Omega calibre 59.8D 1940s clock

N.B. – this is another save from the blog entries. The clock itself is rare and interesting and beautifully made.

Last updated Jul 13, 2013 by Paul Hubbard

A very unusual find on ebay UK:

Here’s what I’ve been able to find so far:

  • Made in the 1940s for a UK store
    From TZ-UK:Model created in 1936 and specifically designed for the British Navy. Calibre 59 8-D with double barrel, back with bayonet closing, enamel dial marked Omega Swiss Made – Story Barrow, arabic numaral hour hands, minute track, blued steel Empire hands, triangular-profiled polished brass case designed to be screwed-in on a boat dash. Ref. British Admiralty. Item production date 3rd February 1940.
  • Omega calibre 59.8D, aka 59 8-day. About 3,000 of the movement were made between 1935 and 1940. I think this is the remontoir version.
  • 15 jewels
  • Handwinding
  • Non-hacking
  • 8 day power reserve – wind it once a week!
  • Enamel dial
  • Blued steel hands, Breguet style
  • Subseconds dial at twelve
  • Wedge-shaped brass case with key
  • Dial has ‘STORY, BARROW’ on it – seems to be an old UK retailer. That thread also speculated this was from a submarine, which might account for the oddly shaped case.
  • Weighs 1,660g (1.6kg) – very heavy.
  • About 10cm wide by 12cm tall by 7cm thick at the base of the wedge.
  • Bi-metallic split poised balance
  • Blued hairspring with Breguet overcoil.

More info

More pictures:

Pretty, eh? Mine keeps time a bit erratically, gaining or losing about 5 minutes per week. I need to do some research to see who can service these, RGM for sure.

It makes a fantastic desk clock, the well-worn case and subtly cracked enamel dial wearing their age proudly. The tick is loud and slow (18,000 vph) and winding it on Monday mornings is a nice start to the week. For just under $400, I got a cool Omega with a mysterious history – can’t do much better than that!

By Paul Hubbard

Computer engineer from San Diego. Obsessed with hardware, software, timekeeping and elegance.

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