Omega Seamaster Cal.321 Chronograph 18ct 1957 – Original Dial

£5,950

100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Inspected, Serviced & Guaranteed

Nice Original Condition Example – Unrestored Case &Dial

Omega Model Ref. 2884 Speedmaster Chronograph in 18ct Gold

Large 18ct Gold 35mm Diameter Omega Case, Excluding the Original Crown

Legendary Omega Cal.321 Movement (AKA Lemania CH27 C12), in Tip-Top Condition

Original and Unrestored Triple Register Dial Beautifully Aged With Even Patina

New, High-Quality Brown Lizard Strap and Gold-Plated Omega Buckle

All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Amazing Condition

Vintage Omega Presentation Box Included, as Shown

VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery

Free UK Special Delivery

VGW Reference: OM980
Price £5,950

£5,950

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Omega Watches

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 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 Speedmasters landed on the moon, worn by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

Omega was a pioneer of the wristwatch chronograph, releasing its first model, the 18′ CHRO, in 1913 making this one of the very first wrist-worn chronographs ever produced. These were sold as military watches with some of the first going to Britain’s Royal Flying Corps and used by some of the most famous wartime pilots and military personnel. Omega recently re-issued a heritage edition of this chronograph which has generated considerable interest in all of its original early chronograph models.

In 1930, Omega and Tissot merged, with the aim of marketing high-quality Swiss watches. Omega would maintain its position in the medium-high luxury segment and Tissot would target the medium market. Subsequently, in 1932 the company bought Lemania, a Swiss company specialising in the manufacture of high-quality chronograph movements, founded in 1884.

The Calibre 33.3 movement followed, designated 13CH by its manufacturer Lemania. It is a column-wheel movement, which was very advanced for the period and highly accurate and reliable. Later evolutions of this movement included the 33.3 CHRO T1, T2 – T6, becoming the Omega 170 in 1949, and the Omega 171. Such was the complexity and expense of this movement that only 13,700 were produced between 1933 to 1952.

A development of the Cal. 33.3, the Cal.15TL two-pusher chronograph movement is notable, as the most long-lived Lemania movement and its first movement with a flyback function. This was adopted by military forces around the world from Czechoslovakia, Rhodesia, the British Royal Air Force, the French Air Force (Auricoste Type 20), the Swedish Air Force, the South African Air Force, the South African Air Force, the Royal Canadian Air Force etc.

In 1942 the Calibre 15TL movement was further improved to offer anti-shock and anti-magnetic properties. A new version for water-resistant chronographs spun off in 1949 before the end of production of the movement in 1952. In parallel, in 1949, after a number of modifications to these predecessor movements, the Lemania Cal.27 was born. This calibre is known under a far more famous name: The Omega Cal.321. This was, of course, the movement used in the 1960s Speedmaster, chosen by early Gemini and Apollo astronauts and later adopted by NASA for use on all the Apollo moon missions.

Description

Born out of necessity, the first Seamaster was launched in 1948 based on designs of a watch Omega made for airmen in the Second World War. The first Omega Seamaster Chronographs soon followed in around 1952 and the model has remained continuously in Omega’s product range to this very day.

This rare and exciting 1957 Omega Seamaster Chronograph in 18ct gold, carries a triple register champagne yellow dial, and the famous Omega Cal.321 movement. This Omega model reference 2884 is a somewhat understated watch compared with some of the larger chronographs of the 1950s, and of course the later Speedmaster, Rolex Daytona and Zenith El-Primero. However, in terms of the development of the chronograph, and as a tool to carry out a task, none has a finer pedigree, or a place in history.

This example is in totally original condition. By this, we do not simply mean the movement, or the originality of the parts of the watch, – but also its overall condition. The dial is totally original, unrestored and untouched. The watch itself watch has been kept in excellent original condition and there are no significant marks on the case other than wear, commensurate with age, careful ownership, and use.

The legendary Cal.321 is in absolutely mint condition. The movement has been fully inspected, overhauled and serviced by our chronograph specialist watchmaker and carries our 12 months warranty. Upon testing immediately following its service, it is running arrow straight at between +1 and +2 seconds per day with a power reserve of 44 hours.

This is truly a superb find. – If you have an interest in chronographs, please don’t let this one slip by because it may be another five years until we find another Omega Calibre 321 Seamaster, as nice as this.

This watch will make the perfect addition to any collection and is suitable for occasional as well as everyday use, should you so wish.

We have fitted a new high quality genuine Lizard strap with a gold plated Omega Buckle.

The Dial

The beautiful, rare, champagne yellow gold three register dial carries applied arrowhead hour indices, matched by the original unrestored ‘Lance’ hands, all in wonderful condition. The dial is simplicity and elegance itself and is very easy to read and use. If you look carefully at the photographs you will see the three subsidiary dials are also engine-turned providing a nice touch, which was very expensive to create.

