When is a Seamaster 300 not a Seamaster 300? A Case Study on ‘Original Condition’ for Vintage Watches

When it was initially dispatched back in the mid 1960s, the Omega Seamaster 300 was, along with the Rolex Submariner, a mass-delivered expert jump watch for the prospering sporting jumper market. There was additionally Blancpain and a couple of others like Doxa, Eterna, Favre Leuba, yet none of them was on a similar creation scale. The present ‘Vintage Corner’ isn’t intended to be a background marked by the jump observe yet a greater amount of a prologue to what you should search for as far as the state of these watches today. The thought is to comprehend what the term ‘in unique condition’ signifies with respect to these sorts of vintage instrument watches. Especially plunge watches, similar to the Seamaster 300, which will in general have suffered very some activity over their lifetimes.

The original Seamaster 300, with straight drags, slim dark bezel addition and ‘wide bolt’ hands, was supplanted in 1963/1964 by the presently notable Seamaster 300 ST 165.024. It highlighted a case fundamentally the same as the Omega Speedmaster of the time. Comparative extents, with lyre carries and even a similar tie shoulder size. It was initially created with ‘stick/pencil’ hands, huge painted markers on the dial and a level marked crown like the Speedmaster. A second model with date work was presented soon after 1964, assigned ST 166.024.

The watch was created with two kinds of programmed developments, utilizing the Omega Caliber 552 no-date or the Omega Caliber 565 with date, from 1964 onwards. Types 563 and 560 may likewise be found in models offered to the US market; because of import limitations, developments had a more modest gem tally – 17 gems for this situation, rather than 24 jewels.

These watches resemble vehicles and made to be utilized for what they were worked to do (proficient or sporting jumping). This implies they must be overhauled and that a portion of their well used parts have been supplanted. Altogether unique watches might be not many, which is reasonable with apparatus watches like this – particularly early plunge watches from the 1960s. Unique condition and box-and-papers demand by certain authorities has prompted fakes with old worn parts being ‘whacked’ onto more youthful watches, in that affectation of creativity. Much the same as vintage vehicles, purchase a vehicle with old bare tires and shot brakes and the sales rep will guarantee you that ‘it’s all unique, Sir. In any case, I wouldn’t drive it in the event that I were you‘. Evidently, it’s normal to have a USD 5,000 distinction in cost between an ideal one (in its unique box) and one that gives indications of an intense life.

  1. What we have here is a unique 1960s Seamaster 300, whose dial was obliterated by water departure. Here, I reestablished the case to a polished get done with brushed sides, as the first. The crown was supplanted with a later cylinder and screw-in crown. The dial was traded out for another old-stock the whole gang of these parts came from Omega (my watchmaker is certify with the entirety of the significant gatherings). We coordinated the lume of the dial with what was found on the first hands, while holding the first bezel, which has broken at 5 o’clock. Early Perspex was utilized for the supplement, which would grow and withdraw with heat and in the long run break. Adding a ‘lighter’ NOS arm band ref. 1171 completed this restoration.
  2. This one was predominantly obliterated and I saved it… everything was NOS with the exception of the case and development. This was a later model, with the sword hour hand. At the point when it came to me, the hand-set was destroyed, similar to the dial. NOS blade hands were the right substitution, the bezel was absent and the gem was broken. Both were supplanted, along with the crown. NB. The bezel on this one came from Omega and looks marginally changed however that was incompletely because of the wide focal point utilized for the photograph and the way that it is a later version.
  3. Finally, on the extreme right, there is a beautiful early model with a plated dial. The other two expected to have their dials supplanted. Nonetheless, the dial on this early form was not in a particularly horrendous condition, compared to the others. In this manner, I just adjusted the development, cleaned and polished the case. NB. These watches were available to be purchased when they were not as uncommon or however important as they may be presently.

What is ‘Unique Condition’?

Back during the 1960s and during the creation time of the Seamaster 300, major producers made large number of watches a year. At the point when advancements working on this issue tagged along, or when model reference numbers changed, these were just coordinated into creation. At the point when new hands were chosen, or even with progressions in innovation (something very common during the 1960s), these brands didn’t toss out the old parts they had available. New parts were essentially coordinated into the creation run and parts staged in as more established parts ran out. You can see this obviously with casebacks on the Rolex Submariner 5513. Many are known to have the prior reference 5512 stepped inside, which is basically clarified by the way that there was an excess to be utilized, prior to changing to 5513 models.

Here two or three Omega Caliber 552 developments to show the distinction in their condition. Over, the matte and discolored rotor is an indication of water getting into the development and oxidizing the cleaned finish. The following is another 1960s Seamaster 300 with type 552, which looked nearly pristine when it was opened. NB. you will see this impact on different unique early Seamaster 300 watches, as the crown permitted water to come in. It was subsequently changed to a screw-in crown and may not be viewed as an indication of a traded movement.

If you are searching for complete innovation, at that point you should remember certain things. Much the same as with Rolex, if the watch was brought to Omega for administration, either straightforwardly or through an assistance community, they may have overhauled a portion of the exhausted corrective parts. This may not be standard practice, yet I’m almost certain they would propose it as they would need the watch returned in the most ideal condition – outwardly and precisely. In this example, the bearing of absolute ‘inventiveness’ may not be the best street to travel, in my opinion.

My contemplations on vintage watches, especially early ‘apparatus watches’, are that updated crowns or supplanted dials are important for the magnificence of possessing something that was initially intended to be utilized and manhandled, as an instrument. Along these lines, parts should be overhauled or supplanted. Surely, a Seamaster 300 with a plated dial would look better with unique gold pencil hands instead of ‘later execution’ silver blade hands, fitted during administration. Notwithstanding, this could be misdirecting for somewhat less educated gatherers. On the off chance that a such an apparatus watch persevered through an extreme life and needed to experience a few help cycles, with its unique tritium dial traded for another old-stock assistance dial, at that point I actually think it is similarly however unique as one that might have been left in a cabinet for a very long time, after been overflowed down at the coast one Spring morning in 1970. An interesting point, particularly in the event that you plan to wear your vintage observes seriously.