Just Because Appreciating A 34mm Omega Seamaster
The other day, I ended up looking – as I frequently do – at my watch. This day was somewhat unique in relation to different days however, as I was in an especially thoughtful disposition. The subject of my perception was my vintage Omega Seamaster. I because thinking so hard was that I didn’t have the foggiest idea about the full story of my own watch. A lot of that has to do with the way that it is a watch which was passed down in my family, and its full beginning had been to some degree lost to time. The other explanation is that it is a 34mm Omega Seamaster from the 1950s. There were such large numbers of them made (going from 33mm to 35mm besides), that having the option to discover solid data about any one specific watch can demonstrate difficult.
In my reflective state, I began conversing with vintage watch fan and partner, Brandon Frazin, HODINKEE’s vintage chief. I sent him a couple of depictions of my watch and started asking him inquiries about its reference number, development, and so on This is the point at which he began conversing with me about blades. Unlike some vintage Rolex, where a basic look between the drags disentangles its story, the 34mm Omega Seamaster requires a touch more work. Upon perception that the watch bore a snapback caseback, he educated me that a blade to the little opening on the nine o’clock side would permit me to open it up and see the essential data – or, as a subsequent choice, I could take it to a watchmaker. Since I am no John Goldberger , I’ll allow you to think about what I did next.
A few squares from my condo is a little watch auto shop. With my interest at top levels, I went for a stroll over yonder. After entering the store, I met the watchmaker, a more established honorable man – his name was Ed. I inquired as to whether he may help me in opening up the rear of the watch. He obliged. He searched briefly at the development prior to giving the watch to me and – taking care of business of few words – said “great watch … that is an excellent watch.” I need to say, I agree.
Ed’s enthusiasm for my 34mm Omega Seamaster is important for the purpose behind this idea work out. The 34mm Omega Seamaster is something of an overlooked relic in vintage watch legend. It is so ample on the auxiliary market that it tends to be had at costs with just three zeros. This specific watch was my father’s, a blessing from his dad a little more than 60 years back. Presently, I am blameworthy of having undervalued this very watch for a long time. It was simply excessively little, and, all the more explicitly, it was not the bigger, sportier Seamaster jumpers of later years. In perusing any book or article about the Seamaster, my experience was quite often the equivalent. There would be a prologue to the Seamaster line, with a sentence or two about its origin, and afterward promptly the center would swing to the expert jumping models presented toward the finish of the 1950s. Thus, what gives?
As a disclaimer, I can’t address all mid-century 34mm Omega Seamasters. For a certain something, there was such an assortment of watches created in the model reach from the last part of the 1940s through the 1960s, with a similarly wide assortment of drags, dials, handsets, and complications, that it is hard to attempt to deliver a solitary assessment on the whole line. All things considered, I will give a valiant effort to keep my feelings fixated on my watch alone, with a gaudy speculation sprinkled in to a great extent. Above all, a concise verifiable detour.
Omega Seamaster promotion, 1951. I mage, EuropaStar documents ; utilized with permission.
Following the finish of WWII, Omega took what it had gained from delivering looks for the war exertion (read more about the “Grimy Dozen” watches here ) in terms of vigorous assembling and high exactness development making, and fabricated another watch fit for the working regular citizen man – a watch which extended highlights fundamental for military utilize, for example, stun insurance and protection from magnetism. That watch was the Omega Seamaster. What’s more, in spite of the awesome publicizing duplicate praising its capacities (Made for a Life of Action or The Watch the World Learned to Trust), it was truly a very much made watch, basic as that – a watch you could wear on your wrist that could precisely reveal to you the time. From various perspectives, the vintage 34mm Omega Seamaster is the most significant thought of a basic, dependable, Swiss-made wristwatch.
Coming back to the source story of my own Seamaster, I had the option to discover a couple of snippets of data. I generally realized this watch was a blessing to my dad from my granddad in 1960 for my dad’s Bar Mitzvah. Truth be told, this is the solitary affectionate memory my dad has about that day, the explanation being that no one went to the festival. There was a monstrous snowstorm which kept his loved ones from making a trip to it. Be that as it may, there was consistently this watch. He wore it for quite a long time, all through school, prior to getting something – you got it – greater. A long time later, he would offer it to me, and afterward, as individuals do, I would proceed to lose it for a very long time prior to discovering it in a stroke of complete luck.
As it ends up, the watch traces all the way back to a couple of years before 1960. It was created on November 18, 1957, as indicated by the Omega chronicles. It was then shipped off the U.S. Armed force Foreign Exchanges – fundamentally a PX – to be sold. I composed a story a couple of months prior specifying my granddad’s Rolex Submariner , and how he served in the Army during WWII prior to entering the Foreign Service where he worked his whole vocation. In this way, realizing the creation date of the watch, I expected to discover where that would have set my granddad in 1957/58. At that time, he was unwinding a post in India, preparing to get back to Washington D.C. On the way from India to Washington, he probably made a stop in Europe where he bought the watch in a PX there. The watch likewise has all the earmarks of being an exemplary instance of purchasing a blessing staggeringly right on time, as it would be barely two years before he would offer it to my dad. We would all be able to learn something here about arranging a blessing buy in advance.
