Something a bit different

egyptfive

New member
Sherpa
Hi all
As some of you may have read read from my recent introduction post in addition to collecting Enicar I also collect vintage Omega sports watches as well. I was a bit bored and looking back through some stuff I had posted in a forum in 2012 and as we are all watch enthusiasts here I thought you might like to read it.
This rare and beautiful beast, the OMEGA SEAMASTER 120C is affectionally known as “Big Blue” by Omega collectors. If there was a beauty contest for dive watches IMO I think without doubt it would be a sure finalist if not the outright winner. In the flesh this is a very striking watch with bags of wrist presence. There will be some of you who may know the watch but I hope those that dont find my personal opinions and pictures interesting.
Bought from a German collector who was in the fortunate position to have two Omega Bienne restored examples, so after donating an arm and a leg in payment for one of here it is.

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In the late 1960's this remarkable wrist watch was developed by Omega in close partnership with professional diving organisations who at that time had a need for timepieces that were capable of working underwater at ever increasing depths and above all had be functional, accurate and have dials that were easy to read. Although other quality and now iconic Swiss dive watches were available from Rolex, Doxa, Jenny and the like, they were mostly straight forward three handed designs possessing only the normal hour minute and second hand configuration read in conjunction with the rotating bezel to display the divers 'bottom time'. Usable chronographs designed for underwater use were few and far between due to sealing problems with the pushers with most manufacturers discouraging there use while submerged, a fundamental flaw on a dive watch. The chronograph movements used by most had the normal multiple small sub dial set up to record the elapsed time making the dials cluttered and difficult to read under water. A few other manufacturers including the likes of Aquadive and Sinn partially solved these problems by developing a watch that had a conventional looking dial allowing time to be read normally with dive duties assigned to a dedicated minute arm which counted the elapsed minutes on the outer ring of the dial making it clear and functional but only able to cover times up to one hour. It was Omega that took it one step further by adding true chronograph functions and more crucially pushers that could be operated underwater making the watch ideally suited for its intended purpose.

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THE SPECS
Stainless Steel case – Omega Ref. 176.0004 / 176,004
Uni-directional rotating locking Stainless Steel 60 click bezel
Tritium luminescent hands, hour markers and bezel
Anti-reflection coated mineral glass
Crown – screw down on most models
Omega 1040 self winding movement with 22 jewels
Water resistant to 120 meters (400 ft.)
Width: 44mm
Width: 47mm including crown
Length: 52mm
Weight: approx. 176g with mesh bracelet
Thickness: 17mm
Crystal/Dial width: 33mm
Bezel width: 44mm
Lug width: 22mm

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Milled from a single block of stainless steel it is a large and substantial watch but what really strikes you is the quality and detail that just oozes from it, no matter which way you turn it there is something of interest wether it be that glorious blue dial set low in the case to accommodate the multiple hand stack or chunky acrylic bezel or the beautiful contrast between the starburst graining and polished chamfered edges. With the next group of photos we can take a tour around the case to admire the detail and sleek lines.

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The only criticism that I have heard levelled from some owners is that the combination of the hooded lugs and the Omega shark mesh bracelet make the already tall watch sit even higher on some larger wrists as the hood restricts the angles that the bracelet can swivel. I think you can see the potential inflexibility in the next photo's.

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It was also available on an Isofrane strap or the normal Omega link style bracelet (1162 with 172 end pieces) which although suits the watch is too flimsy for the weight and tends to make it top heavy and uncomfortable and a definite hair puller, in my opinion the mesh holds the watch steady and looks pretty good as well.

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Finally a lume shot just because we like them

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Follow this link for a more in depth article at the excellent Desk Divers site

Hope this has been of interest thanks for looking
Willie
 

SteveHarris

Administrator
Staff member
Enicaristi
Sherpa
Great post Willie. I love it and it's really in superb condition. A real beast!
 

kazrich

Member
Sherpa
That's an impressive bit of kit Willie !
Beautifully restored and the brushed satin finish on the stainless steel case would have been just as
difficult to restore as the dial.
Very nice indeed !
 

egyptfive

New member
Sherpa
Thanks Guys
Omega in Bienne Switzerland believe it or not still have and use the original lapping machine for restoring the casework finish. They do a great job on the restorations, I have had quite a few done by them in the past and will post some other mini reviews on them going forward if you would like to see them.
 

JimJupiter

Moderator
Staff member
Enicaristi
Sherpa
Sure, go ahed! That finish is fantastic. I once had a Speedmaster MK 4.5 with them, result was stunning. But they also declined once, and said the watch case is to much gone. That was with a Seamaster dresswatch. Couldnt believe my eyes :D
 
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