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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased a Flightmaster 910 that was in very good condition. I posted the photos here:

https://www.watchuseek.com/f99/omega-flightmaster-910-vintage-1970-1971-a-531024.html

However I had some questions about the subdial colors and wanted to post to the general forum to get some input. Many of these Flightmasters I've seen with the black dial and black subdials. but this one has a dark gray dial with brown subdials. Some have speculated it is color fading or "rust" (which I doubt). But when I look at the dial under magnification it looks just about perfect.

Did they make multiple color combos of this dial? Is this color fading or is it just a variant color scheme? The watch is in excellent condition overall with no obvious fading or staining on the dial (the lume even still works to a faint degree). So I'm interested in hearing from others what they think.

Thanks...





 

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I recently purchased a Flightmaster 910 that was in very good condition. I posted the photos here:

https://www.watchuseek.com/f99/omega-flightmaster-910-vintage-1970-1971-a-531024.html

However I had some questions about the subdial colors and wanted to post to the general forum to get some input. Many of these Flightmasters I've seen with the black dial and black subdials. but this one has a dark gray dial with brown subdials. Some have speculated it is color fading or "rust" (which I doubt). But when I look at the dial under magnification it looks just about perfect.

Did they make multiple color combos of this dial? Is this color fading or is it just a variant color scheme? The watch is in excellent condition overall with no obvious fading or staining on the dial (the lume even still works to a faint degree). So I'm interested in hearing from others what they think.
I think there's no doubt that they did multiple dials.
Yours is definitely original and it's absolutely in stunning condition.

Cheers
/Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes I'm thinking it must be how it came from the factory. I've seen faded Flightmaster dials in person and it just is apparent what happened to them. This looks like the brown color was intended. If it wasn't intended, it came out looking good anyway.
 

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My understanding is this, these are called tropical dials, apparently not treated at the factory correctly when they were manufactured and so change colour from black to shall we say brown over a no. of years, somebody mentioned humidity as a factor, but I'm not sure. I was initially told not that common and sought after but I have seen a few around.

I'm open to other suggestions but this is what I understood to be the reasons. Here's mine and as you can see there is still some black there but I am told these will eventually turn completely brown over the years, like yours. Hope this helps.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sounds plausible. The replacement dials are all black/black. Interesting that the colorfast nature would go through the 910 and into the 911 versions. It must have taken many years for it to show up before being noticed. It's also interesting that the green pigment didn't seem to change colors. It looks just as bright green as any brochure I've seen.
 

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If you do a search on Tropical dials you'll come up with a few suggesting as I have done, some say it's the heat and humidity causing it hence the name "Tropical"

Others manufacturers have experienced this and Omega with Speedmasters also so now I'm thinking that possibly there was nothing wrong with the manufacturing process more to do with the environment they were worn in.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the tip. I will check out Tropical dials on the flightmaster. Aside from some light nicks on the case, this watch looks like it was worn very little. I wore it yesterday and it felt just as good on the wrist as my other watches. Didn't feel big to me at all and it looks really sharp with the colors. A very unusual watch dial for sure.

I am tempted to take off the hands and replace them with modern lume versions. But they are in such good condition I think it would be criminal to take them out and disturb the original nature of the watch.
 

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from my understanding that is how the cal 910 flightmasters came.

This is the only pic I could find on my work comp so excuse the quality.

this is a pic of my 910 that I just sold
 

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I have a 911 with brown sub dials, and under a strong magnifying lens it's clear that the color is due rust. As was mentioned, there is a Speedmaster with brown dial from the same period of time than the fm (69~71), this model is so rare and famous that Omega recently did a Speedy with a brown dial as a homage to the iconic vintage brown dial.

Actually, there is a vintage brown dial Speedy at ebay ( HERE )
 

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My intuition is that it may be more a function of a photosensitive reaction than oxidation because the texture seems so undisturbed. Also, the fact that there's an apparent pattern to the fading as opposed being random seems more consistent with a light exposure issue than with atmospheric exposure. Good lookin' watch though...a lot of the ones I've seen seem to have GMT dials that don't match up too well with the other hands...yours looks perfectly coordinated.
 

