Omega Damier "Diamond" Sapphire-Crystal

Friday, June 7, 2024

A special Omega? Well, the original Damier was made by Omega for Marcus Neymann Jewelers in 1959 and from a >7ct diamond used as crystal. A piece unique and priced USD10'000 more than six decades ago. Yes, and in 1960 Omega proudly used sapphire-crystals for the very first time, achieving a close-to-a-diamond-hardness -- and they celebrated this innovative use with a replica of this piece unique. The Omega ref14741 "Damier" -- not unique but back then and especially nowadays quite close to this. It is to my knowledge the first use of sapphire-crystal by Omega and it is diamond-like faceted and sparkles alike. Truly astonishing!

Below the crystal runs another horological milestone: the cal540 by Omega. Developed in 1958 and a sensational 2mm in thickness and thus just a hairline thicker than the record-holder Piaget cal9P (1957). Nevertheless a grand success of Omega in the most important horological complication: miniaturization (see here: *klikk).

The case was made by Wenger SA, Geneve (one of the most respected case-makers and source of many iconic Patek & AP-cases as well) for Omega and it does not get much better than this: thin, classic and well defined and coming with a screwed-caseback.

Overall a truly remarkable Omega and probably one of the most relevant combining some of the most important innovations by Omega in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Ashley Budgen has written an informative and extensive article in the Omegaforum about this remarkable watch -- *klikk.

And this is said by the Omega-Archive about it -- *klikk.

PS: Nice reference-number by the way -- the left column up and down again on the number-keypad of a keyboard.

PPS: I think Rolex used the sapphire-crystal for the first time in their Rolex Midas-Series (King, Queen, Princess -- see here: *klikk) from 1961 onwards.

Ad 20240621: While the Moonwatch became populare and a common Omega some years later, the Omega Starwatch "Damier" ref14741 is not only a much rarer example but also a more simplistic design.