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Omega FOIS - 1125/617 Bracelet Review

  1. aesguerra

    aesguerra Mar 1, 2017

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    There's quite a few First Omega In Space owners out there (as well as some CK2998 fans) that are constantly asking about equipping their Schirra-homage timepieces with the 1125 bracelet. This is a fairly popular swapout for those who desire the look and feel of stainless steel to that of the leather strap, yet want to maintain a vintage look. This review serves to give as much information that I have garnered in my own recent experience of making that leather to steel change, with a sharper focus on the use of the 617 end links. I hope it helps those who are considering this (in my humble opinion) great combination.


    The 1125 And It's Options
    From what I've read, the 1125 is an older style bracelet that is a common go-to for those who wish to equip their straight-lug Speedmasters. It is generally available on line, although it seems to be harder to get them from sources other than an Omega Boutique or and Authorized Dealer. The price is approximately $500 thru an OB, and you will want to specific which end link you'll want. Two styles are fairly common for coupling it to the FOIS - the 560 and the 617.

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    At first glance, they appear to be pretty similar in appearance, but there seems to be fairly solid pro and con points between the two that one should consider. To me, it doesn't seem to be an either-will-do situation. For most, it seems to boil down to what's more important - ease of installation, or looks.

    A lot of 560 fans point out that that specific end link makes for an easy install as it readily uses the spring bar that already comes with the FOIS. In my book, that's a pretty strong selling point. The 617 (from personal experience) is a pain to install using the default spring bars; many a 617-user report using smaller or thinner spring bars to make the installation work. My watchmaker himself went with a thinner spring bar. How much thinner, you can see in the picture.

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    Battling that is the popular 617-crowd's selling point that end link seems to be a better overall physical fit to the FOIS. Where the 560 comes up a little shy coming up the end of the lugs, the 617 has no problem in this department. This is all personal taste, but if you want the 1125 and expect the end link to go all the way out to the end of the lugs, the 617 appears to be the way to go.

    Installation (617 End Link)
    Again, the story you'll get about the ease or difficulty of installing the 1125/617 onto an FOIS varies with who you ask. I myself found it to be a difficult affair - I can do it, but since my AD that I bought the watch from has told me that I can have the bracelet/strap swapped out at my convenience for free, I'm electing to go with that option from now on. Suffice it to say that because this is not a bracelet that was specifically designed for the FOIS, tolerances are a bit tight and it'll show when you put it on.

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    Again, it just might be me and my lack of experience and/or better tools. Still, oh how I miss my old Speedy Pro with the 1998/849 bracelet!

    One more note. More than one OB tech and a few members here have mentioned that the corners of the 617 end link may make contact the case once installed. This is corrected by some filing of those areas. I am happy to note that this was not the case with my own end links. They JUST had enough clearance to lie flat without hitting the case. Obviously, your mileage may vary.

    Comfort
    I have found the 1125 to be quite a comfortable bracelet to wear. Yes, it has additional heft, but that's to be expected when going from leather to steel. The only thing worthy of note is that, being an older snap-clasp, watch out if you have any arm hair. If the clasp snaps down on one of those follicles, "ouch!"

    Now comes the rattling... which is pretty cool. You wanted added vintage, well, such noises come with the territory. ;)
    It's the clinking that takes a little getting used to.

    Because the end links are not solid and only the top surface of the link gets close to the case, it has a propensity to pivot up and down on the spring bar. The OB techs assure me that this is normal for the 617, but it was more than a little disconcerting at first to hear it. 72 hours after the installation-fact, I don't really hear it anymore unless I'm specifically listening for it. Again, this is NOT a fault - it just happens to be a quirk of the end link design.

    Aesthetics
    If you went for the 1125 bracelet, chances are you won't be disappointed with the new look. All that additional steel brings an entirely different vibe to the FOIS. It doesn't try to suggest "Speedy Pro", but it definitely heads away from FOIS.

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    I guess one could say that it strengthens the aura of the 2998 that this watch pays homage to!

    Now back to the pivoting end link. My wrists are a shade under 6.5 inches, and as such, the bracelet pulls more or less straight down. As such, that 617 tends to levitate like a ramp, usually leaving a slightly visible gap between it and the lugs. It is not the most obvious thing in the world, but it does exist... at least for people like me. It seems like the bigger your wrist is, the less the link is pulled upwards and more outward. That's a pretty important difference there. Chances are that if you have 7+ inch wrists, you may not experience this ramp-like effect that all.

    The last item on aesthetics- SCRATCHES. I don't know of many people who are doing this installation that intend it to be a permanent one, so the question of scratches on the case does come up when they ponder switching back to a strap. 72 hours after the fact, I've happily seen none. Of course, IT'S ONLY BEEN 72 HOURS; time will tell.

    Closing
    Am I happy with the 1125/617? You betcha! It's an amazing accessory to the FOIS that really helps this already outstanding watch stand out even more! For those wanting a SS look to their FOIS without going for a more modern vibe (such as the Speedmaster Racing Bracelet), the 1125/617 is a great route to go.

    Hope this helps. :)
     
    Edited Mar 1, 2017
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  2. Tritium

    Tritium Mar 1, 2017

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    It finally worthed the wait...:thumbsup:
    Thanks for the nice write up.
     
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  3. blacksharpie

    blacksharpie Mar 2, 2017

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    How long did it take to get from the OB?
     
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  4. KstateSkier

    KstateSkier Mar 2, 2017

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    Thanks for the writeup!

    Ya know I've always had a somewhat strange infatuation with the FOIS but something never felt "right" about it. But I must say on the SS bracelet it looks right!
     
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  5. alam

    alam Mar 2, 2017

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    @aesguerra good review!:thumbsup: ...now we need someone to show a pic illustrating the minor differences between these two set ups -- w/560 and 617 end links. ...and your FOIS looks good too!
     
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  6. aesguerra

    aesguerra Mar 2, 2017

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    Approximately 2 weeks.


    I'm pretty close to your viewpoint. ;) My take on the FOIS with the leather strap is that it's an elegant homage to Schirra's 2998. With the SS bracelet, it's more like it's now basking in the spotlight!!! :cool:


    There's quite a few pics of the 560 out there. I think I'll grab one (w/credit) and throw the comparison into the review. :)
     
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  7. blubarb

    blubarb Aug 12, 2017

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    Thanks for a great review, @aesguerra, and indeed I wear my FOIS on a 1125/560 for the most part and sometimes on the JBC and a 7912. I find all three exceptionally comfortable and I do love the slight rattle of 7912 and the 1125 - makes me aware I am wearing something special. However, I was looking through the MWO to get some info on the 1125 but can't find a referral to it as worn on the straight lugs or a reference to it at all. I am curious as to how the idea of fitting the 1125 on the FOIS came about. Obviously I have little knowledge on the 1125 and the straight lugs beside a rudimentary understanding, but what watch sported the 1125?

    ps. late reply but just catching up on a backlog of posts. :whistling:

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  8. bristnj

    bristnj Aug 12, 2017

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    Great review & very comprehensive. I did this mod with the 1125 & 617 ends about a year ago. I ordered via Boutique and had them install and size bracelet. Why Omega did not offer a the FOIS with a bracelet is a mystery. I love it on steel, and think it should have been sold with one. If your considering this mod, it's well worth the time and money.
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. blubarb

    blubarb Aug 12, 2017

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    It's a good question about not offering the FOIS and even the ST on a bracelet (and a few others) aside of aesthetics, I have been wondering if Omega isn't making a move towards removing bracelets from their productions using the salami effect while acclimatising buyers to the high cost of a watch with a strap and not a bracelet. A bit like food producers reducing the serving size while keeping the prices the same. :thumbsdown:
     
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  10. Tet

    Tet I prefer Dilmah do try it Aug 13, 2017

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    Really nice little review/write up OP, love reading things like this. Nicely done! While I've never owned a FOIS I do always think it looks pretty amazing on bracelet.
     
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  11. adam78

    adam78 Adam @ ΩF Staff Member Oct 17, 2017

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    I've had mine on a JB Champion for awhile.
     
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  12. TNTwatch

    TNTwatch Oct 17, 2017

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    I don't think the 1125 was equipped from stock for Speedmasters, but more commonly on Seamasters. It however looks and measures exactly like the 1171 in the vintage version, and probably the same for the modern version as well.
     
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  13. Reynaldo

    Reynaldo Oct 23, 2017

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    Hi

    I'm have a watches, I'm don't not what year is manufacture, but ting is year 40.. Is Omega Chronos, you can help me. In this moment works good..

    Thak you
     
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  14. r32nissan

    r32nissan Jan 10, 2018

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    Anyone have any idea of the total cost of this combination?
     
  15. r32nissan

    r32nissan Jan 10, 2018

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    This looks great. Can I ask what was the total cost and how long did it take?
     
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  16. bristnj

    bristnj Jan 10, 2018

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    I was able to order the bracelet & ends via the Omega boutique. I believe it was about $300. They were nice enough to install for free when it came in. I think it took about 2 weeks to order if I remember correctly.
     
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  17. r32nissan

    r32nissan Jan 10, 2018

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    Thanks - will definitely do this mod as soon as my watch gets here.
     
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  18. kwiklot

    kwiklot Jan 10, 2018

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    I think that's looks fantastic on the fios, I may be late to the party but the watch has allure on its own but this mod just adds that little dash of extra flavor.
     
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  19. many

    many Mar 26, 2018

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    It's been a year now. Have you noticed any scratches? Thanks!
     
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  20. blubarb

    blubarb Mar 26, 2018

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    wearing the FOIS on which bracelet?
     
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