Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Hard to pick a title for this entry...

I am really at a loss for a title for this entry... When so many good titles come easily to mind...

  • Crow must be a delicacy in Australia...
  • We've known he was an idiot, now he proves he's been lying...
  • As Queen sang "Anyway the wind blows... [GONG]"...
  • Has the lying stopped or not?
  • It takes 6 failures to make Georges a wise man?
    • [Tongue in cheek G, tongue in cheek!]
  • When the shocking is not a surprise, at all...
  • Somehow I'm not expecting an apology anytime soon...
  • Aren't you glad all c.33xx owners are so forthcoming, eventually...
  • Yet I get roasted when I share all what I've seen...
  • And the Band played "Nearer, My God, To Thee"

All of which would be such perfectly suited titles it's hard to pick one! Why?

Y'all remember Thomas? (Sebastian Melmouth, etc.)? He posted again on WUS:

[my comments will be interspersed and indented...]

1 Hour Ago

Thomas Member

Join Date: Apr 2006 Posts: 13

My NEW watch-Warning, prepare to be shocked!!!

George Zaslavsky is a wise man and the wisdom he has continued to share with us is the fact that a movement MUST FIRST BE RIGOROUSLY TESTED TO ENSURE RELIAILITY. His concerns that Omega is suspect in this area is absolutely correct.

Observation: Georges is far from the only person who is concerned about Omega and it's use of F. Piguet movements.

I can confirm to you all that there is next to nothing quality control at Omega and the most MINIMUM testing is done on their watches.

I am supposed to be shocked about this?

Now this might be o.k. on generally simple and reliable movements like the 2500, BUT, on the much more complex movements like 3303, 3313 and 3612 this policy has proven absolutely disastrous.

I guess it takes a long time from the echo to come back from OZ.

The fact is that I have concealed that my rattrapantes

This has to make all the people looking at c.33xx's and asking for owner's experiences feel real secure...

(note the plural!! but more on that later)

Ditto previous comment.

have all suffered either complete failure on my wrist or have had massive faults and countless minor faults eg warping on the dial, rotation of the seconds hand jumpy, jittery and wobbly).

This is really interesting coming from someone who was waxing grandiose last week:

One little fetish of mine concerns the alignment of the hands. They should be PERFECT, and they certainly are here. The 12hr totalizer hand and the central chrono hands (plural!) form a straight line.

My broadarrow would not reset properly

This is supposed to shock me?

and most my wife's first diamond deville had chipped and missing diamonds from the bezel (yes you read that right).

Kinda makes you wonder why he bought it in the first place.

You would never see this happen to a Rolex watch.

Paging Matthew J!

Since I saw myself as a champion of the new Omega,

... a brown-noser, extraordinare!

I've been too ashamed and in a state of denial to hitherto disclose these all too painful facts.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me six times, what an maroon am I?

The simple fact regarding my rattrapantes is this; since march of this year I've owned THREE rattrapantes and TWO FAILED ON MY WRIST AND THE THIRD ONE WOULD NOT WORK WHEN THE DATE FUNCTION WAS ENGAGED.

Is this the point I'm supposed to be shocked about?

This also explains why I carried on so much in my recent posts

¿He only carried on in his recent posts?

because that was my third new watch and I was fully convinced all was finally o.k.

... Some one who really profoundly believes ‘Past performance does not mean future gains’ ...

How wrong I was!!!!

Wasn't the first time, by a long shot. Won't be the last time, either.

the third one lasted three weeks.

Makes me really eager to hand over my credit card, oh boy!

It really requires a seperate post to describe the superhuman effort I made to obtain THREE new rattrapantes and then to get full in store credit to swap the rattrapante for some other brand.

Especially when you know so much more than the people who you know more than about these things who are telling you this.

It's really an unbelievable story.

Only unbelieveable to those who are blind or aren't paying attention.

For now, I would urge you all to stay away from the utterly crap and unreliable Piguet made movements. Run as far as you can from them and I would not touch one with a barge pole.

Gee, like this is news.

Omega is producing substandard watches at too fast a rate to meet demand and only worries about any problems at the warranty level.

But all of those engineers... all that marketing... all those watch executives... who know what they are doing better than any of us!

There is the most minimum testing done.

Somehow, I don't think this is the part that's supposed to shock either.

Anyway, I finally have seen the light

Somehow I doubt that. Ironically, last week it was...

"I think I now understand Martin Luther King's great speech, 'I've been to the mountain and I've seen the promised land'. "

The truth be told is that Bienne is not on a mountain top it's in a valley and what's going on stinks to high-heaven.

and have now given away my garbage broadarrow (yes you read that right)

[shrug] Yawn...

and have managed to get a refund for my utterly forgettable rattrapante.

Ironically, last week it was...

I never want to wear anything else.

George Zaslavsky is completely correct when he says that the Rolex Daytona is the best chronograph on the market with the incredible bona fide in house 4130 movement that is fantastically well made, beyond anything Omega can ever manage.

I don't doubt that the current Rolex Daytona's along with the previous El-Primero and Valjoux 72 base movements are excellent chronographs.

I do however maintain that I am unconvinced of any practical advantage in-house movements impart other than lack of independent service or parts availability. I'm also unconvinced that the Daytona is the best chronograph in the market. I don't believe it is the best all around chronograph on the market.

Omega will always be a second rate watch in comparison to any Rolex

At the very least debateable and I certainly do not agree.

and I should know better than most of you.


However, if knowledge/experience is directly related to amount of stupidity exhibited he may have a case.

I'm just happy that I got out of this in time with my money refunded in full.

I hope all the people who've read the comments about c.33xx's and taken the plunge anyway will be so lucky.

I now own a brilliant watch, that is with good reason the most coveted watch in the world and one of the 10 best watches ever made. Enough of this and onto my new watch.

[pictures of two-tone dark dial Rolex Daytona]

Let me now present to you a genuine superlative in house watch, the Rolex Daytona Cosmograph. If you are all a little green with envy that will make me feel all the better!!

Gee, I wonder what motivates him?

