Omega Marine Chronometer cal. 1516
Serial numbers 3870
made in 1970s
Watch in very good condition, 100% original Omega
Price : 2.700€
The Omega Marine Chronometer was the first quartz wristwatch to achieve the certified the status of marine chronometer.
The watch was produced by Omega SA and was developed by John Othenin-Girard. It is one of the most accurate non-thermally compensated production watches ever made, which manages to maintain time within 1 second of waste per month.
The 1516 Omega Marine Chronometer was produced in 7000 units and produced between 1976 and 1980 approximately.
The industrialization of quartz watches available at more competitive prices had caused a decline in sales of Omega Chronometers Marine at the time, whose manufacture required high production costs and consequently higher prices.
The previous reference 1511 Marine Chronometer was on the wrist of the oceanographer Jacques Cousteau and when it was introduced in 1974 it had a list price of £ 761 British Pounds, on the contrary the Moonwatch was on the market at £ 124.50 and the now coveted Omega Bullhead it only cost £ 114.50.
The 1516 caliber movement was however different in design from 1511, particularly around the main plate, which was reduced by 5mm to be able to accommodate the movement in a newly designed smaller marine chronometer case.The movement components remained substantially identical to those of the previous 1511 marine chronometer, however the screw holes on the main plate (to secure the movement to the case) were removed and replaced by a more traditional movement locking system.
It was the first watch to mount a sapphire crystal instead of the traditional mineral.
In total, Omega produced 10,000 watches of the 1500 caliber family.
Although revolutionary, the cost of these watches was prohibitive and with the speed of development of quartz during the 70s, Omega spent most of the original costs in research and development. Towards the end of their production Omega offered the remaining copies to its employees for 350 Swiss francs, 1/10 of the retail cost. These watches were not sent to the chronometric certification (which represented an important expense) and had the movement numbering of only 4 numbers.
The Omega Marine Chronometer (with chronometer certification) and non-Marine Chronometer (without certification) caliber 1516 watch remains one of the most important Omega ever made, one of the first quartz watches produced with excellent precision and even today, with a proper maintenance, will still be accurate to 1 second per month.