Omega f300 Chronometer Question
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  1. #1
    Member hyperhad's Avatar
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    Omega f300 Chronometer Question

    I have had this watch for a few years. Everything is correct. Movement ESA 9162. The only issue is that the dial and case indicate it is the Geneve model. There should be the word "Geneve" above "Chronometer", but it does not appear, as the picture shows. Any ideas? Case number is 198-021. The movement is the correct copper color. I'm stuck.

    Any ideas?
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  2. #2
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    Re: Omega f300 Chronometer Question

    Here's the watch in the Omega database:OMEGA Watches: Vintage Watches Database
    What is even more disturbing, is that it should be gold-plated. The case shape is correct though.
    The Omega database lists it as a ref. MD 198.0021 (the Omega database's system adds another zero to the ref. no.). But I believe I have an explanation- there might be another watch, which uses the very same case ref. number, but the two letters preceding the number will differ. Don't worry- this was the source of quite some confusion recently, in this thread:
    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/jus...s-1948657.html
    Read it carefully. The watch had a "14381" in the case... which is correct for both the CK 14381 in stainless steel, and the KO 14381 in gold-cap.
    Moreover, the KO 14381 was not listed in the Omega database. This might just be the case in here as well.
    I am afraid that the Geneve line does not have many sources which could be an alternative to the Omega vintage watches database.
    There were also Seamasters without the inscription, so this might as well be the case with a Geneve, why not?
    Do not always treat the Omega database as an oracle, because it bloody isn't one- last few Omega-related threads were quite a proof of that statement being all too true...
    Anyway, if I am right, your watch is all correct. Unfortunately I cannot give a decisive "it's original" or "it's a fake"- I'd like to be a bit closer to being certain about that by looking at the movement- simply saying that it's copper colour is no proof. I need to see it to believe it.
    Once again, I'd really like to see the movement picture and the inside of the caseback. I hope it'll turn out to be all original- that said, I'll keep my fingers crossed.
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  3. #3
    Member hyperhad's Avatar
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    Re: Omega f300 Chronometer Question

    Sounds familiar. I remember reading about another Omega on their vintage site. They described the features, then added...may appear in other configurations (I'm paraphrasing)

    Here is the caseback and movement. Hope they are clear enough to see. The mvmnt # at the bottom of the case 9162. Apparently this was the high quality movement for the Chronometer, designed by Max Hetzel, who had previously worked for Bulova; he was also responsible for the Accutron 214.

    The case is polished steel, not brushed as some others are. Also, the crystal is not hesalite as I cannot see the Omega symbol at the center.

    Thanks once again for your assistance
    mkws.
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    Last edited by hyperhad; June 2nd, 2015 at 03:23.

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  5. #4
    Member mkws's Avatar
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    Re: Omega f300 Chronometer Question

    Here's the movement in the Ranfft archive: bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: Omega 1250 (ETA-ESA 9162)
    You were right, it is an Omega 1250 (ESA 9162).
    The watch appears to be all original. Sub-variant without the "Geneve" inscription of an unlisted Geneve model using the same case type, most likely. Again, without a confirmation in sources, I'll leave a 1% uncertainty. But that leaves me being 99% convinced it's the real thing.
    Wibbs likes this.
    I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it.
    Edgar Allan Poe

    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
    George Orwell

    (...)but that's what mankind is like: they only prize what they no longer possess.
    Erich Maria Remarque

    For any inquiries regarding vintage Doxa watches, please read the highlighted text in my vintage Doxa thread. Sorry, but I will not respond to PMs on the matter.

  6. #5
    Member hyperhad's Avatar
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    Re: Omega f300 Chronometer Question

    Quote Originally Posted by mkws View Post
    Here's the movement in the Ranfft archive: bidfun-db Archive: Watch Movements: Omega 1250 (ETA-ESA 9162)
    You were right, it is an Omega 1250 (ESA 9162).
    The watch appears to be all original. Sub-variant without the "Geneve" inscription of an unlisted Geneve model using the same case type, most likely. Again, without a confirmation in sources, I'll leave a 1% uncertainty. But that leaves me being 99% convinced it's the real thing.
    Close enough for me. I'm going to get a leather strap for it. It came with a cheap rubber one. Should the crystal be hesalite, with the Omega symbol in the center?

    Thanks mkws!

