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Omega. A fine 18K gold, enamel and diamond-set minute repeating hunter case keyless lever watch with polychrome enamel portrait of Emperor Haile Selassie
THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN 
Omega. A fine 18K gold, enamel and diamond-set minute repeating hunter case keyless lever watch with polychrome enamel portrait of Emperor Haile Selassie

SIGNED OMEGA WATCH CO., BIENNE & GENEVE, NO. 6999793, CIRCA 1923

Details
Omega. A fine 18K gold, enamel and diamond-set minute repeating hunter case keyless lever watch with polychrome enamel portrait of Emperor Haile Selassie Signed Omega Watch Co., Bienne & Geneve, No. 6999793, circa 1923 With nickel-finished jewelled lever movement, bimetallic compensation balance, wolf's tooth winding, minute repeating on two gongs, gold cuvette, the white enamel dial with Arabic numerals, outer minutes track, blued steel spade hands, subsidiary seconds, the circular case with engine-turned front lid centered by lozenge-shaped transluscent blue enamel royal crest with monogram and crown, bordered by chased and engraved floral motif and diamond-set border, the hinged back centered by finely detailed polychrome enamel painted portrait of Emperor Haile Selassie in royal blue smock with gold brocade, bordered by black enamel Egyptian writing, repeat slide in the band, case, dial and movement signed 51 mm. diam.

Lot Essay

This watch is especially interesting as it was made at a time when Emperor Selassie of Ethiopia (1892-1975) was perhaps at his most popular with the Western world.

He was Time magazine's Man of the Year in 1935 for trying to give creedence to his government by giving his people their first written constitution, opening his country to Europe and America and seeking help for its impoverished people.

He was first deposed from his throne in 1935 when Mussolini's fascist Italian army took control of Ethiopia. He would spend the remainder of his life either in exile or in several different iterations of the Ethiopian government.

The monogram to the front lid of this watch reads 'TM' for Tafari Makonnen, his given name at birth. It was only after he became Emperor of Ethiopia in 1930 that he took the name Haile Selassie, meaning 'Might of the Trinity'.

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