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In the aftermath of the Second World War, Omega dived headlong into producing consumer pieces after having devoted their attention to manufacturing timepieces for men and machines. Inspired by those durable service watches, Omega sought to build watches that could be worn in more everyday conditions, watches that could look good on the wrist while also standing up to the onslaught of travel, weather and daily use. Many of these watches were infused with the lessons that Omega had learned while producing reliable wristwatches for servicemen: they used stainless steel cases with simple, stalwart movements, kept dials uncluttered and legible, and dotted them with radium for added visibility in low-light environs.
Even with these style notes coming right out the war-time guidebook, Omega took care to make their new consumer pieces beautiful, often using yellow and pink gold to cap their stainless cases, and introduced a variety of fancy lug styles.
Many of these watches were built around Omega's early automatic movements, which would lay the groundwork for Omega's successful and enduring Constellation and Seamaster lines.
Though the earliest examples of automatic (or self-winding) watch movements were produced in the 18th Century, the concept was not perfected until the 1920s, when John Harwood filed his patent for an automatic wristwatch movement with an oscillating weight. Movement manufacturer A. Schild S.A. produced 10,000 of these movements for Fortis, Blancpain, and others.
But Omega resisted; in the words of Paul-Emile Brandt, “If our clients are too lazy to wind their watch everyday, then we should stop producing watches!”
However, in 1942, Omega produced its first automatic movements, the Caliber 30.10mm and 28.10mm. The watch featured here is a Reference CK2374/4, one of the flattest automatic watches produced during the 1940s, and contains the Caliber 30.10mm. With its flared lugs, it suggests the Constellation while its railroad-style dial and large radium numerals is reminiscent of the military watches produced during the War.
Only 146,200 of these gorgeous, Art Deco watches were produced, making this one (with an early Omega strap and signed buckle) a rare and important example from this pivotal era in watch production.
Stainless steel case is approximately 35mm (excluding crown). Omega Reference 2374/4. Omega Caliber 30.10mm Self-Winding Movement. Circa late 1940s.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition with sharp lugs and no signs of overpolishing. Case does have minimal signs of use and wear in keeping with its age. Dial is in very good condition with fine even patina to the luminescent elements of the hour markers and hands. Unsigned crown. Signed case back has minimal signs of use and wear in keeping with its age.
Includes one 18mm light brown Omega strap with signed buckle. Also includes two 18mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle
Also includes extract from Omega dated 1947.