Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

Weekly Watch Photo – Vintage Omega Watches

| By Frank Geelen | 2 min read |
Vintage Omega Chronograph 1957 cal.321

Another start of the week with our Weekly Watch Photo and today we’ll show you just how incredibly beautiful vintage Omega watches can be. Last week we showed you photos, made by Etienne Malec, of a vintage LIP. Well, Etienne sent us some more photos and we think they are simply brilliant. Of course, the watches shown in the photos are very beautiful, but we also think that the way they are displayed adds to our desire to own one, to wear one. However these vintage beauties are not available anymore at a authorized retailer, so please enjoy the photos and after that we wish you “happy hunting.”

The vintage Omega chronograph (shown above) is from 1957 and features the same movement that can be found in the vintage Omega Speedmaster shown below. That movement, a caliber 321, was developed by Albert Piguet of a company called Lemania, a well known movement manufacture that had been acquired in 1932 by Omega’s parent company (SSIH). Caliber 321 was used in the Speedmaster until 1968, when it was replaced by caliber 861, also designed by Albert Piguet.

Omega Speedmaster Professional

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In the slide show below (click on one of the photos to enlarge them) you can see several Speedmasters with the post 1968 movement, caliber 861. While caliber 861 was very similar to caliber 321, we feel that one of the most desirable feats has been “removed” from the older caliber. In caliber 861 the column wheel chronograph activation has been replaced by a cam mechanism; something that many purists regret, hence the always rising prices of pre-1968 Speedmasters with caliber 321.

Another difference between caliber 861 and caliber 321, is that the beat rate has been increased from 18,000 vph to 21,600 vph. Now-a-days the Speedmaster Professional (with plexiglas crystal, solid case-back, tachymeter scale, and of course no day or date complication) are still powered by a modern variation on caliber 861, being the modern rhodium-plated caliber 1861. This Speedmaster Professional has been continuously produced since the beginning and is still in the current collection!

Omega Speedmaster Professional

If you’re looking for a vintage Speedmaster (or another vintage timepiece) than please make sure to buy from a trusted source/seller. At the website you can find hundreds of trusted dealers from around the world, so most likely there will be one that is close to you. Chrono24 also gives a good insight on the current price level of used watches.

Happy hunting and in the mean time, we hope you’ll enjoy these beautiful vintage Omega watches photographed by Etienne Malec (click here to visit his website).

3 responses

  1. Great post – the watches look great, the Speedmasters especially and we remain jealous of anyone who owns one or even collects these very special timepieces

  2. Omega is my favorite watch… Once I had an Omega; now have sold at Best NYC Buyers; I am looking to get a new Omega…

  3. The 321 Speedmaster was made well into 1968. They transitioned to the 861 very late in 68. I own a 145.012.68 Speedmaster that my Dad purchased in December 68. Still have the original sales receipt ($175.00).

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