Friday, June 21, 2019
Could this be the most sought after "Queenslander's" Omega?
So what is the big deal?
From 1947 to the late 1970’s, Omega was an official supplier to the Western Australian and Victorian Railway, as well as the NSW Government Rail and Tram Department. This is a well-documented fact and a number of Omega Government pocket watches have survived to this day as a testimony to their quality. The majority of pocket watches were Calibre 38.5 T1-161 with enamel dial and blue hands, and dials were signed according to state/department. However, we now know that Omega also supplied a small number of wrist watches to Queensland Rail from late 1969 to the late 1970’s. Model: Reference 135.015 "Admiralty". Currently, we know of 3 such pieces in private hands, numbered 31, 251 and 345.
About the watch
Omega 135.015 Admiralty for Queensland Rail comes with a typical Military style dial, Arabic numerals. What makes this batch unique is the dark brown 'chocolate' Genève dial and orange sweep hand. The orange anchor on the dial indicates water resistance of 30m. For Omega, the Admiralty project was rather a shy attempt to produce a 'light' sports model in the Geneva range, without interfering too much with the Seamaster line. We don't really know how many Admiralty Omega watches were produced in total, and what were the variations. We do know that some Admiralty timepieces were fitted with a diver's style bezel, others with a plain bezel or none at all, and we are now very certain that perhaps only a few hundred of military style dials were sold to Queensland Rail as official railroad timekeepers. Ref 135.015 was powered by Calibre 601 17 jewel non-chronometer grade movement, adjusted in two positions, 48 hours power reserve and 19800 bph, first introduced in 1962.
The steel case diameter is 35mm not including the crown, or 38mm including. It comes with crown guards, and the crown is signed with the Omega symbol. Plexi glass. The case is signed "Waterproof". At this stage we are unsure if the QR batch was supplied with flix-o-flex spring loaded bracelet or leather strap.
To say that I am excited about my QR Admiralty would be an understatement. It has been a while since we've had an opportunity to shift our focus on a watch with such a strong and unique Australian pedigree - and a watch worn for decades by an ordinary Aussie bloke doing his daily job, wearing his tool watch. Knowing that QR251 was manufactured in 1969 - the golden Omega year!- makes it even more special.
So, what's in this for you?
Fun times ahead! Now that you know what to look for, it's time to start your search. If you do get lucky, snatch it. And as for the price: it's simple - just listen to your heart.