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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

Cal. 480./ Ser# 14,843,753/caseback: 2846 4 SC _ 2848
[more pics below]

I was determined to try and get a plain 'everyday' SS vintage SM auto (constellations have become very pricey) for as low a price as I possibly could while still trying to get a watch that I thought was all original, in half decent shape, and nice looking as well.

So-it took a good week or more of constant trolling and getting outbid on at least 25 assrtd. SM autos of all types and movements. (I am not enough of an expert to hone in on one particular type of 'interesting' SM. I've seen "claims" the cal. 471 is one to collect but I was actually hoping to find a bumper just to experience the 'bump' I've heard described. Plus-my self-imposed monetary limit put a damper on what I could expect to win or buy outright.)

The pics below show what came this Monday! Its running beautifully and to me-its simple and elegant. So far i'm a happy guy. I think it slipped under the radar because I won this for well under $200 when everything else I lost for much more. {Now-is there a reason other than bad listing strategy that it went for so low? Maybe? I am open to any comments, criticisms, or info anyone is kind enough to offer}I hope by now I know enough to not buy a total junker/fake but now-a-days? People seem to fake everything.

I will say that from the sellers pics(pics are mine)-I thought the dial was re-done because 'Seamaster' and 'Automatic' looked crooked. But after I received and polywatched the crystal suddenly-vertical scalloping not visible before popped out and the 'valleys' distorted lettering in photos. Examined properly- lettering seems all correct. Lettering is raised and follows the contours of the dial ridges. The 't' on Seamaster is missing its left horiz. bar and i dont know if thats odd? But since the dial has so much crazing visible under bright light-I was wondering if that tends to confirm the dial being original?

Ok-that is all I can really say about this watch. I know very little about old SM's. I just started learning about Constellations a month back. But there are so many variations of SM that I don't really know if I got an all orig./ franken/ interesting/ ho-hum or perfectly nice SM?. I really like the rice band mesh which I know is not orig. to this SM. Cal. is 480 {which i can find almost nothing about so I'm assuming its a run-of-the-mill updated rotor auto between the 471 and the 500's?. I can NEVER log onto the Omega database! So-i'm guessing by style: mid-50's to mid 60's. serial # 14.843.xxx

This is a watch I can wear everyday w/o worrying about it too much so I'll enjoy it even if it isnt very exciting. But I'd like to know if any of the vintage experts see any real problems with it? thanks-








 

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Looks nice |> The watch you have is a ref 2848 with what appears to be a cal 491 movement. The serial number would place the watch to the mid 1950's - so this is an accordance with when the watch was offered.

The only thing I would say is that the dial looks like it was probably refinished, but perhaps if you could get higher resolution pictures of the dial we could see for sure.

Not sure why this watch went under the radar, but you did get a good buy, IMO. Nice catch and congrats :-!
 

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Looks to be a nice catch, but it looks like a part of your regulator is missing from the movement including the regulator screw. Not familiar enough with the movement on this one but Ive seen enough c.5xx to know that something seems to be gone.
 

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Looks nice |> The watch you have is a ref 2848 with what appears to be a cal 491 movement. The serial number would place the watch to the mid 1950's - so this is an accordance with when the watch was offered.

The only thing I would say is that the dial looks like it was probably refinished, but perhaps if you could get higher resolution pictures of the dial we could see for sure.
There is a LOT of crazing on the dial which I can show in pics if I hold it the right way. I dont know if that makes it less likely to be a re-dial or not. I was surprised to see the distorted letters were only a result of the raised & rounded dial ridges. And that also shows better or worse-depending on how the watch is held and photographed

(if you look closely at the front-on shot-you can see dozens of little hair-lines. It doesnt bother me much because I have to look too closely too notice. I guess it could have been refinished a while ago and has since 'crazed'. But i am hoping the crazing along w the explaination for why the 'seamaster' and 'Automatic look distorted makes it more likely to be an orig.dial. But I have been wrong before. Determining a dial's original status has always been a problem for me. Wishful thinking doesnt help either.)
 