  7. #6
    Member DaBaeker's Avatar
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    Re: Omega f300 Chronometer Question

    There were plenty of f300s that were technically in the geneve line-up but werent branded as 'Geneve'. I belive all the f300 Seamasters and Constellations were branded with their names for for whatever reason-Omega didn't mark all of its Geneve. Anyway-if I had to choose-I'd rather have the 'chronometer' on the dial then Geneve. And even though these were the entry level f300hz's they were by no means cheap in the early 70s. Some of the priciest watches Omega offered.
    I have a pic i'll try and find of the same exact helmet cased*-but with ribbon dial- 'geneve' that didn't have the geneve either-but had chronometer. I traded that watch for my border collie and it was the best trade I ever made. Had many watches and many dogs but deaf Henry is the best of the best. I doubt very much it has any effect on value-in case you were wondering about that.

    * maybe it was these oddly cased curved hooded lug style that didn't have the geneva? I never thought that maybe it was the case that determined what the dial said but with Omega in the 70s-anything is possible. These were kind of like Omegas last hurrah before the coming onslaught of the quartz
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  8. #7
    Member hyperhad's Avatar
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    Re: Omega f300 Chronometer Question

    Quote Originally Posted by DaBaeker View Post
    There were plenty of f300s that were technically in the geneve line-up but werent branded as 'Geneve'. I belive all the f300 Seamasters and Constellations were branded with their names for for whatever reason-Omega didn't mark all of its Geneve. Anyway-if I had to choose-I'd rather have the 'chronometer' on the dial then Geneve. And even though these were the entry level f300hz's they were by no means cheap in the early 70s. Some of the priciest watches Omega offered.
    I have a pic i'll try and find of the same exact helmet cased*-but with ribbon dial- 'geneve' that didn't have the geneve either-but had chronometer. I traded that watch for my border collie and it was the best trade I ever made. Had many watches and many dogs but deaf Henry is the best of the best. I doubt very much it has any effect on value-in case you were wondering about that.

    * maybe it was these oddly cased curved hooded lug style that didn't have the geneva? I never thought that maybe it was the case that determined what the dial said but with Omega in the 70s-anything is possible. These were kind of like Omegas last hurrah before the coming onslaught of the quartz
    And aren't we all very happy that the Quartz movement did not permanently destroy the mechanical watch industry!

    Thanks for the info DaBaeker!

  9. #8
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    Re: Omega f300 Chronometer Question

    Yes, in theory it should have an Omega crystal. I had one replaced on mine, the part cost was around CDN$50 about two years ago. Part is now listed on Cousins UK @ CDN$80. Part number is PD5206 with champagne minute marked tension ring.

    My case is gold, dial is champagne. Dial artwork identical to yours and I'm pretty certain dial is original. Not sure about the crown on yours, mine is flat topped.Loads of variant dials in this range, I believe, as I've seen all sorts of permutations.
    Last edited by Habitant; June 2nd, 2015 at 10:08.
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    Re: Omega f300 Chronometer Question

    There can be a lot of variation with these watches H. Companies were far less anal about such things back in the day. Look how many "special dial" Rolexes come up. Unlike some other mechanical watches that are faked and frankened, these electronic lads are far less likely to be. For a start the vast majority of models aren't expensive. The most prized would be the chronograph examples, but again they'd be cheaper than similar era mechanicals. Secondly good luck in faking one of these movements. :D About the worst I've seen are swapped out movements when one went kaput back in the day. For example I've seen a few Longines Ultronics and Tissonics with the Omega branded ESA movement. Omega produced these in their many thousands and in many different models, so there would be many more Omega spare movements/donor watches than Longines or IWC. As an aside these hummers are about the only watches I can think of where the Longines branded ones get more money than the Omega ones. It's nearly always reversed with those brands in the vintage world.

    TD;DR? I'd be with Mkws, 99% sure it's a good un. I would say though, if you haven't had it serviced recently I'd get that done. These movements are pretty bulletproof, but they have a couple of weak points. The date ring plastic breaks down over time and the teeth snap off/wear away and sometimes won't automatically change over on certain dates. Never manually change the date on these 5 hours before or after midnight. This can mean bits of plastic are floating around inside. Not good. There's clutch assembly to do with time setting IIRC that can cause major damage if the lubrication dries up. Strip the index wheel type major problems. Even with a serviced one I'd be cautious and only turn the hands forward when setting the time. (oh oh so much for TL;DR… :s).


