Forums Latest Auctions Members

Why is every 1970s Omega Seamaster Yachting different??

  1. keepschanging

    keepschanging Feb 6, 2016

    Posts
    291
    Likes
    469
    I've rather fallen for the Omega Seamaster Yachting, which I think is an awesome piece of funky 1970s design with a solid movement. And it's rare, which is a bonus.

    Now as one does when the obsession kicks in, I began looking at these quite closely. And to my surprise I realised that there are some major inconsistencies in the look and paint of every version I have looked at. As i show below, these are most noticeable in the yachting timer inner bezel.

    So I'm wondering, is this normal? In the 70s, was Omega's quality control just a bit slack? Were these painted on by hand, which could account for some differences? Or are we looking at a surprisingly large number of re-painted bezels (as I say, every one of the ones I've looked at is different from the other!). Or maybe Omega just did it differently from time to time - e.g. early models had a certain look, later models changed a bit??

    Would love to hear what you guys think. My personal take is that it is normal for watches of this age because probably these were hand made and, for me, it adds to the vintage charm. But that raises the question, how on earth do we spot a re-painted bezel then??

    So, to illustrate the differences that I have seen, I have taken 8 random examples from the internet (from a search of 'omega seamaster yachting' on google and then using the image results) and marked them up in the pictures below.

    And I have checked the consistency of 5 parts of the inner bezel:

    1. The 'A' in the text which says '5 START' in the red colouring: out of the 8 examples I looked at, 5 had a pointed top to the As and 2 had a flat top. So they were in a slightly different font. 1/8 I couldn't tell because of a reflection.

    2. The white lines at the start and end of the red colouring: 3/8 reached all the way to the top of the red colouring. 5/8 did not. (And some had obvious mistakes, e.g. in one of them there was red colouring well past the white line at the end, so they didn't align!)

    3. The white lines in the blue colouring: 3/8 reached the top of the blue colouring. 5/8 did not.

    4. The number 10 above the blue section: 3/8 did not touch the blue colouring, 5/8 did

    5. The 'TACHY' text: 4/8 aligned with the top of the number 65, 4/8 with the bottom

    Pics below...

    <Edit a few weeks later - I have updated the pics and provided some more info below to summarise my understanding to date

    I believe the inner bezels can be categorised broadly into two types:

    Type 1: Most of the Omega Seamaster Yachting watches that I have seen have the Type 1 bezel. Most easily recognised by checking the white lines in the blue colouring - the white lines do not reach the top of the blue colouring. These often had internal inconsistencies and errors. These inconsistencies are most easily identified by checking the white lines at the start and end of the red colouring, which are often of a different length, sometimes in or outside the red colouring, and often not aligning perfectly with the start and end, or top and bottom, of the red colouring. It seems from these inconsistencies do not suggest the bezels have been repainted, or are fakes, instead showing quality control errors within Omega at the time (perhaps adding to the vintage charm for some!).

    From what I can tell, Type 1 is likely the original bezel, or at least the earlier version of it.

    As user "ahsposo" said below, "the're all different and yet the same..." (although that's hardly a constructive answer given that, at least for those of us who are not experts, the only way to spot a re-dial or re-painted bezel, or indeed a fake, is to check the minutiae - and these inconsistencies are very obvious, let alone being 'minutiae'! The following thread is a great example of how important it is to check the detail, and always worth a laugh: https://omegaforums.net/threads/omega-speedy-jedi.21205/)

    Type 2: Less of the Omega Seamaster Yachting watches I have seen have this bezel. It may be a later version, and/or a replacement version. Every NOS version of the bezel that I have seen currently for sale is a Type 2. Also, almost every Tissot Navigator that I have seen on the web (and I checked about 20) is Type 2. In my view the Type 2 bezel looks neater and tends to have better finishing, but as mentioned they seem less likely to be the original bezels for the Omega Seamaster Yachting.

    Lastly, that still leaves the question: how would you spot a fake or re-painted inner bezel if there was one? I think the answer to that is, it would be very hard, as it seems the originals themselves were executed somewhat poorly themselves!>
     
    1.jpg 2.JPG 3.JPG 4.jpg 5.jpg 6.jpg 7.jpg 8.jpg
    Edited Feb 12, 2016
  2. ahsposo

    ahsposo Most fun screen name at ΩF Feb 6, 2016

    Posts
    2,878
    Likes
    13,881
    *sigh*

    There was a time I approached women in a very similar fashion...
     
    oddboy, chronos, Jwit and 3 others like this.
  3. Andy K

    Andy K Dreaming about winning an OFfie one day. Feb 6, 2016

    Posts
    1,621
    Likes
    5,168
    This is the most likely reason, IMO. I would think that changes in the supplier or the supplier's manufacturing methods over time accounts for most of these variances.

    Dials are a completely separate animal. The inner bezel was/is typically sold with the crystal so you could have an original bezel with a redial, or you could have an original dial with a fake or aftermarket bezel. They need to be assessed independently.

    This is really interesting stuff! I own a Yachting (see below) and I too fuss over the minutiae but I've only ever noticed the alignment of "TACHY".
    [​IMG]
    Two things I'd suggest adding to the 8 specimens you've already documented. One, check ebay, I believe there are two sellers that carry service/replacement replacement crystals/bezels. Those could help separate what was the norm for the period vs. what is common on the service parts. Two, do an image search for "Tissot Navigator Yacht". Those were powered by the sister movement Lemania 1341 and had very similar cases and what I had until this post assumed were identical bezels. :)
     
    mac_omega and Lou P like this.
  4. keepschanging

    keepschanging Feb 6, 2016

    Posts
    291
    Likes
    469
    So to try and read between the lines, you're saying something like: "In the 70s this level of discrepancy was normal and these are not redials"?
     
