Focus on: Omega Seamaster 200M “SHOM”
Focus on: Omega Seamaster 200M "SHOM"
Dear friends, you’ve probably noticed our enthusiasm for vintage pieces. The Focus On column highlights references, well-known or not, with soul from their history, their design, or their function.
To inaugurate the column, we chose a particularly interesting model: the real (we’re going to elaborate on this further down) Omega Seamaster 200m “SHOM”.
A special order by the French National Marines
During the 1970’s, Omega offered simultaneously two Seamaster 200 models: the 166.068 in two colors (Banana and Poppy) and the 166.091 a.k.a. “Pilot Line.”
According to legend, these two references did not, I repeat, did not convince the divers of the “SHOM.” The huh? “SHOM,” an acronym for Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine, a French establishment with a mission to describe the marine environment et predict its evolution. In this way the organism ensures the creation of a naval database for numerous themes such as studies on the depth of the seabed, the search for sea-wreck, the creation of maritime maps, etc.
Divers abord this unit of the French National Marines would’ve ordered a fourth Seamaster 200m: the 166.0177, known as “SHOM.” The bill of specifications for the model has borrowed certain aspects of the “Pilot Line” but the radical change is actually inside the very unique case, created by PIQUEREZ.
One question remains however. This model was by special order and yet in recent years, numerous models have miraculously reappeared on the market. Way too many.
The real “SHOM”
Two models exist: the original from the 1970’s, vintage, and other ones known as “watch co,” meaning reassemblies of Omega parts and also from other existing models with the goal to resemble the original. Not the real deal!
The original reference is characterised by the following elements: a non-beaded acrylic bezel (the other model has a beaded bezel), a luminescent triangular hand, a dial marked T Swiss T (or not!), a logo with a diver engraved on the case back, and of course…patina on the case and markers that illustrate an authentic life lived.
Certain pieces were delivered with a rubber strap, others, like the one we offer, with a mesh bracelet known as “Shark,” a detail that clearly reminds us of its first basic function: scuba diving.
A mysterious watch
There are many mysteries around this watch. As an endowment for the SHOM, these watches should have been sold mainly in France. Yet an Anglo-Saxon collector has revealed that he owns a real “SHOM” that came from the Cayman Islands.
Surprising. In turn, a number of collectors evoked a hypothesis of a possible endowment for the Royal Navy. This is but a hypothesis for the moment, but it is far from being impossible.
Whatever it be, the watch has a real presence and unique character. What’s more, if it is indeed a vintage piece, we would see patina marked by its past.