THE OMEGA CO-AXIAL:
AN IMPRESSIVE ACHIEVEMENT

Part 2

By Walt Odets
































WORKMANSHIP

On
first examination of the movement, what is most striking is the quality of the workmanship. While not
an exercise in the finest, most time-consuming craftsmanship, this Omega caliber radiates the kind of fundamental quality that Omega has been known for since the turn of the 20th century. If the bridges and wheels are not anglaged, they are nevertheless perfectly and cleanly executed. As factory-new watches go, this piece showed as few execution defects (including those related to lubrication) as anything I have examined in many years.

 


THE WHEEL TRAIN

With the automatic winding bridge removed, a sub-bridge for the third, fourth, and fifth wheels is visible. Fifth wheel? Well, that’s part
of the escapement story. In a standard caliber 2892, the fifth wheel would be the escape wheel.



























OTHER DETAILS OF CONSTRUCTION



At first glance, the balance of the Omega appears to be a standard
four-spoked Glucydur.





A pair of opposing screws reveal that the balance is free-sprung. No curb-pin regulator is used. Instead, the effective diameter of the balance is
adjusted by symmetrically moving the mass of the two adjustment screws. Poising (“balancing”) of the balance is accomplished with laser cuts on the underside of the rim.



 

A pronounced dog leg and “sweep” (arrow) is used to move the outermost end of the spring to the stud position and away from the
inner coils. The stud carrier, itself, is movable for simple adjustment of beat.





 

 

With the wheel train
sub-bridge and balance removed, we have our first unobstructed glimpse of the pallet bridge. The bridge carries the upper pivot for the pallet lever
(1), and the upper pivot of the co-axial
escape wheel (2). The “tail” of the unusual lever is provided banking limits by the bridge
(3 and inset).















































For any watchmaker alive today, the lever escapement has defined
the high-grade watch. It is difficult to describe the feelings in first seeing the Daniels’ escapement in a production watch. Familiar with the concepts, I was not prepared for the shock of seeing the Omega escapement for the first time.

























With the wheel-train sub-bridge, balance, and pallet bridge removed
(above), the entire train and escapement of the 2500 is
visible. The identified parts are the (1) mainspring barrel;
(2) center wheel; (3) third wheel; (4) fourth wheel;
(5) fifth wheel; (6) escape wheel with lower
(large) and upper (small) coaxial wheels; and (7) the pallet lever.

RETURN TO PART 1 OF THE ARTICLE

CONTINUE TO PART 3 OF THE ARTICLE


 
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