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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Pre Bond Seamaster 200 1988-1994


The Seamaster 200 was introduced in 1988. Like many other Omega lines, the Seamaster 200 was tied to an event that touted its deep-sea qualities. According to the official Omega website “On July 25 1988, the Seamaster Professional 200 meters calibre 1111 took part in the IFREMER Faré mission, during which the French scientific submarine Nautile dived 4,400 meters (a new record) below sea level in the mid-Atlantic to install the first link of a channel to monitor seismic shift.”

The Seamaster 200 was never really appreciated in its time and in fact received its nickname “Pre Bond” as a result of the model that followed it. Omega even lists the line in the vintage database as Pre Bond. From the Omega vintage database it seems that it was introduced in 1987/88 and ran through 1995, however it was effectively replaced in 1993 by the “Bond” Seamaster 300.

First some general information on the Seamaster line.

Sapphire crystal
Omega symbol and name under the 12:00 index.
Luminous dots at 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11
Luminous single index at 6 and 9 with a lumed double index at 12.
Date window at 3
Square tooth notched 60 Click uni-directional bezel marked with numbers 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50, large hash marks at 5, 15, 25, 35, 45, and 55 and a triangle with lumed pip at 60



200Mwater resistance
Screw down crown and case back
Integrated Omega 1455 bracelet



Finishes
The SEAMASTER 200 was available in three finishes on the case, Stainless, Stainless / 18K black dial or Stainless / 18K with Champagne dial. The Stainless / 18K versions also came with the option of a solid stainless steel bracelet or a stainless steel bracelet with inlaid gold links. The pictures below show only Color options and not sizes.
Also included is the price in swiss francs (CHF) and year of price (of those I could find).

Stainless steel,
Full size Quartz Ref ST 396.1041, CHF 800 (1992) CHF 1100 (1994)
Mid size Quartz Ref ST 396.1042, CHF 1000 (1995)
Full size Auto Ref ST 398.1041, CHF 910 (1991)
Mid size Auto Ref ST 398.1042



Stainless / 18K gold with gold inlaid bracelet and black face. I found the 18K versions to be especially interesting because the bezel is not gold plated but rather solid 18K gold.
Full size Quartz Ref DB 396.1041, CHF 2250 (1994), CHF 1875 (1992)
Mid size Quartz Ref DB 396.1042, CHF 2050 (1995)
Full size Auto Ref DB 398.1041, CHF 2025 (1991)
Mid size Auto Ref DB 398.1042


Photo by PPaulusz

Stainless / 18K gold with champagne face
Ref # same as with black face but added ref Black .300, Champagne .200
Full size Quartz Ref DB 396.1041, CHF 2250 (1994), CHF 1875 (1992)
Mid size Quartz Ref DB 396.1042, CHF 2050 (1995)
Full size Auto Ref DB 398.1041, CHF 2025 (1991)
Mid size Auto Ref DB 398.1042

Photo by HughWright

Stainless / 18K with Steel Bracelet
Full size Quartz Ref DR 396.1041, CHF 1150 (1994), CHF 1875 (1992)
Mid size Quartz Ref DR 396.1042, CHF 1350 (1995)
Full size Auto Ref DR 398.1041, CHF 1350 (1991)
Mid size Auto Ref DR 398.1042

Photo by Reto Castellazzi

HANDS
The SEAMASTER 200 was initially produced with a Mercedes hand set.


These were eventually replaced with the Omega sword hands.

photo by d2dw

Movements
At the time of the SEAMASTER 200 introduction, Omega was moving away from completely in house movements and moving to ETA movements. The SEAMASTER 200 was available in both quartz and automatic movements. According to accounts the automatic version was produced in much smaller numbers compared to the quartz versions making it rather scarce. I believe however that the 1441 High-end quartz movement was the most rare, being introduced in 1987/88 and replaced late in 1988 by the 1438 quartz movement thus being in production for one year or less.

Automatic
The automatics were powered by the Omega 1111 (ETA 2892-2) movement and marked with “AUTOMATIC Chronometer”. This 21 jewel movement features quickset date, sweep second 44 hour power reserve and hacks. (Sorry no pics but feel free to donate one if you like)

Quartz
The quartz versions were marked with “PROFESSIONAL”
Omega 1441 (ETA 255.561)
The quartz version started off with the Omega 1441 movement in late 1987 and by the end of 1988 and was fitted with the Omega 1438 movement. The 1441 movement stands out as it is a Thermo-compensated high-end quartz movement.
Collectors note: The 1441 is easily differentiated from the later 1438 (evenin small pics of the movement) by the two silver crystal units on the 1441 as opposed to the single crystal unit on the 1438.


Here is a copy of the manual for the 1441

Photo by Steve Waddington

If that’s too hard to read it says (in part)

Quote from 1441 manual
Your Omega watch is equipped with a thermo-compensated quartz movement: temperature variations which could easily affect the movement's precision are automatically corrected and compensated by a quartz thermometer with a frequency of 262.144 Hz = vibrations per second. This assures a time precision of +/- 10 seconds per year. Consequently your Omega watch is much more accurate than a traditional quartz watch.
This movement is Omega's second most accurate movement with the first being the Megaquartz 2400 one of, if not the most accurate movements in the world.

For further fine tuning the movement can be user regulated in increments of 0.33 seconds per month. (1 impulse = .33 sec/month)



Omega 1438 (ETA 255.461)
By the end of 1988 the 1441 was replace by the 1438.
6 jewel quartz movement with date.

photo by Reto Castellazzi



Case sizes
The Seamaster 200 was available in a full size version (40 mm w/o crown) official size 8.85 x 38.5 x 43.5 and a midsize (38mm w/o crown) official size 8.7 x 36 x 41. There are some subtle differences in the two sized dials.

Now that we know the movements and the case sizes, let’s have a look at how they can easily be differentiated just by looking at the dials.

The movement type can be determined by the dial either printed PROFESSIONAL (Quartz) or AUTOMATIC Chronometer (Auto), both with 200 M printed below. If the picture is too small to make out the print, the auto will have 4 lines of text on the bottom half and the quartz will have three lines of text.

The size can be determined by knowing the movement (auto vs quartz) and then looking at the relationship between the date window and the hash marks. On the Quartz full-size there is a gap between the date window and the hash marks, while on the mid-size the date window touches the hash marks. For the auto, the full-size date window touches the hash marks, while the mid size window obliterates the hash marks.



1st and 2nd Generation?
It has been said that the Pre Bond line has a 1st and 2nd generation. Some have suggested that the distinction is based on hand sets i.e. Mercedes vs Sword. I believe that the difference is in the crowns and the clasps.

The earlier models have a 6 lobed crown, and single fold over Divers clasp


While the later versions all seem to have a more circular ribbed crown and double fold over divers clasp.

Photo by D2DW

Because the both handsets have been found on both crown/clasp styles, and the fact that the hands are easily changed, I hesitate to use them as a definer of the two generations. Since the crown/clasp combos exist in one combo in the beginning and a second combo towards the end, I find this to be the main distinction.

Case backs
Over the course of the SEAMASTER 200 line the case back underwent a few changes. In fact, the earliest case back style looks so different from what we are used to that over the years a few collectors have shied away from purchasing the model for fear of it being fake.
The earliest models came with a simple unadorned concave back with the Omega symbol, name and SEAMASTER simply stamped into the surface.

This is a 1987/88 2 piece quartz case back (notice the 6 lobed crown)


Here is a 1988 2 piece Auto case back (also a 6 lobed crown) The non concave back may be to make room for the thicker auto movement.

Photo by Reto Castellazi


Another 2 piece concave case back but notice the ribbed 2nd gen crown.

Photo by Raz44

Finally a late model 1 piece case back with ribbed 2nd gen crown.

Photo by Raz44

And finally the clasps.
As stated previously, the earlier clasps were a single fold over with foldout diver’s extension.
Note the differences between the all stainless and stainless 18k versions.

Stainless with the logo stamped


Stainless / 18k with stainless band with gold insert

Photo Reto Castellazzi

A closer shot of the insert on a Stainless / 18k with gold inlaid stainless band

Photo by PPaulusz


Later versions went to a double fold over clasp

Photo by D2DW


That pretty much completes the review of the Omega Seamaster 200 Pre-Bond line. You have seen all the various parts that makeup the different versions. But we all know that a watch is more than the sum of its parts. So to finish off I would like to offer you an enticing bit of Seamaster 200 eye candy.


photo by Jaap



Photo by David Wrubel



photo by Wis_Chronomaster



Photo by D2DW


What's this, a dive watch near the water?

photo by y2keable

And finally (yes really this time) a wrist shot of the watch that started my quest.



Special thanks go out to the following WIS for use of their pictures and as a great reference source for the Seamaster200
PPaulUSZ
y2keable
David Wrubel
Hugh Wright
D2DW
Raz44
Wis_Chronomaster
Omega Vintage database
Reto Castellazzi http://www.pmwf.com/Watches/OmegaTable.htm
Falconxp http://www.falconxp.tweakdsl.nl/mainframe.html
Steve Waddington http://www.old-omegas.com/

A few parting words. I tried to make this review as complete as possible. Any omissions or mistakes are purely my fault. Thank you to all who responded to my “permission to use pics of your watch” PM’s and emails. Since I only own one version of this watch, this review would not have been near as informative without all your cooperation. If I have used a picture of yours without proper credit given, I apologize. Just send me a note and corrections will be made. I certainly want to give credit where credit is due. Though the text may be a little dry, Believe it or not I typed up this review on a keyboard with a faulty spacebar. Man, I hate computers. (But I do love watches!)
 

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Thanks for the review, since you mention its successor, I take it the 300 never came with a thermocompensated quartz ?
 

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:thanks for this very informative review of the Omega Seamaster 200 Pre Bond series!|>
 

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Howdy,

Great review indeed, and a very underrated part of the Omega heritage in my view. Your review asks for donation of photos of the Cal 1111 auto movement, and I'm happy to oblige.




Based (if memory serves me right) on the same ETA caliber as the 1120 that powered the Bond, the 2254.50 etc. In fact it is still used, in a much more modified form, in the co-axial Planet Oceans of today. A great movement - stable, reliable, lasts forever and can be fixed by any watchmaker worth his salt.

NOTE ADDED ON MARCH 3, 2011 - This watch is currently being sold through a certain large website. Yes, this is the same image and yes I am the owner/seller of the watch.

Moderators: I know this is off topic but it was either this or delete the image. I will remove this note after the auction concludes.

Cheers
 

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Didn't see it mentioned here, I came across a ladies version with a thermocompensated Caliber 1429 on eBay, auction just ended :

Description follows :

This is a classic SWISS MADE OMEGA DATE 200M 7 JEWEL QUARTZ 1429 SEAMASTER men's wristwatch with OMEGA STAINLESS STEEL watch band !! Watch movement WAS NOT working at the time of this listing, but as we are not experts, it has not been inspected closely or tested for accuracy so will need servicing and at least a battery, cleaning or simple adjustment to return to working order !! Crown does not engage to set !! The case is marked on the back OMEGA SEAMASTER and the movement is marked SEVEN JEWEL 1429 !! Watch band is approximately 6 INCHES measured inside, clasp closed !! Case measures approximately 27 MM in diameter without lugs or crown and weighs 63.3 GRAMS with band !! Auction is for watch only and DOES NOT include box or papers !! Please email all questions before bidding !!
 

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Encouraged by your review, I was able to find the rare1441 caliber champagne midsized Seamaster. I also picked up the later 1438 model!......
Hans Moleman from the HEQ forum tested the 1441 and found it to perform 5secs/year!

 

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I have a 1992 Seamaster automatic 200M midsize. Cleaned/tuned last year. I had the nyc omega people retrofit it with the mercedes hour hand. comes with box and papers. any offers?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thian, I'm sorry I missed these when you first posted them. Thanks for posting up the pics, I like them! :-!
5 seconds a year isn't too shabby.:-d
 

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Been wondering about this for a while, has there ever been any insight as to why Omega moved away from the 1441 movement so quickly? Were they just trying to reduce the (bill of materials) or were there concerns about the durability of the TC movements? Or possibly "marketing issues"?
 

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Keep coming back to this excellent review!

I've been looking at the bicoulour models and I'm under the impression that there are two types of bracelets, bracelets with plated gold "middle links"and bracelets with solid gold "middle links" ? I'm basing this on the pictures I've seen that generally show the back of the bracelet as being all SS and some rare versions with the back of the middle link being gold too, indicating solid gold...or maybe plating on both sides...here is a picture :

.

Ofrei sell the replacement "Omega Stainless Steel & 18 KT Full Bar Bracelet DB1465452" for a "mere" $1089.00 so I doubt that would include 15 or so solid gold "middle links". The SS "OME-020ST1455462" sells for $420.
 

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I was also encouraged by your review :-! and has just purchased a fullsize quartz with sword hands. I will add some pics when it arrives.
 

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Sorry for digging up an old thread, but I think I like the pre-Bond better than the Bond. I was wondering if you could change the bracelet out, though. It seems like a lot of watches of this age are sold sized and without extra links, but the end link looks a bit odd, like it's only connected at the center link. Does that mean I couldn't just put any strap on it?
 

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Does that mean I couldn't just put any strap on it?
That's correct. A definite negative of watches with integrated bracelets/straps. I don't know if there are any adapters available.
 

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Just got a hold of champagne "jumbo" quartz with the 1441. I was a bit concerned that I wouldn't like the dial but it looks great. Goes very well with the 18k bezel and crown. The crown is a bit chipped and based on what I'm seeing I wonder if it's solid gold as I thought I read it was. Unfortunately it's also missing the gold chip on the clasp. Wonder if these can be sourced...will go looking.

Found it to be about +60 spy fast over 24 hours so I gave it 14 taps on the (-) and will see how it looks tomorrow ;-)

 

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It's now ticking at +36 spy so it seems all of my taps didn't register with the digital terminal, odd, hope there isn't something wrong with it, will wait another days and give it another try. Oh and I sourced a replacement for the missing gold "plaque" on the clasp ;-)

Can't resist a "vintagized" picture of the beast :

 

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Hi guys,Rob, newbie here. Great site. Great post. I've just bought a ss/18k 200 quartz which I'm going to clean up a bit and give to my son for his 21st birthday.
The information in this post has been invaluable and I've been able to make various informed decisions about the watches type details based just on the pic, (I'm actually picking it up tomorrow) so it'll help me collate the other bits I want to add to it, box and any papers/booklets I can find relevant to this model.
I'll take some before and after pics and post them as the project progresses. Never tried to polish a watch before and I'm still in two minds about whether to attempt it myself or have it done with a service by a pro. I'll probably try a gentle polish on the bracelet first, see how that comes along.
I agree with a lot of the sentiments on here, I actually prefer the appearance of the 200 to the 300 which I find a bit garish, 'blingy' but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say. I was not even sure I liked the bi metal look but I'll see how it comes up. Worse case I resell it and buy an all steel one.
I was looking for an auto (I've owned and worn the same auto watch every day for over 25 years so I'm happy with the type) but they are a bit rare on the ground and the few I saw went for a bit more than my current budget could stretch to. And this one was not a bad price, (though that's a difficult thing to predict as in the weeks I've been looking I've seen 200 and 300's going for a lot less than I expected and then, at other times, a lot more so there appears to be no hard and fast rules about prices!)
Thanks again
Regards
Rob :-!
 

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Hi there ladies and Gentlemen,newbie here,great feature on pre-Bonds. I have recently purchased a pre-Bond and would like to know were all the gold bezels solid gold as stated in the above post? Pics of my new Omega. Sorry about pics.Any thoughts or info much appreciated.
 

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It's now ticking at +36 spy so it seems all of my taps didn't register with the digital terminal, odd, hope there isn't something wrong with it, will wait another days and give it another try. Oh and I sourced a replacement for the missing gold "plaque" on the clasp ;-)

Can't resist a "vintagized" picture of the beast :


Greetings from far far away! 2 of your Omega's cousins say "HI!"

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery
 

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