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Thread: Omega is bringing back cal 321

  1. #51
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    The value of vintage 321 Speedy's is sure to rocket!

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyp View Post

    Lastly - is the fact that it being originally a Lemania movement the reason why Omega had to re-engineer backwards this movement?
    Quote Originally Posted by gruntfuttock
    This bit about scanning the movement is part publicity and part practicality I expect. They have probably lost the original drawings and tooling, so need to scan the parts into a modern CAD system to drive the CNC tooling to make the movement parts.
    As I said n my first post here, I truly believe that this re-scanning is entirely due to the original design materials still residing with Lemania, and all this re-engineering guff is a bit sad when they should really be crediting Lemania with the design, rather than trying to snatch credit for themselves as a "re-design".

    Quote Originally Posted by crazyp View Post
    Edit to add - about the lack of creativity in the watch industry. We've been through a whole cycle the last few years of re-imagining/re-issuing classic designs. And now this has extended to movements. Depressing when you think about it like that.
    I think we have to acknowledge that there are only so many combinations when it comes to an analogue watch design, and with so many lovely vintage designs to be inspired by, I still see merit in re-imagining old ones.
    But I do think that when you do so, it is important to use all of the modern technology at your disposal to improve the original without ruining it.

    As a result, I see the (most likely) amazingly expensive re-engineering of the 321 as a bit of a sideshow - if I want a watch with this movement I will search out an old Lemania (or even a Tissot) and save myself the price of a daily runabout.
    Dave

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Satori View Post
    Yes, it is that good if you are into movement aesthetics. Nothing compares to the view of a well finished manual wound chronograph with lateral coupling. If you want a new one your choices are basically limited to ALS, PP, VC and MB today broadly in the £40k - £60k bracket. If this omega comes in at £15-£20k it would occupy a unique market position. If it stacks up and is available this will be my 2nd and last purchase of 2019. Excited!
    I would very much argue against excluding excellent vertical clutch systems. Surely vertical clutch is progress beyond lateral systems?

    I think they're positioning this watch against the Daytona - though grey market pricing, so I do agree on the £15k price range. But the question is, will the public be able to buy this as opposed to the Daytona? I'm not so sure with all this 'assembled' but one person nonsense.

    Edit to add - thanks Dave for the response. I fully agree.
    Last edited by crazyp; 9th January 2019 at 11:48.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyJack View Post
    I for one wouldn't buy a super expensive Speedy Pro with an obsolete 321, when I can get the same watch with a current 1861 for less money.

    OTOH, if they were to re-engineer the Speedy Grail, the Speedy with the Lemania 5100, I'd be REALLY interested...
    The 5100 has already been re-awakened years ago, as the C01.211.
    It was a really poor movement to begin with, made even worse.

    https://watchbase.com/eta/caliber/c01-211

  5. #55
    Oh - has anyone else found it odd that Omega have only released one image of the re-created calibre - and that too in a moody unclear style?

    LearningToFly - you shooting for Omega now?
    Last edited by crazyp; 9th January 2019 at 12:20.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyp View Post
    Oh - has anyone else found it odd that Omega have only released one image of the re-imagined calibre - and that too in a moody unclear style?
    I haven't found it odd to be honest, I suspect it is all part of the anticipation build. And how sure are we that the calibre is to be re-imagined? My perception was that it is to be re-created.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by colin t View Post
    I haven't found it odd to be honest, I suspect it is all part of the anticipation build. And how sure are we that the calibre is to be re-imagined? My perception was that it is to be re-created.
    My mistake - it should be re-created.....I'm gonna edit my post.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satori View Post
    .

    Can only guess that the 50th anniversary model will be higher volume and lower price point? If there really is only one watch maker (as dubious as that sounds) on the 321 he is making dozens per year, not hundreds.
    What's the betting the 50th anniversary model will be as close to an exact replica of the original as possible. Apart from the price of course.


  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by LorneG View Post
    What's the betting the 50th anniversary model will be as close to an exact replica of the original as possible. Apart from the price of course.

    They could have done this exactly and fitted the 321 and charged literally whatever they wanted.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by LorneG View Post
    What's the betting the 50th anniversary model will be as close to an exact replica of the original as possible. Apart from the price of course.

    What does ‘exact replica’ actually mean? We know they are updating the materials used. And the original 321 was apparently less accurate than the 1861, because of the lower beat rate. Are people prepared to spend very large sums on a movement no more precise than a basic ETA movement?
    So, to improve precision, which modern customers will want, how much will Omega deviate ?
    More precision equals less ‘authenticity’. And we are told the 321 won’t be in the Anniversary models anyway.

  11. #61
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    Pricing wise, you can pick up a real authentic 321 speedy for around £7k on c24. £15k would be ridiculous imo if that's what people are expecting.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by paskinner View Post
    What does ‘exact replica’ actually mean? We know they are updating the materials used. And the original 321 was apparently less accurate than the 1861, because of the lower beat rate. Are people prepared to spend very large sums on a movement no more precise than a basic ETA movement?
    So, to improve precision, which modern customers will want, how much will Omega deviate ?
    More precision equals less ‘authenticity’. And we are told the 321 won’t be in the Anniversary models anyway.
    Good points, but if modern customers were overly concerned with precision then we'd all wear quartz watches. I think there will be a market for as close to original as possible (in looks and movement, fettling with materials I don't think will be a concern), including the velcro strap. I'm guessing that despite the slightly lower beat rate, the improved manufacturing tolerances and material alloys of the last 50 years will bring the accuracy to close to or within COSC.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyp View Post
    I would very much argue against excluding excellent vertical clutch systems. Surely vertical clutch is progress beyond lateral systems?

    I think they're positioning this watch against the Daytona - though grey market pricing, so I do agree on the £15k price range. But the question is, will the public be able to buy this as opposed to the Daytona? I'm not so sure with all this 'assembled' but one person nonsense.

    Edit to add - thanks Dave for the response. I fully agree.
    I agree that a vertical clutch is progress to a certain extent; smoother engagement, robustness, ability to leave the chronograph running, ease of service. But such movements are better as workhorses and covered up imho. Rolex 4130 is probably the epitome of that approach and a very fine movement for what it is. I just would not want to look at it.

    Move up to a manual winder and that clutch needs to get about of the way for me. The only example I can readily recall of an exposed manual winder with a vertical clutch is the movement in the LUC 1963 which, as beautifully finished as it is, looks ungainly to me.

    Thinking about it there actually is a stainless steel competitor to the potential new Omega that I had earlier forgotten about, namely the green Montblanc 1858 that launched this year. Also with a revived vintage movement it is a very similar proposition. It retails at £24,400 in the UK. I don’t imagine (though one can only hope) that the Omega will be finished to quite that level but the price point of the Montblanc leaves plenty of room for a mid-high teens pricing imo.

  14. #64
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    I can't wait for Rolex to start production of Hans Wilsdorf's 1910 movement. I wonder if it will be in stainless?




  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Satori View Post
    I agree that a vertical clutch is progress to a certain extent; smoother engagement, robustness, ability to leave the chronograph running, ease of service. But such movements are better as workhorses and covered up imho. Rolex 4130 is probably the epitome of that approach and a very fine movement for what it is. I just would not want to look at it.

    Move up to a manual winder and that clutch needs to get about of the way for me. The only example I can readily recall of an exposed manual winder with a vertical clutch is the movement in the LUC 1963 which, as beautifully finished as it is, looks ungainly to me.

    Thinking about it there actually is a stainless steel competitor to the potential new Omega that I had earlier forgotten about, namely the green Montblanc 1858 that launched this year. Also with a revived vintage movement it is a very similar proposition. It retails at £24,400 in the UK. I don’t imagine (though one can only hope) that the Omega will be finished to quite that level but the price point of the Montblanc leaves plenty of room for a mid-high teens pricing imo.
    Some excellent points and I can accept your view on the Daytona - not that pretty indeed! I rather like the LUC but I can appreciate your comments with it looking ungainly.

