Every watch collector should reserve a place in his or her watch box for a dress watch.
This one by Omega, a Reference 2891-1, is a perfect contender. Although the case is steel, it’s thin enough to slip easily beneath the cuff of a well-tailored suit. But with a dial like that, you almost wish it wouldn’t.
The gold markers and hands resonate with the kind of understated elegance that makes mid-century watches like this one some of the most beautiful on the market—and the most stylish.
In the Second World War, the British Ministry of Defense saw the need for their armed forces to have durable timepieces that could withstand the rigors of combat while keeping accurate time. The "Watch Wristlet Waterproof," one of the Dirty Dozen produced by twelve watch manufacturers for general issue from 1945 to 1948, combined a spartan exterior with a robust, no-frills movement. Omega’s contribution was powered by the Calibre 30T2, an extremely dependable and reliable movement that would remain in production until the 1960s and play a great role in Omega's post-war success and reputation.
After the war, Omega would go on to adapt the 30T2 in a series of hand-wound movements that were just as elegant and robust as their predecessor.
As Europe entered into the post-WW2 recovery period, the Swiss watch industry resumed production of fine timepieces after years of fulfilling defense contracts. In keeping with the austere designs of the military watches of the 1940s, the clean lines and ornamentation of the Art Deco style faded away to a more utilitarian aesthetic inspired by military timepieces. This resulted in beautifully clean and understated watches to suit the tastes of returning G.I.’s.
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