In 1932, William M Henry the technical director of the Los Angeles Olympic Games, says:
”[…] it is impossible to consider the remarkable success of the Games of the 10th Olympiad and the unequalled athletic performances realised there without recognising the role played by Omega watches in this large international event.” (Richon, 2007, s. 562).
The Olympic Games in 1932 was the first time in history that one company had been given the sole responsibility of providing and controlling all the watches needed to time all the events on an Olympic Games. This innovative decision, and the trust required to take it, demonstrated the level of regard and confidence Omega had already earned in precision timing at an international level. Since 1932 Omega have been the Official Timer of all Olympic Games and will be so also in the Olympic Games in Paris, 2024. (Omega.com)
But lets go back a bit. In 1952 the Olympic Games was stated in Helsinki, Finland. Omega was as mentioned before the official timekeeper and did this with certainty since Omega after the games, received the Olympic Cross of Merit ”for outstanding service to the world of sports” from the President of Finland (Olympic-museum.de).
Before the next Olympic Games in Melbourne 1956, the 16th (XVI); Omega decided to create something really special. They selected their best people around the table and gave Z.J Fluckiger, one of the best specialist of dial makers at the time, and Jean-Pierre Matthey-Claudet Omegas most successful prototype maker, the responsibility to create a unique watch (Timeline.watch 2022).
Matthey-Claudet constructed a distinct case and dial. For the case he applied rarely-seen ”Frog leg” lugs and solid gold. Fluckiger elected to use Chinese lacquer to incorporate the Olympic Cross of Merit in the dial. The result was a success!! But Since Omega didn’t properly secured the rights to use the seal on the dial of the watches, it resulted in only around 100 pieces being produced in 1956 (Richon, 2007, s. 283).
Object nr: 273
Model: Seamaster XVI ”Olympic games 1956”. Pre-Commercial edition.
Reference: OT 2850
Movement: 471 (automatic, central sweep-second hand). Nr. 1478xxxx
Material: 18k solid gold
Original crown: Yes
Dimensions: 35mm, without crown
Strap/Bracelet: New brown leather strap
Lug Width: 18mm
Box/Papers: No/Yes, Extract from the archives.
Serviced: No, We have decided not to touch this rare watch. It works perfectly with perfect timekeeping and powerreserv.
This watch is an amazing example of a true collectors item. Of the hundred ex that was made in 1956 the one we have for sale must be one of the best of them all. The condition of this OT 2850 is pristine. Sharp and unpolished case, original crown like it was new and an amazing, flawless dial with original chinese lacquer without any cracks or damage. Maybe you can see small signs of ageing but thats it - this dial is one of the best out there!
Included with the watch is an Extract from the archives from Omega which tells us that this rare watch was delivered to Italy the 21st of November in 1956.
If you have any questions or want additional pictures of the watch or a video, dont hesitate to contact us.
Sold "as it is”!
The pictures is a part of the description, study therefore the pictures carefully!
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