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My Early Seamaster 120 Divers. What to look for and what to avoid.

  1. gemini4

    gemini4 Hoarder Of Speed Apr 3, 2016

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    In the 1960's, with the success of the of the Seamaster 300, 3rd generation divers, the 165.024 and 166.024, Omega began their series of "baby" divers, the SM120s. Cheaper, Smaller and lighter, 37mm as opposed to the 41mm SM300, the SM120s were initially produced in 4 references. Unlike the SM300 which were only automatic, manual movements were offered as well. 31mm ladies sizes too, (I don't have any of these but be careful as some sellers neglect to mention they are selling the tiny size!!)


    THE FOUR REFERENCES:
    135.027 Manual Movement, No Date, Caliber 601, 611
    136.027 Manual Movement, with Date, Caliber 613
    165.027 Auto Movement, No Date, Caliber 552
    166.027 Auto Movement, with Date, Cailber 565

    Below are pics of my SM120's. Most I think are fairly nice EXCEPT THE LAST EXAMPLE WHICH IS A BOGUS KNOCKOFF AND SHOULD BE AVOIDED!

    I hope this is informative and corrections and comments are always welcome.

    Ref 135.027
    All 4 references appear to share the same case, 5.5mm crown, hands and matte bezel. The caseback Seahorse engraving appears to be the same on all 4 references as well.
    image.jpeg

    Casebacks on the 135.027 and 136.027 are flat. Seahorse is lightly engraved as shown.
    image.jpeg

    All original legitimate cases have notches at the 3 and the 9. This notch may be missing on bogus examples.
    image.jpeg image.jpeg

    136.027
    image.jpeg image.jpeg


    165.027 For me, the hardest of the 4 to source. Dial now includes "Automatic". Note the TT location on the dial is slightly different from the 135s
    image.jpeg

    Caseback is now domed to make room for the movement rotor.
    image.jpeg

    166.027s
    image.jpeg image.jpeg


    THIS IS THE BOGUS 166.027!! It's plentiful, it's cheap. This was the first SM120 I bought. My mistake cost $500 before I realized there was a difference. Other than a Caliber 565 movement taken from another Omega, it's all bad
    :(

    Glossy bezel, wrong 4, different bezel font. Hands too short, Dial fonts and layout (Automatic is compressed). Black date on white background from the borrowed movement.
    image.jpeg

    Caseback seamonster is incorrect. Engraving is too deep. Crown too small.
    image.jpeg


    No case notch at 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock.
    image.jpeg image.jpeg
     
    Edited Apr 3, 2016
  2. sky21

    sky21 Apr 3, 2016

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    Thanks for sharing Gemini, you must have an entire wing of your house dedicated solely to your watch collection! So do you have more Speedmasters or more Seamasters?
     
    DaveK, OMGRLX, watch3s and 2 others like this.
  3. Joe K.

    Joe K. Curious about this text thingy below his avatar Apr 3, 2016

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    Great post and thanks for sharing. A key point you mentioned for detecting fakes is the depth of the engraving on the back. According to AJTT the case back markings were chemically engraved and hence should be relatively shallow. Therefore these markings should be carefully scrutinized. Markings that are too deep and/or inconsistent with wear, machining marks, etc., should raise a flag.
     
    DaveK, dr.rick, watch3s and 4 others like this.
  4. Enzo

    Enzo Apr 3, 2016

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    Very informative (and timely post for me) Gemini, I have been looking at these recently, thank you.
     
    Vicke likes this.
  5. Bill Sohne

    Bill Sohne Bill @ ΩF Staff Member Apr 3, 2016

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    nice photos...

    Good read !
     
  6. smm1208

    smm1208 Apr 3, 2016

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    great informative thread, my 565 image.jpeg
     
  7. OMGRLX

    OMGRLX a RolexBear in disguise Apr 3, 2016

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    Thanks to OP for the fantastic writeup on the 120s.
    Is one on the 300s forthcoming perchance? :)
     
  8. gemini4

    gemini4 Hoarder Of Speed Apr 3, 2016

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    smm1208 likes this.
  9. tdn-dk

    tdn-dk Apr 3, 2016

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    Mine says hello :)

    IMG_1914.JPG
     
  10. gemini4

    gemini4 Hoarder Of Speed Apr 3, 2016

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    Any no date SM120's out there?
     
    hmmmcamu likes this.
  11. Vicke

    Vicke Apr 3, 2016

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    Un-timely for me ;) Bought me a Seamster 120 earlier today, so this thread was just hours late.
    Fortunately, I've done my homework, and this helped me confirm I boghut a legit watch (Not that I was worried... :unsure:)
     
    watch3s likes this.
  12. cimo

    cimo Apr 3, 2016

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    Great info, wish I had known it all before I bought my 120. I was lucky nonetheless, though I sold the piece to make room in my collection. Thanks for the pics and write up!
     
    Elitr6 likes this.
  13. GregH

    GregH Apr 3, 2016

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    Thansk so much for posting this! Very informative!
     
  14. OMGRLX

    OMGRLX a RolexBear in disguise Apr 3, 2016

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    Etp095 likes this.
  15. gemini4

    gemini4 Hoarder Of Speed Apr 3, 2016

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    Omega1 and OMGRLX like this.
  16. OMGRLX

    OMGRLX a RolexBear in disguise Apr 3, 2016

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    so i was right for all the wrong reasons. at least, the beginnings of a lesson learned. that's why i hang around this forum-wealth of knowledge to soak in. :)
     
    DaveK and Baz9614 like this.
  17. Schmedsc

    Schmedsc Apr 3, 2016

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    This is a great reference. Thank you
     
    OMGRLX likes this.
  18. blacksharpie

    blacksharpie Apr 10, 2016

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    My brand-new-to-me manual 120, 135.027. Cal 601. Serial in the 28 millions so apparently dates to around 1969. 120_01.jpg 120_02.jpg 120_03.jpg 120_04.jpg 120_05.jpg 120_06.jpg
     
    airansun, YOSDav, George.A and 6 others like this.
  19. shawn.dww

    shawn.dww Apr 10, 2016

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    So using this reference which is great. I think I just spotted a Frankenstein fake going for close to 800 right now.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/291728577182

    Wrong case back, wrong movement ?
     
    gemini4 likes this.
  20. shawn.dww

    shawn.dww Apr 10, 2016

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    I don't see the 3-9 notches either?