1969 Omega Memomatic Rare Alarm Watch 166.071
Ref: 166.071

1969 Omega Memomatic Rare Alarm Watch 166.071
1969 Omega Memomatic Rare Alarm Watch 166.071
1969 Omega Memomatic Rare Alarm Watch 166.071
1969 Omega Memomatic Rare Alarm Watch 166.071
1969 Omega Memomatic Rare Alarm Watch 166.071
1969 Omega Memomatic Rare Alarm Watch 166.071
1969 Omega Memomatic Rare Alarm Watch 166.071
1969 Omega Memomatic Rare Alarm Watch 166.071
1969 Omega Memomatic Rare Alarm Watch 166.071
1969 Omega Memomatic Rare Alarm Watch 166.071
1969 Omega Memomatic Rare Alarm Watch 166.071
1969 Omega Memomatic Rare Alarm Watch 166.071
1969 Omega Memomatic Rare Alarm Watch 166.071
1969 Omega Memomatic Rare Alarm Watch 166.071
1969 Omega Memomatic Rare Alarm Watch 166.071
1969 Omega Memomatic Rare Alarm Watch 166.071
Regular price
Sold
Sale price
$2,898.00
Unit price
per 

Specification

Reference : 166.071
Movement : Automatic Omega Cal. 980
Age : 1961/1970
Specific Age : Circa. 1969
Case Size : 39.5mm
Case Thickness : 14.5mm
Lug to Lug : 50mm
Lugs :
 20mm
Condition :
 Pre-Owned
Box & Papers :
 None
Case Material : 
Stainless Steel
Warranty :
 12-Months NON-Waterproof Warranty
The wrist model's wrist size is 6.5inch


Points of Mention

This watch is sold as "Watch Only" and therefore comes with no original Omega box or paperwork. The watch comes paired with its original 20mm Omega stainless steel bracelet with a signed folding clasp, this bracelet will fit up to a 7 1/4inch wrist. The watch is from Circa. 1969 and is sold in worn, vintage condition, but overall good condition as you can see. The watch comes with our 12-Months NON-Waterproof Warranty.


The Watch

Here we have a 1969 Omega Memomatic Rare Alarm Watch 166.071, the Omega Memomatic was first introduced in 1969 and is the first self-winding mechanical alarm watch that uses just one barrel to operate the alarm and time functionality. The Memomatic was also the first alarm where you can set it to the minute rather than just the ¼ of the hour intervals that you find in the Vulcain Cricket or the Jaeger le Coultre Memovox. The 39.5mm tonneau-shaped stainless steel case has brushed and polished surfaces that transition with crisp edges, a lug-to-lug length of 50mm and a case thickness of 14.5mm giving the watch an impressive wrist presence. Down the right side, we have the alarm pusher at 2 o’clock to set alarm you wind in position 1 using the crown in position 1 and adjust the hour and minute in pulled position 3 turning the crown in position 1 in either direction finally setting the alarm pusher is pulled to position 2 (See our "This Weeks Watches" Episode 85 for a video example on YouTube). A signed crown at 3 o’clock to adjust the time in position 2 and in position 1 you turn in either direction to adjust the alarm minute and hour, in the centre, you have a push button recessed which can be depressed with a pointed object to adjust the framed date at 3 o’clock. A domed crystal sits slightly recessed into the case above a two-tone grey and black dial, the grey minute track is segmented with the hour-applied batons separating them within a black ring. In the centre, we have the two discs that rotate with a yellow arrow indicating the minutes and a double baton for the hours. Slender sword hands complemented by a yellow tapered sweeping second hand complete this rare alarm timepiece. At 12 o’clock we have the Omega motif and at 6 o’clock “Memomatic”. On the reverse, a screw-down case back with the Seamaster Hippocampus etched into it, inside an automatic Omega Cal. 980 based on the Lemania 2980, 19 jewels, 21,600 beats per hour, this movement was in production from 1969 until 1974. The watch comes fitted on its Omega 20mm stainless steel bracelet with a signed folding clasp.


Personal Note

I have only seen this reference a few times over the years and always admired it, the fact you can set the alarm exactly and it is all run off one mainspring fascinates me. Add all that to the fact the watch looks incredible on and off the wrist, you've got yourself a real winner! The design is so indicative of the space age era, with designers thinking to the future and possibilities they hold after landing on the moon, what a time to have been around.


The Brand

Formerly known as the La Generale Watch Co. in 1848 founded by Louis Brandt in La Chaux-de-Fonds. When he died in 1879, his sons carried on his dream. In 1880 they moved to 96 Rue Jakob-Stampfli where they remain today. The brothers produced their first mass-produced calibre, the Labrador In 1885.  Just a few years later in 1892, they produced the first minute-repeater. In 1903 they renamed the company Omega until 1982 when they officially changed their name to Omega SA. During WW1 Omega watches were used as official timekeepers for the Royal Flying Corps and the US Army. In 1930, Omega and Tissot merged together to form Société Suisse pour l'Industrie Horlogère (SSIH) In 1931, another group was formed - Allgemeine Schweizerische Uhrenindustrie AG (ASUAG). Where SSIH was primarily French-speaking, ASUAG was founded by the more German-speaking members of the Swiss watch industry. In 1948 they introduced the first edition of one of its most symbolic watches: the Seamaster. Omega first introduced the Constellation in 1952. At the time it was Omega's flagship timepiece. The first models had a Cal. 354 bumper movement in them. Later in 1955 Omega introduced the Automatic Cal. 50x, followed in 1959 by the Cal.55x (no date) and 56x (date) versions. Many of the Constellations came with pie-pan dials, diamond indexes, and fancy lug configurations. All the gold Constellations of that time have the Observatory of Geneva hand engraved on the back. The stainless steel and stainless steel/gold versions had a gold medallion on the back with the Observatory of Geneva. The eight stars above the Observatory stand for the many exploits of Omega in the world Chronometer competition. Celebrating the fact that all Constellations are Chronometer Certified. In 1962, when astronaut Wally Schirra wore a Speedmaster on his Mercury Sigma 7 Mission, making it the first Omega watch to enter space. After rigorous tests, NASA used Omega for all their Apollo missions including the 1969 Moon landing of Apollo 11. Today Omega is still an astronaut's first choice. In 1969, President Nixon famously said it was “too valuable” and turned down the first-ever all-gold Speedmaster Professional Deluxe. As a response to the ever-growing threat of electronic watches to the manufacturers of mechanical watches, Omega and many Swiss brands such as Rolex and Patek Philippe formed Centre Electronique Horloger (CEH). Prototypes began to appear in 1967 with their production starting in 1968. Then In 1972, Omega introduced the reference, 198.030, which included the Omega calibre 1250, a ‘tuning-fork electronic movement which was made under licence from Bulova. Later we saw a merger of SSIH and ASUAG into SMH, or Société de Microélectronique et d’Horlogerie. This merger took place in 1983. In 1992, the company acquired Blancpain, and in 1998 it officially rebranded itself from SMH to the Swatch Group. Then, in 1999, they purchased and integrated Breguet into the Swatch Group.