Watches in the Omega "Pilot Line".

When I bought my first Omega (910) flightmaster of eBay ( in about 1999 ), little did I know it would become "the tip of the iceberg". I quickly realized that there were 2 versions of the flightmaster & when I bought my (911) flightmaster, it became obvious that there were in fact 3 versions ( & now I know there are 4 versions !! - anymore out there ? ). By "version" I mean the model Omega number. This got me wondering "how many flightmaster 'Style' watches are out there ?" & "would it be possible to collect an example of each ?"

I did some research & presented here are my findings.

Omega call this "style" of watch case the "pilot line". It has been used for flightmasters, Seamasters & Speedmasters ( although it can be argued that Speedmasters were a subline of the Seamaster family ).

flightmaster 145.013 - yellow hands flightmaster 345.0801 flightmaster 145.026 - red hands Seamaster Memomatic 166.071 Seamaster 166.090 Seamaster 166.091 Seamaster 166.093 - picture courtesy Eric So Speedmaster MK III 176.002 Seamaster 176.004 Seamaster 145.0024 861 Pilot line Seamaster 145.0024 861 Pilot line, Orange hands

Lets start with the flightmasters.

flightmaster - 145.013 - 910 movement

This watch came onto the market in 1969. It was the first watch to use the Omega 910 movement. This movement has the following functions :- constant hour & minute hands. Stop watch function, with seconds, minutes & upto 12 hours. A "second" hour hand - to show time in a second time zone. An AM/PM indicator.
The watch has 7 hands, 3 sub-dials & 5 crowns/pushers.
The watch was available with red/orange or yellow stopwatch hands.
I have heard that there are solid gold flightmasters in existance, bearing this reference number.

Chuck Maddox, describes in detail ( with the help of the owners manual ) how to use the watch, in his excellent flightmaster web page - link also below.

flightmaster 145.013 - yellow hands
Click on this pic for a larger version

flightmaster - BA345.0801 - 910 movement

This is a solid Gold version of the 145.013. According to the book "Omega Saga" & the Omega Museum Catalogue, only 200 of these were made & the first one was sold to King Hussein of Jordan. But recent rumours suggest the number manufactured could be as low as 25-50. They are as rare as hens teeth & the last one I saw for sale fetched about $6,500 US
Again, more details in Chuck Maddox flightmaster article - link below.

Gold flightmaster BA345.0801
eBay picture used.
I am not likely to ever own one of these ! But if my girlfriend is reading this.......

flightmaster - 145.026 - 911 movement

THIS is the 3rd flightmaster variant. I own one of these. I know of at least 1 more.
The serial number of my watch (31,XXX,XXX) dates it at around 1969.
Initially you could be mistaken for thinking it is simply a 910 flightmaster where the AM/PM indicator has been replaced with a continous second hand. But it is not so. The case is completely different. It is thicker. The glass is completely flat. The overall height is however the same.

Sandy Blaser provided me with the following information "145.026 is a valid number. This is a version of the flightmaster that was water-resistant to 180 feet (6atm). The more common 145.036 was a later version that was improved to 360 feet (12atm) water-resistance. The Model 145.026 was advertised in an Omega Product Line Catalogue dated 1974. The crystals for a 145.026 and a 145.036 are different. One has a flat o-ring, and one has a round o-ring seal. I hope this helps. I went through the same dilemma, and had Omega (Switzerland) supply the correct info, when I opened my watch back."

I cannot see any differences between a 145.026 & a 145.036. So I guess the only way to tell the difference is to take the back off & read the model number of the inside of the rear case cover.
I have not found any other references to a 145.026 on the internet ( as of December 2002).

flightmaster 145.026 - red hands
Click on this pic for a larger version

flightmaster - 145.036 - 911 movement

This is the model most people "think" is the second flightmaster. I think it's the 4th.
The case is identical to that of the 145.026. Interestingly, Sandy Blaser (above) states that the 145.026 appears in a 1974 Omega Catalogue, however the Omega Museum, in Switzerland, list a pair of 145.036 in their collection. One has red hands & the other yellow. One is from 1971 & the other 1972. They also state that the depth rating of the 145.036 changed from 6 ATM to 12 ATM (as Sandy states above) in 1973.
It is clear that Omega produced watches with different reference numbers. I think the reference number changed in 1973 and , for whatever reason, The Museum Catalogue simply uses the 145.036 reference number for all 911 flightmasters.