    The MB is essentially Minerva re-imagined - not going to complain with that, Minerva movements are lovely. The Omega finishing level will be interesting - but it has to be up there because they're promoting this whole 'one-person' assembling a single watch.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by paskinner View Post
    What does ‘exact replica’ actually mean? We know they are updating the materials used. And the original 321 was apparently less accurate than the 1861, because of the lower beat rate. Are people prepared to spend very large sums on a movement no more precise than a basic ETA movement?
    So, to improve precision, which modern customers will want, how much will Omega deviate ?
    More precision equals less ‘authenticity’. And we are told the 321 won’t be in the Anniversary models anyway.
    Most likely the opposite because the 321 has a breguet overcoil and balance with weight screws for finer timing, but still wont be amazing unless they update the hairspring/balance to something with more modern materials. The 861 was a cheaper, more basic version of the movement meant for mass production.
    Last edited by 744ER; 9th January 2019 at 18:40.

  17. #67
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    Interesting to see when watchmakers start to make watches instead of not making them. I have zero doubts that these watches will be generally available.

  18. #68
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    So was the 861 basically adopted as a cheaper and easier to produce movement in order to meet increased demand for Speedmaster's following the moon landings?

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Man View Post
    So was the 861 basically adopted as a cheaper and easier to produce movement in order to meet increased demand for Speedmaster's following the moon landings?

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
    No, it was seen as a technical step up, with a faster beat rate, and a vertical clutch system for the chronograph.
    From the 1940s onwards Lemania did several technical upgrades to their movements. Omega only really used 2 on this line, Tissot used a couple of the intermediate stages as well. It was not a cost driven move, and was already done by the time apollo 11 landed.
    Dave
    Last edited by sweets; 9th January 2019 at 21:47.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweets View Post
    No, it was seen as a technical step up, with a faster beat rate, and a vertical clutch system for the chronograph.
    From the 1940s onwards Lemania did several technical upgrades to their movements. Omega only really used 2 on this line, Tissot used a couple of the intermediate stages as well. It was not a cost driven move, and was already done by the time apollo 11 landed.
    Dave
    Thank you Dave, your knowledge of this subject is really impressive!

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweets View Post
    No, it was seen as a technical step up, with a faster beat rate, and a vertical clutch system for the chronograph.
    From the 1940s onwards Lemania did several technical upgrades to their movements. Omega only really used 2 on this line, Tissot used a couple of the intermediate stages as well. It was not a cost driven move, and was already done by the time apollo 11 landed.
    Dave
    No, the clutch is horizontal in 861. The beatrate is higher but the balance is cheaper and simpler. The pillar wheel was an expensive component, the excenter used in 861 is a more economical solution. The rest differs a little, perhaps slightly more robust. Been a while since I did a 321 or 1861.

  22. #72
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    This is the first I've heard of this VERY exciting news!

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweets View Post
    No, it was seen as a technical step up, with a faster beat rate, and a vertical clutch system for the chronograph.
    From the 1940s onwards Lemania did several technical upgrades to their movements. Omega only really used 2 on this line, Tissot used a couple of the intermediate stages as well. It was not a cost driven move, and was already done by the time apollo 11 landed.
    Dave
    Dave, I am under the impression that the 861 has retained the horizontal clutch. It changed from column wheel to cams because the parts are easier to produce by using stamping methods.


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  24. #74
    This year has already seen omega release a speedy pro with an applied logo, DON bezel and a step dial. Now we are getting the 321 movement. If all this becomes standard in a new speedy pro the existing version values will plummet.

  25. #75
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    Lot of talk about old tech and the past is the past but I can tell you now if Rolex reintroduced this beauty the watch world would hit Def Con 5..



  26. #76
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    Sorry, my mistake on the axis of the clutch, yes it is horzontal.
    The balance is an interesting one, probably a bit of both.
    The 861 balance is faster oscillating and easier to adjust and make relaible, but also probably cheaper too, as an individual part. But only cheaper once the manufacturing process got precise enough to make it reliable. So each balance will have been cheaper, but the manufacturing equipment will have cost considerably more. The slower screwed balance in the 321 was more able to be adjusted to allow for poor manufacturing tolerance, but involved more manual work to do so, making it more costly per unit.

    The cam/clutch mechanism was one of the things first used in a Lemania movement that Tissot adopted (and Omega not), pre-dating the 861 by a couple of years. It was called the 1281, and had the 321's bridge and screwed balance, but added the cam/cluth instead of the column wheel. Like this



    Clearly, Omega required a higher level of finishing than Tissot did. The essence of both movements (321 and 861) is identical though, they are clearly an evolution, rather than a massive step change, with components improving within the whole, rather than a complete change in architecture.

    Dave

  27. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweets View Post
    As I said n my first post here, I truly believe that this re-scanning is entirely due to the original design materials still residing with Lemania, and all this re-engineering guff is a bit sad when they should really be crediting Lemania with the design, rather than trying to snatch credit for themselves as a "re-design".
    I am somewhat stunned.
    Nobody seems to realise all drawings, rights and information at Lemania are in the Swatch group. I see no problem whatsoever in just getting the rights that are easily available and then continue restarting 321 production.

    After all the 861/1861 are just slightly changed 321's, they are still in production and until recently the 321 (well, about the same) was sold by Nouvelle Lémania to Patek Philippe.

    The whole tomography story on the 105.003 Cernan wore sounds like utter BS and I cannot believe it.
    Omega has a load of 321's in their museum they could easily dismantle and scan. This story is really unbelievable. Further, backward engineering on the 1861/861 would have been much easier and I suppose cheaper.

    I rather believe one of the earlier remarks: customers will be shafted and get the privilege to pay over 10 k for something that basically was 3200 Dutch guilders in 1998 (approx 1500 Euro) (albeit in in 1861 guise).

    I think I'll just pass.

  28. #78
    I think that’s the problem, or potential opportunity, if PP and AP where able to take the base movement CH27 and stick it in a very expensive Chrono, maybe Omega thinks they can have a piece of the pie all these years later - good luck to them. Let’s see what the full specs are and what it all looks like (and of course how much!) before jumping to too many conclusions.

    Lets face it, they’ve kept the moo watch price below the newer co-ax models, when personally I think they missed a trick by not creating a Tudor esq heritage line and upping the price considerably - they can’t really do that now, as they tried to push their newer Chrono models into Rolex territory price wise!
    Last edited by Omegamanic; 10th January 2019 at 00:46.
    It's just a matter of time...

  29. #79
    Surely good news for owners of earlier 321 bearing watches, who will have a more readily available supply of parts - through official Omega repairers only, naturally.

    Assuming Omega do go the whole hog and reproduce a step dialled, DON, applied logo 321 Speedy, I'll applaud them for giving Speedy admirers what has essentially been a dream edition. Tritium markers would be too much to ask for, right?

  30. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by 744ER View Post
    The 5100 has already been re-awakened years ago, as the C01.211.
    It was a really poor movement to begin with, made even worse.

    https://watchbase.com/eta/caliber/c01-211
    I'm not a watchmaker; I'm a watch user. From user's perspective the Lemania 5100 is an excellent movement, offering the greatest at-a-glance legibility possible, thanks to the centre-pivot chronograph minutes and seconds. It's much quicker and more accurate to read minutes off the circumference of the dial than to try and do so from a 30 minute sub-dial, then make adjustments for whether or not the hour hand has advanced by a half hour.

    Unfortunately, the C01.211 has had this crucial centre-minute chromo hand feature removed. So it would be really appealing to have it restored and fitted in the Speedy case, as with the Grail (pic borrowed from Fratello Watches site)




    Last edited by HappyJack; 10th January 2019 at 05:16.

  31. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyJack View Post
    I'm not a watchmaker; I'm a watch user. From user's perspective the Lemania 5100 is an excellent movement, offering the greatest at-a-glance legibility possible, thanks to the centre-pivot chronograph minutes and seconds. It's much quicker and more accurate to read minutes off the circumference of the dial than to try and do so from a 30 minute sub-dial, then make adjustments for whether or not the hour hand has advanced by a half hour.

