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French Omegas and their numbers. Looking for info

  1. momosono

    momosono Feb 22, 2017

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    Hi all
    Does anyone know what kind of reference numbers are to be found in Omega watches made by Brandt Frères Paris?
    Obviously if gold, they have french hallmarks, but are their reference numbers comparable to those used by Omega Biel or are they (completely) different?
    And if so does anyone know what kind of system they had, if any?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. François Pépin

    François Pépin Feb 22, 2017

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    Hi,

    I do not know concerning Frères Brandt Paris, but Omega watches with French gold cases have a case number which is not a ref number, but only a number concerning the case. As these numbers are usually chronological, you can empirically check that they matche the date of the movement - when it is from the same maker. But that is all.

    François
     
  3. momosono

    momosono Feb 22, 2017

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    Bonjour François
    Thanks for your information.
    Do you happen to know where I could find a list with these numbers?
    I know where to find which numbers correspond with a given year for the movements, but this one is new to me.
    And I do have a case number which is in the 450 thousand area but that is all for the moment.
     
  4. François Pépin

    François Pépin Feb 22, 2017

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    I do not know any list of these numbers. But I use some watches I know to be genuine in order to get an idea of the period corresponding to a range of numbers. So I compare the case number and the Omega movement number.

    I only did that for (one of) the main case makers of the type of French case watches I am intersting in. His hallmark can be shown in the pics I add in this post.

    The movement is from about 1952, so I have the idea that a case from this maker with 11 millions number should go with a movement and dial from the begining of the 1950,s. I have checked with several genuine watches and it seems to be consistent. But it is empirical and I would not assume it is an absolute rule!
     
    image.jpg image.jpg
    Edited Oct 8, 2017
  5. TNTwatch

    TNTwatch Feb 22, 2017

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    It is a serial number for the case that I've seen can be used to ordered case parts, which makes this number a reference number.
     
  6. François Pépin

    François Pépin Feb 22, 2017

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    A ref number in a French gold case? I have not yet seen that. Would you have an exemple to show? Was it on Constellations - I do not follow closely this kind of Omegas?
     
  7. TNTwatch

    TNTwatch Feb 22, 2017

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    The one you posted, it can be considered a reference number.
     
  8. François Pépin

    François Pépin Feb 22, 2017

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    Really?? That would mean all I said in this post was nonesense! Could be of course and would not be the first time... But I would be really surprised.

    Can I ask what sort of part you ordered? And how you used the case number as a ref number?
     
  9. TNTwatch

    TNTwatch Feb 22, 2017

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    I had a crystal and crown ordered by a watchmaker based on a similar number on the case back.

    Now since you've been repairing watches, how do you order case parts for those watches?
     
  10. momosono

    momosono Feb 22, 2017

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    The watch I'm talking about is late fifties/very early sixties. So the number I mentioned above (450'xxx) would be much too low.
    So, different case makers, different number sets?
     
  11. mac_omega

    mac_omega Feb 22, 2017

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    Never heard about this - this is a case serial number only!

    I have several french cased watches, and even those with the same case design have different numbers in the case back.

    Your statement is definitely wrong - sorry to correct you...
     
  12. TNTwatch

    TNTwatch Feb 22, 2017

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    I think you and most others on here rather mistakenly associate the reference number with model number. The main purpose of the reference number is for ordering replacement parts. In this sense, the case serial number that can be used to order parts can be considered reference number.

    I'd like to ask the same question to you, for your French watches, what number do you use for ordering parts?
     
  13. François Pépin

    François Pépin Feb 22, 2017

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    Thank you for your answer!
    When I have to order case parts for these watch, I use other indications. And I happened to mainly change glasses for those watches and used generic ones - not a problem to me for plastic glasses without rings that were probably not Omega parts at the begining.

    I have made some further research, and I am currently having doubts! I am not sure I understand anymore anything concerning those numbers...

