Omega brings the caliber 321 back to life

by Javier Arranz

If we would ask any vintage-aficionado about their favorite chronograph movement from the last century, they will most certainly say the Omega caliber 321. This chronograph movement resulted from a collaboration between Omega and Lemania. Firstly called the CH27 C12 project (Lemania 2310), it was used in high-end watch brands such as Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet or Vacheron Constantin.

Firstly introduced in 1946, it was every collector’s dream. Colum wheel chronograph, robust but elegant, nice 44h power reserve and three registers. Sadly, production was ceased in 1968.

It’s not new that this caliber is mostly known for its appearence inside the famous “Moonwatch“, the Omega Speedmaster from 1957 to 1965, and later inside the Omega Speedmaster Professional from 1965 to 1968.

Omega Caliber 321. Source: Watchbase

We can say that today is a happy day for Omega collectors and vintage watch lovers. Omega released the long waited announcement that the caliber 321 was back in production:

3… 2… 1… We have lift-off! #OMEGA is proud to announce that the famous Calibre 321 is back in production!

The watch community as far as we could see, has positive reactions about this news:

Wei Koh (founder of The Rake and Revolution Watch) says: “This is incredible”



According to Fratello Watches

The biggest question remains: which watch will Omega use for this new caliber 321 movement? You can bet it will be a Speedmaster, but what model and will it be the Moonwatch or a different version? What will be the effect on the price and how many of them will be available? Let the guessing begin. Omega promises us to share more news and details with us in the coming months. You must know, we are thrilled!

Raynald Aeschlimann, CEO of Omega, said, “It’s amazing that so many people are passionate about the Calibre 321. We produced the last one in 1968 and fans have never stopped talking about it. That shows how special it is. We’re very excited to finally meet their wishes and have gone to great efforts to bring the movement back.”

This movement will not be used in a limited edition watch, but there will be a limitation in production for the reasons stated above. Omega reveiled that there will be something in gold, for sure. Also, this movement will not be used in any of the upcoming Apollo 11 Limited Edition models in 2019.

Something worth looking into is the effect on prices of vintage 321’s. Is there going to be an effect? Many people believe that one factor that made the 321 caliber very desirable was the low amount of calibers that were available, creating a shortage that will of course increase the price. After all, Omega is producing now the cal 321 increasing the quantity of calibers out in the world, and therefore, we could expectate a decrease in prices.

Other way of looking into this is by saying that they are totally different markets that are not correlated after all. Vintage is vintage and modern is modern, and the release will not have any impact on vintage prices.

Here at Stem&Bezel, we would like to hear your thougths. You can write us an email or find us on Instagram, we would love to chat with you.

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