Today's offering showcases this rare and important Omega "Marine", one of our favourite early Omega watches.
The earliest wristwatch cases closely resembled those of pocket watch with their hinged lids to keep out dust. The designs however were not very effective at resisting water. As wristwatches replaced pocket watches, watch companies like Rolex, with its waterproof Oyster case, and leading watch companies like Omega realized the necessity of making waterproof cased timepieces.
Introduced approximately eight years after the Oyster, the Omega Marine was designed to compete in the marketplace as a fully waterproof watch. The case features an inner and outer compartment that slide together, held in place by a hinged hook.
The model was made for only approximately five years from 1935 to 1940. Very sought after by collectors, it showcases a beautiful Art Deco design. The rare Omega Marine sportsmen's watch showcased here is an example of one of these pioneering early waterproof watches.
The Omega Marine was worn by many famous divers, among them French Naval Officer and inventor of the infamous aqualung, Commander Yves Le Prieur and American explorer and naturalist Dr. William Beebe.
While most examples of the Marine were made in stainless steel, this rare watch is one of their few solid gold versions.
We sold an example of this watch's less desirable successor, the Marine Standard, to the Omega Museum for display at their headquarters in Switzerland as part of their permanent collection, among the three watches we have sold to the Omega Museum.
We were fortunate to acquire it with all of its original parts down to all hands and the winding crown.
Its case is in excellent condition. Its dial appears to likely have been expertly previously refinished and presents very nicely.
Our Master Watchmaker has performed any needed servicing. It is keeping very accurate time.
For the finishing touch we have equipped it with a new crocodile strap making it ready for immediate enjoyment.
Included with the purchase is a one-year international warranty on the movement and its function and a custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity.
Note: A published example of this model is featured in Marco Richon's work Omega: A Journey Through Time, 2007, pg. 319 and also resides in the Omega Museum. The "Marine " design.
Omega is perhaps best known as a sports timekeeper, recording the world's most important competitions, from the Olympics and America's Cup to the CART World Series. In the early 1930's, leading up to their role as the official timekeeper for the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, Omega dedicated themselves to developing a waterproof sports watch that would be protected against perspiration, humidity, and even watertight for diving.
The first watch they developed was made in fairly limited quantities. Named the "Marine," it utilized an ingenious patented double case sealed with cork to keep water and the elements at a distance from the heart of the watch. Going deeper than any watch before, it was successfully tested in Lake Geneve - close to Omega's headquarters - at a depth of 73 meters. Then even more stringent laboratory tested were conducted five years later that found it to be completely waterproof to a depth of 135 meters.
Despite the fact that the Rolex Oyster released in 1926 has often become thought of today as the earliest dive watch, it actually wasn't, as it wasn't marketed as intended for divers.
Rolex did not claim that the Oyster was suitable for diving or submersion in water to any great depth. Perhaps it wasn't important to Rolex diving was a commercial or military activity in 1926 for which wristwatches were not required. The Oyster was waterproof for ordinary swimming and was potentially capable of being the first divers watch, but the Omega Marine was the first watch to be specifically tested and qualified for diving depths and made the very dangerous profession safer.
Somewhat of an unsung hero in less discerning collecting circles at times, Omega has helped bring the model back to the forefront through its reissuing of the watch in 2007 as part of its limited edition 135 yellow and white gold pieces for its "1932 Museum Collection" series.
Country of origin: Switzerland
Serial no.: 8,355,610
Year made: c. 1935
Model: Ref. OT 680
Functions: Hours, Minutes
Designed for: Men
Case material: 14K gold
Case markings (inside): Omega, Fab. Suisse, Swiss-Made, 14K, 8,865,761
Case markings (inner outer case): Omega, Fab. Suisse, Swiss-Made, 14K, .585, much patent information, 8,865,761
Case markings (outer outer case): Ralph Weston
Case condition: Excellent with fairly light signs of previous polishing and change to gold around spring bar holes in the lugs, discrete repair to clip as is common so that it continues to lock
Dimensions: 24mm diameter (excluding crown), 31mm long lug tip-to-tip
Dial: Matte silver with black painted Arabic numerals at the primary hours with luminous dots at all hours, outer railroad minute track, signed Omega, likely previously expertly refinished, presents wonderfully
Hands: Original, blue steel luminous "diamonds"
Movement type: Cal. 19.4 SOB, rhodium plated, 15 jewels, cut bimetallic balance, Breguet overcoil balance spring, index regulator
Jewels: 15 rubies
Beat frequency: 18,000 BPH
Band: Crocodile, fully stitched, padded, new
Width between lugs: 18mm
Servicing: Our Master Watchmaker has performed any needed servicing. It is keeping very accurate time.
Timing: Timed to precision on a state-of-the-art computerized system. Your watch is important to us, and we will take care of it for its lifetime. We provide the best after sale care in the business with an experienced team of watchmakers both of whom each have over forty years of experience and a large number of parts.
Warranty: 1-year international warranty. Please email email@example.com for details.
Box/Papers: BOX - Connoisseur of Time watch presentation box; PAPERS - Custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity
Returns: 7 days full refund. 100% satisfaction guarantee
We offer a 100%
satisfaction guarantee for all of our watches. If you are in any way
unsatisfied with the watch we will fully refund the purchase price anytime
within 7 days after the watch has been received. Our goal is to exceed our
client's expectations throughout the buying experience.
All watches are packaged carefully and mailed double boxed in specially
constructed, reinforced shipping boxes designed for high value items. All
watches are sent fully insured with signature required. Most of our domestic
shipping is done through FedEx. At times we will also use USPS Express Mail,
and we can accommodate most requests for your preferred carrier.
International shipments are sent USPS International Express Mail or FedEx.
The purchase price will be the declared value of the merchandise on any
required customs forms. The payment of all customs duties, tariffs, and
taxes are the responsibility of the buyer.
Also note that water resistance of vintage watches can no longer be
guaranteed and is not covered under the watch's warranty. We do not
recommend getting a vintage watch wet, even one that was originally designed
to be waterproof.