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My Mum just gave me this watch that was in Dad's things (he died a way a few years ago). It came from a friend of his who was in the RAF. The guy at the Omega shop thinks it might be an RAF watch, but the numerals look unusual. Anyone know what it is? Isn't it missing the second hand? I think it looks cool and will get it serviced and cleaned up, then buy a strap (thinking brown leather, but any other strap advice?). Thanks!

20160317_213139

 

20160317_213031

 

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It looks to me as though either the dial is a replacement or refurbishment as it definitely looks wrong for a service issue, or the caseback has been put onto a non-military watch. The numbers and style of the caseback are correct for the WW2 period I think and as you say it should have a centre second hand.

It's a nice watch and would be worth trying to find out exactly what it should be and that could be done through Omega or have a chat with the lads on the MWR, who definitely should be able to help identify it for you and advise on restoration... :)

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Like artistmike says - the dial looks odd. Omega military mostly used straight "Arabic" style numerals for clarity, so that cursive style looks wrong for a military watch . Also, pretty much all of the Omega military dials have "railroad" minute tracks, but I do know of at least one exception, so it may be correct. Most likely it could be a later redial. The blued hands are standard for a military Omega of around 1943, but would indeed come with a centre second sweep hand with small counterweight.  Also the soldered lugs and case style looks OK form an Omega military watch.

WWW = waterproof wrist watch, Y 4562 is the order code and the last number is the case serial number.

that information should lead someone in the know (especially Omega) to identify what those numbers relate to and if your watch matches the order number.

Edited by ESL
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Thanks, that all makes sense. It has gone back to Omega who say that because of its age it needs to go to Switzerland, so it's off on it's travels! Six weeks to hear from them, they say. Happy to spend a bit to put it back "together".

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59 minutes ago, TobesEtc said:

Thanks, that all makes sense. It has gone back to Omega who say that because of its age it needs to go to Switzerland, so it's off on it's travels! Six weeks to hear from them, they say. Happy to spend a bit to put it back "together".

Yes it's well worth getting sorted. It might have been better ,rather than through going through Omega, to have sent it to STS in this country, who are Omega's official vintage people in the UK, and who do amazing work, but Bienne too are outstanding. It won't be done in a hurry but it will be done well..... I look forward to seeing that when you get it back... :)

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Fascinating watch and nice to save it, anything related to the war has a story to tell.

 I look forwards to seeing the pictures when it returns...with a new dial perhaps?  Or at least a strap... I would also like to see the insides, but I guess that may not be possible if it is resealed. 

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Just for interest these are three Omega watches which were Air Ministry issue for the RAF during the Second World War.

image.jpg1_120.jpg

The Air Ministry codes are on the back.

image.jpg2_36.jpg The movement calibre is the 30SCT2.

The "www" watches I've seen had black dials but my knowledge of military watches is very limited. I did look online & found this article which may be of interest. https://watchxchange.london/blogs/watch-life/59621443-the-story-of-the-dirty-dozen-the-first-wristwatches-specially-commissioned-for-the-british-army

It's great that you are having your watch restored and will look forward to seeing how you got on once it has been returned. :yes:

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Sorry to say but I would say that is a mixture of watches. The back is from an Omega WWW, but they are sub-second watches, so having a centre seconds movement is wrong. Are you sure the movement is even Omega? The dial is definitely a redial. I wouldnt be spending money at Omega on this watch, although no harm getting it serviced locally at an independent to be able to wear and enjoy.

 

Foggy

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I'd be mildly surprised if it isn't an Omega, if for no other reason that the guy that left it to me did so as 1 of 4 watches, all Omega. But it's possible he picked it up whilst in the RAF through "alternative" ;-) means, who knows? Anyway, Omega were happy to take it for evaluation, so we'll see what they say.

Certainly, no other watch like it seems to have the same numerals, so that does indicate it's been molested at some point! All the more interesting to hear what our Swiss friends make of it! I'll keep you posted...but don't hold your breathe, it'll be weeks.

Which reminds me, need to post pics of the Asprey/Smith watch I discussed nearly a year ago now that's fixed up!

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I've heard back from Omega and they have confirmed the watch is an Omega RAF timepiece from 1940-43 period with a 30T2 movement. The second hand is missing but can be replaced (so yes, it was there originally) and no, it is not a mixture of watches - even the face is confirmed as original though it is possible the numerals have been re-done (but that's not certain, they could also be original). I'm not in it for the money or turning a profit, and will never sell this watch - it'll be left to a family member when I depart (or before), so this is all great news and makes a small (well, small probably not the term I'd use!) investment in getting it fixed up worthwhile in my (slightly unhinged) mind.

I'll post some pics when it is finished. In the meantime I'll have a think about the sort of strap I want for it... suggestions welcome...

 

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17 hours ago, TobesEtc said:

I've heard back from Omega and they have confirmed the watch is an Omega RAF timepiece from 1940-43 period with a 30T2 movement

That's great news, I'm really pleased for you. I think that dial could be the subject of some speculation, especially the font of the numerals but even as they are, it is part of the history of the watch. I think it's well worth the no doubt large bill you'll receive, but the vintage section at Bienne are renowned for doing good work, I've had some great work done on my watches by them and you'll be no doubt thrilled when you get it back, sensitively restored to good working condition.

You'll need an "open-ended" strap to fit this watch, something like one of these.. https://www.watchobsession.co.uk/collections/open-ended-hirsch-straps

or even from here   http://www.watch-band-center.com/watchstrap-h175-Open-End-Watch-Bands.html  something simple in brown leather would appropriate..  Do let us see the finished product when you get it back and of course you're 'unhinged', all us collectors are or we'd never get involved in these sorts of pieces in the first place. One word of warning, it can get obsessive though... :-)

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Great news , looking forward to seeing it on it's return , agree with Mike a nice quality open ended leather is the way to go , much more fitting to a piece like this than a Nato imo

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I'm sorry, but Omega have form when it comes to not understanding their vintage watches. Your watch is 100% not as it left the factory. It may well be all Omega parts, but that is not an Omega WWW. It is a WW2 air ministry Omega movement, which is where they would get the 1940/3 date from, married with the casback from an Omega WWW military issued watch. The WWW's were not produced until 1945. I will also restate - an Omega www is a sub- seconds watch. Your watch is centre seconds, which is what the AM watches were.

Ask over at the military watch forum if you aren't convinced by me, but I have been collecting military watches for twenty years so have seen a fair few and picked up a reasonable amount of knowledge along the way.

 

foggy

Edited by Foggy
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What an interesting thread. I am not an Omega expert and wouldn't therefore dare to comment on the rightness or otherwise of your watch, TobesEtc. What I would just say is that the essential definition of a pilot or aviator watch is actually pretty simple - an accurate timepiece with clear dial and easily-read numbers and hands. 

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Watch isn't back yet, but Omega have sent me a pic of the face. After discussion with them we agreed that the face had been significantly altered sometime in the last 70 years and that the best course (for me, at least) was to "put it back" as close as possible to the way it would have been originally. Therefore, here are "before" and "after" shots of the face...

1

 

2

 

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In these discussions with Omega, what do they say about a centre seconds watch having a case back from a sub-seconds watch? Interested to know.

Foggy

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They have says they will replace the hand set so that it has a second hand. They made no reference to the back being incorrect, just stating that:

"By means of the information I have I expect your watch to be an RAF timepiece from Circa 1940-1943. The movement is a 30T2 and would support this theory. The case is engraved with the broad arrow and other typical markings denoting it’s a UK military watch. The WWW engraving stands for Water proof wristwatch.

The Y4562 engraving relates to the military order code of your timepiece and lastly reference xxxxx xxxx is your OMEGA unique serial number."

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Whichever way you look at it, this is going to be a beautiful watch when it has been restored, and will be a lovely reminder of your late father.  Wear it in health when you get it back mate :thumbsup:

Oh, and for what it's worth, personally I would fit a nice black leather strap, not brown.

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Thanks

The 30T2 is a sub-seconds movement. The centre second variant would be the 30T2SC.

30T2 is correct for a WWW. Incidentally, the WWW has a black dial.

Centre second British RAF watches would include the 1940's air ministry 6B watches, and the later 1953 and 1956 issued watches.

With the information provided, Omega are living up to their unfortunate reputation of not understanding their own vintage output :-(

Foggy

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TobesEtc, You can rely on Foggy's knowledge on military pieces, He's something of an expert on them!! :notworthy:

 

John :thumbsup:

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Black or brown leather being a personal preference just make sure it is a decent quality one.

A nice touch would be to aquire a vintage Omega buckle to go with it.  You might have some luck in that on Ebay since Omegas output was so high there are a fair number floating around.

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It's been intersting following your watch posts and every one else's.

Hoping the you put the pictures of the finished watch on once it's finished.

The dial that omega are putting on will just set the watch off nicley, I have a couple of the dial's knocking around with the hands some where, I had them on a cal 283, but they just didn't seam to really go with the watch.

Out of interest what did omega estimate for the completed  watch.

 

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