Unearthed! More Omega Calibre 560 Rarities

Omega Seamaster caliber 560

Quite some time ago, I was researching the reason behind why so many 17 jewel movements powered US Collection Omega watches in the 1950s and 60s, when I chanced upon a movement series about which little was written and less was said. And yet, this series, because of the minimal number of pieces produced, meets the criteria for rarity in Omega watches.

I published an essay on these rare models in 2008, and subsequently a small cadre of collectors embarked on a treasure hunt to locate and acquire examples. Treasure hunts by fellow collectors tend on occasions to yield unexpected booty that helps add to the knowledge base, and that has certainly been the case with calibre 560 models……but I get ahead of myself.

Originally, four specific models were identified – three Seamaster DeVilles and an Omegic generic brand – and examples of each of them were featured in the original essay. However, as a result of UK calibre 560 collector Graham Smith’s detective work, another Seamaster powered by the calibre was unearthed! That discovery led to the materialisation of a cache of calibre 560 models not listed on the Omega Vintage Database!

The upshot of this find is that a total of nine models were powered by calibre 560 movements. Only 3000 movements were made and this means that each of the models were effectively ‘Limited Editions’ in everything but name.

Click here for the updated essay.

For an essay on the very rarest of all of the calibre 560 pipeces click here

14 comments:

  1. You have done a great work, it looks very professional though, i really wana appreciate your effort, can you please guide me how can i read your 2008 essay, you have done awesome dude. keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, I integrated both articles into the one and so pull the earlier article off the server.

    This one is it! :)

    Cheers and thanks for your post.

    Desmond

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous12:32 am

    Great research. You state that "The OVDB tells us that the calibre 560, 17 jewels automatic had a total production run of 3,000 pieces." How did you manage to get the production run information from that database?

    Cheers MaZe

    ReplyDelete
  4. IN this instance the information is actually accessible in the calibre 560 listings where it states a total number produced.

    There was some questioning about whether 3500 pieces were produced for each model listed or across the total range of models. I communicated with the management of the Omega museum on a number of occasions as did several other colleagues so as to verify the production run and case models in which the movement sat.

    Youre right to query this as usually Omega does not release production numbers except for limited editions, but this was an exception because of the US connection.

    Cheers Desmond

    ReplyDelete
  5. My friend has his grandfathers that he wanted me to do research and here it is! Nice to know that there are relentless investigative experts out there.

    Thanks for posting the information.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi MurielOK

    Glad to have been of some help.
    Cheers

    desmond

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great job Desmond.
    Really interesting articles on the 560 (me beeing akind of collector of the 560, trying to have one of each variant..)


    Best regards
    Hans from Denmark
    (former Melbournian OZ around 2000)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for your comments Hans

    Good luck in your search :)

    Cheers

    Desmond

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous9:48 pm

    I recently restored the calibre 560 10k watch that was given to my father by his sales staff in the late 50's--early 60's. Your article was very helpful in identification. I found a very competent watch repair service in Roswell GA to do the work. I am very pleased and get many compliments on the watch! PS have photos of watch, too.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi - excellenty!

    Love to see some pics.

    My email adress is accessed through clicking on the about me icon.

    Cheers

    Desmond

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous12:14 am

    Hi,
    I am interested in this watch. The case LL 6590-1 houses a cal. 560:
    http://donghoomega.vn/upload/image/dongholongines/p1014378.jpg
    http://donghoomega.vn/upload/image/dongholongines/p1014379.jpg

    Is this a franken watch?

    Many thanks for your input.
    Sato

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sato,

      To the best of my knowledge KM and LL case numbers housed cal 563 and 565 movements. I haven't seen a LL with a cal 560 in it and I suspect it may well be a franken.

      The problem is that these cases fit all calibres of the mid-500 series of movements and so it is easy to change a movement into an inappropriate case.

      Regards

      Desmond

      Delete
  12. Is it possible for the 560 to have more than one design style for the 'Seamaster' lettering. I have seen one with the double coat-hanger 's' like the Melbourne Olumpic ones. Please advise.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yes, some of the earliest caliber 560 models have the coat hanger S while others may have the more rounded S

    Hope that helps

    Cheers

    Desmond

    ReplyDelete