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Actually I've seen other dials just like that (on similar 5xx Seamasters and a couple old Seamaster DeVilles) and you said it was crazed so I'd believe that it's original... Text looks pretty correct too. Might be able to have the dial re-lacquered perhaps? (Not sure where you can have this done though)

Part of the swan neck regulator is missing though I think like Cajun Mike said, but obviously as the watch is working so it isn't too detrimental... Though tbh I'm not 100% sure the cal. 480 or any of the 4xx calibers had them so it may be fine.

With that original bracelet though and the neat finish on the dial, you got a pretty good one I think :-! I'd give the case a quick going over with a Cape Cod cloth, maybe the inner bracelet links too (and rebrush the outer ones with a scotch brite pad), and perhaps tighten up the endlinks a bit so they don't rattle and you'll have a real treasure b-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Actually I've seen other dials just like that (on similar 5xx Seamasters and a couple old Seamaster DeVilles) and you said it was crazed so I'd believe that it's original... Text looks pretty correct too. Might be able to have the dial re-lacquered perhaps? (Not sure where you can have this done though)

Part of the swan neck regulator is missing though I think like Cajun Mike said, but obviously as the watch is working so it isn't too detrimental... Though tbh I'm not 100% sure the cal. 480 or any of the 4xx calibers had them so it may be fine.

With that original bracelet though and the neat finish on the dial, you got a pretty good one I think :-! I'd give the case a quick going over with a Cape Cod cloth, maybe the inner bracelet links too (and rebrush the outer ones with a scotch brite pad), and perhaps tighten up the endlinks a bit so they don't rattle and you'll have a real treasure b-)
As per the cal.480-? I could find almost zero about. I either came up with a ladies square cal. 480 or I was directed to the cal.471 -or 'golden egg'[?] which is "claimed" (and may well be) the first full rotor from Omega. All I can guess is that as they developed the rotor it went through various changes and the 480 was probably a minor one.

If by 'swan neck' you mean the tear-drop shaped loop over the balance wheel -i didnt see one on 2 different cal.471's. But I did see one on a SM cal. 490.:(here)
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250510987886&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

So-I have to agree with CajunM (plus -there are the 2 empty mount holes) that swan neck thing is missing. But what it does? I can only speculate- but it looks to me like it limits the rotation of the regulateur? Again-just guessing.

I've had the watch on for 5 days straight and its not gained nor lost anything more than 20 seconds give or take (compared to an f300hz, SM1040 and a quartz) So I have to assume its not a big issue.

-Funny this subject should come up but I JUST read a SM sellers disclaimer : no more returns! Scammers were paying, receiving then removing parts and returning the watch as defective. Seller claimed he could not keep count of all watch parts. Must have been victimized more than once. Makes me wonder if my SM was scavenged for a the missing loop? Until someone explains that its a very necessary part I wont worry about it though.

As for the crazing? Also-not an issue. I have too many "really really" good re-dials that fooled me. I think I finally snagged a true orig/auth.( its not so easy anymore w/o a ton of knowledge-or WUS to turn to)Lines only show in certain light. As long as it all stays tight and flake-free-I'll leave it be.

The only odd thing I cant figure out is the 't' on seamaster does not have the left side of its cross-bar? I examined lettering under a 30x loupe and I see no sign that the slightly raised lettering flaked off.
{Boy-I know this is getting into such minor and obsessive detail-:think:}

Anyway-:thanks to you, CajunMk, JoeK. Always appreciate the input. Eventually-i will absorb enough omegaknowldg to opine my own darn self .
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Although I can find almost zip about the cal. 480 I was directed by search engines to either omegas Ladies 480 or the cal. 471 and a cal. 490. So-what i saw was the 471's had no 'swan' loop but the cal. 490 most definitely did. So I have to agree with you that mine was probably scavenged or just not put back. It doesnt seem to have any effect on accuracy. Here's a link to pics of a cal. 490 with its black steel loop mounted exactly wher my 480 has 2 empty holes. Id be very curious to know what that exact function of loop is? http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250510987886&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT
 

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The swan-neck or micrometer regulator, which is missing from your balance cock uses a fine screw on the left hand side which bears against the regulator tail, the opposite side of the curved loop being a spring which keeps the tail against the micrometer screw. I think one of the reasons these are missing on some movements is that you need a tiny screwdriver to adjust it and they are very awkward, to the point where it becomes a pain in the... The idea is to make tiny adjustments to the regulator but it's not neccessary, you won't miss it!
 

