There are many reasons that I love my Omega Dynamic. When I got it five years ago it was the first time my wife had bought me a watch. Although it did involve some none-too-subtle hints from me, the present was a good sign that my wife was starting to understand this whole watch preoccupation just a little bit. The watch is also roughly the same age as me, and a watch that is well preserved despite heading towards fifty is a nice reminder not to let the passing decades weigh too heavily. But the main reason I love it is for that unexplainable magpie-reflex – to me this watch is simply a lovely object that I wanted to get hold of from the moment it caught my eye in some corner of the internet.
When Omega unveiled the space-age Genève Dynamic in the late 1960s it was presented as not just a pretty face, but as an ergonomic solution to a problem that watch wearers perhaps didn’t know they had. Normal watches, the advertisements told us, are an awkward shape for your wrist bone, whereas the Dynamic is delightfully oval-shaped to lie in perfect harmony with your arm. It was also presented as a watch of action that you can “wear in the ocean as well as in the shower” before going on to boast of water-resistance of 100 feet – not much to be proud of these days, but enough to sound sporty half a century ago.
The watch went through various incarnations, mostly automatic and a few manual-winding, some with variations on a similar theme, but some radically different, including one with a rather fetching TV dial. But through the 1970s the watch was slowly integrated into the De Ville range, and by 1977 the Dynamic was no more.
I learnt two things from writing this piece about my own personal Dynamic. Firstly, it is not quite the most desirable of models among Dynamic-fanciers. The most sought-after is the earliest incarnation, most notably distinguished by satin-polished sides to the case, whereas in later models the case is highly polished all over. My watch came without papers, so it is hard to be sure, but the polished case, date-but-no-day spec places it between 1972 and 1976 – I was born in 1973, so that’s close enough for me and worth forgoing the satin-edged case.
The other thing I learnt is that my watch is not quite as mint as I thought. Values are going up steadily, but you can still get Dynamics in excellent condition – even the satin-cased early models – for under $1,000. With the benefit of zooming in on hi-res photos, I can see a fair bit of wear on the case and a few marks on the dial that I hadn’t spotted before. But as I don’t intend to sell, it doesn’t matter to me. In fact I’m glad I don’t have to worry about keeping it perfect. There’s nothing wrong with picking up a few knocks – we all do at some point.