My new watch is the very definition of beauty, craftmanship and reliability. Most of these qualities are not to be found in omega watches and certainly was no to be found in my 3 faulty rattrapantes.

You mean the Rattrapantes that last week:

Its graceful lines, curves and accents really give it an air of class.” and

Of course, both hands enjoy the benefit of column wheel mechanisms. In other words, there is no slippage in the engagment of the mechanism and the pusher action is clean, crisp and firm. It really is a delight to use!!! This is the true haute horology of the chronograph complication. I thank Omega for this gorgeous creation,

or the Rattrapantes that two weeks ago:

Firstly, its a stunning watch in every way, with incredibly good looks. There are no weak points about this watch whatsoever.”, ... “this is, I think, the most innovative, refreshing and novel looking watch on mother earth. There is nothing like it. This watch is a complete success with respect to design because Omega didn't shackle itself with tradition, but also, it didn't try to re-invent the wheel either. The dial is just beautiful and perfect. I'm happy to say that the craftsmanship is equal to the challenge.” ... “Omega's design is a text book example of the art of watch design. If that wasn't enough, Omega then went ahead and designed what is the most clever and charming seconds subdial ever!! It truly is inspired. I never get tired of admiring it.

There is no pretend in house movement like the ones omega farmed out,

One Week ago: Omega rattrapante-Nothing else matters.

Two Weeks ago: “Getting to the heart of the matter, the greatest aspect of this beauty is its magneficent double column wheel movement. It is the stuff of horological dreams because it is complicated, beautiful and very rare. Only the very special chronographs have this.

Very special chrongraphs that break, a lot.

with such disasterous results, to piguet.

B--b-but I thought: “Life with this watch is a pleasure. I take pride in it and when needed, I flash it in front of an obnoxious rolex wearer and cut them down to size. People stare at it alot and I'm always asked how expensive is it. When I tell them, lots say why didn't I get rolex instead. I always reply that I wanted some more special!

This is all genuine and bona fide in house and consequently the quality speaks for itself. Oh ye baby this is the real deal.

This week anyway.

Rolex has put more careful and detailed work in the hour markers and the clasp pictured below than you'll find in any omega watch.

So the clasp was really bad on the Rattrapante too, eh?

I should know since..... my rattrapantes had distorted and warped dials,

This guy really has no sense of direction does he?

jumpy and jittery movement of the seconds hand,

Folks, this is the same fellow who last week said:

Of course, both hands enjoy the benefit of column wheel mechanisms. In other words, there is no slippage in the engagment of the mechanism and the pusher action is clean, crisp and firm. It really is a delight to use!!! This is the true haute horology of the chronograph complication. I thank Omega for this gorgeous creation,

I'm not making this $#¡+ up!

in fact omega coundn't even place the leather strap correctly on the watch.

Oh, but that's so hard!

The movements are complete garbage aswell and I now take back whatever I said against the valjoux 7750 movement.

Here is a reminder of what the same person said two weeks ago about the 7750:

As the recent WatchTime article showed, most rattrapantes have a modified 7750 movement, which is truly an ugly, indeed disgusting movement, not worth mentioning on the same day as the 3612.

At least it works!!!

That seems to be unimportant to certain people.

Here's a quote from your final paragraph two weeks ago:

Life with this watch is a pleasure. I take pride in it and when needed, I flash it in front of an obnoxious rolex wearer and cut them down to size.

Two weeks ago you were flashing your Rattrapante at obnoxious Rolex wearer's... Now you are the obnoxious Rolex wearer!

I honestly don't know who's the biggest loser, the Rolex forum(s) or you!

I'm sure it may seem cruel to pick on the obviously challenged. And personally, I'd warn everyone to take anything_ said by this person with an appropriately sized grain of salt:

[Disclaimer: recommended doseage with this person may exceed safe consumption limits]

Perhaps this latest post is a lie to try to provoke a flurry of other posts, this individual claims to have bought a Rattrapante and when queried about the veracity of that claim provided pictures and hasn't been shy about posting new pictures from time to time.

Either this person has been intentionally misleading and lying to people about this watch and this movement family for many many months, OR maybe this post is the knowingly lie.

Who knows, or at this point really cares? Either way, he's lying and intentionally misleading people.

It would not be fair to lump in this sort of behaviour with those of other c.33xx owners who have either a) been forthcoming about problems they have suffered, or b) those who have earnestly and honestly have not suffered a failure with one (or more) with these chronographs. Even when a number of owners emphasize the good points of their experience (usually the accuracy of the timekeeping on their examples) and ignore or downplay the problems with this movement.

I've said it before and I'll say it again.

Do what you want to do, listen to whomever you wish to.

But is my opinion buying one of these watches is akin to buying the sister ship of the Titanic and running it at flank speed in the North Atlantic during Iceburg season. It is simply not a sensible risk, certainly not a MSRP or likely dealer discounted prices.

I seriously thought about posting a poll about what to title this entry over at the TimeZone Omega forum. But that would probably be too provocative and over the top and I don't want to create grief for Damon...

It really REALLY p¡$$es me off that the problems are going on with these F.Piguet movements, people are intentionally lying and misleading innocent people about these problems and I really think someone needs to pull Omega/Swatch/Hayek's head's out of their neither-regions about the whole situation.

It's truely shameful to drag such a venerable, respected and elder firm like Omega down into the sewer with this sort of foolishness, but it doesn't seem to faze the powers that be.


-- Chuck

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Eberhardt & Co. also goofs on their bezel's like Tissot!

One of the things that's always pleasant about having a blog is hearing from people all over the world. A couple of days ago, I heard from Armando Camacho out of Guadalajara, Mexico in response to my recent blog post on the Tissot NASCAR Chronograph:


Have you noticed that Eberhard's Tazio Nuvolari chronograph has suffered the same malady for years (an absurd tachymeter scale with its numbers translated into MPH)?

Indeed I hadn'tand Eberhardt & Co.'s website has to be the singularly most difficult website I have ever tried to access. So when I replied to Armando, I also CCed Pascal Stratsma as Pascal has a couple of Eberhardt chronographs. Their replies were a near dead heat with pictures of two separate Eberhardt models which have the same screwy needless tachymetre conversion as the Tissot I had posted earlier. Here's Armando's provided photo first:

and this is the clearer of the two... The nice thing about this goof, is that at least one has the correct Tachy bezel underneath the crystal on the dial.

