Omega Cal.342 Automatic 14ct 1951
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Restored, Serviced & Guaranteed
A Carefully Owned & Lightly Used Example
Beautifully Restored Silver-White Dial With Sub-Seconds Dial
Very High Grade Cal.342, 17 Jewels Omega 1st Series Automatic Movement
Oversize 33mm, 14ct Yellow Gold Case, Excluding the Omega Crown
New Brown Leather Strap with Gold-Plated Omega Buckle
All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Wonderful Condition
Matching Vintage Omega Presentation Box Included
VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*
VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee
Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery
Free UK Special Delivery
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Since the company was founded in 1848, Omega has pioneered a huge range of technical innovations in watchmaking. 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 1940s also saw the first tourbillon wristwatch and the first of the famous Seamaster watches, whilst the 1950s 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 into space on NASA’s Mercury Sigma 7 mission, and in 1969 two Omega Speedmasters were the first watches to arrive on the moon, worn by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.
Why This Watch is Important
This watch contains one of Omega’s first series automatic movements, initially produced from 1942 to 1949 as the Cal.28.10 RA PC. The movement was developed into the 330 series of movements including the 332 which powered the first Omega Seamaster in 1947-48, and the Cal.342 in 1949 which remained in production until 1955. This highly successful movement, with a power reserve of 42 hours, was part of a family of Omega’s automatic movements with over 1,300,000 produced – 500,000 of which were Chronometers. This series powered many thousands of the early Omega Seamaster and Constellation watches and much of the modern-day success of the Omega company we know today can rightly be attributed to this movement.
The silver coloured dial carries applied 3, 9 and 12 standard Arabic numerals and applied ‘baton’ hour indices. The style is clean and elegant, with a mix of military and art-deco influences.
The numerals are transcribed by the original restored gilt ‘Lance’ hands. These, along with the batons have been restored using a special dial restorer’s green paint which sympathetically replicates the original look of the luminous paint used when this watch was produced.
The dial catches the light nicely and changes from an off-white in daylight to a pale silver indoors. It is beautifully balanced with a subsidiary seconds dial at ‘6’.
The dial simply carries the Omega brand and is signed ‘Omega’ and ‘Automatic’ with ‘Swiss Made’ at the very bottom. A new correct lens has been fitted as part of the restoration.
This is the original dial which has been restored to the highest standards by our dial restorers who are considered to be the best in the UK.
As discussed above, the Omega Cal.342 was one of Omega’s first automatic movements and part of the highly successful Calibre 330 series of automatic movements, which became the foundation of Omega’s later collection. This series is directly responsible for Omega’s incredible early success with its Seamaster and Constellation family of watches from the middle of the last century onwards.
The beryllium bronze movement is all correctly signed: ‘Omega Watch Co’, ‘Swiss’ and ’17 jewels’ with the Calibre number 342 and the serial number 12628953, which dates the manufacture of the watch to 1951.
The movement has been fully overhauled and serviced by our vintage Omega specialist watchmaker and the watch winds, runs and sets smoothly and is keeping excellent time. Following its service it has been calibrated and is currently running arrow straight at +3 seconds/day! This excellent for any watch of this age and has been verified on our electronic timegrapher instrument. The watch also has an excellent power reserve of 42 hours. We are therefore more than happy to offer 12 months warranty on the movement of this watch*.
*Please note, our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the full list price is paid.
The very elegant 14ct yellow gold case measures 33mm in diameter, excluding the correct Omega winding crown, making this a midsize wristwatch for the period. The case is of three-piece construction with a press-fit case back which is of full thickness and has never been engraved. This is tight-fitting and presses down with a pleasing and reassuring click.
The ribbed case profile and overall design carries a good deal of style with nicely crafted lugs, making the case of obvious high quality and sophistication.
The watch has been very well cared for and so after a close inspection has simply required a careful clean and a gentle polish to bring it back to its current, almost as new condition. The case, the case-back and bezel are all in superb condition with no marks or scratches visible to the naked eye. Even under high magnification, it is very hard to find any signs of wear, indicating this watch has seen very little use and has had a charmed life.
The case is of full-thickness and has never been inscribed.
Inside the case, all is as expected and correctly signed: ‘Omega Watch Co’ with the case reference number F-6536 and the serial number 1339166. This is a U.S made case, made for Omega by the Star Watch Co. in Elgin, Illinois and is signed ‘Star Watch Case Co’ and ‘14 Karat Gold’.
As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap & Buckle
A new, high quality brown leather strap has been fitted, along with matching Omega gold-plated buckle. 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, but 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 1951.
Our 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 matching vintage Omega presentation box shown in the photographs is included with this watch.
Omega watches of this quality and rarity will always remain collectable and values will remain strong, so this watch will make an excellent investment and family heirloom piece. Even though vintage Omega prices have risen markedly of late, we feel excellent examples such as this still remain undervalued. Each year as the world market for fine vintage watches grows ever wider, limited availability means 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 them 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 would 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 also welcome part exchanges and if you have a watch or small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss.
We will be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.
If you have any questions please call on Landline 0207 727 7095 or if calling from overseas on +44 207 727 7095.
We await your call and 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 vintage watches, we will also be happy to hear from you.
Finally, please enjoy some time spent viewing our other fine vintage gold watches!