Again (yes you guessed it !),Chuck Maddox flightmaster article lists the differences between 910 & 911 flightmasters in much more detail - link also below.

Seamaster Memomatic - 166.071 - 980 movement

I have never seen one of these in real life, although they are regularly available via eBay.

The pics below are from eBay. All 3 variations have striking differently dials & different second hand colours. Notice the middle variations doesn't even have Seamaster on the dial. The case is considerably smaller & flatter than a flightmaster. Although when viewed directly from the front, they have the same silhouette.

Click for a larger version Click for a larger version Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version Click for a larger version
All pics here "borrowed" from eBay

For more info & better pics, visit :- Eric So's 166.071 review
Or Chuck has a web page, presenting a scanned owners manual from Chris Moy.

As some of you may know, Omega also put the same movement in a different case shape. Since it doesn't belong to the "Pilot Line" it's not covered here. ( Use the previous link to see an example)

Seamaster - 166.090 - 1002 movement

The watch is considerably smaller than a flightmaster. ( see comparisons below) It is the smallest "pilot line" watch that I have seen.
The second hand is missing from my watch. It takes a 20mm Strap.
The serial number of my watch (32,XXX,XXX) dates it at around 1970.
It's hard to believe but, the movement is exactly the same as found in the "PloProf" dive watch.

I have seen at least 3 dial variations. There is a gold coloured variant, a blue-dialed variant and a silver version.
Click for a larger version Click for a larger version Click for a larger version Click for a larger version
The authors watch & bad picture Picture courtesy & © Mike Everett eBay picture eBay picture

Seamaster 200M - 166.091 - 1002 Movement

I finally got one of these in March 2003. The case is somewhat shallower than that of a 911 flightmaster ( I have yet to make a direct comparison with a 910 flightmaster ). But the overall height is very similar, due to the external rotatable bezel. The watch takes a 22mm bracelet/strap ( same as a flightmaster), So I fitted a Mesh bracelet to mine.
The serial number of my watch (31,XXX,XXX) dates it at around 1969.

The dial is pure black, the date wheel is black with white lettering, the hour & minute hands have black edges. All markings on the bezel are luminous. ( & YES there are 3 dots under the 10 & 20 and only 2 dots under the 30 !)
 Seamaster 166.091 Original Pic from!
My watch Picture courtesy & © Michael Stein

As you can see from the 2 pics above, there are slightly different dials available.

Seamaster 1000M - 166.093 - 1002 / 1012 Movement

I have never seen one of these in real life.

picture Courtesy Eric So
Picture courtesy & © Eric So

Anything I could write here, I'd have copied from Eric So's review. So the best thing you can do is visit Eric's 166.0093 review .

All I can say is,
  1. From Eric'c comment about the mesh strap fit, I deduce that 22mm straps fit the case
  2. Unlike the 166.091 or 145.004 , This case is completely different from the "normal" flightmaster case. There is no screwback on this case.
  3. This watch is VERY rare. They very occasionally come up for sale in eBay.
  4. I have been (reliably) informed that the movement for this watch could be EITHER the 1002 or 1012.
    According to Omega Saga (Pg 137/138), the 1000M was released in 1971 with a 1002 movement ( which had been available since 1968 ).
    The 1012 wasn't available until 1973.
    As far as I can see the only difference between the 1002 & 1012 is the number of jewels
    I have been contacted by a number of owners ( including Chris/muddyape ) confirming that there are watches ( & Chris's case it was restored & officially "confirmed" by Omega ) containing the 1012 movement.
    The only open question, for me, is whether 1000M's were fitted with 1002 movements AFTER 1973 ?