I didn’t welcome my camera with me on my visit to see Ed the watchmaker, yet here is a photograph of the type 471 development inside my 34mm Omega Seamaster reference 2802, shot on my iPhone.
The watch is a reference 2802 and the development is the 20-gem Omega type 471. The 471 development went through a couple of varieties in now is the right time. This specific variant of the development is antimagnetic and stun safe, with a force hold of as much as 40 hours. It is 25mm in breadth, with a stature of 5.5mm and beats away at 2.75 Hz. During my encounter with Ed the watchmaker, I got an opportunity to take a gander at the development for a long while. For a 63-year-old watch, this thing truly moves, and it’s a looker for sure, with the rotor gladly engraved The Omega Watch Co. Swiss. All of the appropriate data about the watch was situated on the underside of the caseback. Remembered for this data is text that trains you to “Fit Washer To Back”, in German, French, English, and Spanish. They don’t need you putting the caseback anyplace other than the rear of the case. Neither I, nor Ed, had any issue with that instruction.
Getting back to my own adoration of this watch, something I truly appreciate is the domed acrylic gem. That is to say, take a gander at it – it is along these lines, domed. This watch has additionally, as far as anyone is concerned, never been sent back to Omega for adjusting, despite the fact that it has been overhauled by a watchmaker or two throughout the long term. I notice this just to say that, for its age, the precious stone is in incredible shape. This watch has straightforward faceted bended carries which give it somewhat more energy than, say, squared hauls would. There is some incredible angling looking into the issue as well.
For a watch with “ocean” in the name, the water opposition was initially just somewhere close to 30m and 60m, despite the fact that I will not test that any time soon. My agreement is that these watches were created for the chief controlling the boat, not the man jumping into the water – that would be the work of another Seamaster. This thought segues pleasantly into another zone of interest: The Seamaster 300, which gets the greater part of the consideration in vintage gathering circles, was delivered the very year this watch was, in 1957. Indeed, even with the new Seamaster around, there was an essentially higher amount of these 34mm-ish Seamasters created over the long haul compared to its expert plunging partner. This implies that, in spite of our dreams thinking about what watch we may have bought in the event that we had the option to return to 1957, the legitimate answer is: likely a 34mm Omega Seamaster. This was, from multiple points of view, the watch. It was more affordable than a Rolex and could be found on the wrist of numerous dedicated men of the time. This is one reason why it isn’t uncommon (likely the complete inverse) for somebody – such as myself – to have had one passed down to them.
While I am waxing beautiful about this watch, don’t think I am overlooking the undeniable by the same token. The 34mm Seamaster is without a doubt little. I unquestionably wish it were bigger, yet the unassumingness the size emanates that permits this watch to move me back in time each time I wear it. Its failure to be absolutely ageless is its solidarity. It is a period case in itself, a vessel of a particular point in horological history and my own family ancestry, for that matter.
Now, no one in my family put this watch through some serious hardship. It was worn in the typical course of regular wear. In spite of that, the watch has matured in a particularly fascinating manner. The dial is intensely patinated, with some proof of oxidation and staining – likely from some water getting inside. This impact is likewise seen on the Omega logo and Seamaster wordmark. I in some cases feel that it’s the watch telling me – as though I didn’t as of now – that it’s old. The dauphine handset additionally bears sign of oxidation yet, regardless, it improves the watch’s general appeal. Talking about appeal, the seconds hand has the smallest ebb and flow to it, which can be entrancing at times.
The watch bears (more probable bore) radium lume. You can see the lume strips have obscured to a practically dark tone on the cuts at the top of the hour and moment hands. Through and through, this watch is a genuine treat for vintage watch typography fans. In the first place, the deco-motivated Omega underneath the applied logo (and the performance applied 12 at the top), trailed by Automatic with the exemplary level “A” typesetting and, in case we fail to remember, the incredibly cool “S” in Seamaster. The same can be seen on the caseback. Note the shortfall of any Seamaster marking, for example, the exemplary Seahorse etching. There is, notwithstanding, “Waterproof” etched and engraved on the base side of the caseback – it, as well, bearing the level “A.” These are the sorts of little subtleties which characterize watch appreciation at a miniature level.
This watch isn’t, and never has been, an every day wearer for me. Truth be told, I all the more frequently “gaze than wear” with regards to this one – yet I see nothing amiss with that. Simply holding it in the hand and turning the crown to hear the fantastic sound of its winding framework is sufficient once in a while. I have regularly attempted to mark this as my dress watch, yet I realize that is driving it to be something it so plainly isn’t. In the long run, I just came to value it for what it is: a wonderful illustration of mid-century, post-war watchmaking. It is little and loaded with a workhorse development, which is effectively functional by any watchmaker. That, by itself, is a demonstration of its solidarity and longevity.
There are such countless variations of the 34mm Omega Seamaster that I have never come across one precisely like mine. I should say, I discover comfort in that. This little watch sneaks up all of a sudden, and keeping in mind that that punch doesn’t make the watch any bigger, it removes nothing from my capacity to value what it brings to the table as far as history, exactness, and character. I didn’t really require Ed the watchmaker’s seal of endorsement to realize that this is an excellent watch, however I need to say, it was ideal to have it all the same.
Photos, Kasia Milton