However the exact same thing is happening on this model that Pascal submitted to me:

What can I say... stupidity isn't limited to Tissot it'd seem!

Thanks to both Armando and Pascal for their contributions to this entry. I couldn't have done it without you!

-- Chuck

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Follow-up: New information on NASCAR Tissot...

I received this email from Larry Loesch Wednesday...:

From:  Larry Loesch
Subject: Tachymeter bezel problems
Date: October 18, 2006 2:04:08 PM CDT
A recent issue of the Horological Times featured that bezel in a "What
do you suppose this is" article. The followup article confirmed that
they used 1000 Meters as the base to calculate the speed in MPH.
If you are interested I'll get you the issue dates of the article in
- Larry Loesch

Naturally, I said "Please send along anything you can dig up" in reply to Larry and he was especially effecient in sending along the following:

From:  Larry Loesch
Subject: Tachymeter bezel problems
Date: October 18, 2006 10:47:29 PM CDT
The first mention of the watch was in the Aug 06 issue of the Horological Times on page 32.  They called it the Mystery Bezel Contest. :)  In the Sep 06 issue they gave the solution on page 20.  I think they were trying to protect the company's identity as they blurred the dial in the picture and don't call them by name.  I compared the picture in the article to the one on your site and it's the same watch.  That, or it's another watch with the exact same case where the blurs match perfectly!  Here's the relevant portion:

This bezel converts the vehicle speed from metric to English units and assumes the vehicle is traveling at a constant speed over a 1-kilometer distance.  The bezel readout gives the vehicle's speed in miles per hour.  The member or members who solved this mystery will be mentioned in next month's column.  The above correct answer was verified by two sources.  An e-mail was sent to our member Jerry Sussman asking his thoughts on the mystery bezel and a phone call was placed to a manager at the watch company.  Within a day or so, Jerry, an MIT professor of engineering and computer science, answered the e-mail.  He explained that this bezel converted vehicle speed from metric to English units as explained above.  Within a few days, the manager called and verified Jerry's explanation.  He also explained that the bezel was produced in Switzerland by designers who confused English and metric units when they designed this particular bezel.  The bezel went into production without anyone noticing the design error until an observant salesperson in a retail shop brought it to the  manufacturer's attention.  Future issues of this model will be equipped with the traditional tachymeter bezel.  Will this watch with it's unusual bezel become a collector's item in the future similar to a coin or stamp issued with an accidental flaw?  Time will tell.


Typos in the above are most likely due to my typing skills.
What's funny to me is that it took more work than a normal bezel to produce it!  I find it very surprising that somewhere along the line someone didn't say "Hey, guys... isn't this a lot harder than it should be?"  Oh well...
You may quote my emails as needed.
- LL

So, Larry's email's answer a few things.
  • I wasn't the first person to spot the problem. Although I did spot it independently as I had never heard of the "Horological Times" publication prior to Larry's email. Indeed, I was aware of the model back in August but I hadn't noticed the issue with the bezel back then.
  • As indicated in the passage that Larry so graciously transcribed for us the bezel went into production.
  • Thus this bezel was not the product of Photoshop or retouching as some people have suggested.
  • This model (with the bezel) was shipped to dealers and was on display to customers before an observant sales person at a retail shop brought the issue to the manufacturer's attention.
  • It's not clear if all examples that were on dealer's shelves were recalled and substituted with a newer model with a correct Tachymeter bezel which corrects the rather apparent issue with the erronious bezel.
    • Not that this should be a surprise considering Omega's intransigence with regard to the known and acknowledged flaws with the F. Piguet c.33xx based Chronographs.
  • Any examples with the flawed bezel will almost certainly be collectors items much along the lines of the "Speamaster" Speedmaster non-chronograph chronometers produced by Omega by mistake.
    • However, just like Edsels, while they are collector's items, it doesn't necessarily mean that they will be a great value or lucritive in the collectors market.
Like Larry I find it exceedingly interesting that the engineers of this bezel took so much time and effort to make this bezel more work than was necessary. I can't understand why someone (especially an engineer) wouldn't think a) "Why are we trying to re-invent the wheel here?" or b) "Haven't we done this or something similar in the past? Let's just copy that!".
And why would anyone think that a tachymeter that reads out in KM/h be attractive/needed by NASCAR fans?!?!?
What doesn't surprise me is that something so glaring made it past a Swatch Group firm's Quality Control/Marketing/etc. departments into production, distribution and yes probably even into customer's hands. Why doesn't this surprise me? Because I've seen several previous examples of similar ineptitude from Swatch Group, this is not an isolated instance.
As it is, Tissot's official website continues to display a picture of the watch in question with the flawed bezel, as well as a video on their website with the same bezel (as Rrryan pointed out on TZOF), two months after it was published in Horological Times. Were it not for an alert Salesperson (how many of them are there out there these days! Geez!) this model would likely still be on display at dealers.
I suppose if there is any thing to feel moderately good about it is that between Jeff Stein (Owner of, Eptaz00 (Moderator of the Omega forum over at WUS) and myself, we were able to figure out what the mistake was without consulting a Professor of engineering and Computer Science at MIT. True Jeff is a lawyer, and I have a degree (Associate's though certainly not a professor level degree) in Computer Programming, not sure what Eric's (Eptaz) education is. But I mean if we can figure out what happened in about 10 minutes of conversation shouldn't the folks who's job it is to make these things be able to do the same?
But then again, this is "The New Swatch Group". Sigh... If you're a fan of any of the Swatch Group brands, put on your seatbelt tight and get ready for a bumpy ride.
-- Chuck

Friday, October 13, 2006

Further proof: Bizzare stuff going on at Swatch Group...

For quite some time, I've been watching events with the Swatch Group in Switzerland with an increasing sense of bewilderment. Swatch Group is a huge conglomerate and, of course, is not an easy entity to get a grasp of. But still there have been a great deal of moves by the firm and it's subsidiaries that are questionable.

Some of the moves which I see as dubious at best are certainly debatable, and believe me... folks have debated them with me. But a number of them are just bizarre and the fact that they are bizarre is really beyond debate...

Here's a case in point... Jorge Merino Posts: N E W M o d e l - Omega Seamaster Railmaster Chronograph [May 06, 2004 - 11:12 AM]

You see what's wrong with this picture? Need a hint?

Apparently, they don't teach people to count by 5's accurately in Switzerland...

This picture was posted by Jorge Merino who get's the press releases from many many Swiss watch firms. So this photograph came from an Omega press release. [Many thanks to Steve Waddington, moderator of the Zowie/Chronocentric Omega discussion forum for helping me relocate this post]...

The other night, I was mentioning the curious case of the Tissot NASCAR chronograph while chatting on IM with Eric [Eptaz, moderator of the Omega forum over at WUS]. I had mentioned the curious inclusion of "Valjoux" on the display caseback on this watch previously, after Swatch Group takes great pains to encourage firms which use the 7750 to call the movement by it's newly bestowed "ETA 7750" name. When I noticed another major goof in this watch.

Here's the picture:

I took a look at the "Tachymeter MPH" bezel and said...

What the F**K!

Between Eric, Jeff Stein and myself, the only possible explanation that we could postulate is that perhaps someone decided to convert Kilometers into miles because 37 Miles per hour is roughly 60 KPH, and 50 MPH is roughly 80 KPH, etc..

All a Tachymetre bezel is a scale that divides the 3600 (the number of minutes (60) times the number of seconds (60) = 3,600) by the number of seconds to generate a "Units per Hour" indication. The number would be the same if measuring Kilometre's, miles, or furlongs. Why anyone would do a conversion when one is not necessary is confounding.

The absurdity of this is simply mindboggling! I mean all a person has to do is look at a picture of any watch with a Bezel (that isn't laughably incorrect <-- Warning, link not for the weak of stomach!) and copy it. I mean, how difficult is that?

But in this instance, like the Omega Railmaster, not only has the mistake been made, but professional watch photography been booked, taken and distributed to the press and the public, and in this instance, is pictured and remains on's website:

[Pictured on the left] at this very moment! Now, Tissot does have a different model pictured in the subwindow on the right, but why continue to have that fouled-up model as the main picture?

Eric pointed out a post in a blog of this Tissot and a Quartz model... Guess what? The Quartz model has a mucked up bezel too!

How can these watches (or even pictures of watches) with such mistakes make it to the public eye? This watch had to be designed, approved, "gone to metal", been professionally photographed, given to Marketing/Webmasters/etc. Where's the scrutiny?

I'm reminded of the 1992 song by "Fresh Bush and the Invisible Man" called "Hard Times"...

Politics is higher taxes,
Politics is fewer jobs,
Federal regulations...
Surely, Congress doin' drugs!

I don't know what the explanation is, but there is some seriously bizarre stuff going on at Swatch Group. This is nothing new, just further proof.

-- Chuck

P.S. Thanks again to Steve, Jeff and Eric for their input on this one.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

News (to me anyway) about Ed White's Speedmaster...

Back on the 5th of September I received the following email message from Blake Bartosh... It was information new to me and I've received permission from Blake to post and host the information on my site...

From: "Blake Bartosh"
Date: September 05, 2006 8:47:02 AM CDT
To: Chuck Maddox
Subject: Ed White's Speedmaster information

My father [Roger Bartosh] is in the habit of subscribing to all kinds of interesting things, and one of them was Superior Galleries' Space Memorabilia Auction catalogs. 

[click on the pictures to open a full size scan in a new window]

Of particular interest is the Spring 1999 catalog which lists as one of the auctions Ed White's Speedmaster. 

The description identifies the NASA numbers engraved on the watch side and reverse. 

Evidently the watch realized a value of $34,500 at auction. 

I am saddened by the tragic event that took Ed White's life, and at the same time I am intrigued that the Hesalite crystal survived the intense heat and flames inside the Apollo 1 capsule.

See the attached scans of the catalog cover, the page depicting the watch with description, and the final price realized for the watch (auction item 398).  Sorry about the quality of the auction page scan, the catalog is about an inch thick and hard to lay down on the scanner bed.

Were you aware of this auction occurring?

Best regards,


Indeed I was not aware of this auction and am a bit surprised that this watch was put up for auction. I'm not going to guess the White's rationale for selling the watch, but rather I'd suspect that either the GAO, NASA or the Smithsonian would likely have something of a claim on this watch as US property, unless it was a watch purchased by the late Mr. White.

Of course if anyone has further information, I'd love to hear it.

Thanks to both Roger and Blake for their efforts in sharing this information with us in the greater Omega Community. It is greatly appreciated!

-- Chuck

P.S. I'll post any follow-up email's I get relating to this story as comments in my blog.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

2nd multiple Omega Chrono failure report in 3 days.

Stumeister Posts: Broad Arrow movement problems [Sep 10, 2006 - 10:59 AM]

Just wanted to check with any of you experts out there what would be considered normal for problems with a auto chronograph.

Sadly I bought a Broad Arrow in 2004 and it looks like I will be packing it up once more (the 5th time now) to send to Bienne with a problem associated with the minute chronograph hand not turning over.

The watch does keep great time, but the chronograph cannot be guaranteed to work 20/20 when engaged (fails 3 to 4 times out of 20, usually in a row before if gets back on track).

I have read a few lines of discussion on this forum regarding this movement line-> is there any current news from Omega that they may change this movement due to its unreliability?

Or am I the lucky one that may have bought quite an expensive lemon?

I replied to Stumeister's post over in TZOF.

Some Thoughts...

This will make the second report of multiple failures in chronographs in the past three days. The first report was made in reply to my post in this blog about Time Flies c.3303 issue by Nick Henson on Thursday, September 07, 2006 12:20:00 PM.

I haven't heard back from Nick about my follow up post to Nick in the blog, so I do not know if his Seamaster Pro Chronograph sports a Valjoux 7750 or a c.33xx. I am not going to assume it's one model or another.

I'm not going to count Nick's example either way until I hear from him. Unfortunately, he didn't leave me an email address to contact him directly (Blogger recorded "" as Nick's address), I will have to hope that Nick either posts another comment or contacts me directly to clearify things.

Stumeister's example was bought in 2004, fairly likely to have been produced after the remedial parts introduced in 2002 that certain people claim have elimidated or at least caused the ,,significant decline,, of problem reports.

Even discounting Nick Henson's report, the c.33xx failure's sadly continue to be reported with regularity.

-- Chuck

Sunday, August 13, 2006

From NASA: Velcro Strap Blueprints...

It's always nice to get email's like these:

I noticed your pdf drawing for the homemade velcro Moonwatch band in the Wikipedia article, not sure if you would be interested but I have somewhere in my files at work copies of the actual "blue prints" and specs for the real deal, I work down the street from the Johnson Space Center in Clear Lake Texas and had a buddy that works over there talk to one of the guys in procurement and he sent me the drawings, its a neat little bit of history. let me know if you are interested and I can email the scans to you sometime Monday.


Bob Lacy

Fellow Speedy Pro owner.

Bob remembered that he had the ability to pull down the graphics from home and he sent them to me last night...

[click on the images above to pull up the full resolution [2.5m] scans ]

Thanks to Bob for making these blueprints for NASA Velcro Straps available for those of us who wish to "roll our own"...


Saturday, July 29, 2006

A note from Time Flies on his Omega c.3303 failing...

I received this email from Greg Bxxxxxxxx (Time Flies) tonight...:
[note: because this is such a long email I have bolded the key parts]

From: Greg Bxxxxxxxx (Time Flies) [I've omitted Greg's email, contact me if you wish to get in touch with him

Subject: A note from Time Flies on his Omega c.3303
Date: July 29, 2006 4:48:17 PM CDT


Long time, no talk.

Well, here is another experience for your Blog or whatever. You are free to quote me anywhere -- on forums or wherever you find it useful. I don't participate in watch forums very much since I retired almost two years ago. I spend my time flying, fly fishing and working with the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. I have also been doing quite a bit of bush flying.

I took a chance -- against your advice -- but the dollars didn't mean that much to me. I don't mean it the way it sounds. Every penny is worth a penny. But, in the great scheme of things, purchasing an Omega Olympic edition Seamaster Chronograph with the c.3303 was sort of a 'cheap chance' when I look at what I spend owning and maintaining two aircraft!

I bought the watch in February of 2005. I wore it flying quite a bit and as an 'every day' watch on and off since I purchased it. I used the chronograph feature a lot, as does any pilot, even when not using it for flying. I time a lot of things. I have not had a single problem with the chronograph. Despite using it quite a bit, it has always reset properly and I noticed no other aberrations in its function. Three days ago, I noticed the watch seemed to lack power reserve and also felt the watch head wobbling on my wrist -- a more noticeable wobble than the old Valjoux 7750 characteristic wobble. So, I took the watch off my wrist and shook it a bit and you could feel and hear the rotor 'free spinning' with no ratcheting (winding) sound during or at the end of the rotor rotation. The number of rotor rotations was amazing ( maybe 20 or 30 or even more) with just a little shake of the watch head. Then I tested the power reserve and there is none with the watch starting from a dead stop (power reserve at zero after running down after winding). The rotor is not winding the watch and something has disengaged in that gear train. At least, it has a two year warranty. But, even if it is fixed, I will likely just put the watch in a drawer. I don't have time to fight Omega, which is a shame. But, I have other more interesting things to do and enough watches to wear.

As a side note --- I own a bunch of watches as you know, or assume. And, I have owned a substantial number over the years. The three most reliable mechanical watches I have owned, in terms of accuracy and being totally free of problems despite heavy use and being knocked around are my Speedmaster Professional, a Breitling Navitimer I bought about five years ago after Breitling made some pretty dramatic changes in manufacture (buying Kelek) and quality control, and the ultimate tough watch, for me at least, a Tutima NATO with the wonderful Lemania 5100 (one heck of great watch for what I use watches quite a bit -- bush whacking, flying and fly fishing).

So, I wish I had listened to you. But, I was willing and could afford to take a chance. I lost the game. But, I think Omega is genuinely 'lost'. It is a damn shame since I have owned Omegas since I966. I would not buy another currently marketed Omega. So, Omega lost me. It is a story of losing.

Hope all is well, and again, you may post for me or quote anything I have said, not that my take on the situation or my experience matters to you or anyone else. If you do quote me, I would appreciate a quick note telling me where you have quoted me just for grins. I might check it out, and who knows, I might register again for a watch forum.

Thanks for your help and conversation over the years. I send my best regards,

Greg Bxxxxxxxx [I've omitted Greg's email, contact me if you wish to get in touch with him]

(aka "Time Flies", "K2UM", "Pilot-4ES", "Old Phantom II Driver" and whatever other monikers I have used


BTW, that list of three watches that have proven to be tough customers for me is relative to owning (I honestly lost count) maybe a hundred watches and that includes, AP, JLC, IWC, Omega, Breitling, VC, Rolex (had trouble with every one of these I've owned -- but that is only four), Blancpain, Panerai, Ventura, Glycine, Tutima, Sinn, and the list goes on and on. Heck, I can't even recall all of the manufacturers right now! You can just about name any "fairly big name" in watch marques and I've owned at least a couple their models along the way. By the way, I had no problems with my Panerai watches. I have not owned a Patek (no interest) or some of the unique, what I will call 'designer' marques.. The vast, vast majority were new purchases -- probably 90 of the 100 or so I had. I had trouble with every one of my JLCs despite them being part of their "Masters Series"; every Blancpain was a bust, the IWCs all ran very slow or were temperamental as hell if they used JLC ebauches; and every Rolex I've had developed winding or rotor problems and their service sucked to be honest.

I just wanted to put my comments in some perspective. Personally, I think the whole Swiss watch industry has a pervasive problems with quality control and their watches are vastly overpriced. In fact, I own four great quartz watches and I always, always have a quartz watch with me when I really need to depend on timing, even if I am wearing a mechanical, you can bet a quartz is in my flight bag -- either a Microtech H3, a Breitling Emergency or a Breitling B-1 or my 16 year old Breitling quartz Navitmer (later rebadged as the Aerospace).


Some brief observations [factual statements, not opinions]...

  • Anyone who has been on TZ from a few years back will remember Time Flies. He was one of the heavy posters when I first started visiting Time Zone. Saying Greg knows a bit about watches is a bit like saying Story Musgrave knows a bit about working in space.
  • I am not entirely sure the Omega Olympic edition Seamaster Chronograph were equipped with a c.3303, I was under the impression that these watches were fit with the newer c.3301 movements, but there were so many Olympic commemoratives released that it's quite possible that Greg has it right.
  • This will be the third problem reported with c.33xx's since 21 June (5 1/2 weeks - 38 days): a Connie Double Eagle c.3313, a BA c.3303 and this Olympic Commemorative, at least that I am aware of...
  • It would seem that I'm not the only person who feels that the Swiss Watch industry has a significant problem in the area of Quality Control.

And some personal opinions:

  • With 3 failures in the past 5 1/2 weeks, with a variety of models (Speedmaster Broad Arrow, Double Eagle Constellation, Seamaster Olympic Commemorative), new models (Connie)m repeat repair (BA) and 18 month old purchase, I would think that even the most strident c.33xx fans would take pause at these continuing reports of problems with this movement.
  • These reports do not seem to be going away.
  • I'm starting to think my earlier description of "problems happening in spurts and gaps" is more accurate than my more recent "it seems the failure reports are fewer and farther apart" assessment.
  • [this might be as much a fact as my opinion:] These failures ARE COSTING OMEGA CUSTOMERS!
  • Omega's reputation as a producer of quality product, built up over a century and a half of hard word, is being greviously and possibly irreparably harmed by the shortsighted ignoring/downplaying of documented, continuing and numerious problems these Fredric Piguet based movements are suffering.
  • Sacrificing one's reputation for short term sales is a poor business practice.

I don't know what else to say that I haven't said before, likely dozens of times. Far lesser companies than Omega would have done what was right about these problems long ago. The steps which Omega has taken thus far have not been effective in eliminating the issues existant with these movements. Expecting different or improved results by staying pat isn't a logical or reasonable expectation.

-- Chuck

P.S. If you'd like to get in touch with Greg (Time Flies) email me and I'll work to make it happen.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

“Things found while looking for other things”:

From my “Things I found while looking for other things” file:

The Tissot "Nascar" Chronograph:

Does anyone else find it interesting that Swatch Group the firm, wants everyone to call the Valjoux 7750 the ETA7750 and yet Tissot (a wholly owned subsidiary of Swatch Group) puts "Valjoux" on a caseback (underneath the NASCAR Logo) of a brand new watch it's offering???

I mean I'm a regular watcher of the Cup races, Root for the olé Blue Oval's to win and everything...

But I can imagine the reaction of the typical common NASCAR fan: ‘What in the he11 is a Valjoux??!?!??!?’...

-- Chuck

Monday, July 10, 2006

Another repeat BA failure, from the UK this time...

Over at Watch-U-Seek's Omega forum, new member Nish reports multiple failures of his Broad Arrow Speedmaster...:

Nish Member Join Date: Jul 2006 Posts: Broad Arrow Movement

I bought a Broad Arrow a couple of years ago and wear it almost every day. Within the first 6 weeks the second hand for the chronometer became unaligned. I was told this was not uncommon with watches made pre 2002 and the watch was sent to Omega who rectified this within 3-4 weeks.

I would have thought that would have been the last time I would have experienced this issue, but the second hand has once again become unaligned at some point over the last couple of weeks. Is this normal? Is there a reason for this problem? And what can I do to prevent this happening again?

Any help would be much appreciated.

P.S. I'm in the UK so not sure if that has any bearing!

Here are my thoughts [within context with Nish's comments in the bolder text] ...

Nish Member Join Date: Jul 2006 Posts: Broad Arrow Movement

I bought a Broad Arrow a couple of years ago and wear it almost every day. Within the first 6 weeks the second hand for the chronometer became unaligned.

I'm sorry to hear of your BA's problem, unfortunately I'm not surprised...

This is #3 of the four common problems admitted to by Omega as documented by Shaun Thorton back in March of 2004:

“3. The chronograph hand does not return properly to zero.

If the return to zero pusher is pressed strongly while the chronograph is running, the hammer operating lever may bend slightly. As a result, the return to zero function no longer works properly.


On movements with the above-mentioned problem, the column wheel operating lever must be replaced with the new modified version. The new column wheel operating lever is available from Omega”

I replied to Shaun in this reply:

“I find it hard to believe that someone in testing this movement (or an example of this movement) prior to announcement of models using these movements didn't "Torture Test" them... I run across people who seem to believe that all chronographs are flybacks and press the reset button when they shouldn't. It seems to me that someone, be it Omega or Piguet dropped the chalupa when they apparently didn't put the movement through the ringer before shipping product.

In addition to being a Operator issue and a pre-annoucement product testing issue, this is either a design, engineering or materials issue which probably should have been caught prior to announcement. The lever in question is not strong or resilent enough for real-world use or abuse.”

I was told this was not uncommon with watches made pre 2002

The BA only reached dealer's shelves towards the end of 2001, however, this problem has been reported with newer models, as I will post links to below...

and the watch was sent to Omega who rectified this within 3-4 weeks.

You're luckier than some. Most people have a longer wait and more than once people have had to sent a supposedly repaired watch back for additional work because the repair wasn't effective..

I would have thought that would have been the last time I would have experienced this issue,

This would not appear to be a reasonable expectation for this movement... As I documented in this post in my blog:

SUNDAY, JUNE 19, 2005 nickmtl Asks: 3303 or 3301 are they okay when fixed ???

My Comment:

That's from a quick 20 minutes or so of looking, the rest of the time has been formatting this response. I have not posted every note I ran across from the posters above, and there are likely more people who have had problems with repairs of c.33xx's. I'm not going to gather and post all of them because I feel the above is enough to illustrate that people have had issues with their c.33xx repairs. Hopefully it isn't necessary to detail them all...”

but the second hand has once again become unaligned at some point over the last couple of weeks.

