expect this watch to run quite happily for many more decades to come.
*Our 12 months warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.
Judging by the condition of the case prior to restoration, this watch has obviously been very well cared for and has seen only very light use. This beautiful 18ct solid yellow gold case has an attractive ribbed bezel and beautiful sweeping ribbed lugs which hold the watch slightly higher on the wrist, helping to give the watch more presence. Due to the expense, this model was very rarely produced in 18ct gold. Most were stainless steel or gold plated, with some also produced in 14ct gold.
This watch was more often produced in smaller sizes such as 33 and 34mm. At 35mm in diameter excluding the Omega signed crown, this is a particularly large watch by the standards of its day.
Inside the case back all is correctly signed, Omega Watch Co., Swiss Made, with the case reference number 223, and Swiss 18ct hallmarks.
The case has been professionally inspected, cleaned and lightly polished and is in superb condition, showing only very minimal signs of wear. There are no scratches, dings, dimples or other damage visible to the naked eye.
As ever, our standard advice applies: vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap & Buckle
A high quality, Green, water-resistant Alligator strap has been fitted, along with a matching gold plated Omega buckle. Please note, we feel the strap matches the watch nicely, however, if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to oblige free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown and black in stock in plain padded leather, crocodile skin or lizard skin, however, we can also obtain most types and colours at short notice.
The Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, all the numbers and markings on the watch are correct, dating the watch to 1952. A detailed ‘Particulars’ document will be included in the sale, along with our detailed receipt and 12 months Warranty*.
A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will also be provided at the time of sale, along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If at any time, this watch proves to be anything less than totally authentic, or not as described, Vintage Gold Watches of London will offer you a full refund at any time”.
The original vintage Omega presentation box shown in the photographs is included. This box is in superb condition considering its age and alone is worth around £250.00.
This is a first class example of a highly collectable vintage gold watch from one of horology’s most famous names which will provide an excellent financial investment as well as be something to use, wear, treasure and enjoy! This will make an excellent evening wear dress watch as well as a practical highly accurate and reliable timepiece to use on an everyday basis.
Vintage Omega watches are highly collectable and the rarity of this watch means the value will always remain strong. This watch will make an excellent investment and family heirloom piece and even though vintage Omega prices have risen markedly recently, we feel great examples such as this still remain undervalued. As each year goes by and the world market for vintage watches expands, availability will become more limited so prices are surely destined to climb ever higher!
A word about our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before restoring these to the highest possible standards. We then offer these at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post sales care and service. This approach inevitably means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are a number of well-known stores in West London which are very successful, charging between two to three times the price you see here. We therefore consider our prices to be fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.
We are happy to accept Paypal as this is the quickest method of payment. However, if you wish to pay by bank transfer, we will be pleased to pass on a 3% transaction saving to you. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or International Bank Wire Transfer, we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.
Please note we welcome part exchanges and if you have a watch or small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss this.
We will be happy to Service, Repair or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.
If you have any questions, please call our landline 020 7727 7095 or mobile 07515 949 250. Or if calling from overseas our landline number is +44 207 727 7095 or mobile +44 7515 949 250.
We will be happy to answer any questions and offer advice about this or any of our watches listed for sale. If you would like some general advice regarding any aspect of vintage watches, including buying, selling, or collecting, we will also be very happy to hear from you. We await your call!
Finally, please enjoy some time spent viewing our other fine Vintage Gold Watches!