1948 Omega Chronograph multi-scale cal. 33.3 ref. 987/2.
Very rare Omega caliber 33.3, 37.5mm case, tachymeter and telemeter. Black dial, Arabic gilt numbers, 30 minute counter.
The Omega cal. 33.3 chronograph series, which is considered to be a forerunner of the Speedmaster, is one of the most sought-after chronographs by Omega. It is said that only 14,000 movements were produced for 20 years.
It was during this period that the telemeter scale appeared on watch dials. The telemeter scale was used to accurately assess the distance away of an event by timing the journey of its sound. This was very useful in combat, for example a general could start the chronograph timer when he saw the flash of artillery and then stop it when he heard the sound of the explosion. The reading on the telemeter would then tell him how far away the explosion had taken place (in miles or km, depending on the scale).
By the 1940s the demand for chronographs had increased dramatically, now not only for military and scientific purposes, but also very important for use in motorsports.
Omega was founded in 1848 by Louis Brandt at the age of 23. The brands reputation grew fast and in 1895 the watches achieved a precision of 30 seconds a day.
By the turn of the 19th-century Omega was one of Switzerlands largest watch companies with 240,000 watches produced annually and employing 800 people.
Omega made its debut in sports during the Gordon Bennett international ballooning Cup in 1917; since then Omega has gone on to be the official timekeeper at 21 Olympic Games.
In 1936 Omega set the remarkable World precision record of 97.8 points at the Kew-Teddington observatory in England.
In 1957, with motorsport in mind, Omega launched the Speedmaster, which in 1965 was chosen by NASA as its official chronometer in Space. Four years later the Moonwatch was the first watch to be worn on the Moon, when on 21st July 1969 Neil Armstrong made his giant leap for mankind. Currently Omega belongs to the Swatch Group.