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marrickvilleboy

Omega SMP Quartz Project Completed! (Review and Comparison)

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Hi guys. I have managed to finally finish a small project that has taken almost 6 months to complete. I will try to make this as clear as possible and hopefully give some advice for other members who also wish to venture down this road.

1. I will provide a quick run down on my Omega Seamaster Professional Quartz Model (or 2541.8000) Project.

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2. A small comparison with an old favorite Omega Seamaster Automatic Electric Blue Model.

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I have always liked the Omega SMP, in particular, the Bond model. A few years ago the Replica guys made fantastic models of the SMP, this included the Limited Edition, the Black SMP, the Electric SMP, the White GMT and the Black GMT. These models were the top of the crop - nice dial, bezel, crown guards, correct HEV position, serial number on the back, thinner case and caseback, and correct bracelet construction. Unfortunately, those days are gone now. So often, we have to try and make do with the current batch.

Fortunately, I have been able to source the older Limited Edition and the older Electric Blue watches. However, the problem with automatics is that you only have one wrist to wear a watch and therefore, the inconvenience of resetting times and dates start to creep up. Thus, I decided a few months ago that I would try and make a Quartz Model of the Omega SMP Blue. Gathering the parts takes a long time but its worth the wait. So here's the breakdown.

Before I forget, I want to thank member Tonibari, who was very generous in providing me with the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle - the dial. Thank you.

1. The Case - I found that the newer cases are getting slightly too thick to make the project work. You have to understand that the replica cases are meant for automatic movements which are quite thick in comparison to the ETA quartz battery movements. I have tried with other cases but I found that the older batch of SMP that Paul, Silix, Trusty and the likes offered worked best. These are generally the ones with incorrect HEV position and slightly incorrect crownguards.

2. The Bezel - I was able to get a genuine bezel which I was able to fit into the case, so therefore, a nice 120 click and very sturdy when turned. The insert and pearl are replica made to fit.

3. The crown and crown guards - Crown is genuine and it really makes this watch much more secure than the replica crown. The crownguard is then modded to look more like the genuine. Notice that I only sanded down the middle of the opening which accentuated the crown guards.

4. Dial and Hands - Genuine hands and Genuine dial picked up and installed.

5. Movement - Genuine Omega Caliber 1530 installed. However, you can also just purchase standard ETA Quartz movements - the similar models are ETA255.411 which will set you back around $50 - $60 dollars. The base movement is actually the ETA255.461, which will set you back around $80-90.

Cost of genuine parts:

Dial - can be picked up for as little as $20 on ebay

Hands - I picked up mine for $11 on ebay

Movement - picked up for $30 on ebay

Crown and tube - I get mine a little cheaper than most places, but can be had for around $40-50

The end result is quite nice, but there is a very tricky issue that will need to be addressed. This issue is fitting the movement to line up with the tube and crown. As I have mentioned earlier, the thin quartz movement proves to be a hassle because it sits very low in case (i.e it is not thick enough to line up with the tube opening) and this makes the stem unable to function. I will show how to solve the issue later on.

PC033525.jpg

As you can see, the incorrect HEV position but everything else seems to be in place.

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A shot of the crown and crown tube. The older cases were close to the genuine in terms of thickness, but still a little thicker.

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Ok, so the blue color ring shaped object is in fact a crystal o-ring that has been painted blue to match the dial. What it does is it raises the height of the dial so that the dial and movement will sit correctly in the case. This compensates the discrepancy of the alignment of the stem and crown tube positioning.

PC033528.jpg

The painted o-ring is now place on the dial where it sits neatly upon the dial. Since the o-ring is meant to house a crystal, it actually has one edge where it is bevelled in. Essentially, where the crystal is meant to go, I have now replaced it with the dial, therefore it sits flush and tightly together.

PC033527.jpg

One last shot of the movement, you will have to use plastic spacers to hold the movement down. Not really a problem.

Now the quick comparison of the Electric Blue model.

The captioning did not turn out so well, but essentially, I commented on the navy color bezel digits which are often painted black in current batch. I also noticed the correct 300m/1000ft sizing, the HEV position, and the 5 piece endlink construction.

PC033531-1.jpg

Nice HEV position, I have yet to shave the crownguard down but I have also installed a genuine crown and tube. Nothing else has really been tampered with. This shows how good the older versions were. The dial is actually very close to the original, at various angles, the dial goes from electric blue to dark blue.

PC033532.jpg

Caseback is well made, the bracelet stampings are accurate and the little serial number is present on one of the lugs.

PC033533.jpg

Fortunate enough to stick a genuine 1120 movement into the case, sits well and functions like a charm.

Thanks for reading this and I hope this will help some members in their quest for the perfect Omega SMP. Any questions please ask in the thread.

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Marrick-

Always great to see your finished Omega projects ! Congrats. Awesome watch and wear it well.

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Great project!

Well worth the effort.. It is nice to be able to wear a true "handmade piece"! :)

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Thanks for the kinds words guys. I know some of you guys are SMP lovers and I truly believe a project like this is not hard to accomplish. I would encourage any one here to also put to this work.

The quartz dials are relatively cheap on ebay and the hands and movement are readily available from Ofrei. Understandably, a used genuine Omega SMP Quartz will set you back around $700USD for the fullsize so it isn't THAT expensive. But you definitely can make your own quartz SMP for much much less - especially since most of us have spare SMP cases lying around - a result from hybriding many models to make a perfect SMP at one stage.

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That would be a great watch to have in quartz since there is a gen quartz, congrats on a great job!

Now that you have it figured out, how much will you be charging to build them for the rest of us? LOL

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Great project, I'm glade the dial worked for you. This reminds me I still have some Omega parts I was going to use a long time ago.

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Excellent. A beautiful job, well thought out and executed, in addition to a nicely written description. Thanks!

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