    Unfortunately, the C01.211 has had this crucial centre-minute chromo hand feature removed. So it would be really appealing to have it restored and fitted in the Speedy case, as with the Grail (pic borrowed from Fratello Watches site)




    Agree on the central minute hand. I believe Sinn have made a movement with that feature?

  32. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkpw View Post
    Surely good news for owners of earlier 321 bearing watches, who will have a more readily available supply of parts - through official Omega repairers only, naturally.

    Assuming Omega do go the whole hog and reproduce a step dialled, DON, applied logo 321 Speedy, I'll applaud them for giving Speedy admirers what has essentially been a dream edition. Tritium markers would be too much to ask for, right?
    No parts will be interchangeable, so forget it.
    I assume this is a major reason for Omega not to just resume 321 production, but the current redevelopment with tomography. Engineered non-interchangeability...

    About the Lemania 5100: it was a cheaply made watch with a lot of plastic parts (which gave it great shock resistance) and a somewhat odd pillar construction. I think from a watchmakers perspective it isn't a very nice movement. The resulting layout and legibility of the chrono though is wonderful.
    Last edited by Bernard; 10th January 2019 at 08:20.

  33. #83
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    Worth a watch. Here’s a tear down of a 321 (1 of 3).....

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=CeP-Jv1BPug

  34. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    Lot of talk about old tech and the past is the past but I can tell you now if Rolex reintroduced this beauty the watch world would hit Def Con 5..


    Doesn't Defcon 5 mean everyone puts their feet up and goes to sleep?

  35. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by LorneG View Post
    Doesn't Defcon 5 mean everyone puts their feet up and goes to sleep?
    Let's hope not!

    DEFCON 1 has never been reached before, and it is good too. At DEFCON 1, nuclear war is imminent. American Nuclear weaponry is primed, and, well, you can do the math.

    M

  36. #86
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    Perhaps some are forgetting, the 321 was used in other watches than a Speedy. For example the beautiful Seamaster Chrono. I really can imagine Omega putting the 321 into a reedition of this one..

  37. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyJack View Post
    I'm not a watchmaker; I'm a watch user. From user's perspective the Lemania 5100 is an excellent movement, offering the greatest at-a-glance legibility possible, thanks to the centre-pivot chronograph minutes and seconds. It's much quicker and more accurate to read minutes off the circumference of the dial than to try and do so from a 30 minute sub-dial, then make adjustments for whether or not the hour hand has advanced by a half hour.

    Unfortunately, the C01.211 has had this crucial centre-minute chromo hand feature removed. So it would be really appealing to have it restored and fitted in the Speedy case, as with the Grail (pic borrowed from Fratello Watches site)




    Literally my least favourite movement to work on the 5100.

    Back to the 321 talk, 861 and 1861. I see no reason for omega to bring the 321 back it has no user benefits at all compared to a 1861 and if kept original won't perform any better than a 1861. It's just an advertising ploy that fits wonderfully in with hodinkees customers/readers.

  38. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by 744ER View Post
    Agree on the central minute hand. I believe Sinn have made a movement with that feature?
    Sinn, Damasko and Tutima have all modified the 7750 to accommodate for central 60min chrono counting. That added benefit of using the 7750 is that the minute counter now jumps rather than slides making legibility even better...


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  39. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    Lot of talk about old tech and the past is the past but I can tell you now if Rolex reintroduced this beauty the watch world would hit Def Con 5..


    Eddie is making a nice re-edition of these.
    And let’s not forget the Gevril homages as well...



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  40. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by me32dc View Post
    Literally my least favourite movement to work on the 5100.
    Lots of plastic used it its construction too, good for high g tolerance but looks cheap and nasty IMO. Pictures borrowed from Watchguy who show a strip down. The 321 or 1861 for that matter are rather nicer to look at than this:



    Last edited by Padders; 10th January 2019 at 11:18.