    Quote Originally Posted by DaBaeker View Post
    These were kind of like Omegas last hurrah before the coming onslaught of the quartz
    I'd disagree with you a little on this score DB. It was a bought in movement and nothing to do with Omega as far as the tech went. Loads of others used the same movements; Longines, Zenith, IWC etc. Omega added a different plate finish and that was it(though I suspect as the biggest consumer of these movements by far, ESA may have done this for them). Omega did put theirs forward for chronometer testing though, few of the other marques bothered(I've only seen two Longines Ultronics so marked). The chronometer rating was a given anyway as they were compared to mechanical watches, not the quartz of the time. It just meant more expense for Omega though clearly the felt it was worth it. Oddly Omega used the exact same style of hands one every model of the f300. The other marques varied the handset to the individual watch design. And yea they were pricey at the time. Nearly double the price of a Speedmaster and a few quid more than the PloProf. Weren't far off double the price of a Rolex no date sub either.

    If anything quartz was Omega's last hurrah. They were heavily involved in the race for the first Swiss quartz and really drove the technology with full inhouse quartz movements by the mid 70's, culminating in a personal timekeeping milestone as the Marine Chronometer. Still to this day one of the most accurate independent wristwatch on the planet. All this innovation really hurt them financially though. The watches were very expensive(the MC was crazy money, like ten rolexes money) and the research costs were massive. They did well to survive. But yea, Omega are pretty much the 70's quartz innovator among the Swiss brands.
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    Member DaBaeker's Avatar
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    Re: Omega f300 Chronometer Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Wibbs View Post

    I'd disagree with you a little on this score DB. It was a bought in movement and nothing to do with Omega as far as the tech went. Loads of others used the same movements; Longines, Zenith, IWC etc. Omega added a different plate finish and that was it(though I suspect as the biggest consumer of these movements by far, ESA may have done this for them). Omega did put theirs forward for chronometer testing though, few of the other marques bothered(I've only seen two Longines Ultronics so marked). The chronometer rating was a given anyway as they were compared to mechanical watches, not the quartz of the time. It just meant more expense for Omega though clearly the felt it was worth it. Oddly Omega used the exact same style of hands one every model of the f300. The other marques varied the handset to the individual watch design. And yea they were pricey at the time. Nearly double the price of a Speedmaster and a few quid more than the PloProf. Weren't far off double the price of a Rolex no date sub either.

    If anything quartz was Omega's last hurrah. They were heavily involved in the race for the first Swiss quartz and really drove the technology with full inhouse quartz movements by the mid 70's, culminating in a personal timekeeping milestone as the Marine Chronometer. Still to this day one of the most accurate independent wristwatch on the planet. All this innovation really hurt them financially though. The watches were very expensive(the MC was crazy money, like ten rolexes money) and the research costs were massive. They did well to survive. But yea, Omega are pretty much the 70's quartz innovator among the Swiss brands.
    What i meant was not that this was Omegas innovation as obviously it was licensed by Boluva. What I meant was everyone in the Swiss watch industry was aware that a quartz watch was coming out soon ( and they too were in the race) and that extreme accuracy was the only way to combat the rumoured accuracy of the eventuality of quartz. ANother type of 'last hurrah' might be considered the 36k bpm Longines ultrachron. A very accurate watch that longines touted as guaranteed to be within certain specs and upping the 'accuracy' game. (and then they had a few that actually were officially certified-i know) I would even say that Seiko came out with a type of 'last hurrah' of their own in the 60s just to continue and compete with the Swiss -and even as their development
    of the quartz was coming to fruition.

    The second type of Swiss that was an attempt to reach an extreme accuracy in the age of electronics were (first the pre-quartz balance wheel electrics) an then the hummers witch -of course-had been innovated by Boluva years earlier. The fact that the Omega, Titus, Longines and few other hummers didn't remain popular for much longer after the introduction of the quartz was just proof that the technology of the hummers was too expensive and fussier then the new quartz. It isn't that Omega or any of the Swiss stopped making precise mechanicals (and neither did Seiko) but certainly we know that the advent of quartz almost (only almost though)destroyed the Swiss industry. And i think its it also obvious that the Swiss were trying anything before quartz came out to make a big sensation with 'new' electronic technology.

    I do agree that the Swiss were heavily involved in the race to put out quartz. And some of the best quartz movements were made by the swiss. (I am thinking about this one hand-soldiered Longines thats mind-blowing. The beta 21 and so on. And sure-the story of the swiss and quartz is more nuanced then the general but basically accurate cliche about how the Japanese struck a critical blow to the Swiss industry.
    Last edited by DaBaeker; June 3rd, 2015 at 06:04.
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