During the operation of the chronograph, the right-hand register measures elapsed minutes up to 30 minutes while the bottom register measures elapsed hours, up to 12. The left-hand register counts constant running seconds, independent of the chronograph function.

The outer seconds’ register is numbered every 5 seconds and is divided into fifths of a second, providing a slightly technical look. The dial carries the Omega brand and signature and is also signed Seamaster, with Swiss made at the very bottom of the dial.

This is the original dial which remains unrestored and untouched. Considering its age and also that it remains unrestored, it is in remarkably good condition, free from any of the fading, pitting or scratches we usually see on a dial of this age. The overall effect is quite wonderful, with a very nice and even patina.  The dial has shifted from a light champagne yellow as seen around the centre of the dial, to a more golden yellow. There is some gentle ageing across the whole of the dial, in the form of light spotting, just as many collectors like to see. Generally, we restore the dials of a watches we offer here, but this is the kind of watch many Omega collectors like to acquire in original condition, so we felt it was best to retain the originality and charm of this dial.

Please note, something we always mention is the chronograph function should not be left running when the watch is in normal use, as this causes unnecessary wear on this part of the movement. This is of particular importance with vintage chronograph movements.

The Movement

As described above, this watch contains the legendary Cal.321 movement which was phenomenally successful for Omega. It was fitted to the Speedmaster as worn by early astronauts on Gemini and Appolo missions and later became officially approved by NASA and so became the first and only watch to be worn on the moon.

The original Omega copper-toned Calibre 321 movement looks pristine. It iss in tip-top condition having been overhauled and serviced by our vintage chronograph specialist watchmaker. This means it has been completely disassembled to all its component parts, carefully inspected under high magnification, replacement where necessary with only genuine Omega parts before careful reassembly and adjustment and calibration. The watch winds, sets and runs perfectly accurately and reliably. At the time of testing, immediately following its service, the test results were within +2 seconds per day. This is truly outstanding for any watch of this age and has been confirmed on our electronic watch timegrapher.  The movement also has an exceptional power reserve of 44 hours.

The round water-resistant pushers are secure and operate positively. In keeping with modern convention, the top chronograph button is used to start and stop the operation of the chronograph while the bottom button is used to reset it to zero. As with all chronographs, it is not recommended to leave the chronograph function running unnecessarily when this is not in use. This is because it causes unnecessary wear of the chronograph movement, which runs separately to the normal time-keeping section of the movement.

The movement is correctly signed ‘Omega Watch Co.’ ‘Swiss’, and carries the Calibre 321, along with the serial number 15,500,221 which dates its manufacture to 1957.

*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.

The Case

The heavy 18ct yellow gold Omega Swiss made-case is of exceedingly high quality with a beautifully robust profile and lugs. All the lines and edges are well defined, indicating the watch has been very well cared for and never overpolished. As can be seen, there is no Omega Speedmaster motif on the case-back as this was not introduced until 1959.

After close inspection, some light hand-polishing was all that was required to remove some light tarnishing and bring it back to the wonderful condition you see here.

The watch is complete with its original Omega signed crown. The case measures 35mm in diameter, excluding the crown and pushers. This is an Omega snap-back case and of a very robust design which makes this watch perfectly appropriate for everyday use, should you so wish.

Inside the case-back is signed: Omega Watch Co. and Swiss Made with Swiss 18ct Hallmarks and the Omega reference numbers 11480431 and the Omega model reference 2884.

As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.

The Strap & Buckle

The watch has been fitted with a high-quality brown genuine Lizard sports strap with matching gold-plated Omega buckle. We think this contrasts very nicely with the gold case and the dial. 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 of strap from our partners at ‘Watch Obsession’ within 48hrs. Please take a look at their huge range of 18mm straps if you wish, here.

The Box and Papers

Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating this watch to 1957.

Detailed particulars will be included with the receipt, along with our 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 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 Seamaster presentation box shown in the photographs is included in the sale of this watch. These sell for £200.00 on the open market.

In Conclusion

A very rare and exceptional early vintage gold Omega Speedmaster dress chronograph watch in a rare 18ct gold case. The Cal.321 movement is of a very high grade and on a par with watches far more expensive than this. Omega watches are highly collectable and respected therefore icons, like the gold Speedmaster, are sure to climb in value.

A word about our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very best 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 choose to pay by UK bank transfer, we will be pleased to pass on a 3% transaction saving to you. Please contact us to reserve the watch and request our bank details. 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 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. If calling from overseas, please call +44 207 727 70.

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.

Thank you.