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After the war-torn 1940s, the 1950s represented a period of renewed prosperity. It was a decade of advancement on a technological and economic scale, when the technologies developed during the Second World War were honed, and the world’s economies recovered. 1954, for example, saw the launch of the first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, and the end of food rationing in Great Britain.
During the war, watch manufactures concentrated on producing wristwatches and instruments for the world’s militaries. Omega was no exception, having produced hundreds of watches for the armed services of Great Britain. Many of these were powered by the Caliber 30T2, which was an extremely dependable and reliable movement.
Omega would continue to produce the Caliber 30T2 throughout the 1960s, and would use it as a base for many of their manual-wind calibers that would follow.
The late 1940s through 1950s represented a golden era for Omega, with the introduction of some of their most iconic lines that form the bedrock of their collection even today. 1948 saw the introduction of the Seamaster, the first in a line of “professional” wristwatches that would all bear the suffix -master. While the Seamaster is now associated with 007 himself, having been worn on the wrist of James Bond since the mid-1990s, the Seamasters from the 1950s have an austere beauty that’s worlds away from their sportier modern successors.
This particular Seamaster is a Reference 2759-2. Dating from 1954, the clean lines of the case—thick for a manual-wind watch—are softened by the delicate curve of the lugs. But the real eye-catcher of this watch is the two-tone dial, which has gained a stunning patina over time.
Another unique feature of this Seamaster can be found internally. In the early 1950s, Omega—after decades of resistance—began rolling out automatic movements, which were used in the Seamaster line. However, this one has the uncommonly-seen manually-wound Caliber 420, which was launched in 1952 and phased out in the late 1950s in favor of the automatic calibers.
The appeal of mid-century Seamasters have attracted collectors for decades. Seen on the wrist of Mad Men’s Don Draper, the Seamaster carries with it an aura of success. Whether on a beads-of-rice bracelet like the one featured here or on a leather strap, it radiates a kind of understated classiness that only Omega’s mid-century offerings hold.
Stainless steel case is approximately 34mm (excluding crown). Omega Seamaster Reference 2759-2. Omega Caliber 420 Manually-Wound Movement. Circa 1954.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel snap back case is in very good condition with thick lugs and no signs of over-polishing. Case does have signs of wear throughout, particularly on the bezel and on the lugs. Dial is in very good condition with a stunning overall patina. Omega crown. Omega case back has some light tool marks but is in otherwise good condition.
Includes one later 18mm Omega beads of rice bracelet with #70 end links. Bracelet has some signs of age and wear, including stretching. Also includes two 20mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle