OLMA Sport - your opinion on this one please.
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  1. #1
    Member Border-Reiver's Avatar
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    OLMA Sport - your opinion on this one please.

    I have to come with a longer elaborate as I am at my wits end with this one: Olma 1960s model Olma Sport.

    Some time ago, I got this watch at a decent horological market as NOS. Optically, it is in absolute prime condition, like factory released. The thin scratch on the back was my own mishap.
    Technically, is shows a performance on the timescale/timegrapher equal to any prime brand: + 0 to + 5 secs/day, 0 beat error, amplitude of 314 (measured with correct lift angle for this movement). Frequency is 18.000 A/h. Naturally, it keeps time extremely well.

    Now, that is a nice find one could say, but I am not convinced it is truly vintage, however extremely well made.

    Olma was (is?) a small watch brand, Olma = Numa Jeannin SA, Fleurier, Switzerland, registered on Jan. 22, 1926. The ‘Olma Sport’ logo was registered on March 21, 1961.

    The movement is marked FHF ST 96, a fairly standard and often produced model from FHF - Fabrique d'Horlogerie de Fontainemelon.

    If the watch would be from the 1960s, even unused, it could not have such an excellent performance (dried in oils etc.). It is also not the typical collectors watch which is left in the drawer. The FHF 96 (marked as such or not) is an often cloned movement, especially in Asia.

    The original company had disappeared some day, but as I understand only well after the years after the quartz crisis. Everything is a little bit in the dark from there, but in 2005, the brand was re-launched with the support of Hengdeli International Group, Hong Kong, the world’s largest watch retail group for international renowned brands (according to their own statement). Besides the Zhang family, there are other shareholders like the Swatch Group or a large Chinese re-insurance group, so that sounds like a very solid base. All watches are marked ‘Swiss Made’ (to whatever extend), and that can’t be fake with the Swatch Group amongst the shareholders.

    Some experts I had contacted told me, that it could very well be, that the new owners got at least some original parts from the factory’s stock and that the watch would really quality as new old stock, at least made from new-old parts. A company with shareholders like the Swatch Group or a large re-insurance group would certainly not cheaply fake or clone outdated FHF movements. Perhaps they have been re-manufactured according to old standards, but in this case, why bother with something like a run-off-the-mill FHF ST 96?

    The original Olma Sport had the original FHF ST 96 inside (and other variants with date), but the ones I have seen all have an incabloc shock protection, this one here looks like KIF.

    Any opinions on that?
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    Last edited by Border-Reiver; February 21st, 2017 at 17:30.
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  2. #2
    Member mkws's Avatar
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    Re: OLMA Sport - your opinion on this one please.

    The lume dot placement looks odd. Very odd. As if they were splashed right onto the numerals. Which is nothing good. That alone would have been a deal-breaker to me. The lume looks fairly new.

    The shock device... I don't think it's a KIF- there's a number of others that look almost exactly like this one... Contrachoc, Protax, Rufarex, Rubyshock, Unishock, Uwersi...

    Regarding the FHF 96, it's what I expected to see when clicking on this thread. I'm not saying it's a bad movement, but I'm allergic to it. I've seen it in enough fakes and frankens not to buy a single watch containing that thing,
    Last edited by mkws; February 21st, 2017 at 18:50.
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  3. #3
    Member Border-Reiver's Avatar
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    Re: OLMA Sport - your opinion on this one please.

    Quote Originally Posted by mkws View Post
    The lume dot placement looks odd. Very odd. As if they were splashed right onto the numerals. Which is nothing good. That alone would have been a deal-breaker to me. The lume looks fairly new.

    The shock device... I don't think it's a KIF- there's a number of others that look almost exactly like this one... Contrachoc, Protax, Rufarex, Rubyshock, Unishock, Uwersi...

    Regarding the FHF 96, it's what I expected to see when clicking on this thread. I'm not saying it's a bad movement, but I'm allergic to it. I've seen it in enough fakes and frankens not to buy a single watch containing that thing,
    Thanks!

