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New Arrival - Mystery Ref 2550, cal 351 with Plank Dial

  1. Hippocampus

    Hippocampus Feb 9, 2019

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    So, I’ve always wanted a plank/ cartouche dial Connie or a rarer Seamaster, as a larger part of my collection focuses on more unusual dials. This popped up for me at a good price so I jumped on it, without much research... hopefully my cursory glances at it weren’t too far off the mark.

    Here it is “in the raw” as it came out of the shipping box:
    58F3CAC8-DCD0-4350-B070-D24D29767FE2.jpeg

    So I saw the Omega emblem had come loose, although the holes for the feet were still clearly visible in the dial - figured it was a pretty simple fix to align the two feet on the emblem and press it back into place. But first, that heinous Spidel needed addressing before it carved a ring into the inside of the lugs.

    7DB81DC9-E0C0-4011-851E-198CF319C378.jpeg

    Much better. I wiped off a bit of the old wrist cheese encrusted on it as well, so next was to get the case back off. Easier said than done, it took about an hour of gentle fiddling and sharpening my case knife before I could prise it off. All said and done, I was rewarded with a reasonably clean cal 351, 11.7 million serial number:

    F1C45143-CA28-4DB6-AF0A-8A0A3B4D1351.jpeg 59F99720-0C97-4FCD-A34B-0B6A5667B407.jpeg

    And then the case back inside:

    AFCC551C-D0EA-4009-AE7B-0D33CDC2D02C.jpeg

    All looks in order, but it is a little curious that it’s 14k and not 18k - I’m not a *real* ace with the case markings, I’m not sure if this was a US produced case etc, but given there’s no OXO stamped on the movement I wouldn’t think it was especially for the US market. So I’m guessing variance between same reference models being both 14k and 18k were a thing?

    Next was to see if I could address the dial and get a closer look - I’d never seen this reference with a plank dial, in fact I’d never seen anything that wasn’t a 352 chronometer that wasn’t a plank dial, so I was curious to get up close. It appeared that there was some glue residue on the dial where the Omega emblem was, which made me a bit nervous, and after getting the bezel with crystal off, it did feel like that logo was being held in place with some adhesive. Happily, it all came off with a very minimal amount of encouragement with a piece of balsa wood and rodico, and didn’t damage the dial underneath:

    94498C60-501D-4089-84CC-D6D41546667C.jpeg

    3FF47F95-9E43-49EA-BFB9-B9CA19E7ADBE.jpeg

    Now I’ll leave it to you guys to say whether it looks like a redial or not - but the lettering looks correct to me, being slightly raised and with the flat top “A”s and the quality of the seconds chapter ring. Only thing that struck me as unusual was no SWISS or Swiss Made by the 6, but given the guilloche pattern along the outside of the dial it might have made sense to exclude it.

    Now for the bad news. The Omega emblem popped off without much force, and happily whatever adhesive the last person used to kludge it back on there wasn’t anything of any real strength; but now I can see why they had to use some sort of glue, because the little “feet” or posts on the bottom of the emblem are mostly gone:

    DED62197-AD41-41E2-A92A-5D9AD09DCE20.jpeg

    That’s of the underside of the emblem. You can *just* make out the feet, but they are awfully short. I know the feet on applied markers are usually short so they don’t protrude into the underside of the dial and scratch up your date wheel or anything else under it, but it still seemed like it was unlikely they would be able to hold it to the dial all on their own.

    I haven’t made any attempt to reattach it, as I wanted to see if the forum knew of a watchmaker who might be able to reapply it successfully; I was hoping for a US based one. Movement needs to be serviced anyway so I was counting on sending it out regardless, but if anyone knows who best to try and reseat the logo, I’m all ears.
     
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  2. mac_omega

    mac_omega Feb 9, 2019

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    Hi,

    it is a swiss made case for sure (going by the hallmarks) - number 4 in the key symbol indicates Antoine Gerlach SA as the responsible Swiss case maker.
    I am not sure about the dial - what I miss is the fine grinding structure which is usually found on dials this age...

    Despite this I call DIBS in case you want to move it on at some point...

    best
    erich
     
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  3. JimInOz

    JimInOz "Helpful Hints from Heloise" of bracelet cleaning. Feb 9, 2019

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    When a dial with applied emblems and markers is to be re-dialed the back of the legs or stubs are ground down so that they can be removed. I'd say that this is happened to your as it's definitely a redial based on the alignment of the five minute markers and the chapter ring markers.

    Still a nice looking bumper though.
     
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  4. Hippocampus

    Hippocampus Feb 10, 2019

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    I’m gutted if it is a redial but now that you mention I do see your point about the alignment of the 5 minute markers. Suppose I could take the dial off and look at the underside for the telltale signs that all the markers have come off the dial. Was a little caught up in looking at the lettering when trying to decide myself. That said I do like the guilloche edge of the dial and it’d be the first redialed piece I want to keep. I must imagine the plank is an original feature of the dial though right? There’s no way that could just be added later?
     
  5. Biezmez

    Biezmez Feb 11, 2019

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    That is a very well executed redial. Will be interesting to see the back of the dial and what that might reveal.