Speedmaster MK III - 176.002 - 1040 movement

There are some dial variations of this watch. the following version is NOT marked professional. & the word "AUTOMATIC" appears at the 12:00 position. There are blue & black dialed variants.
Click for a larger version Click for a larger version
eBay picture picture courtesy & © Matt Berkeley

The following versions ARE marked professional & the word "AUTOMATIC" now appears at the 03:00 position.
There are at least silver & black dialed versions of this watch.

Click for a larger version Click for a larger version
My Speedmaster MK III eBay picture

This watch is HUGE ! It is far taller than the flightmaster variants. And so, even though the sillouete is identical & the crystal is the same size, the "sides" of the watch are much more vertical. Check the comparisons below.

( There may be OTHER Speedmaster MKIII variants available. However, as with the Memomatic, they are not in a "pilot line" case - & not featured here - however you can read about them in ...wait for it ! .. Chuck Maddox Speedmaster Mark Series article
The reason I say may be is that I have NEVER seen any official Omega picture or confirmation that the MK III was ever sold in a case other than a pilotline case.
Not a single picture or reference in a brochure, catalogue, advert, "Official" Omega book etc etc. If you can PROVE that the cushion case MK III was an official Omega watch, please contact me.)

Seamaster 120M - 176.004 - 1040 Movement

I have never seen one of these in real life. They occasionally come up for sale in eBay and are NOT cheap !

This pic does NOT expand - Sorry ! This pic does NOT expand - Sorry !
These pictures were "borrowed" from an eBay auction

This is a flightmaster 911 case (145.026 or 145.036) with a bezel attached.
The link below is to Eric So's review. I think Eric has the wrong reference number though. Both the Omega Museum & Chuck Maddox confirm the reference number of this watch to be 176.004 .

For more info & better pics, visit :- Eric So's 145.004 review

Direct comparisons

Although all the watches featured on this page have the same silhouette. ( when viewed directly from the front). When viewed from the side, they can be very different. And, what is not obvious from single pictures are the differences in overall size.

I own 5 of the above watches ( Stand : March 2003 ), the flightmasters 145.013, 145.026, a Seamaster 166.090, a Seamaster 166.091 & a Speedmaster MK III. At the time of writing this web page, 2 of these watches were not available for photography. I will expand this section at a later date.

Here are a few pictures, showing the watches , I had available, next to each other.

flightmaster 911 foreground, Speedmaster MK III behind flightmaster 911 left, Speedmaster MK III right
flightmaster 911 foreground, Speedmaster MK III behind flightmaster 911 left, Speedmaster MK III right
Seamaster 166.090 left, flightmaster 911 right Seamaster 166.090 left, flightmaster 911 right
Seamaster 166.090 left, flightmaster 911 right Seamaster 166.090 left, flightmaster 911 right
Seamaster 166.091 foreground, flightmaster 911 background Seamaster 166.090 left, Seamaster 166.091 middle, flightmaster 911 right
Seamaster 166.091 foreground, flightmaster 911 background.
The Seamaster has a "flat" back, whereas the flightmaster has not.
Seamaster 166.090 left, Seamaster 166.091 middle, flightmaster 911 right
The two watches on the left have the same movement !
This shot also clearly shows the difference "wrist position" for the 166.091 & flightmaster.
flightmaster 911 from the side Seamaster 166.091 from the side
flightmaster 911 from the side.
Note how the case sits "away" from the hard tubing. on a wrist, the flesh is somewhat softer & the watch sits much better than this picture suggests.
Seamaster 166.091 from the side.
Compare this with the flightmaster picture & you can clearly see how much flatter the watch sits on the wrist
Also compare the casing. Although the overall height is almost the same, The case is much shallower.
The rotatable bezel gives the extra height.
flightmaster 910 & 911 compared
flightmasters 910 & 911 next-to-next.
Here you can clearly see the difference in the cases/crystals. the overall height is, however, the same.

