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Among watch collectors, the Omega Watch Co. of Switzerland, a firm founded by Louis Brandt of Biel in 1848, is one of the most renowned brands of timepieces. In 1894 a new caliber bore the name of Omega for the first time, and since then it has produced some of the finest caliber wristwatches money can buy. Omega is my favorite Swiss watch firm as well, combining those qualities of name brand recognition, high quality and relative value that are important to the seasoned watch collector.
Omega strongly reaffirmed its position as a collector’s brand in 2007 when Antiquorum held its “Omegamania” theme sale in Geneva, Switzerland. The prices realized vastly exceeded pre-sale estimates and set new records for many older models. Yes folks, good vintage Omega watches are only going UP in value.
I am honored to offer for sale the following vintage timepiece from the Omega firm, a men’s WWI era SIGNAL CORPS model from 1918 in excellent condition. This triple-signed timepiece was made specifically for the US Army by Omega. When the U.S. Expeditionary Forces joined the First World War in 1917, elements of the Army Signal Corps were issued "wristlets" procured from various Swiss firms, including Omega, Zenith, Hy Moser & Cie and Tissot.
This watch measures 43mm from lug tip to lug tip and 35.5mm in width (39mm with oversized vintage crown). This works out to be just under 1-3/4 inches in total length, including the lugs, by 1-3/8 inches in width, not counting the winding crown. It is powered by its original, gold-finished 15 jewel Omega mechanism, fully serviced by my trusted watchmaker David to ensure it winds and sets smoothly while keeping accurate time.
The original, white porcelain enamel dial is in excellent condition with no chips under the bezel – it has survived the years in remarkable shape. It features a 60 minute checkered outer track border, original blue steel Skeleton hands, Arabic numbers with radium finish and a recessed sub-seconds dial with 60 second outer chapter and ‘sweep’ original blue steel seconds hand. Signed OMEGA – SIGNAL CORPS U.S.A. below the 12.
The solid glass crystal is in excellent condition, a new old stock addition that based on its old German label probably dates to the 1920s. The original four-piece, double hinged-back case is Omega-signed and in excellent condition. It is not marked for content but is either solid nickel or nickel silver. The winding crown is slightly oversized (for ease of winding when wearing gloves) and in excellent shape, operating as it should.
Turning this beauty over I note that the back lid is in great shape with no wear, dings or engravings, just a trace of where the center narrow section of a one-piece Kitchener strap once sat. Peeking inside I discover there's an inner dust cover that protects the mechanism from dust and debris, a nice detail.
Lifting this lid reveals a beautiful gold-finished fifteen 15 jewel movement that is signed OMEGA - #5,271,660. This serial number dates the watch to ca 1918 as per published production records. Both the inner and outer case backs are signed with the same case number of 6105436 and you will see the Omega symbol stamped above this. Please note that Omega case numbers and movement numbers did NOT match like you often found with Longines models of this period…this is guaranteed to be the original case.
This museum-grade Signal Corps watch has been fully serviced to ensure that it winds and sets smoothly while keeping accurate time. It is fitted on a new dark brown oil leather BUND strap with fold-over ends and matching color buckle. I thought this band really suited the ruggedness of the watch and it very similar to a Kitchener-type band that was originally on the watch. A true investment-grade watch that I am reluctant to even sell – this should become a “star” player in someone’s collection very soon!
- Since 1998, Holben's Fine Watches' goal has been happy customers. I treat buyers as I like to be treated: with courtesy and respect. I’m especially proud of my excellent response and high number of repeat clients. I’m a long-standing member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC), and have collected Swiss and American mechanical watches since I was a kid.
- Watch sizes: I provide exact measurements in millimeters (the watch industry standard) and inches, and include a U.S. quarter in photos as a size reference. Draw the measurements on paper to help visualize the watch on your wrist. Remember, men’s watches from the 1910s - 1960s were smaller than considered normal today.
- Buyers outside the United States with less than five response: Please introduce yourself via email PRIOR to offerding. Otherwise, your offer may be retracted.
- U.S. winners pay $13.75 for fully insured, safely boxed USPS REGISTERED MAIL shipping. Washington State residents (and those with shipping addresses in Washington State) add 8.6% sales tax.
- Canadian ($14.75) and most international buyers ($17.75) receive safely boxed USPS First-Class Mail International REGISTERED shipping. I can ship via USPS Express Mail International to most countries for approximately $30 and this shipping method is REQUIRED for shipments to countries that do not scan registered parcels at delivery, including Germany, Singapore and Australia. Import duties, taxes and charges are not included in the item price or shipping charges. Prior to offerding, check your country's customs regulations to determine any additional costs.
- Preferred payment method is PayPal; other options are available by contacting me.
- Payment is due within three days of sale end, unless you’ve contacted me prior to arrange otherwise. In accordance with policy, payments not received in four days will initiate an unpaid item case through the Resolution Center.
- In the rare event of a problem occurring after transit, return the wristwatch to me (or to my watchmaker, David) at my expense. It will be quickly corrected and shipped safely back to you.
- If you like unique and collectible vintage or antique wristwatches, add holbensfinewatches to your Favorite Sellers. I specialize in timepieces from the 1910s – 1960s. My selection changes weekly, and is comprised of manual wind and automatic watches from the following categories: WWI trench; WWII; military; fancy case, art nouveau; art deco; mid-century modern; stainless steel; sterling silver; white, yellow and rose gold; solid gold; platinum; and diamond, ruby and/or sapphire ladies’ cocktail watches.
Are you looking for high quality watch straps for your new or vintage military, sport and wire lug watches? Our sister store, Holben's Fine Watch Bands, offers an extensive selection of straps, including:
- UTC G10 NATO ballistic nylon (one-piece, two-piece, solid, striped and PVD);
- German Bund leather military (riveted and non-riveted in black and brown);
- NATO striped James Bond;
- Canvas military WWII (one-piece and two-piece in khaki, olive green and black);
- Alligator-, crocodile- and buffalo-grain leather (open-ended / wire lug and closed-end in black, brown and tan);
- Hamilton Khaki-,Breitling- and Panerai-style leather;
- GT Rally Tropic leather (big hole) and buffalo-grain Tropic (small holes); and
- Rubber and silicone deployment/deployant clasp divers (solid color, contrast-stitched and textured).
- As my pal Cautious Carl says, "Buy a Nice Watch from Mike"….but keep in mind he doesn’t wear a watch, nor understand how to tell time!
On Jun-01-11 at 23:00:28 PDT, seller added the following information: