Rare and well-preserved fine OMEGA Observatory Competition chronometer SN. 12780841, Cal. 30mm DP (Guillaume balance, higher frequency 25200 A/h) in its original testing housing. Made early 1960s excessively for Observatory Competitions, submitted for the first competition in 1963, where achieved quite a stunning results (5! times), thanks to Omega “regleur” André Brielmann, who spent months of fine adjustments (more information available in Observatory Chronometer Database (OCD)).
Unfortunately the certificates “Bulletin de Marche” are no longer available from the observatories – but A. Hidding copied a lot of their records, so you can get a copy of the information from his website. Based on their database this particular chronometer was used for 5! competitions over the years (as usual for good examples) and scored some successes at these competitions in 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966 in the Observatory of Geneva and in 1964 in the Observatory of Neuchatel.
C. circular outer case, all set within an aluminium observatory testing box. D. White enamel dial, Breguet numerals, subsidiary seconds, steel blued hands. M. Cal. 30mm DP nickel-finished jewelled lever movement, Guillaume balance with gold poising screws, oversized barrel, 25,200 A/h.
Up until 1967, the exact length of a second was determined by the Earth’s motion around the sun, and the Neuchatel observatory’s precise optics allowed the fine measurements necessary for precise timesetting to be made. Because of this, Neuchatel began to host observatory chronometer trials – a series of the most stringent, thorough accuracy tests in the history of mechanical watchmaking. The trials, held over a period of forty-five days, encompassed ten separate movement timekeeping tests in five different positions and two temperatures. These observatory trials quickly outgrew their roots as a simple certification test, and before long the trials at Neuchatel were a competitive battleground for the finest watchmakers in Europe. Names like Longines, Zenith, Peseux, Omega and many more traded records for decades, fighting to produce the most accurate movement possible. These movements were never intended for regular use, and bore little to no resemblance to what these companies offered their consumers. Along with the technical prowess of the watchmakers building the movements, in the “racing team” there were specialists, the “regleurs de precision”, who worked tweaking a number of movements until they could find a few of them to bring to the Observatory Competitions. By means of fine adjustments, replacement of key parts, use of special lubricants, they could create a few movements for the Competitions. And often they were the same movements for many years.
Watch is in overall great condition, running and ready to use!