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Omega. An extremely fine, rare and attractive 14K gold automatic wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, cloisonné enamel dial and box
On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT wil… Read more OMEGA Ref. OJ 2516 Cloisonne Enamel DialThe Property of a Descendant of the Original Owner
Omega. An extremely fine, rare and attractive 14K gold automatic wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, cloisonné enamel dial and box

SIGNED OMEGA, AUTOMATIC, REF. OJ 2516, MOVEMENT NO. 11'950'627, CASE NO. 10'940'597, MANUFACTURED IN 1951

Details
Omega. An extremely fine, rare and attractive 14K gold automatic wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, cloisonné enamel dial and box
Signed Omega, Automatic, ref. OJ 2516, movement no. 11'950'627, case no. 10'940'597, manufactured in 1951
Movement: cal. 352, automatic, 17 jewels, signed
Dial: gold dial, applied gold dot and lozenge numerals, applied gold Omega symbol at 6 o’clock, centred by a polychrome cloisonné enamel symmetrical scroll design, signed
Case: snap on back, 33 mm. diam., signed
With: Omega Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch and its delivery on 18th June 1951 to Hong Kong, Omega period presentation box.
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On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT will be charged at 8% on both the premium as well as the hammer price.

Condition Report

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Lot Essay

Entirely fresh to the market, preserved in excellent overall condition and consigned by a descendant of the original owner, the present watch is a discovery for any aficionado of rare cloisonné dial vintage wristwatches. The combination of the dial's rarity, the beautiful condition of the watch and the fresh provenance render this piece one of the most appealing and collector-worthy "time only" Omega wristwatches.

Between 1946 and 1956, Omega produced an extremely small series of wristwatches fitted with cloisonné enamel dials, the total output representing only an infinitely small fraction of the regular production numbers. Often made upon special request and featuring family coats of arms and unique designs, many of these rare timepieces are only known from archival images of the dial manufacturers.

To date, the following five wristwatches fitted with a cloisonné dial of this pattern have appeared in public:

movement no. 11’667’950, case no. 11’161’199, Ref. 2659
movement no. 11’690’647, case no. 10’886’457, Ref. 2686
movement no. 11’950’627, case no. 10’940’597, Ref. 2516: the watch offered here for sale
movement and case numbers unknown – Ref. OT 2482, illustrated in: Omega Watches, John Goldberger, 2005.
movement and case numbers unknown – Ref. OT 2482, illustrated in: Omega - A Journey through Time, Marco Richon, p. 713.

In common with other cloisonné dials made for both Omega and Rolex, these dials were not used for a specific watch reference. The present watch is the only known Omega reference OJ 2516 to be fitted with this cloisonné dial design, it is probable that it was made especially with the Hong Kong market in mind where it was delivered on 18th June 1951.
It is interesting to note that this cloisonné pattern was one of three motifs chosen for the limited edition collection “1894” produced in 1994 to commemorate the centenary of Omega.

Watches embellished with a cloisonné enamel dial are amongst the rarest models made by any manufacturer. The production of these solid gold dials was and still is extremely costly as they have to be individually made by a skilled craftsman and not on a production line. The artist creates the outline of the desired motif by arranging thin gold wires on a dial. These partitions, called "cloisonné" in French, are filled with small quantities of enamel powder in the desired colour. The dial is then fired in an oven at around 1000 degrees Celsius causing the powder to melt. Finally it is hand-polished until obtaining a perfectly flat surface. Hand-made by celebrated enamel artists, these dials must be regarded as unique works of art in their own right.

For images and a note on Omega's enamel dials see: Omega - A Journey through Time, Marco Richon, Enamel dials 1946-1956, pp. 713 – 716.

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