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Seamaster Stepped Pie-pan 2627 Review

  1. dsio

    dsio Ash @ ΩF Staff Member Sep 5, 2012

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    Written by Ashley Budgen ashley@omegaforums.net

    Back Story:

    This piece was one of those strange and rather serendipitous events, it started out in early 2012 talking to Dennis, who owned the Ref 2757 Seamaster De Lux Pie-Pan with date at six housing an Omega Cal 355 bumper movement. I loved this watch partly because when it was seen or discussed it was one of the few watches that was referred to with the article "The 2757 Seamaster Pie-Pan" rather than "A 2757 Seamaster Pie-Pan" in that it had similar siblings but no exact twin existed.

    I joked with Dennis about scouring the earth until I found one just so that his wouldn't be the only one any longer, and it was really a joke as no other date at six example had been seen or photographed aside from the 2757 step sided dial featured in the Omega book "A Journey Through Time" which we assume is the property of Swatch Group / Omega SA.

    Only a few months after this discussion, a lady named Kat found omegaforums.net and Dennis' photos and description while researching a watch she had that was similar but still unique and different in its own way. She posted the item on eBay for sale and out of keen interest I posted a thread about it on Omegaforums hoping someone would buy it but assuming it wouldn't be me. That changed with about two days to go and in the end I managed to pick up Kat's Seamaster at a reasonable price.


    The Seamaster:

    The watch is a Ref 2627 Seamaster De Lux Pie-Pan with a step sided, Guilloche dial, and date at six. The 2627 case featured notched lugs, a screw-in case back and housed an Omega Cal 353 bumper movement. The condition of the piece was used, but extremely good, with no scratches deeper than hairlines and swirls, and no previous polishing or refinishing done.

    Having come from Texas and having a screw-in case back, the case, dial and movement were moisture free and in very good shape, and the watch still had its original correct crown and crystal, having never been serviced, and rarely ever worn.

    The Seamaster was shipped directly to Jesse Hueg in Albany for careful restoration in order to have its first full service and overhaul of the Cal 353 bumper movement along with a very careful surface polishing of the case in order to bring back its mirror finish while keeping all edges and surfaces intact. After around 8 weeks it was finally in my hands, and the results were nothing short of astonishing.


    The Movement:

    This specimen features an Omega Calibre 353 bumper wind automatic movement with a serial number that dates it to around 1952. The impression was that this watch was extremely rarely ever worn, but had never been serviced either, which makes its overhaul in 2012 the first time it had been touched by a watchmaker in 60 years.

    Since its overhaul, the timing of this watch has been simply exceptional, while it may still be in its break-in phase the watch has been keeping around +3 seconds per day thus far while being worn for some time and hand wound occasionally, definitely this is more than I had expected from a non-chronometer rated and unadjusted movement. While the Ref 2757 owned by Dennis features a Cal 355 movement, with the rather elegant and precise swan-neck regulator, the Cal 353 in this Ref 2627 features a more simplistic baton shaped regulator arm which I’d expected to be somewhat inferior, however the results seem to indicate the potential of these movements even without RG or swan-neck regulators.

    The feel of this watch while being wound is very smooth and pleasant, with the clover shaped crown being one of the nicest vintage crowns to manipulate, and the bumping action of the oscillating weight is both very noticeable but very smooth. This watch doesn't just feel like a freshly serviced 60 year old watch, it feels like a brand new Omega, and frankly I'm very impressed with this as my first foray into bumper wind Omegas.

    Date change is instantaneous and perfectly located at 12:00 midnight, and while the movement is a non-hacking variety, the use of a slight amount of back pressure on the crown slows down or pauses the movement more than sufficiently for accurate setting. The only possible drawback for the Calibre 353 thus far is the lack of a quickset date mechanism, but given the fact that this watch will likely only be worn on very special occasions, this is an inconvenience I'm willing to overlook.

    The following article by Desmond Guilfoyle gives some quality background into the Cal 3xx series bumper movements produced by Omega in the 1940s and 1950s:

    http://users.tpg.com.au/mondodec//Omega_Constellation_Gene_Pool.pdf


    The Dial:

    This really is the centrepiece of this example, an ordinary Ref 2627 in 14K solid gold is a very nice watch but addition of a this particular dial is what turns the watch into something special.

    The dial is made from solid 18K gold, rather than 14K gold as used in the case. It features the 12 sided, sharp edged Pie-Pan design created and made famous by the Omega Constellation lines of the 1950s, with arrowhead markers, also taken from the Constellation line.

