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The Seamaster Chronograph was produced for only a handful of years in the early 1970s, and despite the relative rarity and interesting design, it is often overshadowed by Omega's most celebrated chronograph, the Speedmaster.
But as chronographs go, the Seamaster Chronograph is no slouch. Aesthetically, it oozes seventies cool; the fun orange accents, deep blue dial and 38mm barrel/cushion case all speak to an emerging design language that would dominate the 1970s.
Beneath it's appealing exterior, the Seamaster Chronograph is driven by the Omega Calibre 1040. The Calibre 1040, patented in 1970, came on the heels of the three-way tie for the first automatic chronograph movement - the Calibre 11, the Zenith El-Primero and the Seiko 6139. Interestingly enough, Albert Piguet, the long-time chronograph specialist for Lemania, designed the Calibre 1040 with the help of a prototype automatic chronograph movement that he had designed and built in 1946 - that's right, 1946 - that was deemed superfluous at the time and shelved. This footnote recasts the 1040 in a new light and gives the Seamaster Chrono an interesting horological history.
Featuring a quick-set date function at 3:00, a running seconds subsidiary dial with incorporated 24-hour indicator at 9:00, and a 12-hour register at 6:00 and a central minute counter hand (topped with its distinct orange 'plane'), the 1040 made for a practical and easily-readable tool watch.
Throughout its production, the Seamaster Chronograph Ref. 176.001 was released in a handful of configurations; initially, the watch was offered with two dial variants (blue and a rhodium-plated silver) and three inner ring options - tachymetre, pulsations and telemetre - fitted into barrel-shaped stainless steel case. By 1972, Omega had added dials with the 12-hour register in white, changing its reference to 176.007, and an additional 'yachting' inner ring with tachymetre and countdown hashes (ref. 176.010). Omega even made a handful with plated yellow gold cases, gold dials and gold tachy rings, but these were extremely limited.
With its distinctive looks and a sturdy, innovative movement, the Seamaster Reference 176.007 has just begun to enjoy slightly more than a cult following in recent years, making unmolested examples more difficult to unearth.
For more info about the Seamaster Chronograph, check in with our buddy Jason Heaton on Hodinkee, HERE.
Stainless steel case is approximately 38mm (excluding crown). Omega Calibre 1040 Automatic Chronograph Movement. Reference 176.007. Circa 1972.
Overall Condition: The watch is in excellent condition over all, with factory starburst brush finishing still visible and light signs of wear from age and use, but devoid of any glaring blemishes. Dial is in good condition over all, showing some signs of aging, including even patination and some very light scratches, particularly between the 8 and 10 o'clock hour markers and above the date window near 3:00. Luminescent elements have developed a light even patina to match that on the hour plots. Hands likewise show even patination of the luminescent elements. Some paint loss on subsidiary seconds hand and sweeping minute hand. Omega Hippocampus case back shows some light scratches and tool marks. Omega-signed crown.
Includes two 22mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.