Something Very Similar

egyptfive

New member
Sherpa
Looks like a few of you guys liked my post on my Omega Big Blue Chrono so thought I would post my musings on another from my collection.

Here we have the super cool :cool: Omega Memomatic, indeed so cool I own three of them. How I managed that is beyond me .
The Something Very Similar thread title refers to the striking similarity to our beloved Enicar Memostar.

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This remarkable wristwatch powered an Omega calibre 980 automatic movement (a modified Lemania 2980) was very unique and indeed a technological triumph in its day by featuring an automatic winding system that drove both time keeping and alarm system through a single barrel within the movement. Launched into Omega's collection in 1971 it had a relatively short lived manufacturing run of around just 35000 units produced, which included within this total two distinct case designs, the then space age and funky “ligne pilote” (pilot line) with reference number. 166.071 (this case design was also used on the Flightmaster and MK111 Speedmaster amongst others) and the cushion shape 166.072 or as Omega calls it, there “classic case”. It was also offered in differing case materials, solid gold, gold plated and stainless steel.

Pilot Line Case

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Classic Cushion Case

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Introduced at a time when the advancing Japanese low cost quartz revolution was exerting its ever tightening stranglehold on the Swiss watchmaking industry some questioned Omega's reasoning for investing in such a complicated watch, with its high production costs making this a very expensive item to manufacture and purchase by comparison with the cheaper quartz alarms that were on offer. Some observers noted that during these turbulent years Omega seemed to have lost its focus and tried to play them at their own game which unfortunately resulted in many dull and inferior designs coming from Bienne at that time. Personally I think Omega made it just because they could, they were at the top of their game with traditional watchmaking and wanted everybody to know it with a model that was packed full of innovative features like the single barrel winding system, quick set date accessed directly from a dedicated corrector on the side of the case, waterproofed to 180 feet combined with superb case designs and a striking choice of dial colours to choose from which to my mind remain contemporary even today.
Technically superior to all other alarm watches of the era (including the now iconic Jaeger le Coultre Memovox) by virtue of the owners ability to set the alarm activation to almost the precise minute required via the the two central rotating discs located in the dial, the outer disc setting the hour and the inner the minutes, a cutting edge feature that brought unheard of accuracy to this type of watch.

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Setting the alarm is relatively strait forward and is accessed via the upper crown located at the 2o'clock position by pulling it out two stops. Then turning the lower crown at the 4pm position to rotate the hour and minute discs in the centre of the dial to select the required alarm time. Push the upper crown back in one stop to set the alarm. The alarm will then ring for approx 10-15 seconds when the target time is reached. To de-activate the alarm simply push the upper crown fully home. If a second alarm is required within an hour of the first then the mechanism requires to be wound manually, if not it will wind itself automatically.

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Omegas official instructions

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Some owners complained that the sound produced by the Memomatic was not as loud as its contemporaries and would not be heard if used as a “wake up” alarm. Looking back at Omega's original marketing campaign they suggest that it was intended to be more of a “memorandum” watch providing a discreet audible level used as reminders for meeting and appointments etc. The official Omega marketing advert below best explains there thoughts.

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What I love about this watch is how it can look so different. In the silver with blue dial version it is sophisticated and dressy, while the grey and orange dial versions turn it into a very sporty and funky watch. Finally Lets have a few shots of the finer details from both styles

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Omega logo imprinted in the centre of the plexiglass is a nice touch

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Looking at the comparison between the Omega Memomatic and the Enicar Memostar we can see the striking similarity between the two (these images borrowed from the internet as I don't yet own a Memostar).

Screenshot_2020-05-04 -SOLD- Enicar Memostar Ref 298-01-01 from the 60´s › Watch Old Times.png

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So there we have it, I hope you have enjoyed my thoughts and photos. Thanks for looking
Willie
 

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paulb12

Member
Enicaristi
Sherpa
Great post. Very interesting.

How would you compare the Memomatic to the Memostar in terms of performance? (I assume the Omega wins...?) ;)
 

egyptfive

New member
Sherpa
Great post. Very interesting.

How would you compare the Memomatic to the Memostar in terms of performance? (I assume the Omega wins...?) ;)
I don’t own a Memostar so couldn’t comment on it, but looking at the specs of both watches would lead me to believe the Memomatic would be the more technically advanced but still takes nothing away from the Enicar which is a fine design in it’s self. :)
 

paulb12

Member
Enicaristi
Sherpa
:)

Do you know if Omega will still service these if you ever needed it?

The Memostar used the same base Lemania 2980 movement ... but parts, I'm told, are hard to find.
 

egyptfive

New member
Sherpa
Yeah they should still be able to service them, The blue and silver one in the pics was sent to them as a bit of a wreck and was originaly an all silver dial version, they totally restored the movement and the casework to the condition you see it now, they had no problem with all parts except the outer blue dial which I had to source NOS myself and sent it to them to fit to complete the restoration, movement parts are usualy not that hard to get although I think the inner silver dials are pretty scarce now.
 

SteveHarris

Administrator
Staff member
Enicaristi
Sherpa
Great post again Willie. I've always had my eye on picking one of these up but something has always stopped me from committing.

Love the orange variant in particular.
 

egyptfive

New member
Sherpa
Thanks Steve
Yeah it’s a great watch , I have recently retired but before I did I used it often for reminders during work it works a treat and is fairly accurate on timing, never missed a meeting using it and occasionally when it was spotted caused a fair bit of interest (y) would highly recommend.
 
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