The bad news, worse news, and even worse news...
The bad news is there is some significant bad information on an Omega Informational Website that I've become aware of this morning. The worse news is that it's on my site and this bad information is due to a misunderstanding/assumption/oversight on my part. The even worse part is that other people have been basing their understanding on my flawed understanding.
This discovery started out innocently enough. An email from Fabio Iannella asking for clarification on a number of points on the c.1045 series of Speedmasters... One of the questions led me to crack open the case of my Bar Bracelet TV shape matte black dialed c.1045, and to my surprise the case reference wasn't the 176.0017 I expected, but instead the identical case reference as the Link Bracelet TV shape Sunburst dialed c.1045 176.0014/376.0805 ... Apparently the bracelet is different (as I knew and expected) but the case and the case reference between these two models are identical and the TV-Dialed bar bracelet model is NOT176. 0017 as I had thought.
This was a bit of a relevation to me... I started thinking about this, and I realized that while I have had the Bar bracelet TV shaped dial c.1045 for nearly two years, because I bought it from a local dealer whom I had bought about a half a dozen watches over the years, I had never opened up the case back because I had had no reason to do so. I have mixed emotions about not doing so. If I had, based on my then assumptions on this model I would have assumed that something was not correct with the watch, passed on it and probably would have soured, at least a little bit, my relations with the dealer I had bought the watch from. So I'm glad I hadn't done that based on an incorrect assumption. On the other hand I've had incorrect information on my website for a number of months which I feel really lousy about.
This is one of the reasons why I always call myself a student at the topic at hand, and compare what's known about vintage watches to an archeology dig. For every week, if not every day, I learn something new about the topic at hand, and every new piece of information I learn has the possibility of rewriting the sketch of history that I and others are attempting to reflect.
So, what to do about this situation... I've informed some people within the Omega Information community of the situation and will be seeking their input. Perhaps most importantly, I've asked Jean-Michael of Speedmaster-Missions and Lemania5100 .net's to translate the 1974 portion of the table I have on my site from French to English, so I may better understand what Marco Richon is describing within that passage of the Omega Saga. Once I have that information I'll post it here in my blog and on TZ Omega Forum and let the Omega Internet Information brokers know as well.
Regardless, I feel it important to fix the "In Depth" article as much as I can as soon as I can, and I hope to have the passages referring to the 176.0017 revised to what I now know hopefully by the end of the day.
I will post my reply to Fabio below so you can see how our discussion lead to this relevation...
Subject: c.1045 Speedmasters...
Date: Sun, 26 Dec 2004 12:10:55 +0100
Hi Chuck this is Fabio
I‚ve been studying your articles about the Speedmaster Automatic cal.1045 and I found them very nice.
Thank you for your kind words Fabio!
I decided to collect the entire series of thec. 1045 family and for that, I decided to start from the ST376. 0822.
And you started with the toughest one to find first, Fabio! The Grail (376.0822)c. 1045 (Moonwatch styled case) is the one to have if you can only have one. It's a shame Omega made so few of them.
After almost two years, I finally bought it, the Graal. Very very nice.
It took me two years to get one too! It was a lot of work, but I appreciate the watch that much more as a result.
A false expert of Speedmaster told me it‚s a fake because he hadn‚t seen it before but someone would say „I don‚t know this model‰ instead of saying „it‚s false‰. However I bought it.
I personally would rather say "I don't know" than be wrong... Others would rather wish to come across as "all-knowing"... To me all of this is like an archeology dig. Every bone we turn up might change our understanding of what _really happened.
Then I moved on to buy a ST 376.0806 and I bought it.
The Mark V is also a tough one to find. Especially in middle America, but I suspect that it's easier in Central Europe.
It has some little scratches but I‚ll send to remove that. I‚m surprised how watches of nearly 20-30 years ago are still running so precisely.
The c.1045 (Lemania 5100) is an amazing movement. You probably know how much I like this movement, do you know of Jean-Michel's web site devoted to it? http://www.lemania5100.net?
Then I started to open watches, I attended the classes on TZ Watch School and now I‚ll practice on a broken Omega 1045 and then starting to service good ones. I think that It‚s not going to be extremely difficult thanks to the Service Manual you posted ( help: Page #10 is in English but when you click on, it opens in German language, can you fix it?).
I'll look into it today.
Can you also send the 2.2 Megabytes Zipped file of all the parts of the 1045?
If I can find the file I will pass it along...
Now I have some questions for you. When I started to look for the 176.00s series, I tried first to learn all the differences. And I had some problems to understand them. Can you help? Are there different case references?
I'll try, no promises, but I'll try.
The 176.0012 is pretty easy to identify even if I saw on auctions reconstructed ones with non original bracelets, without the tachymeter scale, with white and black hands.
The '0012 is essentially the same thing as a Speedmaster Professional Mark IV but with the c.1045 (Lemania 5100) movement instead of thec. 1040 (Lemania 134x) movement). It's fairly easy to find, easy to distinguish from the other c.1045's as Omega only produced one case reference number for this model watch (like the Grail and the Mark V)... The next four c.1045's had two different and distinct case references for each dial shape... [or so I thought -- C]
Question: I keep seeing the chrono second hand of 3760822 and 3760806 on 176.00s.To me the original one for176. 00s has the shape of a stretched triangle!!!(correct me when I‚m wrong)
I'm not certain of your description/distinction about the Chrono Second hand. In my opinion/understanding of the terrain, the hand shapes used in all of the c.1045's are consistent with one another. Between these two pictures you should be able to distinguish the hand set style I mean:
Now the confusion start.
There are two models as you said. The Bar bracelet and the link bracelet ones. From what I‚m trying to understand the 176.0014 link bracelet has the original bracelet made in Mexico and inside the cover ( on the other side of the seamonster) it‚s written 176.0014.
I'm going to have to pull my examples out of storage... Hold on a sec.
The other model, the Bar Brac. is identical except for the Brac. that is the 1204/212 and now inside the cover it‚s written 176.0014 and ST376.0805!!!
Let me take the back off of mine... OK... Bar Bracelet, TV Dial, Matte Black dial, and... Mine is inscribed like yours is... So I have my pictures mislabeled... Thanks for pointing this out, I have my work ahead of me today!
On your article „Overview of c.1045 Omega Speedmasters‰ on the part „Dimensions of Omega Speedmaster Day-Date Automatic c.1045‰ you write it‚s a ref 376.0804 but to me it‚s not, it‚s 3760805 (Chuck I‚m trying to understand with you I‚m not sure if what I‚m saying is the true but I‚m comparing pics and pics to rebuild the truth).You also write „(Bclt 1204/212)‰ so it‚s the176. 0014 with Bar Brac.
You are correct. I'm going to take the back off my TV Dial, Link Bracelet, Sunburst dial and see what it says... It says the same thing as the bar bracelet! What the heck?!?!?!?! I've checked them twice and that's what they say!
You also write the ref 3760805 on ST176.0017. I‚ve never seen the back of this watch so can you confirm inside the cover it‚s written 176.0017 ST376.0805? Thanks.
Nope it's 176.0014 and376. 0805 under that but no ST marking... I sense a major rewrite coming on...
On your article „Omega Speedmaster Day-Datec. 1045 in Detail‰ you move the ST376.0804 to the176. 0015 that is correct to me. But 3760805 still standing on the 176.0017 and missing on the 176.0014 (cause as you said there are two models and I agree on that).
Yeah, the 276.0805 belongs with the 176.0014... What exactly is a 176.0017? I don't know now.
On your article „Omega Speedmaster Day-Datec. 1045 in Detail‰ you report 376.0804 that is correct but I noticed that some has only written 176.0015 without376. 0804. I don‚t know why.
Pulling the back off of mine (Tonneau case, round dial, matte dial) mine is marked 176.0015 with 376.0804 underneath. I too don't know why the 376.0804 is omitted in some writings.
On your article „Overview of c.1045 Omega Speedmasters‰ on 176.0015 is missing 376.0804.
I'll correct that in both articles.[I should mention that the Overview article was written way back in late 1999 (it's over 5 years old now) and the "In Depth" article was/is slated to be it's replacement. I had largely "abandoned" the Overview article a couple of years ago in deference to the In Depth article but left it accessable for comparision purposes. I may just pull the overview article to avoid further confusion...]
I don‚t know what it‚s written in the cover so can you tell me?
Ok, let me button up the176. 0015... But before I do... I happen to own two examples of the 176.0015, let me compare and contrast what the inside case back is on it, so I have it on record... Identical to the other one... (Button it back up...)
On your article „Omega Speedmaster Day-Datec. 1045 in Detail‰ where there are the pics of the176. 0015 and 176.0016 you make the difference by the dial „ST 176.0015 - c.1045 Tonneau / Bar Bracelet / Matte Black Dial‰. But to me it‚s sunburst dial. Can you confirm it‚s sunburst dial to me?
Ok, here's what I have:
176.0014/376.0805 TV Dial/Bar Bracelet/Matte Black dial
176.0014/376.0805 TV Dial/Link Bracelet/Sunburst dial
176.0015/376.0804 Tonneau case/Bar Bracelet/Round Matte Black Dial
176.0015/376.0804 Tonneau /Bar Bracelet/Round Matte Black Dial (my 2nd example)
176.0016 Tonneau /Strap Lugs-Link Bracelet/Round Sunburst-"Blinking" Dial
Note: I own two 176.0015/376.0804's, and they are consistant with one another.
[I should note that while the case of two the TV shaped dial model is consistant with one another neither has traditional hidden lugs that are capable of accepting a leather strap, the 176.0016 has a conventional hidden lug that could be used to affix a leather (or nylon, etc.) strap. Perhaps (I'm speculating here), Perhaps the 176.0017 is a conventional lugged variant of the TV-Dial cased model? It would make sense because the table from the Omega Saga lists not only a ST176. 0017 but also a MD 176.0017 under the 1974 model year. Which would mean to me a Gold plated model, I could see wearing a gold plated c.1045 on a leather strap. Again this is merely speculation(s)...]
And it‚s missing the pics of „ST 176.0016- c.1045 TV Dial / Link Bracelet / Sunburst Dial‰.
Yeah, I need to take more pictures...
My question now is: Does it exist a 176.0015 or176. 0016 Matte Black Dial? (IŒve some confusion I know). If you have picture may you please send them to me?
I don't have pictures of a176. 0016 with a Matte Black dial, or a 176.0015 with a Sunburst/Blinking dial, but I have seen enough of them listed on websites/eBay auctions that I believe that Omega shipped both case references with either dial. Early on in my Speedmaster explorations I had believed that they were strictly segregated but in the last two years I've seen so many that I don't think that they were segregated.
Here we are. I couldn‚t find up to now any pics of 176.0017 with this Matte Black Dial.
Well, to be honest with you I thought my Matte Black Bar Bracelet TV Dialedc. 1045 was a 176.0017, but apparently it's a 176.0014! So I don't own a 176.0017 (one more watch I need to find/buy! Jeez!).
I don‚t have any idea and pictures of any Matte Black Dial Omega 1045 except for the 376.0822 and376. 0806.
Can you again confirm inside the cover it‚s written 176.0017 ST376.0805?Can you send me photos?
I have confirmed that my reporting is incorrect and the case back is 176.0014 over376. 0805 (again, no ST marking) on my TV-Dial, Bar Bracelet, Matte Black Dialed example. I could take pictures in a couple of days, but I'm not set up to do so at this moment. I'd also like to correct my web pages as much as possible before I get into the revised photography.
Sorry for this long mail but I think you can help me to clarify everything.
I don't know... I've muddied the waters for myself!
Now I want to tell you my dream, hoping that Omega watchmakers would listen and build this superwatch:
1) Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch ref. ST376. 0822
Ok, the Moonwatch casedc. 1045...
2) With a modified Omega 1045 using a co-axial escapement
Um... I'm not especially keen on the Co-axial escapement at this point in time. I'd much rather let Omega perfect the Co-Ax's on time only's before making the leap to Chronographs. I'd like to avoid problems in the more complex chronograph mechanism.
3) And with a GMT register indicator instead of the 24 hour register
You mean independently set able sub-dial? or something else? Here's something I'd like to see Omega pursue...
That's what the Frecce Tricolori looks like... Ok. Let's make us a new Omega... Let's start off with the 376.0822 case, put in the Lemania 5195 movement and a dial that fits that layout, with an eye towards making it look as close to the Moonwatch as possible. If it's possible to add a date at 4:30 on the dial, let's do so, but make it a white numbers on black date wheel. Include the same pusher arangement that allows the c.33x3 Broad Arrow to be W/R at 100m with the ability to operate the pushers underwater, and make it a screwdown crown just because we can.
Would you like it Chuck?
Eh, I like my ideas better! =)
If you want to public this on TZ forums it‚s really ok!!!
Yeah, I'll have to because of the mistake you and I discovered today. Man... What is a 176.0017 then? I'll post it first to my Blog and then to the TZ OF when I get a chance.
Now that I've broken the news of the broken articles, I can start repair efforts on those same articles. I am looking forward to working with the Omega on-line community to update these articles and increase our knowledge of these topics.