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As I stated above - the movement in your watch is not a cal 480. Its is likely a 490 or 491.

Here is what a 480 looks like:



Here is what a 490 or 500 looks like:



Both images are from Ranfft.de

I missed it earlier, but as others have stated your example is missing the swan neck regulator.

Although I can find almost zip about the cal. 480 I was directed by search engines to either omegas Ladies 480 or the cal. 471 and a cal. 490. So-what i saw was the 471's had no 'swan' loop but the cal. 490 most definitely did. So I have to agree with you that mine was probably scavenged or just not put back. It doesnt seem to have any effect on accuracy. Here's a link to pics of a cal. 490 with its black steel loop mounted exactly wher my 480 has 2 empty holes. Id be very curious to know what that exact function of loop is?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250510987886&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hey-I know about the ladies 480. But I am telling you-I looked with a loupe and it is stamped 480. I kept looking to see if the 8 was a distorted 9 but I don't think my eyes are that far gone yet. I will try and blow it up in my computer and then post the pict. ( i dont know much about any of the 400's and for all I know I would rather have a 490 then a 480. Also-it annoys me that there is so little info on a cal.480 and I keep getting that women's rectangular movemnt-or-I get directed to cal.471's or cal. 490's) But I can't tell a lie. It really does say 480. As soon as I get home I'll post a pic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The swan-neck or micrometer regulator, which is missing from your balance cock uses a fine screw on the left hand side which bears against the regulator tail, the opposite side of the curved loop being a spring which keeps the tail against the micrometer screw. I think one of the reasons these are missing on some movements is that you need a tiny screwdriver to adjust it and they are very awkward, to the point where it becomes a pain in the... The idea is to make tiny adjustments to the regulator but it's not neccessary, you won't miss it!
Wow. Now I know whats missing and what it was there for. As much as I believe you that its not that bad of a part to be missing-now that you have fully explained so well-I not only like the parts physical design but I like the idea of a 'micro' managment regulator loop and I can see exactly how it is supposed to do its job. Oh well. I suppose I could probably find or ofrei this part and get someone to put it in but I think I'll try to forget about it.:thanks
 

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-Funny this subject should come up but I JUST read a SM sellers disclaimer : no more returns! Scammers were paying, receiving then removing parts and returning the watch as defective. Seller claimed he could not keep count of all watch parts. Must have been victimized more than once.
i had never seen this and then shortly after reading about it here....

http://cgi.ebay.com/OMEGA-CHRONOGRA...ltDomain_0?hash=item4ceb75b30d#ht_1079wt_1137

he's a seller stating the same thing.

a few bad apples.....
 

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Here is what the swan neck regulator looks like (RIght hand side of the picture):


Sorry - I don't know who to credit for this image, I found it by google search.

I might have this part, if you are interested. The first thing to do would be to find out exactly what movement this is and then I can dig deeper.

Hey-I know about the ladies 480. But I am telling you-I looked with a loupe and it is stamped 480. I kept looking to see if the 8 was a distorted 9 but I don't think my eyes are that far gone yet. I will try and blow it up in my computer and then post the pict. ( i dont know much about any of the 400's and for all I know I would rather have a 490 then a 480. Also-it annoys me that there is so little info on a cal.480 and I keep getting that women's rectangular movemnt-or-I get directed to cal.471's or cal. 490's) But I can't tell a lie. It really does say 480. As soon as I get home I'll post a pic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
well thanks.

