For most people an engraving on the back of a watch is a huge negative. For me it is the purest expression of provenance. It shows its story, in this case (pun intended) explicitly. It’s not as simple as “guy saw watch in window, guy bought watch, guy sold watch on eBay.” To me that’s boring. There are hundreds and in many cases thousands to tens of thousands of identical watches out there, it’s the engraving in the back that gives context and history to a piece, making it truly unique. This Hamilton Rodney I just finished has a great engraving on the back congratulating a man for 25 years of safe driving for the Michigan Bell Telephone Company. For me at least I find that to be an awesome addition to the story of a watch. Beyond the engraving, this has a sparkling and solidly built caliber 748 manual winding movement. The two-tone dial is great, and the light oxidation on it brings this vintage piece to life. The sharp lugs add a certain elegance to the aesthetics. Although it’s pretty old it shows almost no plate loss and is as shiny as the day it was engraved. It is slim, sparkling, has an interesting story behind it, and is now ready for its next owner to enjoy!
Side note: the big black spot on the picture of the engraving is not a hole; it’s my camera lens. I’m an amateur watchmaker not a photographer, so please cut me some slack from time to time on the photographing.
Sometimes you don’t appreciate the beauty of something until it really all comes together and is seen in its finished entirety. This vintage Omega took so long to complete it became a regular site on the workbench and was ignored. I was so happy to finally be done with it and to get it off the bench, that I didn’t recognize how striking it was until I started photographing it.
This watch took over three months to complete and has parts sourced from three continents (I am a stickler for genuine parts, and since these aren’t made anymore they are sometimes hard to track down.) It did not take so long because it was hard, but the combination of a rookie mistake and obtaining the rose gold buckle caused this watch to sit on my bench for months.
Time to admit my embarrassing mistake: As I was re-assembling it I applied a tad too much pressure and broke the escape wheel. It happens but it’s frustrating as hell and because movements like this aren’t made anymore, neither are their parts. Trying to find this tiny little part at a reasonable price proved so impossible I literally bought an entire other movement for the same price as someone wanted to charge for the escape wheel.
On to the watch itself: This is a manual wind caliber 267 with a serial number dating it to around 1958. Often called “jumbo” this watch was large for the time, but at 37.5mm it’s about average size by current standards. I have read some people calling this series of calibers the “unmarked Seamasters” but have not verified this. This one has a rose gold plated case (worn in some areas.)
As you can see, this watch shows its age but without question maintains its beauty. The two toned dial has a great super-light patina on it. Even with this patina, the rose gold markers are radiant. The case, although worn in places still shines like the day it was created. The black band helps to accentuate the character of this watch, and the rose gold buckle to quote one of my favorite movies “really ties the room [in this case watch] together.”
I hope you enjoy this watch and the pictures. Bringing watches like this back to life is why I love doing this.