As you all know by now – my main focus is the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand and anything related…
But every now and then some pieces from other brands find their way into my collection… Like this Omega CK 994 Calibre T 17!
Before we have look at my watch, let’s make an introduction of the Calibre T 17 – in the J.P. Brandt Omega catalogue from 1937 it is described as following:
“The new Omega Calibre T 17 is constructed according to watch makings latest technical principals. The Calibre is equipped with compensated balance with cut rim and Breguet spiral. The Calibre is completely enclosed to protect it from dust. Power reserve 60 hours. All watches with shaped dials are equipped with ‘optical glass’, which is much stronger than regular glass.”
Dimensions: width 17 mm, length 24.5 mm and height 3.85 mm.
J.P. Brandt 1937 Omega catalogue:
Even if the 1937 catalogue says “new”, to my understanding the Calibre T 17 was introduced already in 1934.
One thing that is not very often seen or mentioned in regards to wrist watches is the balance with cut rim.
The balance with cut rim was not new or unique to the T 17 movement, the technical solution originates from the mid 1700. In short, the bi-metallic balance with cut rim was developed to have the balance wheel compensating for temperature differences. To read more on the topic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balance_wheel
Omega changed from the bi-metallic balance to the mono-metal balance and later to the screwless balance: Omega Technical Guide No. 12, June 1959:
Here, a oversized model where you clearly can see the cuts and screws on the rim:
The Calibre T 17 was the first wrist watch Calibre with a power reserve as long as 60 hours. That, plus the beautiful tonneau shape and high quality of the movement I guess are reasons why the Calibre T 17 is very high ranked among vintage Omega collectors.
Yes, the Omega Trinity – CK 2913, CK 2914 and CK 2915 are more famous to the general public, but once you go deeper into Omega, the T 17 will be on your radar…
I only have low resolution photos of my watch movement, but as you can see, not only is the movement beautifully shaped, the case have a very interesting three-part construction to make it dust proof:
So, let’s see the watch in question – based on the movement number my watch is from 1937.
Art Deco design, clean, elegant, yet with a lot of interesting details which makes it very pleasurable to look at and to wear!
The Calibre T 17 were used in many different cases and with different dials.
Here are some versions from a 1936 Italian Omega pamphlet:
Zooming in on the right hand side shows that the dial type of my watch is number 50, notice the slightly enlarged 12:
A few more, again, the J.P. Brandt 1937 Omega catalogue. The CK 994 is referred to as case type number 30042, top left corner:
Here, a closer look – the case number 30042 was offered with several different dial types:
Based on this document posted by tdn-dk over at the Omega forums (originally posted by Tire-comedon) the reference is CK 994 with the dial type same as the CK 3502 shown below.
Here, a front view showing the reference CK 994 – case type 30042 and dial type 50:
The stainless steel case measures 21.5 mm wide and 40 mm from lug to lug.
The case is slightly curved to fit your wrist, making the watch extremely comfortable to wear!
Not only is the watch very comfortable, it wears larger than it may look. The reason for this is that the case is extended under the strap – 5.5 mm on each side of the case.
From the edge of the bezel to the edge of the lugs, there is an extension of the case back where normally it would be nothing but air. Except for the comfort, this also makes the strap follow the case line in a smooth curve. I love these kind of details!
A comparison, showing the extended case back:
On the wrist the Omega CK 994 is pure elegance! The gilt hands and numerals on top of the black dial…
Even if this is straying out of my focus zone, I think this CK 994 will fit right in to my Art Deco theme…
Next we will go back to Jager-LeCoultre… Stay tuned for more!