Some time ago, I came across a picture of a rather lovely Omega dress watch on the Watchcat website. The watch in question was cited as a cautionary example of the importance of knowing your stuff when buying old watches. Regardless of the unlikely combination of a Seamaster 300 dial in an Omega dress watch case, I rather liked it and it has stuck in my mind since. Here it is:
Let's fast forward a year or so, and I snag for a pittance a Seiko 6119-8080 dress watch off Ebay. I bought it mainly for the dial which I thought might go well in some mod or other down the road. Here's the dodgy photo provided by the seller:
As it turned out, the dial was ruined and unusable so I set the watch aside but an inkling formed at that point that perhaps the case might form the basis of a little project to get some small way towards the imaginary Omega. About this time, Yobokies started selling his PO dials in 6309 fit and I pounced on one. A set of steel MOD hands from Motorcitywatchworks and we were potentially in business. I also bought a black day wheel from Pete Kuhn in Australia because I thought black on white would detract too much from the look I was after (you notice my obsession with having a date over-rides aesthetics for the moment!). The volcano fiasco held things up by a week or two but eventually everything arrived and we were set.
The movement fitted to the 6119-8080 is the B variant of the 6119 which has a date quickset, achieved by pushing in the crown but no day quickset as featured on the later C variant. Also, as it turns out, it comes only with a single language day wheel which means that my black day wheel from Oz would be incompatible. By the time I discovered this, I was already well advanced into the servicing of the movement, which held some other, rather unpleasant surprises. I had heard from others that it is not uncommon for unscrupulous sellers/watchmakers, to 'service' a movement by dunking it in watch oil. When I stripped down mine, I discovered that it was swimming in oil. Unbelievable. Here is the back of the day wheel:
and the top of the movement with the autowinding mechanism removed:
I ended up cleaning, oiling and rebuilding this one, but the day wheel problem meant that I would not be using it for this project. Happily I had a 6106/6119C hybrid from another watch knocking about. This one did not work but looked in decent nick and probably just needed a service. So a strip down, clean and oil followed, including both diashock jewels, and a refit with the date wheel from the 6119B and the 6309 black English/Roman day wheel. Here is a comparison of the centre wheel bridge on the 6119B
with that on the 6106/6119C
Notice the presence of the hacking lever on the latter [this movement appears to be a 6106 with the auto winding mechanism from a 6119C which is why I initially and erroneously thought it to be a 6119C). Nice!
Anyway, the rest all came together without the usual dramas. On with Harold's dial, and the really very nice hands from Detroit, plus a new old stock, domed Seiko acrylic crystal and we have a rather loose approximation to that old fraudulant Omega: