Chuck Maddox’s Watch Blog

This page is a journal of my journey in the field of Horology, which is timekeeping. In other words, watch collecting. Which in my case is the collecting of chronograph watches. To contact me, email me at: .

Location: Chicagoland, United States

The Extremely wordy version of my Resumé is located here:

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

New c.33xx found defective @ TwinCities AD…

 eilander Posts: Broad Arrow Shopping [Mar 28, 2005 - 05:14 PM]

I was having some trouble finding a BA in the flesh around detroit (or a decent omega collection for that matter). That all changed last weekend when I was touring law schools in Minneapolis. I absolutely love the cream/blue dial as well as the idea of an exclusive Piguet movement. I loved it so much, that I've definitely decided to make it my first nice watch. Unfortuanetly, the piece that I handled didn't have a working chonograph. It wouldn't zero... stuck somewhere around 10 seconds. I was told it was "brand new" from omega that week.

Yup... I would be lying if I said I was surprised... While it appears that the frequency of problem reports with c.33xx chronographs is down a little bit from this time last year. It seems that problems are still occuring with a frequency for serious concern well over a year since Omega revised this movement.

Dispite the unsupprted claims of certain people that the problems with the c.33xx are in the past, this is the third c.33xx problem reported this month, and the sixth since early December.

It was marked down 30%, so I inquired as to why, and was told that the store could only stock a specific number of SKU's. The "brand new" broad arrow was one SKU too many, so it was discounted. The salesman also told me the movement was being used by "Breitlinger," so I walked away immediately.

It's really hard to determine if a salesperson(s) who says such things are ignorant of the facts of the matter or are outright lying. In either case the salesperson(s) in question were not acting in your best interest but rather theirs. You did the right thing by doing an about-face and walking.

Is the 33xx worth the risk?

That is an answer best determined by each person on their own.

Having said that, I know what the answer is for me...

I personally have no interest in being an unpaid Beta-Tester for Swatch Group on a item with such a dubious track record, at my expense/risk and bearing the burden of dealing with the Omega Customer Support Channel to get the thing to perform as promised. Hence in my opinion the answer to this question is no.

Are the new BA's problem free?

No, it appears to be far from problem free. As they continue to fail at a frightening rate.

Anyone know a good discounting AD that I could trust to get me a new/problem free piece?

Your best strategy, if you are committed to roll the dice with a c.33xx, is to get in contact with Keith Downing's Authorized Dealer. Keith's Dealer has a policy (especially with the c.33xx's) of winding them, setting them to an Atomic clock and scrutinizing them for several days before turning them over to the buyer. Keith's dealer hasn't had any returns since he started doing this, and while past performance is no guarentee of future results this might increase your chances of sucess.

Oh, now that I think of it, Keith announced that he is in the process of relocating his family this week and next. Send Keith an email and if he doesn't reply in a day or two email me and I'll set you up. I am certain that requests go through him, but he's appreciated my helping out when he's been off-line in the past.

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks...

I hope I have. I wish the news was better on the c.33xx front. The fixes that Omega has instituted thus far have been long on promise and short on results, and barring additional measures, I suspect that we haven't seen the last of these sorts of posts.

Good Hunting.

-- Chuck


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Chuck,

First, thanks for keeping the blog – It’s certainly a great source of info and a welcome break from the forums on Timezone. I’ve also added your site to my blogarithm account ( Your readers who don’t use this service should try it.

Last, a testimonial. Much like eilander, I was quite smitten with the BA when I started shopping late last year for my first Omega. It had all the right complications and the look of the cream dial with blue hands… well, you know that story.

Doing my due diligence, I began to follow the many TZ threads about the BA movement. In the end, I too decided to not become a beta tester for this movement – especially when I was only in the market for one fine timepiece. The possibility that I could end up knowingly purchasing a watch only to have to return it to the shop (repeatedly?) just didn’t add up.

My adventure led me to Keith’s dealer (a great fellow and great service) and a 3576.50 – a sweet watch I wear daily.

Frankly, I don’t really look back at the BA – the Speedmaster, for me, was the best choice and as you say, that’s all that really matters.

As they say, more grist for the mill.

Take care.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005 2:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I bought an Automatic Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph several months ago, and had to have the crystal replaced due to defect. Now I notice that it loses 4 seconds/day against atomic clock. Is this reasonable?

Joe C
Chicago, IL

Thursday, June 02, 2005 2:55:00 PM  

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