I would be lying if I said I was surprised.

Is this normal?

Normal? I don't know, but repeat problems seem to happen a lot with this movement family.

Is there a reason for this problem?

Well, if Omega is true to form, they will claim that the watch was subjected to "shock damage" or "owner misuse" or anything other than a known issue with the watch itself. Reset alignment is on of the five [the four Shaun T mentions and rotor separation] separate discrete issue that frequently occur with the F. Piguet based c.33xx movement family.

It is a known issue that Omega has supposedly identified and supposedly corrected with retrofit parts. I suppose it is possible that your initial problem didn't get the "Retrofit/Rev.B" parts from Omega, but if you were told at the time of your repair that “this was not uncommon with watches made pre 2002” I would think they'd know enough to replace the parts with the newer versions.

And what can I do to prevent this happening again?

Short of having the watch fixed and leaving it unused on the shelf or selling it, I am not sure.

Any help would be much appreciated.

I feel that Eric has given you good advise thus far in the thread on Watch-U-Seek you started.

I would recommend that you send a pointy but polite letter/message to Omega frankly expressing your disappointment in the reliability and durability of their product. I would also recommend including quotes from Omega Marketing materials from around the time of your purchase of the watch as well as current brochures. You know the type, with copy extolling the virtues and strengths of their products and relate to them that you are expecting Omega and it's products to live up to their marketing copy.

P.S. I'm in the UK so not sure if that has any bearing!

It is interesting to hear that you've had problems in the UK. One of the claims of the "propaganda/apologist squad of the c.33xx" [as I affectionately call them] is that the c.33xx problems are largely limited to the US market or Northern North American markets. However, I can name a number of problem reports occuring outside that region:
  • Another Cal 33xx woes....   -  Initial J  -  Mar 12, 2006 - 06:27 PM c.3301 Schumacher Legend 5800/6000 with reset misalignment error (just like yours) reported in a shop at the Hong Kong International Airport. [I had reported in a reply within that thread that Initial J's report was the third incident reported to that point in the 2006 calendar year]
  • another one   -  andrew milligan  -  Mar 13, 2006 - 12:23 PM Bought a used Americas Cup Chrono in January, but from a UK high street AD, who offered 12 months warranty. Reset failed a week later ... [Of course the used watch could have been bought in the US/NA and brought into the UK]
  • Anonymous Australian poster “P.Lilovac” reported that his BA [purchased two weeks prior to this post P.Lilovac Thoughts on my BA Mar 10, 2004 - 07:30 AM] on developed the reset problem in this post [P.Lilovac Posts: The truth hurts: Faulty BA [May 26, 2004 - 10:24 AM]. Although P.Lilovac did not register with TZ nor did not disclose his location, it was determined that he was posting via an Aussie ISP/assigned IP address]
  • Another anonymous Australian poster “sebastian.melmoth” aka “Thomas” also reported a failure of his Broad Arrow Speedmaster in this post: sebastian.melmoth Posts: Again verbose; mine was a minor reset problem, but ...... [Mar 16, 2006 - 07:35 AM] I still love my column wheel speedmaster Sebastian (or Thomas or whatever his or her real name is) also posted pictures at one point of (supposedly) his Omega Rattrapante DeVille with an Aussie address on it, he also posted via an Aussie ISP and IP address (but a different ISP/IP than P.Lilovac).

    It has been theorized that P.Lilovac and Sebastian/Thomas is one and the same person. We'll never really know because all three of those names have been banished from TZ and Chronocentric for failure to obey the rules of participation.

    In either case, there are three (and possibly four) documented instances of problems outside of the US/Canada linked to above. Your issues would add two more outside of US/North America. And I know I've seen at least one or two reports in other parts of Europe.

    So this is not a problem limited to the US or Northern North America as some people theorize.

    Again, I would document everything you can, and send a direct and frank letter with as much information as you can gather to Omega immediately. I doubt that Omega will give you a refund nor will they offer to exchange your product for a new one. But you also might be able to exact some sort of action if the UK has any sort of "Lemon law". If there is similar laws on the books in the UK you may be able to use them to seek a satisfactory outcome.

    You may find the following post within my blog of a selected list of c.33xx links I've saved over the years to be useful/helpful in your quest for information on this topic. You might find it useful to read every post within each thread for information. Also as that listing is somewhat dated, you might wish to do a search on c.33x3 and c.33xx on both my blog and the various Omega Discussion forums on the web for additional threads. You also are welcome to email me if you'd like...

    I suppose things could be worse for Omega... They could have the problems that Dell is facing with their laptops:

A Dell notebook computer that burst into flames last month in Osaka, Japan, has damaged more than just the conference table where it sat smoldering. The incident, publicized in photos on the Internet, has also hurt Dell's recent attempts to improve its image. [New York Times 10 July 2006]

At least there have been no reports of c.33xx's exploding into flames, yet.

I wish you the best of luck and please keep us informed...

-- Chuck

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

c.3313 DE Connie Failure Reported @ Chronocentric

Khalid M. Nabulsi reports multiple failures of his brand new Constellation double eagle chronograph in the Chronocentric/ZOWIE Omega discussion forum...

Co-axial technology, a bad coice after all!

Posted By: Khalid M. Nabulsi <>

Date: 6/21/06 15:10 GMT

I bought a brand new Constellation double eagle chronograph. The watch stopped after a couple of days and was serviced by the agent. A couple of days later the watch stopped again. The watch was then sent back to switzerland for repair. The watch is with them for almost three months with no resolution as to this point. I am frustrated because I spent a hefty amount on what supposed to be the best of OMEGA watches and yet have to go through this bad experience. so next time if you are planninmg to go for that dont think twice, but trice since you might go through the same experience. For the records, I bought the watch 6 months ago, stayed with me for three weeks only and the rest it was with the agent and the service center in switzerland. Does any one have an idea how to pressure the Company to reimbuse me for the price of the watch.