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Interesting question. Being a Flighty 911 owner, I have been curious to the differing nature of the 910 dials that I have witnessed over the past year and primarily for that reason I have tended to prefer the 911. Yours, I will state is one of the more exquisite examples that I have seen. Perhaps the excellent detail you have provided in your pics helped this, tho they have left me curious as to how you actually did the dual magnification shots? I have recently been purchasing original parts (bracelet, case back, coloured pushers and crowns etc) to fit to my 911, and Watchadoo on EBay has been more than helpful if you should ever wish to procure those hands.
Great pics of a great watch, and you are right, for their size and bulk they wear very easily on the wrist.
Congratulations with regards
Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Interesting question. Being a Flighty 911 owner, I have been curious to the differing nature of the 910 dials that I have witnessed over the past year and primarily for that reason I have tended to prefer the 911. Yours, I will state is one of the more exquisite examples that I have seen. Perhaps the excellent detail you have provided in your pics helped this, tho they have left me curious as to how you actually did the dual magnification shots?
I didn't have anything special for the photos like a light box. I just used the macro mode on a Canon Powershot G10. For the magnification I used the loupe feature inside of Apple's Aperture photo editing program and made a screen shot. The spots you see on the magnification are actually dust that was on the crystal that wasn't visible under magnification. The subdials have those really subtle concentric rings. They are sometimes visible to the naked eye depending on the angle of the light. But under magnification they really show. It's one of those small details that really makes me appreciate Omega watches.

I have recently been purchasing original parts (bracelet, case back, coloured pushers and crowns etc) to fit to my 911, and Watchadoo on EBay has been more than helpful if you should ever wish to procure those hands.
Great pics of a great watch, and you are right, for their size and bulk they wear very easily on the wrist.
Congratulations with regards
Mark
I will check them out. I'm thinking an original era band will complete the watch. The color on the crowns is all intact on this watch except for part of one side where the red has come of a little. I will probably leave the hands alone. Here are some closeups of the hands.



 

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I have recently been purchasing original parts (bracelet, case back, coloured pushers and crowns etc) to fit to my 911, and Watchadoo on EBay has been more than helpful if you should ever wish to procure those hands.
How bright is the lume on those new hands? The hands on my 911 look new in daylight but are very faint in the dark. Only my 2nd time zone hand is nice and bright at night (and it's not just the bigger surface area). I was considering new hour/minute hands from Watchadoo but it occurred to me that all of these NOS 40-year-old hands might have the same issue even though they're new.
 

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I don't see a mystery, I see a faded dial, from all the examples shown, the theory is sound.

There never was a brown Speedmaster, the dials faded to that color in the right conditions.

P.S. I would NOT change the hands on your watch, they are fantastic as is!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
P.S. I would NOT change the hands on your watch, they are fantastic as is!
Yes I will leave them alone. It ain't broke so I won't fix it. I will probably find a correct band for the watch though. Would it be the 1159 or 1162?
 

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But you don't believe in the faded dial do you? Why not?

Maybe Fade is not the right term, but it is obvious that the dial has changed color. In your watch, the change was uniform.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
No I certainly do believe in faded dials. It was that under magnification the fading was so uniform it had me question the colors. The green pigment for instance doesn't look faded at all. Neither do the hands. So it must be something with the black paint used. But why would the black paint on the main dial fade differently than that used in the subdials? Don't know. The watch is 40 years old so certainly having it fade is not out of the question.

In any event, the dial looks fantastic and I'm not going to touch it. I just wanted to get clarification whether there were different color Flightmasters in production other than the black versions.
 

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I am going to go out on a limb and say it has something to do with the colors used to make a color.

There is no red in green, so the green has remained untouched. But what red was used in the subdials to make them black, has completely faded away. The black on the main dial might have used different paint mix, so the pigments were different and no fading has occurred to the same extent. So the subdials had a different composition of paint, and that paint mix has faded due to age. I only guess at red. It could have been orange, since red would be needed to even make brown in the first place.

Mix red green and blue and you get brown/black. Whatever extra was added to make those subdials black has faded away, returning the mix to an even brown. :)

Black: You can make black by mixing any two complements or any three colors spaced evenly around an accurate CMY/RGB color wheel, such as red, green, and blue. If you get a dark color instead of black, correct it by adding the complement of that color. (Borrowed from the internet.) In this case the complementary color added to make the black has disappeared, returning the color to brown.
 
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