    The key difference between this 2627 and Dennis' 2757 is the stepping on the dial. This Seamaster features the step sided, or guilloche finishing, on the facets of the Pie-Pan around the edge, a feature well known as a hallmark of Omega's flagship or halo-watch of the 1950s, the Constellation Grand Luxe.

    The stepping is machine engraved, with the edges of the engraving polished to a very high level, giving a diamond like scattering of light from 24 different angles around the watch which make it both very impressive to look at in person, and unimaginably difficult to photograph accurately, as Trev discovered during the shoot for this watch.

    The distinguishing feature that sets both the 2757 and 2627 apart from every Constellation ever made, as well as from the handful of other date at three variant Seamaster Pie-Pans known to exist is the location of the date window at six o'clock. The date window is a trapezoid shape, and on close magnification it looks as if the date window itself was carved and soldered together separately from the dial, before being joined to the dial, as there is a very fine seam between the outer box and where it joins the dial's aperture. The difficulty of making this fit a dial where there is a sharp edge due to the pie-pan design at six is easy to see, but even more so on the step sided dial, with an odd-shaped date window frame needing to be fitted to an odd-shaped and multi-angled dial aperture, as can be seen in the photos. How someone managed to do this by hand and make it look correct and perfect is simply staggering, and we've tried to capture this in the photos.

    The dial features the script "Seamaster Calendar" painted into a channel engraved into the dial, and featured an applied gold Omega logo above the word "OMEGA" written on the dial rather than applied, as with the early Pie-Pan Constellations.


    Relatives:

    The number of Seamaster Pie-Pans in the wild is unknown but it isn’t a great number. It is believed that these unusual Seamasters were sold in very low numbers in the Mexican market. Several other examples with date at three and full rotor movements are known to exist, one owned by a Taiwanese dealer having a non-step sided dial, and a second date at three with a step sided dial is owned by another American collector and was featured in Desmond Guilfoyle’s article essay here:
    http://users.tpg.com.au/mondodec/Seamaster_Conserve.pdf

    The bumper movement, date at six versions however are considerably rarer, with one date at six example with step sided dial in a Ref 2757 being featured in the Omega SA publication, A Journey Through Time, pictured below:

    ajtt.jpeg

    The other presently known date at six example belongs to our very own Dennis (ulackfocus) and is a Ref 2757 as well, but without the step sided dial. Dennis’ watch was sold in hte Mexican market and was also found to have elongated hands, typically found on dome dial Seamasters, which is something also found on the 2627 in this article, though Dennis had his hands changed to shorter Constellation Pie-Pan hands during servicing. Dennis’ 2757 is pictured below:

    dennissmpp.jpeg


    Conclusion:

    The obscurity and uniqueness of this watch is the main thing that drew my attention to it right away, but its the look and styling that really makes it a long term keeper. As a sports watch enthusiast owning dive watches and chronographs the Seamaster Pie-Pan fills an empty slot in my collection for a dress watch as a similar yet rather special alternative to the ubiquitous Constellation Pie-Pan.

    Most of this Seamaster’s future life is no doubt going to be spent in its watch box, only coming out on special occasions requiring a suit, which should also ensure that this watch stays in its clean and scratch free condition well into the future. I’m also certain that its future will be in my personal collection. Of all the watches I have owned, only one had obtained a special status as a piece I would never part with under any circumstances. This week, with the arrival of the Seamaster, and a vintage Calibre 321 Speedmaster Pro, two more watches have been added to that list, and between these three, I think I’ll have all occasions covered well into the future.

    The Seamaster Ref 2627:

    DSCF1221_DxO.jpg DSCF1202_DxO.jpg DSCF1222_DxO.jpg DSCF1227_DxO.jpg DSCF1231_DxO.jpg DSCF1229_DxO.jpg DSCF1235_DxO.jpg DSCF1236_DxO.jpg DSCF1239_DxO.jpg DSCF1238_DxO.jpg
     
  2. pascs

    pascs Sep 5, 2012

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    That is absolutely beautiful. The steeping gives the watch an almost Aztec feel about it and also really makes the hour markers stand out. It is subtle but wonderfully striking :thumbsup:
     
    Foo2rama and mikechi22 like this.
  3. dsio

    dsio Ash @ ΩF Staff Member Sep 5, 2012

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    Thanks =D
     
  4. seamonster

    seamonster Respectable Member Sep 5, 2012

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    Respectable Member dsio

    An excellent write-up on a classic watch that stands in a class of its own, for many generations to come. Then Omega means class and innovation, precision and unrivaled beauty with the highest name recognition. Wearing an Omega comes with the feeling of 'On Top of the World', since it was the flag-ship of the Swiss making industry, leaving other brand-names, miles behind.

