Omega Oversized 39mm possibly unique wristwatch for Orlogeria Centrale in Addis Abeba Ethiopia
Case. Very large and massive, three-body, polished and brushed, inclined and flat stepped bezel, recessed winding crown, with integrated wirelugs.
Dial. silver patina with painted black Arabic numerals, outer minute track. Blued steel modern baton hands.
Movement: Manual, rhodium-plated, 15 jewels, straight-line lever escapement, cut bimetallic compensation balance with timing screws, blued steel Breguet balance spring, index regulator.
Dial, case and movement signed.
Diam. 39mm. Thickness: 9 mm.
Omega confirmed that this particular watch was sold in Italy on February 7, 1940. Extract from archives to follow
On October 3, 1935, Italian troops under order from Benito Mussolini advanced into Ethiopia from Eritrea without a declaration of War. 100,000 Italian soldiers and 25,000 Eritrean soldiers and another Italian force from Italian Somaliland quickly capture key cities in the Ethiopian Empire.
Emperor Haile Selassie fled into exile on May 2, 1936 and Italian Forces capture the capital, Addis Ababa. Italy annexed the country a few days later and the Italian king, Victor Emmanuel III, was proclaimed emperor. Italy merged Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somaliland into a single state known as Italian East Africa.
Italian East Africa proved to be a short-lived state, as Ethiopia was liberated from Italian control by British troops and its allies in the subsequent East African Campaign in 1941.
This oversized Omega was certainly commissioned specifically for a client at Orlogeria Centrale, the store of the Italian Agent for Omega in Addis Abeba.
The watch has much appeal, large and massive 39mm case with a recessed crown and wirelugs. the striking look of a "Disco Volante", (flying saucer). The dial has taken a beautiful parchment like patina, reminiscent of its exotic past with blue numerals and matching blue hands
A rare if not unique watch for the sophisticated collector.