Omega watches containing a version of the 30 series movement are becoming a common sight on Dial + Bezel and for good reason. These movements are loved for their reliability and were cased in classic military-inspired cases. Its a winning combination. As a reminder, at the 1945 Geneva Observatory competition in a group specifically for wristwatch movements, Omega’s caliber 30 was awarded first prize against the likes of Patek Philippe and Rolex. At the time, this was a huge deal. Massive amounts of press and notoriety came to both the brand and the movement. Having been available for commercial purchase since 1939, Omega’s caliber 30 series of movements, on the tailwind of observatory victory, would come to be a backbone for the brand. Offspring of the same base caliber 30 remained in new Omega wristwatches until 1966, including the Omega 285 found in this watch.
A refined iteration of that same award-winning movement, the cal. 30T2 forms one of the most collectible groups of time-only watches in the world of vintage collecting. Many of these watches were sold and, more importantly, many references and variants were created by Omega— creating the perfect storm of accessibility and rarity.
The reference 14390-1 was produced by Omega from 1958 to 1962. This reference is often referred to as a pre-Seamaster 30 as they are the predecessor to the well-loved Seamaster 30 line of watches. Dating Omega watches of this era is quite simple. Each watch movement was printed with a unique serial number and each year Omega progressed the first two numbers in the serial number. This allows us to pinpoint the production year. This particular example was produced in 1961 as evident by its 18,000,000 range serial number on the movement.
The 36mm stainless steel case is in good condition. The case has definitely seen a polisher at some point in its life but it is still sharp and retains all of the correct proportions. The watch is fitted with the correct Seamaster caseback and Omega signed crown but the crystal, which should be Omega signed, is a correct but not original domed acrylic.
The Dial and Hands
The dial and handset on this watch are all about patina. That is to say that the dial has aged considerably over time. The good is that all of the original text, non-luminous applied hours markers, and non-luminous hands are still on the watch. The bad news is that the dial itself has a number of issues. The originally silver dial is starting to chip off in spots (somewhat uniformly) and there is also a bit of yellowing that is occurring around the edge of the dial as well as the other dial text. If originality and patina are your things then this is the watch for you.
This watch is powered by a manual Omega caliber 285 which is part of the heralded 30 series of Omega movements. The watch is currently running and keeping good time but the service history is unknown.
|Location||New York City|
|Movement||Manual Omega caliber 285|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Band Material||Suede Strap|