I first came across the Omega Dynamic on a friend’s wrist, his particular piece was a Dynamic 5240.50, the chronograph sibling to the 5250.50 which I’m reviewing. The Dynamic line of watches it seems, has a long but not very profitable history in Omega.
Launched in 1997, the 5250 & 5240 are actually part of the third generation of Omega Dynamics. Both the previous generations proved to be largely unsuccessful runs for Omega and despite the adage, “Third time’s the charm”, the final one in 1997 didn’t prove to be much different either. You can find a more detailed history on the Dyanmic name over here: http://www.watchcollectinglifestyle.com/home/rare-bird-omega-dynamic-chronograph-ref-52405000-at-least-to-us-third-time-is-a-charm
While I have no particular interest in the first two runs, I always thought this generation looked particularly handsome and was always great value for money given its launch price at the time of about £795 for the chronograph and less for the date, though it seems you could pick a chronograph up for less than £500.
So what did you get in exchange for your several hundred quid/dollars/francs?
The date version (5250.50) came with the Omega Caliber 1108, which was essentially a rebadged ETA 2892-A2, a popular workhorse movement that was well known for its reliability and accuracy and was the preferred base movement for many high end manufactures and their complications.
While I have no way of finding out for certain, people have reported that some of the earlier models may have been fitted with the ETA 2890-A2 movement, which was essentially the same but slightly larger in diameter and it lacked some of the efficiency improvements found in the 2892.
The 30-min chronograph version (5240.50) was based off of the same same ETA movement, now rebadged as Omega Caliber 1138 since it had the Dubois-Depraz 2030 chronograph module. While this movement was, to the best of my knowledge, problem free and a stellar performer, modular chronographs are notorious for being problematic and expensive to repair should the watch seize and or the chronograph module go kaputt.
The rest of this review covers only the date version, referred to from here on as the 5250.50 since any comments on the chronograph will be academic at best. But for those curious, the above link also covers the chronograph sibling in some detail.
Case, Crystal & Crown
While the movement in this watch is a reliable workhorse, it is far from exotic or especially standout. What sets this watch apart in my books, is its design and build quality. The case is 36.5 mm in diameter and made of brushed stainless steel and in my opinion, is finished to a degree that’s not common at this price point. The screwdown caseback is stainless steel as well and has the Omega symbol and lettering engraved into the back.
The crystal is flat and anti reflective on the inside. The crown is one of my favorite features of this watch. In my opinion, most watch designs usually fall apart because of the crown. Especially at this price point, it feels like a crown is usually selected as an afterthought. However with this watch the screw down crown is well-proportioned and large enough to provide good grip and it has plenty of thread, making it user friendly.
While I believe this isn’t intentional, when completely tightened, the Omega logo on the crown is the right side up with the bottom of the logo parallel to your wrist. From my discussions with more prolific and knowledgeable collectors, I understand that crown logos rarely line up, so this piece is one of the rare, lucky few where it does.
While 36.5 mm is diminutive by today’s standards, I am biased towards smaller cases and prefer watches in the 36-40 mm range. This watch is perfectly sized for a daily wearer. It is unobtrusive and will slip below the cuff of a dress shirt, but pairs just as well with a t-shirt and jeans.
Dial & Hands
The Dynamic was designed as a pilot’s watch, meaning the dial is extremely legible and with a simple design. I’m personally a sucker for the black on white/yellow theme and the stylized Arabic numbers. The numbers are all luminous but I believe my particular watch is one of the earlier examples with tritium and while it patinas gracefully over time, it has lost much of its luminosity. While the original hour and minute hands were tritium as well, they have been replaced with superluminova hands during a service sometime in the watch’s past.
My two favorite design elements on the dial are the date window and the seconds hand. The seconds hand is yellow and tapers to a fine point on one end, much like a needle and an arrow head on the short end. I personally find it quite elegant and its superlative finishing helps with that perception. Like crowns, most designs have horrible date windows that break the ‘gestalt’ of the design. While I can appreciate the utilitarian thought behind having a contrasting date window, it frankly looks ugly most of the time. The Dynamic does this well by having a black date window that is recessed into the dial, with the edges of the frame being beveled inwards slightly. This helps gives the entire dial a continuous appearance and doesn’t look as jarring. Finally, the font of the date is the same as the numbers on the dial, which is a small detail but makes a big difference.
The only element I’m not particularly happy with is the round tritium dots above each number, especially at 12 o’clock. I can’t help but feel that the design might’ve been better off without it.
Strap & Buckle
When I received the watch, it came with the original Omega strap and buckle. But the strap was well worn and quite obviously sweat stained. Since then I have procured a new strap from an Omega boutique, and while these straps are not cheap, at 19mm lug width, your choices are somewhat limited.
While the price may be high, the strap is excellent and I believe is suede or at least has a suede finish. And if the old strap is anything to judge by, the color should darken into a rich chocolate brown over time and a little wear. Given my obsession for the small details, I’d be remiss not to mention the signed Omega buckle, which is a nice touch and looks very nice on the wrist.
The previous owner had this watch overhauled by Omega through their restoration service, which comes with a 24-month warranty. The little card provided by Omega states an average deviation of +2.6 sec/day and this holds in practice, making it well within chronometer standards. (To clarify, it is NOT COSC-certified).
All in all, I think this watch offered very good value back in 1997 and still does even today. This watch flies under the radar of most collectors, even the ones who collect only Omegas. This was not a limited edition, and some looking around online indicates that Omega made several thousands of the 5250.50 and 5240.50. So if you’re a little patient and look around hard enough, you can still find a great deal on these. I highly recommend it for anyone starting out their collection like me and looking for their first premium watch to invest in. An added bonus for me is that I’ve only seen one other person with a Dynamic on their wrist.
Over time, I may decide to track down and procure the Dynamic Chronograph as well. (When I can justify the risk and cost of potentially having the watch seize up).
I hope you guys enjoyed my first, and admittedly very long review.
- Praneeth RS
P.S: For those more technically inclined and curious about the movement: