Sunday, March 23, 2014

Vintage Omega Seamaster & Constellation chronometer

I continue my hunt for vintage Omega today. Since there are too may Omega watches (seamaster, Deville, Speedmaster, Constellation, Dynamic etc, I have decided to focus mainly on the Omega Constellation (which is the highest grade) chronometer series. The exception is the Omega Seamaster With chronometer certification.

For a watch to earn the title of "chronometer", the movement has to pass a very strict battery of test under very strict control at the most renowned official testing organization, the C.O.S.C (Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometres). The testing last for 15 consecutive days. For the first ten days, the movements are tested in five positions at 20 degrees Centigrade. Three of the positions are vertical: 3 o'clock left, 3 o'clock up, and 3 o'clock down. Two test are horizontal: dial up and dial down.

After that, the movement is left in the horizontal, dial up position, and the temperature is lowered to 4 degrees Celsius for one day. Then it is raised back to 20 degrees Celsius for one day. Then the temperature is increased to 36 degrees Celsius. For the last two days of the test, the movement is moved back to vertical 3 o'clock left position and the temperature is lowered back to 20 degrees Celsius.

The timekeeping of the movement is recorded daily, and at the end of the 15 day test, calculations are made in six different areas. The different areas are:
1. mean daily rate in the different positions.
2. mean variation.
3. maximum variation.
4. greatest difference between the mean daily rate and any individual rate.
5. variation of rate per 1 degree Celsius.
6. resumption of rate.
The variances allowed are very small. The mean daily rate must be within -4 and +6 seconds per 24 hours. 
went to visit Mr.Wong, a part time watch dealer, who specializes in Omega vintage this afternoon and I have managed to trade my Hamilton military for vintage Omega with cash top up.

Omega constellation using Cal 561. 24 Jewels, timed 5 positions and temperature. 168.005
Cal 561是在551的基础上附加日期,为星座系列的专用COSC机芯.

Omega seamaster, with Chronomter using Cal 564
海马在60年代是低于星座的产品, 而且COSC检定是要出钱的.考虑定位和成本, 所以海马没有做COSC. 但也有例外,极少的海马,因为特殊原因, 用了COSC级别的564或561.表面也有COSC的书写
驰刹风云CAL.564. 代表OMEGA60--70年代的制表最高,也是最后的真正水平, 自厂设计生产, 玫瑰金色.

Useful information to spot fake Constellation from the net:

Omega Constellation watches are chronometers with the movements being tested for 5 postitions and temperatures.  It is usually marked on the movments.

The vintage chronometer movement calibers are as follows: 354, 504, 505, 551, 561, 564 and 751.   The calibers 562 and 565 were NOT used in Constellations.  They were used in Seamasters.

One thing to watch for, is, a 562 or 565, which states on the movement that it has been adjusted for 5 positions etc.  It is a fake!  Somebody took the Automatic rotor and train bridge from a 561/564 and slapped it onto a 562.  I have seen Constellations running a cal 750.  Such examples are also fakes regardless of what the Bestfit manuals state.  Those manuals are designed only to find a substitute for hard-to-find parts.


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