Are they ? / Aren't they ?

The following texts in blue are from the Omega Museum Catalogue. They list a couple of variations of the same watch, that they say are "Pilot Line" watches. I present them here, although I , personally, have my doubts. The silhouette is NOT the same.

Museum number - 1998.
OMEGA Seamaster chronograph, 1970:
Calibre 861, silvered dial with 1/5-second line minute circle and outside tachometric scale, polished riveted white gold hour markers with tritium dots, continuous small seconds dial at left, 30-minute totalizer at right, 12-hour totalizer at bottom, luminous stick hands, “ligne pilote” steel case water resistant to 30 m, reinforced crystal, integrated steel bracelet. (ST 145.0024)

Seamaster 145.024
Seamaster 145.024 - Picture "borrowed" from eBay - without steel bracelet

Museum number - 2449.
OMEGA Seamaster chronograph, 1970:
Calibre 861, slate dial with 1/5-second line minute circle and tachometric scale outside, luminous hour markers, small continuous seconds at left, 30-minute totalizer at right and 12-hour totalizer at bottom, luminous bright orange stick hands, pilot line steel case water resistant to 30 m, screw-in back, reinforced crystal, leather strap. (ST 145.0024)

Seamaster 145.024
Seamaster 145.024 - Picture "borrowed" from eBay

Open questions - Can you help ?

The following text is from the Omega Museum Catalogue. I would like to know more about this watch :-

Museum number - 3065.
OMEGA Automatic Seamaster, 1971:
Calendar calibre 1002, vertically satin-finished grey dial, minute track on yellow ring, polished riveted "baguette" hour markers with black plates and tritium dots, luminous stick hands and yellow center seconds-hand, two-piece steel case water-resistant to 60 m, laying oval style, sunbrushed bevelled bezel, polished case middle, screw-in back with grained Seahorse medallion, mineral crystal. New watch with original tag. Model launched in 1970. (ST 166.0092)

The 166.090 , 166.091 and 166.093 are "Pilot Line" watches. This watch is described as having a "laying oval style" case. Is it a "Pilot Line" watch ? I don't know.

Waddo's thanks, links & disclaimer

This page was written by Steve Waddington & last updated on 4 September 2005

I know there's not a lot of information on this page, but other people have covered this area pretty well. Where possible, I have linked to other (much better) web pages. If you know of some that I've missed, please let me know.

Amazingly enough, I wasn't born knowing all this information. I have learnt & am still learning a lot from the Time Zone Omega Forum.
There are a few people I would like to thank for "educating me" with some of the data presented here.

Thanks guys :-
Sandy Blaser, Mike Davis, Chuck Maddox, Harold R, Eric So, Bill Sohne, Michael Stein (RIP), Christian Wu, Chris.

If you are interested in Omega watches, I suggest you visit the Time Zone Omega Forum, have a read & ,if you want, introduce yourself.

I'm a reasonable bloke. I make mistakes, I forget things. If I've got anything wrong here or missed anything ( Are there other "Pilot Line" watches out there ? - I don't know !), please feel free to E-mail me.

I have tried to limit the data shown here to facts, but every now & then I may express an opinion. You are free to believe what you want.

I have used the movement number/date list from the "Omega SAGA" book , to "guesstimate" dates for my watches.

If this page was of interest to you, you might want to try the following links :-

I have deliberatley NOT used other peoples picture where possible.

I have researched, written & taken some of the pics on this page. ( Pics I did not originally take are, clearly marked & I have been given written permission to use them, or I "borrowed" them from eBay ). I have written this page to share the limited knowledge I have. Please don't abuse me, my work or other peoples pictures. It's not a nice thing to do !

Finally, It pisses me off that I have to write a disclaimer like this !

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