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  1. gefmey

    gefmey Jan 24, 2020

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    I have noticed that this watch seems to have 2 bezel variations. The one I've pictured which I'll call thin squashed numbers and another that is thick tall numbers. I've no idea if they are both original or if one is a service bezel. Thoughts (or actual facts) appreciated. IMG_3488.jpg
     
    Edited Jan 24, 2020
  2. Fatcat

    Fatcat Jan 24, 2020

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    Yes there is 2 bezels, the one in the picture is supposed the « Original » and the other one from 0 to 20 the lines are shorter less thick and can be considered as service , any way it makes 10 years that Omega doesn’t have bezel for the big blue .

    here is mine
     
    ABF8D5EC-945D-43B9-8709-AC5D6091FD36.jpeg
  3. OMEGuy

    OMEGuy Jan 24, 2020

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    Here is a thread showing two different bezel versions:

    https://omegaforums.net/threads/thoughts-on-this-st-176-004-120-c-big-blue.5659/

    Picture taken from this thread:

    [​IMG]


    @Fatcat 's bezel looks like the one on the right to me, but the bezel in your picture doesn't match neither left nor right. Your digits are smaller and placed a bit different.

    So if I can trust my eyes and the bezel in your picture is genuine, there are at least three versions.

    Edit: Taking a closer look, I'm no longer sure if Fatcat's version is the same like the one shown on the right... I'd rather say it's not.
     
    Edited Jan 24, 2020
  4. gefmey

    gefmey Jan 24, 2020

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    That's interesting. I am guessing mine is an original because pictures i've seen of parts returned by omega after repair look more like mine, but you're right they are a little more squashed, closer to early 60's seamaster 120 bezels. Also in looking at your pictures, unless there's distortion, the inner ring numbers also look different. Where are all the "Big Blue" geeks on this one.
     
  5. OMEGuy

    OMEGuy Jan 24, 2020

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    Here is a picture of a NOS watch I once owned. Outer and inner bezel look like the example on the right (picture from the thread I posted above), which was NOS as well. So this can be assumed to be a factory standard.

    upload_2020-1-24_21-58-17.jpeg

    upload_2020-1-24_22-1-25.jpeg
     
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  6. gefmey

    gefmey Jan 24, 2020

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    Agreed that this last NOS photo shows a watch with original factory parts, but did the original bezel change, in addition to having a service one. If you look at Chron24, where there are the greatest number of big blues to compare side by side, you can see all three bezels.
     
  7. OMEGuy

    OMEGuy Jan 24, 2020

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    I think that all of the bezels we can see here are genuine and I vote for Fatcat's bezel to be a service part (as he said, if I got it right).

    Our common observations make it likely, that the factory standard was changed at some point. Would be interesting to know more about the chronology, if there is one.

    I am sure some true experts will chime in sooner or later...
     
  8. gefmey

    gefmey Jan 24, 2020

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    Lets hope that the new "in the works" Seamaster book will look at these great "overlooked" watches. I'm a big fan of what Omega was doing in the early 70s, and there seems to be a lot of mis-information, or guesswork on them. Too bad I was not in the market when you sold that NOS one.
     
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  9. OMEGuy

    OMEGuy Jan 24, 2020

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    You might ask @Dash1 - I believe he's involved.
     
  10. Oysterquartz

    Oysterquartz Mar 24, 2020

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    CEC9030D-5584-4C04-8D2D-7790A000F4F7.png

    Mine is all original
     
  11. Oysterquartz

    Oysterquartz Mar 24, 2020

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  12. JanV

    JanV Mar 25, 2020

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    There are actually three different bezels for the Big Blue, two original bezels and one service bezel.

    The two original bezels look at first the same but the first really rare bezel “first execution” has very thin and flattened numbers (flat top 4).

    Then there’s the “second execution “ seen in most of the cases with a similar font but just a bit thicker and not compressed. This execution can be seen with two different font thicknesses, otherwise absolutely identical so wouldn’t go calling them as different bezels.