I understand why you are skeptical about the 480 I claim is in there (i will get you a blown up pic by monday) Doing a pretty comprehensive search-I came up withvery little except Ofreis full size dauphine hands for a cal.480 that wouldnt fir the ladies 480.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250510987886&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

But if you want to see what my movements missing swan neck probably looks like go to the above linked ebay site and look at the pic of the cal. 490 mvmnt. Its black (or blued)rolled steel-not ss. I wonder if yours is interchangeable with my 480/90 or if I have to find the one in the link?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hello-
I take it back. I dont think it matters if the part is black or stainless steel. I put up your pic next to the pic in my link and both look like the mounting holes and plate are identical. I also would need the adjustment screw. Now that I have seen the swan neck up close I can see how it is a very nice little system for fine tuning but not absolutely necessary. I still kind of wouldnt mind if it were in mine though- now that I know-i'm just going to hyper focus on whats NOT there. This is also the kind of thing I might just be brave enough the attempt installing myself. It doesnt appear as if I would have to disturb much to get it on and the real crucial thing is to have a screwdriver the correct size. Unless I am told by someone who knows better that its likely I could easily slip and screw up the bal. spring/wheel/etc?

So-if I can get an opinion on wether the swan necks are interchngbl and if its something I could accomplish {I draw the line at gears,springs, and I dont even like to remove winding stems-but this swan neck looks straight forward-2 mount screws and the adjuster. Or- maybe im totally insane for thinking i can do this?}

My point is: if it checks out and you have one to spare w screws? I'm defintley interested. I think you live in Narberth? Is that correct? Im in all parts of Philly most weekdays. Im sure if the mail isnt good enough I could swing by and actually say hello? whatever your ok with. and again-:thanks
 

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Great catch! :-!

And it seems like you're enjoying it already.
The joy we experience looking and examining our watches is
priceless. I say get the regulator, because there will always
be something nagging you that the SM is not perfect.

As for installing it yourself...well, i guess it depends how brave
you are:think:

Cheers

Melvin
 

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Hello-
I take it back. I dont think it matters if the part is black or stainless steel. I put up your pic next to the pic in my link and both look like the mounting holes and plate are identical. I also would need the adjustment screw. Now that I have seen the swan neck up close I can see how it is a very nice little system for fine tuning but not absolutely necessary. I still kind of wouldnt mind if it were in mine though- now that I know-i'm just going to hyper focus on whats NOT there. This is also the kind of thing I might just be brave enough the attempt installing myself. It doesnt appear as if I would have to disturb much to get it on and the real crucial thing is to have a screwdriver the correct size. Unless I am told by someone who knows better that its likely I could easily slip and screw up the bal. spring/wheel/etc?

So-if I can get an opinion on wether the swan necks are interchngbl and if its something I could accomplish {I draw the line at gears,springs, and I dont even like to remove winding stems-but this swan neck looks straight forward-2 mount screws and the adjuster. Or- maybe im totally insane for thinking i can do this?}

My point is: if it checks out and you have one to spare w screws? I'm defintley interested. I think you live in Narberth? Is that correct? Im in all parts of Philly most weekdays. Im sure if the mail isnt good enough I could swing by and actually say hello? whatever your ok with. and again-:thanks
They're a fairly common, as in standard, part (unlike the RG regulator) so any swan neck regulator of similar calibre should fit as long as you have the two mounting screws to go with it. The reason I suspect these things are removed is because they're fiddly, the micrometer screw can seize up due to lack of use, it can bend or shear and can actually make regulating a pain. I suspect a lot of swan necks have actually been removed by watchmakers, either for any of the reasons just mentioned, or simply to make regulation easier. Imagine, how many owners over the years would actually know, or care for that matter, if that part had been removed from their watch during a service, maybe the watchmaker told the customer but how many people would have cracked the back open to check and even if he didn't, would they have known it was there in the first place...? :think: Somehow, I doubt it...
 
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