    'No Omega No Switzerland'. Then and only then.

    It is rather sad to learn, Omega is just another watch today, struggling to keep its yesteryear image.

    Thank-you.
     
  5. X350 XJR

    X350 XJR Vintage Omega Aficionado Sep 6, 2012

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    An absolutely stunning watch, thanks for the wright-up.
     
  6. rbird7282

    rbird7282 Sep 7, 2012

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    Spectacular. Stunning. Gorgeous. ::love::
     
  7. dsio

    dsio Ash @ ΩF Staff Member Oct 29, 2012

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    The first two months I had this I barely ever wore it but the last two weeks I've been wearing it every day, and damn I just love it, so comfortable on leather, and I love gold now. I was at the bank today discussing international money transfer options with this young lady from Hong Kong and she ended up asking to see it and staring at it under the halogen lights. The way the stepping scatters light like a diamond is really hard to capture in person but damn it looks good in person =D
     
    mistexbs and Trev like this.
  8. MSNWatch

    MSNWatch Vintage Omega Aficionado Staff Member Oct 29, 2012

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    I have always thought the stepped piepan gold dial was the finest dial omega ever made - perhaps the only rival would be the dials omega created in the 1990s for the 1894 homage pieces based on the scientific dial manual wind chronometers. I prefer the connie versions to the way more uncommon seamaster versions only because the connie versions came without a date plus the connies came in rose gold. Overall though these dials are just spectacular.
     
  9. alam

    alam Oct 29, 2012

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    Absolutely stunning and gorgeous piece. :thumbsup:
     
  10. dsio

    dsio Ash @ ΩF Staff Member Oct 29, 2012

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    I really do need to see one in RG at some point, its hard enough finding a non stepped in RG, let alone a clean mint condition stepped.
     
  11. rbird7282

    rbird7282 Oct 29, 2012

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    I think I would have to wear it too. Far too gorgeous a watch to let it sit in a safe unworn.
    Simply stunning.
     
  12. Dablitzer

    Dablitzer Feb 10, 2013

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    ::love:: Man, that is one sexy mutha..
     
    dsio likes this.
  13. dsio

    dsio Ash @ ΩF Staff Member Feb 10, 2013

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    Yea I like it a lot still ;)
     
  14. JM251

    JM251 Nov 11, 2013

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    What a wonderful timepiece. I dislike the calendar at 3 but at 6 I prefer this watch over just about any I've seen - calendar or not.
     
  15. BenF

    BenF Mar 12, 2014

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    Pass the kleenex someone... ;)
    And hello everyone :thumbsup:
     
    dsio likes this.
  16. om9c

    om9c Mar 17, 2014

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    Very well reviewed.
     
    dsio likes this.
  17. TNTwatch

    TNTwatch May 3, 2014

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    Thanks for the article. Very nice and unique dial indeed! However, if the hands are really original to the watch, it's really weird as they are too long and don't go along well with the dial.
     
  18. dsio

    dsio Ash @ ΩF Staff Member May 3, 2014

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    That precise question has been a bit of a long running joke here as there are people on both sides of it but while common logic dictates that the dial matches the hands, in this case its a bit different. The dials in SMPPs are 18K while the cases are all 14K, a clear mismatch which seems odd but is entirely correct. My argument has always been that SMPPs were a special request of sorts, and the deluxe dials were installed on 2757/2627s with dome dials before they left the factory. A standard 14K dome dials typically have long hands, so when the SMPP dial is installed in the watch, it becomes a deluxe but retains its oddly mismatched 14k/18k metals and mismatched hands.

    The reason I believe that is that there are now 6-7 SMPP date at sixes in the wild known to be in collections here, and all of them had long hands when they were found, (my 2757 had long hands too originally but was swapped by Dennis during his ownership).
     
  19. TNTwatch

    TNTwatch May 3, 2014

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    I agree that your observation and reasoning are logical enough and weirder things have happened with Omega. Still, I think, customizing just a few special dials must have been a lot more trouble than giving them the matching hands (seemingly abundantly available).

    If one like this suddenly appears one ebay, it'd be hard to know if things are original or not.
     
  20. TNTwatch

    TNTwatch May 3, 2014

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    Just noticed the second hand is shorter than the minute hand and that would mean they'd have been a mismatch for the dome dial too. Do the other SMPPs have shorter second hand also?
     
    Yellowjacket likes this.