    And then there’s the service bezel that sticks out quite clearly with big size numbers and a different quirky font.

    There’s also info to be found here on the forum, just search for it and you will find...

    https://omegaforums.net/threads/thoughts-on-this-st-176-004-120-c-big-blue.5659/

    Will post all three down below in order:
    First execution, second execution and service bezel.
     
    B9879C0B-6126-42BA-A47E-61392F78BB87.jpeg FF9BA0AB-7C44-440C-9557-5604E02F3FDD.jpeg FC5CE296-7551-465E-A76E-665E1E056632.jpeg
    Edited Mar 25, 2020
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  13. Tom Dick

    Tom Dick and Harry Mar 25, 2020

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    This is the last of my new arrivals in the near future. Been wearing it the last few days and suspect it will become my ‘isolation buddy’

    When the world is open for business again I will probably get the case welded and lapped at STS! But still debating that as it’s never been refinished

    the watch will go to James hayman first to have the hands lumed to match the dial and the original top repainted because it’s faded.

    I’ve owned so many of these over the years but it’s been over eight years since I last had one.... must say I love it

    AB38B462-AEFC-44C8-BE74-D0AADACB4D87.jpeg EB61AFA3-3A9C-4F6A-A4E4-3E60D7FC3239.jpeg 04EA57D2-AA45-451A-8637-12062DB552F0.jpeg 3C592705-1373-4AE4-BDE5-214EE0605474.jpeg
     
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  14. Oysterquartz

    Oysterquartz Mar 25, 2020

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    Anyone that could point me in the direction of getting a bezel for this watch?
     
  15. gefmey

    gefmey Mar 25, 2020

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    Thanks @JanV. Any idea on the time frame for the first iteration, I know information on this watch is not as complete as for some others, and unfortunately does not have it's own website, like speeds or other seamsters. Great watch though.
     
  16. JanV

    JanV Mar 26, 2020

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    The first iteration could maybe be as early as late 1969, for the first prototypes but i have no confirmed data of this. My BB, the one in the middle above is confirmed delivery Germany 1972. This first iteration is rare, and also has a different inner bezel if you look closely. Maybe @Andy K could chime in with his intel and observations?
     
  17. gefmey

    gefmey Mar 26, 2020

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    The first watch shown in your thread is mine. I'm trying to find the differences in the inner bezel. It appears that some of the zeros are a little thinner, but I'm not sure if there are others. Unfortunately I cannot accurately date my watch since it has a replacement rotor, and no movement #, only the rotor # which I believe is a relatively early replacement number, R16710.
     
  18. JanV

    JanV Mar 26, 2020

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    Have a look at the font on the inner bezel, especially on the number 5, on the first iteration the number is evenly sized compared to the second iteration where the bottom part of the 5 is much wider than the top. Also all numbers appear even here more compact and compressed, like the numbers on the bezel also appear compared to the ones on the second iteration.
     
    Edited Mar 26, 2020
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  19. gefmey

    gefmey Mar 26, 2020

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    Certainly the bottoms of the 5's are more rounded in the first, than later iterations. In person, as I look at the watch (I'm wearing it) the numbers appear slightly smaller and more squished than later version. Thanks for that observation.
     
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  20. Andy K

    Andy K Dreaming about winning an OFfie one day. Mar 27, 2020

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    1969 would be too early for a Big Blue bezel, unless it came from a different watch. Calibre 1040 wasn't in production until late 1971. I unfortunately can't contribute much info on the sequence of the bezels on Big Blues. For one thing, since it is a diver a lot of them have lived hard lives and have had dials, bezels and hands replaced over the years. So when looking at an example it is hard to say if the bezel it has now is the bezel it had when it was made. Secondly, these are just rare enough that the sample size for what observations I have tracked is really too small. But in general I agree with your assessment below:

     
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