This watch contains one of Omega’s first series automatic movements, initially produced from 1942 to 1949 as the Cal.30.10 RA. This movement was developed into the 330 series of movements, including the Cal.332 which powered the first Omega Seamaster in 1947-48 and the Cal.342 in 1949 which remained in production until 1955. This highly successful movement with a power reserve of 42 hours was part of a hugely successful family of Omega’s automatic movements with over 1,300,000 produced – 500,000 of which were Chronometers. This series powered many thousands of the early Omega Seamaster and Constellation watches and much of the modern-day success of the Omega company we know today can rightly be attributed to this movement.
This watch also has an extraordinarily large 18ct Pink Gold case. Typically, during the 1940s and ’50s, gent’s watches started at 30mm in diameter, excluding the crown. The majority were 31 – 33mm, and during the 1960s and 70s, sizes were usually to 33 – 34mm. Vintage watches larger than this are referred to as Oversize and these are highly sought after because a seemingly small difference in diameter, adds significantly the ‘presence’ of the watch on the wrist. This is because a 1mm increase in diameter, adds over 3mm (3.142) to the circumference of a watch.
Vintage Omega watches of 35-36mm and above are rare and we consider these as Oversize. Occasionally we have seen 37mm Omegas in stock and the current prices of these are around £3,500 for a hand-wound watch in 18ct yellow gold. However, 37.5mm versions such as this are incredibly rare, so rare in fact that we have only seen one in stock previously which was a hand-wound watch 18ct yellow gold, rather than the pink gold automatic we see here.
We estimate that fewer than 600 watches examples of this watch were ever made and probably less than 400 exist today in anywhere near this condition.
Incidentally, Rolex Precisions of 35mm and above are also considered Oversize and the largest, the incredibly rare 37 mm Rolex Precision, currently sells for around £7,500. Should you be lucky enough to find the automatic version, this will be around £12,000 – in 18ct yellow gold!
The superb two-tone ivory and satin/ivory dial is furnished with applied pink gilt 1 – 12 standard Arabic numerals. These along with the original restored Dauphine hands, match the pink gold case and contrast wonderfully against the dial.
This huge dial is beautifully well-balanced with a subsidiary seconds dial at 6. The dial is typical of the period, so effortlessly classic, elegant and stylish. This is just the kind of style which will never look out of date or out of place.
The dial catches the light beautifully. In daylight, the centre-main part of the dial is ivory while the outer sector of the dial is a satin finish ivory. The differences are more subtle, but the outer part of the dial can look darker or brighter than the centre dial.
The dial is signed with an applied pink gold Omega brand, with ‘Omega’, ‘Automatic’ below and ‘Swiss Made’ at the very bottom of the dial.
This is the original dial which has been restored to the very highest standards by our dial restorers, considered to be the best in the UK.
As discussed above, the Omega Cal.30.10.RA 17 jewel bumper automatic was one of Omega’s first automatic movements. This was part of the highly successful Calibre 330 series of automatic movements, which became the foundation of Omega’s later collection. This series is directly responsible for Omega’s incredible early success with its Seamaster and Constellation family of watches from the middle of the last century onwards.
Bumper movements use a rotor which automatically winds the watch by gently bouncing backwards and forwards between two bumper springs, caused by the movement of the wearer’s wrist. These watch movements are robust, accurate and reliable making this watch perfectly suitable for both evening wear and everyday use.
The beryllium bronze movement is in superb condition and is marked ‘Omega Watch Co’, ‘Swiss’ and ’17 Jewels’ with the Calibre number 30.10 RA and the serial number 10973181 which dates the manufacture of the watch to 1946.
The movement has been fully overhauled and serviced by our vintage Omega specialist watchmaker and the watch winds, runs and sets smoothly and is keeping excellent time. Following its service, it has been calibrated and is currently running arrow straight at +2 seconds/day! This excellent for any watch of this age and has been verified on our electronic timegrapher instrument. The watch also has an excellent power reserve of 42 hours.
As discussed above, this is an exceedingly large watch and one of only two examples we have ever seen in stock of this size. However, this is the first and only 37.5mm example we have seen in 18ct pink gold, so this is a very rare piece indeed.
Please note: It is important to be careful with large cased Omega watches as some have unsigned watch cases. Many of these watches were cased in Argentina during the 1950s when Omega allowed this practice due to difficulties in exporting complete gold cased watches to Argentina, which was a very important market at the time. This watch however, has a totally genuine and fully signed and branded Omega case, carrying both Omega model and serial numbers. It also carries Geneva Swiss 18ct gold hallmarks.
The case is of three-piece construction with a press-fit case-back which is of full thickness and has never been engraved. This is tight-fitting and presses down with a pleasing and very reassuring pop. The case profile and overall design carry a good deal of 1940s style with nicely crafted teardrop lugs, making the case of obvious high quality and sophistication.
The watch has been very well cared for and after a close inspection has simply required a careful clean and a gentle polish to bring it back to its current, almost as new condition. The case, the case-back and bezel are all in superb condition with no marks or scratches visible to the naked eye. Even under high magnification, it is very hard to find any signs of wear, indicating this watch has seen very little use and has had a charmed life.
Inside the case, all is as expected and correctly signed and branded: ‘Omega Watch Co’, ‘Swiss Made’ with the case serial number 10786331. It also carries the Omega model reference number 2482 and Geneva Swiss 18ct gold hallmarks.
As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap & Buckle
The watch has been fitted with a very high-quality Black Crocodile leather strap with a matching pink gold plated Omega buckle.
The Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, the reference numbers, markings, signatures and hallmarks are all correct, dating this watch to 1946.
The hardwood presentation box shown in the photographs is included in the sale.
A beautiful example of a top of the range Omega bumper automatic dress watch with an 18ct pink gold case. The movement is of a very high grade and on a par with watches far more expensive than this. Indeed when new, this watch would have cost more than the equivalent Rolex. Omega watches are highly collectable and the rarity of this watch means the value will always remain strong.