If you’ve been here a little while, you’ll know I have a fascination with the alarm complication. You may also know I’m a bit biased toward the JLC Memovox and Deepsea Alarm. This is largely because I owned a Deepsea years ago and parted with it in a pinch, a move I regret weekly. But JLC by no means has a monopoly on the attractive alarm. I recently featured a funky Lip alternative. Stephen at Long Beach Watch Club is currently offering a budget Citizen alternative. However, the most attractive alternative, to my eye, comes from the mainstream: this 1970 Omega Seamaster Memomatic.
I know this watch does not fit the strictly classic criteria of beauty. Yet, I would take issue with anyone who at least appreciate the effort of design. Its tonneau-case and instrument-like dial were very austere design considerations for the time. This fits its mechanical purpose: form follows function.
Unlike most alarms, the Memomatic allows its owner to precisely set the alarm down to the minute. All competitors of its time only allowed for approximations. Similarly innovative, its alarm function was powered by the automatic movement’s barrel. All other alarms in period were manually set and wound through a secondary crown. Not so here. Omega’s approach to the alarm was not a lightweight or half-hearted one; there is some serious engineering in mechanics on offer here.
To sweeten the appeal, this particular Memomatic sports a beautiful ageing. There’s a slight yellowing of the tiny tritium on its indices, matched in its handset. The dial is spectacular as you can see. Its case it super sharp, never polished and seemingly hardly worn. This is as good as it gets. The Memovox may have been first. However, with their second-mover advantage, I think Omega may have only just one-upped them.
Find this Seamaster Memomatic here from Joseph Bonnie for 2090 EUR.