Tag Archives: Chronographs

tomvox1’s Watches for Sale — October selection

Up for sale this month is this uncommon late 1960s Omega ref. 145.020 Seamaster “Soccer Timer” chronograph with beautiful original cream-white dial featuring high contrast red/black sub registers and an inner fixed Tachymeter ring. While it was originally believed that these chronos were manufactured for use in yachting regattas the accepted wisdom now is that they were designed for soccer trainers and referees with the addition to the minute register of a figure for 45 minutes, the length of a football half.  Either way, it is an awesome looking watch and in fact the dial design was so striking and distinctive that recently Omega reissued some modern versions of it.


This fantastic and ultra-cool Soccer Timer features sharp chamfers and essentially perfect sunburst satin finish on top of the large 40mm case. Even better, though, is the gorgeous original creamy-white Omega Tritium dial featuring a finely articulated dark gray minute track and red/black sub-registers, with the oversized minute counter specially marked to easily read 45-minute intervals. The dial has a delightful textured matte finish, shows very few signs of age and all Tritium lume plots are present and have acquired a pleasing patina. The bold matching hour and minute hands and fluorescent orange chrono sweep seconds just complete what is simply a terrifically pleasing and unique original Omega Seamaster Soccer Timer layout in top condition.


Under the hood is the redoubtable Omega manual-wind caliber 861, the same workhorse as found in their famed Moonwatch after they phased out the legendary cal. 321. With a 27 million serial number dating it to circa 1968 and looking very bright and pristine, this classic chrono movement had a complete service at Omega UK in 2013 and so is running like a champ, with all timekeeping and chronograph functions operating flawlessly.


When you look at how the prices of vintage mechanical chronos have skyrocketed in the past few years, the Omega Soccer Timer remains a premium piece that is still reasonably affordable for both the aspiring or experienced collector. If anything, a beautiful example like this one has got upside potential once people figure out it’s a better quality watch than many others currently in its price range. For style, functionality and pure funky cool you can’t go wrong with this beautiful cream dial Soccer Timer. You’re sure to be noticed in the best possible way.

Check out the complete ad with many more pictures and full condition report over at the excellent OmegaForums.net’s Private Watch Sales forum.  SOLD

Watch Collector’s Notebook — Benrus Sky Chief

On the theory that you can never have enough cool vintage chronographs, here is another little gem that I have known and loved, the Benrus “Sky Chief”. Produced in the post WWII-era by the New York-based Benrus Watch Company and marketed with its evocative name to the aviation-mad public of the late 40s and 1950s, as well as the increased purchasing power of the Western world’s newly beefed up air forces and transatlantic airlines, the Sky Chief is a classic pilot’s chronograph by design.

SkyChief-1 copy

In its most common iteration, it has 3-registers for constant seconds, minute recorder and 12-hour recorder, the latter complication being a somewhat new development for a mass-produced wristwatch that came to be the standard for most fine chronographs going forward. The usual engine found under the hood was a Venus 178 well before it was adopted by Breitling for their Navitimers in the mid-50s. And a bit later, perhaps because Breitling sucked up almost all Venus production, Benrus used the ubiquitous Valjoux 71/ & 72 column wheel chrono ebauches that would go on to serve the watch industry for so many years. Different alphanumeric codes were engraved on the bridges to indicate which caliber was being used and none of these movements had shock protection at this early date.

Sky Chief with Venus movement

Sky Chief with Venus movement

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