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Omega - 1953 RAF-Issue Ref. 2777-1 SC- The Original 'Thin Arrow' Dial 6B/542

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A wonderful Omega 1953 RAF-Issued Military watch with rare original Radium 'Thin Arrow' Dial 6B/542 

In 1953, Omega built timepieces under guidelines issued by British Ministry of Defence. These guidelines were strenuous, and covered every component of the watch from the movement to the dial and hands. For example, the case could not have any highly polished parts, and the movement had to be protected from magnetic fields by an inner dust cover. As far as the dial was concerned, the standard required that they be black with white numerals, and have hour and minute hands filled with luminescent material, and a white seconds hand. 

When these watches left the factory, the luminescent material that adorned the indices and hands was Radium. However, sometime in the 1960s, the watches were returned to the manufacturer and the Radium dials were exchanged for Tritium. When the dial was changed, the arrow was repainted, this time thicker, and an encircled T was painted on to show that the luminescent material was Tritium. These thicker arrows have led to the nickname “Fat Arrow” among watch collectors. However, whether out of negligence, disobedience, or as the result of a routine service before the MOD issued this decree, some examples exist with—not a fat arrow—but the original thin arrow that was on the watches when they left the Omega factory. Said watches are now fondly known as “Omega 53’s”. 

What's on offer

The present watch is model reference 2777-1 (6B / 542) with movement Calibre 283. The case of this example for sale with us is in great condition. The chunky crown is eye catching and really adds to the character of this piece. The deep black dial retains its appeal and the Arabic indices have taken on a wonderful Vanilla like shade which really draws the eye and is so attractive. Fitted with a choice of coloured NATO strap, this watch really is a historically interesting and important timepiece, one any enthusiast or collector would relish to own and we are so lucky to be able to offer it for sale!

Additional information

Made from

Case: Stainless steel

Case back: Screw on. 

Dial: Black, Radium lumes (tropical patina)

Crystal: Shatter-proof plexi. 

Bracelet: NATO military-style strap for fixed lug bars.

Technical specifications

Winding: Manually wound. 

Movement Type: Mechanical.

Calibre: 283

Jewels: 17

Waterproof: When new! (We wouldn't swear by it now.)

Purchase details

Condition: Excellent unpolished condition with crisp case edges. The watch has some signs of wear in accordance with its age. 

Model Reference: 2777-1 SC - 6B/542 - 7165/53

Date of issue: 1953


Supplied with a 12-month Vintage Watch Specialist guarantee. 


Width (without crown): 37mm

Height (lug to lug): 48mm

Lug width: 18mm

Wrist size: Adjustable.