Throughout the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s Omega made a number of event-specific chronographs tailored to each individual event’s time requirements. These included the standard activities normally associated with watches such as flying, auto racing and sailing but they also struck out on a limb and made a line specifically for football or, as we Americans call it, “soccer.” Now, soccer is not an activity that makes most peoples’ list of common watch associations but that’s what makes this piece so unique, especially if you are a lover of the game. Even more surprising is that Omega wasn’t alone in their quest to make a soccer watch. Breitling introduced a competing watch with the Referee Timer reference 2676.
Throughout the course of its product run, Omega made three different soccer timer references: the 145.016, 145.020 and the 145.019. The 145.016 was the simplest of the three with a 38mm cushion case and a white dial. The 145.020 kept the white dial but increased the case size to 41mm and added a fixed internal bezel. But the real prize is reference 145.016 that we have here today.
Of the three soccer timer references, the 145.019 is the most prized by collectors. What drives its desirability over its siblings? It is the combination of all of the best features of its predecessors including the updated case size, grey dial color, rock solid movement and of course the rotating bezel. The rotating bezel came in two form factors, either a black, 12-hour or a red, white, and blue 12/24-hour bezel which is shown here, often referred to as a roulette bezel (i’m sure that you can guess how it got its name). The rotating bezel is controlled by an extra crown located at ten o’clock, specific to this reference of soccer timer.
This watch features a 41mm cushion shaped case, in stainless steel, that curves slightly at the lugs. It’s a feature used by many watch brands to make larger cases more comfortable on the wrists. Overall the case shows sharp edges and correct areas of polish versus brushed finish. Of particular note is how the brushed finishing on the top of the case appears to fan out from the center of the dial showing great attention to detail. Overall the watch is in great condition and there are no major scratches.
With multiple crowns, it may seem complicated to set the time but it couldn’t be more straightforward. The crown placed between the two pushers is used to set the time just like any other watch while the secondary crown at 10 o’clock is used to rotate the internal roulette bezel. The chronograph functions via the standard pushers.
The Dial and Hands
The dial features vibrant colors throughout with a rotating roulette bezel in red, white, blue and black. The orange hands pop against the center dial due to their oversized design and radiant color. The center of the dial is a taupe color that blends in seamlessly with the more colorful elements of the dial. The premier feature of this dial, however, is the 45-minute marker on the chronograph minutes register. This is what allows a referee to time the halves of a soccer match and gives this watch its eponymous name.
The movement is the venerable Omega 861 which Omega used for years in many of its chronographs including other Speedmasters of its era. The Omega 861 movement is actually a branded movement from Lemania which they referred to as the 1873. The watch keeps good time and the chronograph functions. The service history is unknown.
|Model||Seamaster Soccer Timer|
|Movement||Manual Wind Omega 861|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Band Material||Stainless Steel|
|Clasp Type||Single Deployment|