Early wrist watch manufacturing was all about accuracy. Omega’s 1932 brand slogan read, “Omega – Exact time for life” and they meant it. The brand’s exceptional performance spoke for itself at the ever-important Geneva Observatory, exclusive to Geneva-based companies, and Neuenburg Observatory, open to global makers, competitions throughout the early 20th Century. 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.
With a history dating back to 1848, Omega has seen many brand iterations beyond its days fighting for accuracy. None more notable than the late 1960s and 1970s following the Speedmaster’s involvement on NASA’s maiden voyage to the moon. Alongside venerable sport models, Omega continued to offer customers classy dress pieces true to the brand’s heritage. A broad range of classy time-only offerings in both precious metal and stainless-steel were mainstays in the Omega catalog under the Seamaster and DeVille nomenclatures.
The Omega DeVille for auction this week is a ref. 162.5045, one that is not seen all too often. Rare is a tough word to use with Omega in this generation and we hesitate to toss that tag on really any piece. That said, we would be surprised to see another one come up for auction soon. The solid gold tonneau-shaped case really stands out when evaluating this DeVille, offering a classy look in a form that is devout of any unneeded resplendence. Beyond the versatile case is a linen finished dial that is obviously 1970s dress Omega in its design and wear. The Omega cal. 1002 automatic movement boats a level escapement, incabloc shock absorber, and high beat capabilities, ticking away at 28,800 A/h.
The case condition of this automatic Omega DeVille is good to great, showing signs of a previous polish but no major flaws like deep scratches or dents. The caseback matches the condition of the case, presenting nicely with few scratches. An Omega signed crown is fitted and is believed to be correct for this reference although other examples are not plentiful enough to draw a solid conclusion.
The Dial and Hands
A standout on this example is the linen finish dial which is in great condition without any major flaws or even noticeable issues. The handset is correct for this reference and presumed original, condition is great to excellent with no noticeable imperfections.
The Omega automatic caliber 1002 is currently running although service history is unknown.
|Location||New York City|
|Movement||Automatic Caliber 1002|
|Case Width||Case Width 32.5mm|
|Case Material||9ct Yellow Gold|
|Band Material||Leather Strap|