1968 Omega Chronostop Caliber 865 (Ref. 145.009)

Omega Chronostop Feature

If it is not yet clear that I have an affinity for odd watches, this most recent one will certainly solidify that sentiment. While working on such odd pieces does have one significant drawback (parts) they provide a unique restoration experience and I am always trying to look for my next one. This Omega Chronostop was on my list for a while. It’s not particularly expensive, but a one-minute register (one would have a hard time really calling this a chronograph) from Omega just seemed and looked so odd that I had to work on one. Starting in the late 60s it is estimated that about 124,000 of this caliber were made. It was a very short-lived production, the likes of which have never really been seen again.

After a good search I found this great piece. The near perfect blue dial is what brought me to it. The deep blue color with and orange minute register against the stainless really makes this watch pop on the wrist. I knew immediately that there were a few things wrong but correctable on this watch. Firstly, the movement ring was wrong which caused the movement to move a bit in the case. Then there was the issue of the pusher. A prior watchmaker had substituted the plain button pusher for a women’s omega crown, which beyond looking awkward, functionally wasn’t perfect. And finally and not uncommonly, the crystal while original was scratched up. With these external parts ordered I got to the guts. This movement adapted a Lemania movement for a simple one-minute register. It is a great watch for anyone wanting to ease into the mechanics of the chronograph. The drastically simplified chrono-works make this a walk in the park compared to that Tissot Navigator I did a few months ago or a Valjoux 22, 23, 7750, etc.

Once the movement was cleaned, inspected, and reassembled (and after I got past the always-mesmerizing color of vintage Omega movements), I set about getting the case right. The pusher issue turned out to be a bit worse than I had imagined. In addition to the crown, the tube was not right and was over-tightened into the hole in the case. Furthermore it was installed with an improper tool that left a scar on the case. This required a bit of elbow grease and a file to pry loose but once done, the brand new tube and pusher installed like a charm. After putting in a new genuine crystal I got the movement in with the new ring and it is back to its former glory.

Omega Chronostop Crowns Omega Chronostop Crystal Omega Chronostop Movement 1

While one very much like this but with a date (but in less great cosmetic condition) sold for almost $1500 http://gearpatrol.com/2014/08/19/timekeeping-selects-omega-chronostop/ finding great examples at far less is most certainly achievable for anyone interested in owning such a great head-turning, and unique piece of Omega history.

Omega Chronostop Flat Omega Chronostop Back

Omega Chronostop Movement 2Omega Chronostop CU Omega Chronostop CD Omega Chronostop Angle Right Omega Chronostop Angle Left

 

3 comments on “1968 Omega Chronostop Caliber 865 (Ref. 145.009)

  1. Robert Butler says:

    Great piece Aaron, but you are wrong about “the likes never having been seen again”!!
    I recently came across this one, a 1970’s Sicura Chrono Computer. It runs the Bettlach EB 8816, and instead of a centre seconds, it runs in minutes! It has three rotating rings, two internal and one external, with four crowns. A huge beast at 45X46mm.
    All the best, Bob.

    http://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/sicura-chrono-computer-1064777.html?highlight=sicura+chrono+computer

  2. Robert Butler says:

    Dare you to post a picture of it!

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