  41. #91
    Great marketing move.

  42. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padders View Post
    Lots of plastic used it its construction too, good for high g tolerance but looks cheap and nasty IMO. Pictures borrowed from Duncan thewatchbloke:



    Yes and I often see cloudy plastic as it has been incorrectly cleaned, out of shape plastic as they dried it too long or hot.
    I think my personal issue with working on these is actually due to the fact that they are so different to other chronographs and don't go together as you expect. If I serviced them often day in day out maybe I would like them a bit more, but I doubt it.

  43. #93
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    I’ve worked on two 5100s, first one was a horror story that STS had rejected as beyond economic repair, the second was far more straightforward.....but it brought back bad memories!

    Back in the 70s, when these movements were designed, the use of plastics seemed like a good idea and probably enabled the movement to be built cheaply in quantity. Fast forward to today, history doesn’t judge them favourably, but they were never intended to last 40+ years!

    In my opinion there are two major weaknesses with this movement.........but I’m not really a fan of chronographs if I’m honest.

    If I had to pick a favourite chronograph the Omega 861/1861 would get my vote. Re-launching the 321 makes no sense to me.

  44. #94
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    For years the common statement about the Speedy and the 321 was the " buttery smooth movement " and no other movement compared to the original Speedy when all it's variations with different movements came up. After reading this thread it sounds like people hate the 321. So which is it, I know the 321 looks better through a see through caseback than a certain movement with a Delrin brake which the purists always hated, would you really not prefer a new Speedy with a 321 for the anniversary?

  45. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by jk103 View Post
    For years the common statement about the Speedy and the 321 was the " buttery smooth movement " and no other movement compared to the original Speedy when all it's variations with different movements came up. After reading this thread it sounds like people hate the 321. So which is it, I know the 321 looks better through a see through caseback than a certain movement with a Delrin brake which the purists always hated, would you really not prefer a new Speedy with a 321 for the anniversary?
    The 321 does have a smoother pusher action than the 1861 but then the action on the 3313 also used in some Speedmasters is nicer still. Yes the 1861 which is designed to be hidden behind a metal back has a Delrin brake, the 1863 designed for display on the sapphire sandwich models has a metal brake and additional finishing.
    Last edited by Padders; 11th January 2019 at 10:00.

  46. #96
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  47. #97
    Master sweets's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    Clearly I cannot speak for everyone, but

    I think everyone would agree it is nice to see the 321 back. It is a movement from a legendary watch.
    I think most people would agree that it should only live in a proper re-creation, rather than some fanciful LE with medals, dogs, badges or other stuff on the dial. For me the only allowable adornment should be a crystal back so that you can see the 321 inside.

    But

    Given that the 321 is not a technical improvement over later movements, and given Omega's hype about it, I think there is a certain level of

    Scepticism that the new movement will be too expensive, the press guff massivley talks up the effort to re-create it, paving the way for massive price.
    Irritation that it will end up being so, given that originally it was no such thing
    Apprehension that it may end up in the wrong watch

    and from me

    Annoyance that Omega's press has cut Lemania out of their part of the development of this movement.

    So this is not bad news, not at all.
    However, there are reservations to be had, it may not be all good news either.

    Dave

  48. #98
    Quote Originally Posted by EJL25 View Post
    ahahaha :)

  49. #99
    Quote Originally Posted by Bernard View Post
    No parts will be interchangeable, so forget it.
    I assume this is a major reason for Omega not to just resume 321 production, but the current redevelopment with tomography. Engineered non-interchangeability...
    That's a shame for original 321 owners.

  50. #100
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    London
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    330
    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    Let's hope not!

    DEFCON 1 has never been reached before, and it is good too. At DEFCON 1, nuclear war is imminent. American Nuclear weaponry is primed, and, well, you can do the math.

    M
    I'm glad that Trumpy has an IQ of 155 then, otherwise he might get the defcon numbers the wrong way around and press the button one quiet day when his beeper says 'now at defcon 5'

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