  5. keepschanging

    keepschanging Feb 6, 2016

    Posts
    291
    Likes
    469
    Great, thanks!

    Looking at the only replacement inner bezel currently on ebay, it has the "white lines to the end" type look, which appears a bit more professional looking so I wonder whether that was used for later models or replacement parts. pic bellw.

    Very interesting.

    Thanks also for the clarification of redial vs "re-inner-bezel", makes sense
     
    image.jpg
    Edited Feb 6, 2016
  6. Andy K

    Andy K Dreaming about winning an OFfie one day. Feb 6, 2016

    Posts
    1,621
    Likes
    5,168
  7. keepschanging

    keepschanging Feb 6, 2016

    Posts
    291
    Likes
    469
  8. peatnick

    peatnick Feb 6, 2016

    Posts
    1,862
    Likes
    14,122
    But how did women think of you?

    At this point in my life I'm lucky if they look at all, usually just see a wallet with pants around . . .
     
  9. ahsposo

    ahsposo Most fun screen name at ΩF Feb 6, 2016

    Posts
    2,878
    Likes
    13,881
    Yes. They're all different and yet the same...
     
  10. bieb1

    bieb1 Feb 7, 2016

    Posts
    274
    Likes
    402
    Fascinating subject, these bezel insert differences. Thank you for investing the time and making such clear and educational pictures. Speedys of course have their own variations on the outer bezel and with Rolex defining the bezel insert differences has turned into an art form.

    Here is my Yachting. I know the dial is the original one, but it was serviced sometime in its past by the previous owner, when the case was also polished . The crystal is original Omega and still has the logo visible, but barely, under a loupe. It has the flat top A insert, so maybe that was changed out at that time. Who knows?

    These are very nice watches and with their extra chunky case have a good wrist presence. Not very popular at the time, relatively few were sold and now they are becoming more sought after.

    image.jpeg
     
    Lou P and keepschanging like this.
  11. OSP

    OSP Feb 7, 2016

    Posts
    98
    Likes
    75
    LOL! :thumbsup:
     
  12. keepschanging

    keepschanging Feb 12, 2016

    Posts
    291
    Likes
    469
    Hey guys, I have provided an update to the post and pics above on the basis of further research and findings.

    It would still be great to hear further thoughts from anyone on why these bezels are often different...
     
    Edited Feb 12, 2016
  13. grankin

    grankin Jan 15, 2017

    Posts
    11
    Likes
    4
    I've had me a Chronostop since I bought it new in 1972, and it has sailed 10,000+ miles with me, started many a race (as best it can, given that it wasn't really designed to do that). I always wanted a full-on yachting Omega, and found one used on ebay. This just came back from being serviced, and I suspect that the bezel may be mis-aligned (every other photo I've seen has it rotated '3 hours' clockwise. Thoughts? Observations? Opinions? (And yeah, I splurged on a sharkmesh bracelet.) Oh, and it looked pretty well-focused ... until I posted it. :-(
    watch.jpg
     
  14. Foo2rama

    Foo2rama Keeps his worms in a ball instead of a can. Jan 15, 2017

    Posts
    11,248
    Likes
    15,397
    Yes it is rotated 90 degrees. You suspected correctly your watchmaker was not paying attention.
     
  15. grankin

    grankin Jan 15, 2017

    Posts
    11
    Likes
    4
    Just got a photo of the innards, and it appears that I got took. Bought the watch on ebay, where it was described as a cal. 1040. Here's a photo if the innards. Note the jewel count, and the three numbers near the bottom:
     
    ChronostopMovement.JPG
    Edited Jan 16, 2017
  16. grankin

    grankin Jan 16, 2017

    Posts
    11
    Likes
    4
    I had me a bit of a scare last evening. I had the friend who cleaned & pressed the watch send me a photo of the innards, and guess what? There, clear as a bell, were the numbers "865". I thought "Oh, sh*t! I've been took!" E-mailed said friend. He had worked on my old Chronostop, , so that could easily be the explanation, that he'd grabbed the wrong photo. After some scurrying around, he came up with this photo, and its number matched the part number of the part he ordered. So the innards are authentic.

    YachtingMovement.JPG
     
  17. mac_omega

    mac_omega Jan 16, 2017

    Posts
    1,998
    Likes
    3,097
    @keepschanging

    Thank you for putting so much work and time into this informative post.

    This is the kind of posts we want to read here - it brings growth of knowledge.... and not "I have inherited.... bla bla, what is it worth?"

    regards
    erich
     
  18. Darlinboy

    Darlinboy Pratts! Will I B******S!!! Jan 16, 2017

    Posts
    6,806
    Likes
    47,719
    Excellent and thorough post, I've learned a lot on this reference. :coffee:
     
  19. Andy K

    Andy K Dreaming about winning an OFfie one day. Jan 17, 2017

    Posts
    1,621
    Likes
    5,168
    :D That would have been a first - a Chronostop movement operating 4 central hands, two subdial hands, a 24 hour disc, and a date wheel! Is your friend going to straighten out your bezel for you? Otherwise, all the parts look proper for a 176.010 ST. Nice watch! :thumbsup:
     
  20. keepschanging

    keepschanging Feb 11, 2017

    Posts
    291
    Likes
    469
    @grankin - yes, your bezel is misaligned. The rest of it looks genuine.

    I would recommend you have it serviced by Simon Freese of STS in England - he is an expert in vintage Omegas and has done an amazing job with a number of my pieces, including my seamaster yachting. I am an absolute stickler for perfectly aligned hands etc. and have never found fault with his work. And the watches are all running totally accurately, years afterwards... He will also be respectful of the heritage, avoiding changing hands, polishing etc.

    It's fairly costly but is worth it for the next 20 years of enjoying this watch...