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April in Paris: Franken-Omega-Vintage oddball beauty

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I've owned a strange vintage 18k rose gold Omega watch that I picked up in 08 that never got much wear. Primarily due to my freak ability to break off crowns on the damn thing. After the third crown in less than 16 hours of wrist time, the watch got set aside and ignored until I finally got around to commissioning Bea of April in Paris to craft a better watch strap that I had on it originally. More modifications were to come, and now I'm happy to share the results...My Franken-Omega


I've always wanted the hands to be blued instead of the stock gold, and thought a nice navy blue crocodile strap would help round out the overall design. The watch didn't inspire much awe in it's original style, I think it was unoriginal from when I got it, I've never been able to find an exact copy of mine and the dial and hands never lined up. So, authenticity was never my main concern. Now I have a watch that I enjoy wearing and I find the contrasting blued hands against the white dial make it even easier to note the time at a glance and the rose gold compliments the color of the strap and hands.

I asked Bea to make this strap with very little padding, medium sized rounded scales (you can specify exactly where on the hide you want your creation to be made from) and the stitching was chosen to match the rose gold case. I imagine the stitching will darken slightly with use.

It's interesting to see the differences close up in a completely handmade item versus the brown croc strap that I had on there originally. The holes on the original are drilled in 7mm apart and made for a tricky fit, either slightly too loose or too tight. This one is done at 5mm which makes for a big difference. Also, the scales have a better sculpted shape to them and lack the bright plastic-y high gloss that made the first one look like colored plastic wrap. All in all, I'm quite happy with the result. Especially knowing that it's completely unique to me, yet doesn't scream. 350

This is truly a case of the individual parts exceeding the value of the whole, rather backwards... tracking down an original solid rose gold buckle and the new strap cost more than the watch did itself. Changing out the hands tipped the scale even further. But it was the only way to end up exactly where I wanted and I highly doubt I'd ever sell it. But I kept the original hands just in case.

On the wrist, it balances out nicely in my opinion. (I'm a lefty)

I'd hate to think how much an Ipad case in crocodile would cost, but will likely be my next commission.
post #2 of 24
Very nice! Wear it in good health!
post #3 of 24
Looks great, T.
post #4 of 24
Absolutely gorgeous. I have a very similar model to that one (also 18k) except that mine (a) doesn't have the subdial, (b) doesn't have the teardrop lugs, and (c) is yellow, rather than rose gold (I prefer yours in each regard). Absolutely love the blued hands on that watch. I think originality/collectability issues can be overdone on a watch like this. It isn't a '30's Patek after all. Watch is extremely wearable and great looking. I might have made a couple of different choices on the band, but I still like what you've done.

It gets the MfP stamp of approval. thumbs-up.gif
post #5 of 24
Very nice!
post #6 of 24
rock it
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks all,

One curveball, she decided to go with a thicker stitch than first decided on. She felt it helped with making it more masculine. She didn't elaborate as to whether it meant a thicker string, or just a wider stitch.
post #8 of 24
post #9 of 24
Vey nice.
post #10 of 24
I will be on my third April in Paris band later this year. She does a wonderful job.
post #11 of 24
That's a beautiful watch all around and congrats on your choice on everything.
post #12 of 24
Congrats, Tom. Looks great. Hope you are doing well.
post #13 of 24
Very nice!
post #14 of 24
do you have before pictures? wear in good health.
post #15 of 24
Sheesh, that's the perfect looking vintage watch in shape and style.
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