The twentieth century had great advances in the miniaturization, encouraged by trials organized by the observatories for granting their official certificates. After the second world war, the wristwatch category of these competitions is applicable to mechanisms less than 30 mm in diameter, without assembly requirements.
In 1947 Omega enters to the observatory trials the miniaturization of the tourbillon with twelve identical mechanisms under the reference Tourbillon 30 I. The original feature of the Omega tourbillon is a very slow movement of the cage. Seven of them will be found forty years later in the archives of the brand and mounted in cases. These mechanisms are also compensated in temperature by the Guillaume balance.
Unknown so far, a wristwatch surfaces as lot 182 in the sale by Phillips in Geneva on November 12. The investigation carried out by the auction house with Omega and highlighted by the specialized website Hodinkee confirms that this watch was assembled in 1947 as a prototype of which it has typical qualities : it is not embellished and remains in superb condition.
Omega's success at the observatory trials in Geneva, Neuchâtel and Kew from 1947 to 1952 demonstrates the feasibility of their miniaturized tourbillon to reach the required accuracy. The commercialization project was abandoned for whatever the reason and was never disclosed. For thirty years nowadays the tourbillon has become after further improvements one of the most appreciated mechanisms in the complication wristwatches.
SOLD for CHF 1.43M including premium