Omega - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV Geneva Friday, November 5, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Omega
    Year: 1958
    Reference No: 2914-2 SC
    Movement No: 15'569'031
    Model Name: Railmaster
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 264, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel semi-expandable Omega bracelet stamped "6" to the endlinks, max length 205mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Omega deployant clasp stamped "7912" and "2 64"
    Dimensions: 38mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Omega Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with black dial and luminous indexes and its subsequent sale on January 8, 1958.
    Literature: The present watch is prominently described and illustrated in "Omega Sportswatches" by John Goldberger, pp. 86-87.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Omega experimented with anti-magnetic wristwatches as early as 1924, but it was not until the release of the Railmaster in 1957, that the manufacture serially produced an anti-magnetic watch incorporating the culmination of their research and technical advancement. The Railmaster had however relatively little success, due to its niche target market as well as strong competition. The direct consequence of this is a short production run of only 6 years (1957-1963), making Railmaster watches from this era especially rare.

    The first Railmaster was manufactured with anti-magnetic capabilities (up to 1000 gauss) specifically for those in professions required to withstand magnetic fields beyond what is considered normal. Omega targeted the watch specifically toward, according to advertisements of the time, “scientists, technicians, electricians, etc., who worked in close proximity to electrical currents.” Additionally, the Railmaster was water-resistant to 60 meters, or 200 feet.

    If early Railmaster watches are a rare find, examples in condition so impressive as the present piece are close to impossible to come along. The classic "broad arrow" hands, sharp dagger-like luminous indexes, and beautiful matte black dial are flawlessly preserved. Among the three Omega “tool watches” of the time (Speedmaster, Railmaster and Seamaster), the Railmaster featured the simpler dial design, with no diving or tachymeter bezel. This grants to the entire watch remarkable purity and legibility. The case measures a generous 38 millimetres in diameter, thanks in part to the presence of a soft iron inner case, held in place by a thin metal gasket inside the back. The inner case providing anti-magnetic protection of the movement, was made of "mu-metal" a nickel-iron alloy, acting as a Faraday cage.

    The movement as well is noteworthy: sweep seconds caliber 285, used only from 1957-1958 and considered extremely reliable.

    As an intellectual note, the connoisseur will notice the lack of caseback engraving, a trait typical of these early watches.

    Given its superb condition, this specific watch was selected to be included in John Goldberger’s “Omega Sportswatches”, a bible for the enthusiasts of the field.

    Despite its humble beginning, the model is today an icon, with modern revivals being released. In fact, reference 2914 was the template used by Omega for the reissue of the 1957 Trilogy 60th anniversary limited edition piece, released in 2017 to worldwide acclaim.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1848

    Omega's rich history begins with its founder, Louis Brandt, who established the firm in 1848 in La Chaux de Fonds. In 1903, the company changed its name to Omega, becoming the only watch brand in history to have been named after one its own movements. A full-fledged manufacturer of highly accurate, affordable and reliable watches, its sterling reputation enabled them to be chosen as the first watch company to time the Olympic Games beginning in 1932. Its continued focus on precision and reliability ultimately led their Speedmaster chronograph wristwatch to be chosen by NASA in 1965 — the first watch worn on the moon.

    Key models sought-after by collectors include their first, oversized water-resistant chronograph — the reference 2077, early Speedmaster models such as the CK 2915 and 2998, military-issued versions of the Seamaster and oversized chronometer models such as those fitted with their prestigious caliber 30T2Rg.

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Ref. 2914-2 SC
A very well-preserved and collectible stainless steel antimagnetic wristwatch with center seconds, "Broad Arrow" hands, luminous dial and bracelet

38mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

CHF8,000 - 16,000 

Sold for CHF21,420

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East Director

The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV

Geneva Auction 5 & 7 November 2021