Hands-On: The Handsome Threesome, Omega Seamaster 1948 Small Seconds LE (Part 3/3)

The final chapter to the Handsome Threesome chronicles where we look at small seconds watches and a few examples of how nice these can work when executed correctly. Final watch we are looking at is the Omega Seamaster 1948 Small Seconds LE (ref. 511.12.38.20.02.001).

Probably no reader here needs an introduction to the Omega brand, part of the Swatch group and one of the major players of today’s Swiss watch industry.  Relevant part of the story is that Omega used to supply plenty watches to the British Ministry of Defence pre and during WWII.  The year’s leading up to the introduction of the first Seamaster in 1948, coinciding with the 100 years existence of the brand.  You could say that the Seamaster was Omega’s civilian response to a watch that had to withstand the most gruelling circumstances.  Fit for any purpose, from sports to office and back.  

This 1948 Small Seconds features a 38mm steel case and a silver dial completed with leaf styled hands, arrow shaped hour markers and applied Omega logo.  All of these components in white gold to withstand any potential corrosion in coming decennia.  There are also 3, 9 and 12 white golden numerals applied in a period correct font.  

As retro as the outside pretends, as advanced the interior is.  A Metas approved automatic caliber 8804, anti-magnetic up to 15000 Gauss, silicon balance spring and co-axial escapement.  This is covered at the back with  a decorated sapphire to keep an eye on the rhodium plated rotor and bridges with Geneva wave decorations.  

Only surprising dissonant in this list of high tech features is the waterproof limit of 60 meters only, just like back in the 50-ties.  The sapphire on the back is subject to a lot of discussions all over the interweb as not everyone is equally charmed by the busy graphics of a Chris-Craft boat and a Gloster Meteor aircraft, an obvious tribute to the thousands aviators and mariners wearing its military predecessor.

The watch comes standard with two straps, a leather camel colored one fitted from factory and a dark blue one in the box both with a stainless steel buckle.   Maybe also a short word on the box since Omega has an eye for detail by covering it with the same camel color leather and inserted a magnetic display tray flirting with the anti-magnetic capacities of this watch issued in 1948 pieces worldwide.  

Hurry and grab one while you can!
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