    To be clear, I am talking about French gold cases made by PGF, who also made cases for other brands like Longines. These are very good cases, to me at least as good as the Swiss one - I am talking of quality, not of collectibility.

    Because I like them a lot, I had previously looked at the numbers of 30 calibers from the late 1940s and the 1950s. The numbers had appeared consistent with the dates indicated by the movements. Typically, 10 millions for the early ones, 11 millions for the latter ones. But I have now looked at other kinds of watches, such as connies, and have found very different numbers. My main issue is that I cannot see any consistency: 16 millions in some cases - with could be consistent with my first hypothesis, but I could not check with the movement number in that case - 4XX XXX in other cases.

    So I am no longer sure these numbers have something to do with the dates. They could be some kind of ref indications. The fact that the Longines gold cases made by PGF I have seen had no case number could be an argument. The fact that TNTwatch´s watchmaker could order case items thanks to those numbers is a better reason to beleive so. But we would need to be sure that this watchmaker actually ordered the parts thanks to that number.

    If these are actually ref number, well, I do not understand how they work! They are not like Swiss cases ref number and do not offer a clear consistency. Moreover, I could not (yet?) find two watches with the same case number.

    So I have to make further research! If anyone has some fresh insight, please tell me (us)!
     
  14. momosono

    momosono Feb 22, 2017

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    4XX'XXX that looks like the number on "mine"
    Do you have any information about those? Date, maker, calibre?
     
  15. TNTwatch

    TNTwatch Feb 22, 2017

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    Even older Swiss cases had no reference numbers similar to later watches. They just used the individual serial numbers for parts ordering. Later reference numbers are an evolution for a better way to catalogue parts. They've evolved to something very complicated with nowadays Omega references, which include codes for some very specific parts.

    I don't think you have to seat too much over reference numbers, just use the numbers you have on the cases.
     
    Edited Feb 22, 2017
  16. François Pépin

    François Pépin Feb 22, 2017

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    After some further research and thinking, I am going back to my first idea! So, to me, these numbers are serial numbers and not reference number - even if we are only talking of ref to order parts. But we may have to make some distinctions.

    Let' sum up :
    - PGF or any losange hallmark in a French gold case is a "poinçon de maitre", that is to say the maker's hallmark.
    - The eagle head is, as every one knows here, the French hallmark for 18ct gold (or more if there are several heads in the same hallmark).
    - No number is mandatory according to the French law, and several French gold cases do not have any (Longines watches for instance).
    - But as far as I know, French gold cases made by PGF always have a number.
    - I cannot see any reason why this number should be considered as a reference number. Let's remember that these cases were not made by Omega and thus there is no reason why Omega should have parts for them. There could be exceptions, for instance with Constellations as the French cased ones I have seen (very few though) seem to be close to the Swiss ones.
    @TNTwatch : are you sure your watchmaker actualy ordered parts thanks to this number? If yes, was it exactly like the one I posted above?
    Maybe @Archer could chime in and tell us if this kind of number can be used to order parts on the Omega interface. If Archer cannot, it is fair to conclude no one can!
    - The hypothesis that it is a serial number can rely on several arguments:

    1) It is consistent with several examples where the movement number confirms the year or period.
    2) @MSNWatch thinks it is - well, it is only an "argument d'autorité" but why not from times to times...
    3) There are to me no other relevant explanation consistent with the data.

    But some distinctions shall be made:
    - we cannot compare the numbers of different makers, and I am only talking in this post of PGF - which by far seems to be the bigger, I am even leaning to think PGF could be the hallmark of an association of makers.
    - some kind of watches, such as Constellations, could have specific numbering. That would explain why we can find 4XX XXX numbers during the 1950s or latter.
    I would really appreciate if some French cased Constellation owner could confirm or invalidate this idea by posting some pics (case back and movement).


    But there are still different issues and obscur things to me. For instance, why can we find numbers like the ones we are talking here in Swiss made cases? See for instance the pic below (source: the great page everyone knows here: https://squeletteblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/part-iii-chronometers-30t2rg-and-30t2scrg-english/)

    This number is weird here but could be due to the fact that case is king of a mixt one (with Swiss and French writtings). Not sure at all though! Thoughts?

