The Omega brand was established in 1894 and their first ever chronograph movement was produced in 1898 called the 19'''CHRO. It was a pocket watch movement which coincided with the production of Omega's first ever wristwatch in 1900. Clearly, these were the very early days of Omega brand.
This Omega pocket chronograph has the 19''' CHRO movement and was manufactured sometime between 1898 and 1906. Designed by Francois Cheviatt it was at the forefront of watch engineering encompassing manufacturing principles that would help revolutionize watchmaking for Omega. It is difficult to imagine just how significant this pocket watch would have been to its original owner. The technology and material chattels we take for granted and surround ourselves with today had yet to be invented. In these early years, very few people could afford a pocket watch let alone a chronograph.
Now some 120 years old it still runs remarkably well, is fully functional and keeps excellent time running about 2 minutes fast per day. All original gilt Poire hands. There is a sunken small seconds dial at 6 with a matching counter-balanced seconds hand. The watch is wound and the time set using the traditional crown at 12. Depress the button on the top of the crown and the central sweep hand starts. Press it again and it stops. And again and it resets to about 2 seconds after zero (slightly out of adjustment). This is a 1/5th of a second timer and a second sunken sub dial totalizes the elapsed time for up to 30 minutes.
The original white porcelain dial is in exceptionally good condition with just a single tiny hairline between 7 and 8 that is hardly visible without magnification (see last picture). The outer chapter of the dial runs to 300 so one complete rotation of the timer hands equals I minute or 300 x 1/5ths of a second. Within this is the technical index with 1/5th-second markers. Next is the railroad chapter markings followed by the Arabic hour markers 1 to 12. Signed Omega in the centre. The crystal has some light scratches and is a little nibbled on the edge near 1.
The metal case is in excellent condition with no significant dints or scratches. The hinged case bezel opens to reveal the dial. The hinged case-back opens to reveal a matching dust cover which, in turn, hinges open to reveal the movement. The case-back is marked Omega on the inside.
The 19'''CHRO Omega made movement is simply stunning and remains in great condition and, as mentioned before, is fully functional. This is the Bs quality movement as it is jeweled. A lower quality B movement had no jewels whilst a Cs grade movement had the jewels set in chatons. The Omega logo can be seen stamped on the regulator.
So this is a great piece of Omega heritage dating back to the very beginning of the Omega brand. Who has owned it, how it has been used and for what purpose nobody knows? All part of its charm!
Incidentally, there are a few really good references to this watch in Omega A Journey Through Time. Details can be provided.
1900 Omega Pocket Watch Chronograph
Year 1898-1906 Case Metal Metal Back Metal Metal Back Type Snap hinge Diameter* 53.7 Power Manual Calibre 19'''CHRO
*mm excluding crown