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Ask any true watch collector about the greatest movements ever designed and there is a strong chance they will affectionately mention the Lemania Calibre .321 movement designed by Albert Piguet. Utilized in the original Omega Speedmaster during the American Space Program missions in the 1950s and 1960s, this workhorse movement has become a thing of legend, and deservedly so.
Lemania, established in 1884 by Alfred Lugrin, is perhaps one of the most recognizable names in the history of wrist chronographs--if not for watches released under their own brand, then for their contributions to other brands. In 1932, strapped by the financial hardships of the Great Depression, Lemania joined Omega and Tissot to form SSIH (Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogére SA). It was this relationship--particularly with Omega--that would result in the creation of some of the most iconic calibers in horological history, particularly the Caliber .321.
The Caliber .321--known internally at Lemania as the CH27--owes its existence to Albert Piguet, who first conceived of the movement in 1941, with production commencing the following year. For the next 25 years, the Caliber .321 would find its way into watches by brands both within the SSIH/Swatch Group umbrella and without. While most notably used in the Speedmaster, Omega also used the Caliber .321 in a variety of other chronographs, including in the Seamaster line.
This particular watch, the Reference 2279-1, comes in a svelte 36mm steel case with crisp beveled lugs. Accents like the handsome gold feuille hands and a lovely patinated silver dial set it apart from sportier iterations of chronographs bearing the caliber .321, making it a dressier option for the collector who desires a caliber .321 but don't want a Speedy.
Stainless Steel case is approximately 35mm (excluding crown). Omega Reference 2279/1. Calibre .321 Manually-Wound Chronograph Movement. Circa 1960s.
Overall condition: Case is in very good condition overall, showing no major blemishes. Lugs retain sharp beveling. Dial is in very good condition showing light even patination and some light wear to the outer tachymetre scale. Lovely gold feuille hands and blued steel seconds and subsidiary register hands are in excellent condition. Omega signed crown.
Includes 18mm brown lizard strap with Omega signed steel buckle.