In April of this year, the Omega boutique in NYC showcased some of the most legendary and iconic timepieces from the company’s private collection. HODINKEE was there to document this, including some true grail Omegas.
The Omega Wristwatch Delivered to the Signal Corps. U.S.A., 1917
This particular watch signifies the important connection between Omega and military watches. This particular chrome-plated watch was worn by a member of the military communications unit of the American expeditionary forces that engaged with the Allies during WWI.
A World First, the Omega “Marine,” 1932
The 1932 Marine was the first commercial divers’ watch in the world. The patented double-case is made of “staybrite” stainless steel, with the outer case fitting over the inner case, which is hermetically sealed against the outer case when locked. Another feature is the extendable clasp, also known as the “divers’ extension.”
Omega, “Centenary” of Leopold Godowsky, Jr., 1947
This watch was given to Leopold Godowsky, the creator of the transparency film Kodachrome, by his wife Ms. France Gershwin, sister of George and Ira Gershwin.
The Omega Non-Magnetic “Techron” Model “P-12” for the RCAF, 1944
The present watch was designed during WWII for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Using the same 30 mm caliber, Omega developed the “Techron” series of pilots’ watches. There were two series used by RCAF pilots, the U-15 with subsidiary seconds and the P-12 with center seconds.
RAF Antimagnetic Wristwatch, 1953
The RAF model was designed and produced according to very strict RAF guidelines in 1953. Pioneering the antimagnetic technology that would later be commercialized in the Railmaster.
In 1959 the CK 2998 was introduced. With the same caliber 321 movement and updated Alpha hands, the CK 2998 was purchased by Mercury astronauts “Wally” Schirra and “Gordo” Cooper in 1962 as their personal watches. Additionally, it was worn by Schirra during his Mercury-Atlas 8 mission, becoming the first Omega Speedmaster worn in space two years before NASA’s now famous tests.
The ST 105.003 is the exact model delivered to and tested by NASA, unbeknownst to Omega.
Omega Speedmaster Professional Mark II, 1969
This model marked the first redesign of the classic Speedmaster Moonwatch case, introducing a second generation Speedmaster models.
Omega Speedmaster In Yellow Gold, 1969
This model in yellow gold was created to celebrate the American astronauts’ exploit. It is the exact replica of the Omega Speedmaster Professional worn by tht e American Apollo 11 astronauts on July 21, 1969.
This watch, model OT 3980, is special for obvious reasons – it’s JFK’s old watch. It also is extremely thin and was one of the flattest movements at the time. It was a gift to JFK from one of his very close friends, Grant Stockdale, in 1960 just in time for him to wear it for his inaugural speech. As seen in the picture above, the case back bears the engraving “President of the United States John F. Kennedy from Friend Grant.”