Vintage Omega 18K “Fab Suisse” with Fancy Lugs 1944
“A golden key will open every lock”, is a Yiddish proverb.
Likewise, at Vintage Masters we believe a gold watch will open every heart. The perfect example of this, is this massive 18 carat gold time-only Omega from 1944. Produced exactly 20 years after the first patented automatic wristwatch movement, this 77 year old features gorgeous crab claw-esque (fancy!) lugs. Typical for watches from this period, these lugs are rarely found on more modern watches, subtly but distinctively giving away the age of this rare piece of golden Omega craftsmanship. The dial (50/50 Arabic numerals vs. dots) has developed a light patina over almost 80 years of existence, nicely contrasting with the golden shine of the case and complementing the “feuille”, or “leaf” hands. Last, but certainly not least, the dial is signed with “Fab. Suisse”, which carries with it a history that we find too interesting not to share with you. A French law from 1892 prohibited import into France of any product that could “mislead
consumers”; misleading in this case meaning French consumers could think the watch was made in France, though actually originating in Switzerland. As you can imagine, writing “Fabriqué en Suisse” legibly on a tiny watch dial can be a bit tricky. Thus, watch makers started putting “Fab. Suisse” on watches as a legal rider. In 1936, the French law was updated to now demand that the legal rider was to be put close to the brand name. “Fab. Suisse” moved from the 6-hour position to the 12-hour position, just below the brand signature on the dial.
The remarkable part about this watch is the fact that it has fixed pins between the lugs. Making the need for a Nato-strap. This was mostly done in war times, hence the production year, and makes to believe that this watch was made for someone in the French military. What person would wear a gold watch while at war? People often wore gold watches to protect their capital when there was a need or reason to flea their area. This makes it perfectly plausible that this watch has seen the battlefield, and belonged to a member of the French military.
Definitely a piece of history too interesting to not own, don’t you think?
What we love:
-Rare 18k gold case
-Beautiful fab. suisse dial
What you should know:
-Checked on all functions and working properly