Omega - Geneva Watch Auction: TWO Geneva Saturday, November 7, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Omega
    Year: 1949
    Reference No: OT 14.173
    Movement No: 11'317'808
    Case No: 10'814'193
    Material: 18k pink gold
    Calibre: Manual, 3OT 2PC, 15 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Gold plated buckled, signed Omega
    Dimensions: 36mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by an Extract of the Archives confirming date of production of the present watch on March 2, 1949, and its subsequent sale to Ethiopia

  • Catalogue Essay

    Omega has been a leading luxury watch brand since the its founding in 1848, with watches often seen on people of status. The present watch from 1949 houses the 30 T2 PC manual-winding movement with a subsidiary dial for constant seconds. Encased in pink gold, this watch is fitted with a stunning silvered dial with eye-catching round and baguette ruby hour markers.

    According to Omega’s Extract from the Archives, this watch was delivered to Ethiopia. The caseback is engraved with what one can assume are Emperor Haile Selassie's initials and crown.

    Haile Selassie was born in Ethiopia in 1892. He traced his line back to Menelik I, who was credited with being the child of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. His cousin, Emperor Menelik II, who did not have a male heir to succeed him took him under his wing. He became emperor in 1930, symbolizing the hopes and dreams of Ethiopia's younger population, leading Ethiopia into the League of Nations (1923) and becoming the first Ethiopian ruler to travel to Europe (1924). Over the next four decades, Haile Selassie presided his country, his reforms greatly strengthened schools and the police, and he instituted a new constitution and centralized his own power. In 1936 he was forced into exile after Italy invaded Ethiopia. Haile Selassie became the face of the resistance as he went before the League of Nations in Geneva for assistance, and eventually secured the help of the British in reclaiming his country and reinstituting his powers as emperor in 1941.Haile Selassie again moved to try to modernize his country, granting a new constitution in 1955. By the early 1970s famine, ever-worsening unemployment and increasing frustration with the government's inability to respond to the country's problems began to undermine Haile Selassie's rule. In February 1974 mutinies broke out in the army over low pay, while a secessionist guerrilla war in Eritrea furthered his problems. Haile Selassie was eventually ousted from power in a coup and kept under house arrest in his palace until his death in 1975.

  • 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. OT 14.173
A very rare and attractive pink gold wristwatch with ruby-set hour markers, presumably made for Emperor Haile Selassie

36mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF20,000 - 40,000 

Sold for CHF93,750

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

Geneva Watch Auction: TWO

Geneva Auction 7 & 8 November 2015 6:30pm