Omega, "Flightmaster De Luxe", Movement No. 31631013, Case No. 345801 145 013, Ref. BA 345.0801, Cal. 910, 43 x 52 mm, 239 g, circa 1971
An aviator's important, extremely rare, heavy gold wristwatch with chronograph, second time zone and 18k gold bracelet, delivered to Switzerland in April 1972. This reference was produced in a small series of circa 20 examples in 18k gold with 18k gold bracelet - with Omega extract from the archives Case: 18K gold, screw back with engraved airplane symbol and inscription "Flightmaster", inner revolving bezel, on the left side two crowns for adjusting the second time zone and the revolving bezel, original solid 18K gold bracelet with deployant clasp, total weight 239 g. Dial: 18k gold, applied indexes, auxiliary seconds, 30 min. and 12h counter, 24 hours display, central blue luminous hand for second time zone, orange chronograph hand, luminous baton hands. Movm.: 2/3 plate movement, pink gilt, ground, 17 jewels, finely ground chronograph steel parts, "Brevet 487449", Glucydur balance, incabloc shock protection.
The gold Omega "Flightmaster" is without doubt one of the rarest timekeepers the company has ever created. The Omega Certificate verifies that a limited series of 200 examples without numbering was produced of this model; only 20 of them, however, have a gold bracelet such as this piece.
The famous "Speedmaster" came on the market in 1969 and is certainly one of Omega’s most sought-after models; however, 1969 is also the year that gave the horological world the "Flightmaster" - a manually wound dual time chronograph with the ambition to be the ultimate pilot's watch of its time.
The "De Luxe" model with gold bracelet weighs an impressive 250 grams; the first one ever was purchased by King Hussein of Jordan (as explained by Marco Richon in his book "Omega - A Journey through Time" on page 516, illustration 1136). The "Flightmaster De Luxe" chronograph we have here was consigned by a private collector; the exclusive piece with its typical 1970s colourful dial design is in outstanding overall condition that is close to mint.
The watch is large for the period and features an innovative case design without outer bezel; the back of the watch is inscribed "Flightmaster" and shows an engraved airplane.
The design is ingenious in that a colour-coding system for the functions and the relevant hands ensures easy handling of the watch. The chronograph hand and the hands of its 12 hours and 30 minutes registers are bright orange; the chronograph hand is operated by the two standard push buttons in the right band. The two crowns on the left have a blue respectively black inset and adjust the blue GMT-hand and the inner revolving bezel.
Launched as "A very comprehensive instrument with a number of individual features, which tells the time in two places at once, records time from 1/5th second up to 12 hours, has a totally enclosed movable bezel and is clear to read, simple to use and looks like this", the "Flightmaster" has become one of the most coveted models amongst the collectors of fine Omega timepieces.
Estimate 29,000 - 40,000 €
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