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Introduction

Here's the story behind my first my first "grail" vintage Omega watch and my experience with having it serviced with Omega's Service Center.

The Watch's Story

My criteria for my first grail watch was inspired by, a combination of the Omega 1948 Collection, watch forums discussion, textured dial and a preference for immaculate vintage dials and hands.

It took 7 months of morning and night checks on 3 watch forums, eBay, Watch Patrol and Chrono24. Ultimately, I got a hold of this 1955 Omega Seamaster from a fellow Omega Forum member.

Let's Talk Specs

Reference: 2846-1 SC
Year: Circa 1955 (based on Movement No. and seller post)

Movement No: 14855084 (not sure if that's the way to figure it out though)
Caliber: Automatic-Winding Caliber Omega 550

Dimensions: 34mm diameter; 10mm thickness

Dial: White Waffle with Radium Dial Plots
Hands: Dauphine Radium

Crystal: Plexiglass original signed (Omega log etched at center)
Crown: Signed Etched Omega Clover
Material: Stainless steel

Lug Width: 17mm

Service Criteria

I don't intend to sell this watch. The plan is to be able to pass this watch down. Because of this, I'm not opposed to (if it makes sense) replacing parts as long as they match. To me, this retains the historical significance of the watch's horology, yet allows for a new set of owners to start fresh.

After some research, I decided to go with Omega in Switzerland and under their advice dropped off the watch to Canada Service Center Swatch office. Here were the instructions provided,

PartRequestOmega CanadaOutcome
Dial

Do not refinish. Clean-up and do not replace unless there is better condition original or NOS (New off Shelf).

Advised there are no replacement dials. Restoration can happen but there is a minimal cost.

There is no clean-up service, just restoration. His technician recommended to leave the dial alone as it's in good shape.

We optioned to not touch.

Decline Service on Dial.
Hands

Change if exact same shape and lengths as original. Please take off original hands (keeping in good condition) and send back.

Replacement exists with no lume. Omega will replace with exact shape.No replacement hands available.
Case

Is in bad shape, especially underside. Looks like a crack btw 9 and 10. Replace if exact same shape available.

If polishing, not to go too deep to lose edge.

Advised the crack is actually on the crystal, not the case.

There is no replacement case. Can do polish (not too deep to lose edge).

Replaced the inner bezel ring.

Polished respectfully.

LumeThe radium Lume no longer glows - can you do anything about the ones that turned black? What is the recommendation and to be consistent with the hands?Omega will not touch, not without dial restoration which has a minimum cost... I thought I heard $1300.Left alone.
MovementReplace anything needed as long as it's original parts.Assured me any bad pieces will be replaced with original parts.Part of service.
Plexi CrystalReplace.Replace.Part of service.
Strap or BraceletDo they have original?Was about to check, but had to run so will follow-up with an email.Depends on price.

Experience Omega Service Center

I can only describe the Customer experience of the Swatch Group Toronto, aside from the drop-off, as really horrible. I also have some lessons learned to share in the comments.

DateWhat HappenedComment
Oct 2019Dropped off Watch.

Customer experience seemed ok. I gave lot's of detail. The invoice sheet though did not seem to cover everything.

Nov 4 2019Email from Omega for final signoff?What? I signed a document on the Oct 2019 droppoff.
March 3, 2020Picked up Watch.

My wife came to pick it up. They would not release the watch even though she clearly had my last name, paid, lived in same address without an email ok.

Though security appreciated, my wife, who is the most pleasant person I knew felt she was treated very rudely.


After Pictures

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References

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