    Omega.jpg



    To conclude, let's not forgot the most important thing is that the watch is a beautifull gold Omega!
     
  17. TNTwatch

    TNTwatch Feb 22, 2017

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    I think you don't understand when I said "can be considered as reference number". Omega "reference numbers" is just an evolution of the old case serial numbers. Millions of older Omega Swiss cases had no so-called "reference number" like on later cases, but they have some numbers that can be used specifically for parts referencing. The French gold cases (and many US cases) just have some similar numbers - obviously they're just specific for these cases and not related to other Omega Swiss made cases. You can call these numbers whatever you like. I consider them the predecessor of modern day reference numbers.
     
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  18. mac_omega

    mac_omega Feb 22, 2017

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    @François Pépin

    Your question regarding the chronometer case backs you show:

    1) the 30 Rg (SC) chronometers have:
    a) a case serial number on gold cases
    b) a model number (often called reference number) but no case serial# on SS cases, for example "2367" like in the image above

    2) It is seldom seen on few gold cases that there are both numbers, a serial# plus case model number (aka reference#)
    I have observed this only on late chronometer models around 1950

    I have 3 French 30 Rg SC chronometer watches and all of them have different numbers in the case back although all of them have the same case design and same type of movement.

    10.633.8xx
    10.633.9xx
    10.634.7xx

    and an other one which was sold on ebay
    10.639.485

    On 2 other French cased watches of a different case type:
    10.767.7xx
    10.827.5xx

    So the only conclusion out of this: it is a case serial number.
    I support this idea from you!
     
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  19. mac_omega

    mac_omega Feb 22, 2017

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    I think you make a mistake:

    Do not mix up modern Omega reference numbers with numbers found on vintage cases.

    Modern reference numbers contain all the pertinent information of the watch including case material, color/design of dial, type of hands etc.
    So if Al Archer looks up a modern reference number in the Omega net he immediately has all information about the watch.

    If you take a case model number (e.g. 2367) of a vintage Omega (many collectors call these numbers reference numbers which is not really correct, also Omega themselves use this expression on the vintage data base site) you will never know which dial was used or which hands were installed.
    Hence there is the statement on the VDB: "there existed different dials, bla bla ..."

    If you have only the case serial number of a vintage Omega (beginning with movement serial numbers around 9.5xx.xxx mio) you vitually know nothing at all other than the approximate date of production (very rough).
    All these watches are identified by their movement serial# only - so if you ask for an extract you must know the movement serial number!

    However it is totally the opposite with watches containing movement numbers lower than 9.5xx.xxx:
    These watches are identified by their case serial number only in the books in the Omega archive.
    I once tried to get information with the movement serial# only on an early watch as the case had no number - it was impossible to identify the watch.

    Hope this helps to understand the different numbers.
     
    Edited Feb 22, 2017
  20. François Pépin

    François Pépin Feb 22, 2017

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    Thank you for your answer. Maybe I did not understand you correctly. If so, I apologize. As far as I understand, you make a distinction between model number and reference number. The latter one does not correspond to a spectif kind of watch but permits to order parts. If that is what you meant, I beg to differ.

    Maybe I am wrong, but I think a reference number (in your meaning) shall correspond to some specific kind of watch; if not I cannot understand how you could order part thanks to it. I understand it could be something else that the model number. But is has to match a particular kind of case, etc. But I have not found it to be true: close numbers can correspond to very different cases in size or shape. Of course, I am talking of close numbers, and you could say as long they are not the same my argument is pointless. But, precisely, I could not find identical numbers on different watches - I do not say there are not though. I think a reference number (still in what I think is the way you understand the word) would be the same for a range of similar cases, dials, etc.

    Thus, without being sure of anything, I think those numbers are serial ones.

    Cheers,
    François