advice on an old omega: Fake? How do I fix it up?
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  1. #1
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    advice on an old omega: Fake? How do I fix it up?

    hi i just bought an old omega for a small amount of money. Does anybody know what model this is? It has a bit of rust and scratches and i need some advice on how to fix it up. How do you polish the case and the crystal? I would also like to know if you think its fake and what it could be worth. I have attached some photos Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Member M4tt's Avatar
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    Re: advice on an old omega: Fake? How do I fix it up?

    I'll cut to the chase. It isn't really worth much, a couple of hundred at most, but on the other hand, it probably has a rare and really interesting movement (that no one wants because they are so small!)

    The watch is about 33mm and quite probably completely authentic. Forget about the watch for a moment though, that movement is almost certainly a bit special! The movement family is the classic 15 jewel 26.5. However, this is where it gets a bit rarer. There are several versions of this movement from between about 1926 to around 1951 Obviously, the serial number on this one dates it to 1950 or so, quite literally the very very end of the production run of this venerable but excellent movement.

    This, however, is where it all gets more interesting; beyond the serial number there are several indicators that this is a very late version: the incabloc shock protection for a start. More to the point there is a classic tell for the final T3 version: the click for the mainspring barrel (that stops the watch from unwinding when you wind it) moves from the side of the barrel furthest from the balance (in the T2) to the side of the barrel nearest to the balance (in the T3, the penultimate version) So on the face of it, this should be a 26.5T3. However, I don't think it is. The 26.5 series stopped being made in 1949 but this is from 1950 and so I think this makes it a Cal.100 which was only made for about a year around 1950. If I'm right, then this is just a bit cool and you have a lovely little toy. As for further identification, the 100 is so rare that the omega vintage database don't even list it and even Dr Ranfft's legendary movement bestiary gives up and posts a picture of a 26.5. Somewhere in Bienne there is probably an old Swiss guy who knows about this watch, but I doubt the internet will offer up much more than I have told you.

    The dial is in a style that is very similar to the military 6b/159 style but with slightly different hands, these could be appropriate, but I'm not sure; if they are blued, then they probably are. If they are merely painted black I'd guess less so. The case is appropriate, but really badly foxed at the back. Don't polish the case or you will rub off any residual value and make it look horrid and shiny. If you get it serviced (and you really should) you can get a new crystal for peanuts. I know it sounds odd but this movement with its roots in the twenties is capable of good solid timekeeping and, if you give it a little TLC will easily outlast you (think of it as a charitable act!) Likewise the case has military roots and when fully serviced will offer around 30M water resistance. In other words this is a sixty year old watch sporting an eighty five year old movement design in a seventy or so year old case design you can wear to work!

    Either way, I'd be really interested if you could look (very carefully) under the balance with a loupe and tell me what is written there.

    Oh, and it looks absolutely splendid!

    Thanks for showing us it.
    Last edited by M4tt; April 3rd, 2011 at 00:02.
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    Re: advice on an old omega: Fake? How do I fix it up?

    Thanks so much Matt!
    I am so grateful you took your time to explain all of this. I will receive the watch in ten days and I will definitely take a look under the balance to see whats written and report back. Do you think I should do anything about the rust?

    Cheers Henning

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  5. #4
    Member M4tt's Avatar
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    Re: advice on an old omega: Fake? How do I fix it up?

    Frankly I would spend the time trying to find an aged watch repairer who recognises the words 'Omega 26.5T3' and who will service the movement and give the case and crown some TLC. Manuals of this age are usually pretty cheap to service, but can get a bit more pricey if they need parts. I'd say home maintenance is worth practising on watches that are not historically significant before you have a go at something like this!
    You can hit the 'like' button too if you wish!

    Cheers,

    Matt

    *edit*

    One other thing: if you look at the inside of the caseback you can see quite a few watchrepairer's marks. This suggests two things: first the watch will probably only need a service and second, that someone loved this watch for a long time. In otherwords, this watch has already outlived one or more proud owners. I have a couple of watches like this, and it gives me goosebumps (in a good way) to think about the unknown and unknowable history of an old and well loved watch.

    Actually, on reflection, there is actually one other cool thing. Your watch has a a Breguet overcoil hairspring. These are madly expensive and have to be set up incredibly carefully by hand by an expert who specialises in this black art. However, once in place they are about as good as it gets. To get a watch with a Breguet overcoil today you will have to pay a small fortune as they cannot be set up by a machine. I'm pretty sure that no current mainstream Omega uses one.
    Last edited by M4tt; April 3rd, 2011 at 14:22.
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    Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity. Seneca

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