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This unusual Seamaster Chronograph was produced for only a handful of years in the early 1970s. Despite the relative rarity and interesting design of the model, it is often overshadowed by Omega's most celebrated chronograph, the Speedmaster.
But as chronographs go, this guy 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 its 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 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 finished in white, changing the internal reference number to 176.007, as well as offering an additional 'yachting' 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 (which is probably for the best).
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. This particular example comes from the collection of one of our close friends, and is in outstanding condition inside and out, recently treated to a full mechanical overhaul with genuine Omega parts. Don't miss it!
Stainless steel case is approximately 38mm (excluding crown). Omega Calibre 1040 Automatic Chronograph Movement. Reference 176.007. Circa 1970.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in great condition overall, retaining factory sunburst finishing, with only light signs of wear. Dial is in excellent condition overall, showing crisp printing and only faint lightening in the sub-register at 6 o'clock. Luminescent elements of the hour markers and hands show a fine even patina. Omega crown. Omega case back is in good condition with faint wear marks.
Includes one 22mm 1170/653 bracelet with Omega signed clasp. Clasp has very faint "desk-diving" scuffs but bracelet is in otherwise very good condition.
Also includes two 22mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle