In the pantheon of great watch calibres, many actual experts far more learned than myself have placed Omega’s 321 (and all Lemania 2310 ébauches) in the top spot. It has literally been to the moon, sustained some of Patek’s most complicated efforts, and been cased in many of the most gorgeous watches ever. All that said, there are still one or two watches with this venerable engine beneath their dial who still go unnoticed. Last October, I covered the more classic and frequently discussed of the pair. Today, I’m presenting one of the least discussed but most laudable watches in all of vintage Omega.
The 145.006 debuted in 1966. Shortly thereafter (1968), Omega changed its movement to the more-easily mass produced calibre 861. This means that there is a relatively short window of production where this combination of case and movement was sold. Interestingly, this scholarship has only formed quite recently and is still an evolving knowledge base. It is safe to say, though, that even compared to the round-cased Seamaster 321 and Speedmaster variants of the late 60s, this is quite a rare watch. I am perplexed as to its relatively little attention received.
Moreover, it features many uncommon details collectors will appreciate. First, a few examples (such as this) of the earlier run featured radial subdials. Omega hardcores will be well aware, this is a rarity in any of their chronographs; radial subdials were only very rarely seen on uber-special Speedmasters. A bright orange chronograph hand like the Ultraman. Inner, contrasting tachymetre scales. In other words, if you want a fun 40mm C-case beauty that can remind you of the Alaska Project II & III and Ultraman Speedmasters, this is your only option. I wouldn’t expect these to remain relatively uncollected for long.
This example is two owners deep and was said to be bought from the Les Ambassadeurs boutique in Geneva around 1968. Not too shabby on provenance, most will have none. The case has seen a light polish but is not in any way overly abused. The tritium is still present and slightly degraded in parts but nothing out of place. All told, it is a quite strong watch and appears very honest. It comes from a private collector and is said to be running/resetting very well.
Find this 145.006 available here on Omega Forums for 3400 EUR.