A quick google search reveals that the DE Connie Co-Ax Chronograph Chronometre was a 2004 Basel announcment and is a c.3313 based watch.

To my knowledge this is the first report of problems with a Connie Double Eagle Model. I remember that Keith Downing had issues with his Co-Axial Deville Chronograph, so it's not the first of the cx.331x's to exhibit problems.

Sadly, this is raises the question of if the remedial parts intended to address the shortcommings of the Fredric Piguet co-designed and manufactured chronograph movements in the c.33xx product line are a perfected solution to the issues these watches suffer or not. I understand and realize that it's difficult to determine based on the poster's report if the problem is related to the Co-Axial Escapement, the base Fredric Piguet movement into which it's installed, both, or something else.

I am resigned to the fact that Omega is so committed to press these products into the market, that they won't take a step back and scrutinize their actions and take whatever steps necessary to make the c.33xx's reliable, durable and dependable however drastic that may be up to and including pulling them until their reliability issues have been resolved. Instead they seem very content to put their customers through the ordeal of having brand new watches and their money tied up in a movement that seems to have a significantly higher probability of becoming a hangar queen that sits in a pile of it's own parts in Switzerland for months and months and months. It truely is a deplorable situation for a firm with a reputation such as Omega enjoyed before the introduction of these movements.

-- Chuck

Monday, May 8, 2006

Interesting comments in TZ Public Re: FP 1185 reliability...

Some interesting comments in TZ Public forum about Fredric Piguet 1185 reliability...

Isaac. Posts:Well, the FP 1185 is the one I've had the most problems with>>> [May 06, 2006 - 09:34 PM]

I'll contribute by answering in an indirect way--

The only watches I have ever had problems with were 1185-equipped Blancpain Flybacks. I have had two of them--a Monaco YS, and a Ti model. They were both purchsed new. The Monaco's minute register never advanced past the five minute mark. Thinking that I had a fluke bad experience, two years later I purchased a Ti flyback that had an even more ridiculous problem--the center seconds hand was not mounted on the center arbor with enough friction such that with every reset to zero the seconds hand rotated more and more to the left of 12 o'clock. At the end of the first day, to my dismay, the center seconds hand would reset to the 10 o'clock postion!

The FP 1185, while interesting in concept, is IMHO the least reliable chrono movement out there. One could argue that the problems I had were secondary to poor QC at BP (which I would not disagree with, BTW) but I think there are intrinsic problems to the movement as far as reliability and ruggedness. As evidence, the derivative Omega 33XX movements have had significant problems also. I had to chuckle when the first owner's reports emerged because not only did BP screw more customers indirectly, but this time it had caused shame to its older Swatch group sister.

One might think that this was too small a sampling size for me to draw such a conclusion. I argue that it was two separate watches produced at different times (I bought my second Flyback two years later) yet both had problems. That's not unlike the random sampling that a company must use to ensure good QC. I will never be a Flyback purchaser again and I may never purchase a BP again. Search the archives and you will see a disproportionate number of posts questioning BP's overall reliablility. No other brand forum exhibits this amount of uncertainty; I'm sure that I am not the only previous owner that can give you insight as to why that might be the case.

Regards, Isaac in Philly.

Personal commentary follows...

It seems that I'm not the only person who has a low opinion of the FP 1185, it's decendants and the work of F. Piguet in general. I wish Swatch Group would come to their senses and drop their FORCED shotgun marriage between Piguet and Omaga. What the heck was bad with the concept of Omega's sporting Lemania movments that worked, worked reliabily and were durable watches? Expensive Hanger Queen chronographs will likely prove to be as disasterous to Omega as the Quartz and Japanese onslaught of the late 1970's and early 1980's.

Again, as Bas Van Dorp first advanced, the people behind the demise of the Lemania 5100 deserve to be the first peoples lined up agains the wall when the revolution comes.

-- Chuck

Saturday, May 6, 2006

Off-Topic: The Dutch... Class acts...

This post, as noted above, is a bit off topic...

Most Speedmaster collectors know that when it comes to prowess in both collecting and knowledge about Speedmasters (and watches in general) few countries/nationalities can match, and fewer still can surpass the Dutch. Among all the countries/nationalities in the world in my opinion only the Italians and Japanese could claim to surpass the fervor and dedication of Dutch Speedmaster collectors while British, German, Aussie, Canadian and American collectors struggle to keep up.

Over the past 16 months I have been weaned off of one of my other lifelong hobbies (radio) by a new form of communication, Podcasts. Podcasts are a medium where anyone with a computer with audio-in capability and a connection to the internet can literally host their own program, be it audio only (like radio), Audio-Visual (like a music video, movie or TV program) or simply files of interest (photo's, documents, etc.) and people who are interested can subscribe to them easily... Podcasting has been likened to "Audio blogs" the difference is that with podcasts and a suitable player, Apple made/marketed iPods are the most popular but other brands and even CD-ROM's can be burned so that people can decide what they want to listen or watch when they want, where they want, and how they want.

One of my favorite podcasts has been an Ambient music podcast by a gentleman out of Rotterdam who goes by the name of "TC" called SpaceMusic... The Podcasting portion of TC's site is located here. Since he started podcasting in 2005 every year on 5 May he has posted a special "Liberation Day" podcast to commemorate the liberation of the Netherlands from Axis/Nazi subjugation during World War II. Unlike most countries, the Nethe1rlands sets aside two days to mark this event. The first day is a commemoration of those who fell during the occupation and those who sacrificed to liberate those in occupied lands. The second day is a celebration of their freedom and hopes for the future. It is TC's Liberation Day 2006 podcast that prompted me to post this note...

The Dutch are a class act. In a world where many peoples / organizations / countries routinely co-opt May 1st (May Day) to ferment and popularize pet-causes, revolution, parade tanks, missles and machine gun toting soldiers, the Dutch chose to remember the fallen, those who fought to liberate them and to celebreate their freedom and hopes for the future. They are a class act for many other reasons too, but this one came to mind today!

Just my opinion, but everyone is entitled to share it!

-- Chuck

P.S. I know that many other countries celebrate liberation days. However, the manner which the Dutch do has impressed me greatly...