    It was somewhat of a quick purchase at an horological market where I couldn't find anything and I didn't want to leave without a watch. The price was moderate and adopted to a quick acquisition on the way out. It's often a problem with names that have disappeared along with the quartz crisis and were re-activated again at a later stage or faked or both. Olma, as described in the initial posting is also back again, and the Swatch Group involved in the company that makes them would indicate a decent background. But this one most likely comes from somebody else, perhaps made during the time when Olma was not existent (again).

    FHF 96 and HMT, the hearts of the franken watch. But, + 0 to + 5 secs/day, 0.0 beat error, amplitude of 314, still the same after half the power reserve has run down, is not so bad, leaving aside for how long (months, years) the movement keeps up this level...

    The rest falls under 'learning' and 'personal experience'
    Last edited by Border-Reiver; February 21st, 2017 at 20:46.
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  5. #4
    Member Border-Reiver's Avatar
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    Re: OLMA Sport - your opinion on this one please.

    The performance of the watch, under the assumed circumstances, is nevertheless more than astonishing and beats a lot of new or serviced movements, ETA and inhouse, which I have in other mechanical watches from well known brands.

    The first time around, I just had checked the accuracy of the watch in general and if it runs down the full power reserve. Now, after 24 hours, it is plus 2 or 3 seconds compared to a radio-controlled clock (in line with the original readings on the time grapher). It still runs at this accuracy. There is an almost straight line across, which is not always the case, even with quality brand movements, the amplitude has obviously gone down, but is still strong and the beat error is still 0.0, something you really don't see very often. The timegrapher is a cheaper remake, but checked against the expensive Witschi of my watchmaker without any major differences.

    I agree, the FHF 96 drives the hands of a lot of fakes and frankens around the dial, but this one can't be a cheap copy. It all remains a mystery to me.
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    Re: OLMA Sport - your opinion on this one please.

    Classic Bombay special with Incabloc on the dial but with a Parashock mounted on the balance. A nice one though.
    Last edited by Shum; February 22nd, 2017 at 13:57.
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  7. #6
    Member Border-Reiver's Avatar
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    Re: OLMA Sport - your opinion on this one please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shum View Post
    Classic Bombay special with Incabloc on the dial but with a Parashock mounted on the balance. A nice one though.
    Oh my God, that should have been an easy one to catch! It shows you the difference between judging a watch from somebody else or one for which you have paid yourself.
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    Re: OLMA Sport - your opinion on this one please.

    Not sure what makes this sport's watch, albeit, vintage watches are difficult to replicate. If the watch speaks to you, why not acquire it. This watch looks like one of the Omega vintages I've seen on reddit watch exchange site
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  9. #8
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    Re: OLMA Sport - your opinion on this one please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Border-Reiver View Post
    Oh my God, that should have been an easy one to catch! It shows you the difference between judging a watch from somebody else or one for which you have paid yourself.
    A few days ago I was looking at a Certina DS-2 and it looked just great. Then the guy I was talking to spotted the obvious that it didn't say DS-2 on the dial...

    I always wonder where these cases come from as they have Incabloc stamped on the back so they aren't from India as they used Parashock on almost all their watches. This is the main fault with these but when they get this right it will be hard to spot the difference.

    One other way to spot them is to look at the finish of the movement and the Indian versions usually have a more matted fiinsh then the ones found in Olma watches.
    Last edited by Shum; February 22nd, 2017 at 14:36.
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  10. #9
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    Re: OLMA Sport - your opinion on this one please.

    A non-Incabloc movement certainly doesn't belong in a case stamped "Incabloc..." No, I don't think it rolled out of India, I think it was cobbled elsewhere... China, to be precise. There's usually a ton of Chinese Olmas sold from China alright. Just search Olma on the Bay, and look at the "Buy it Now" offers.
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    Erich Maria Remarque

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  11. #10
    Member Shum's Avatar
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    Re: OLMA Sport - your opinion on this one please.

    It would be nice to know once and for all where they are made. It could however be a cottage industry all across Asia.

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