April 25 2017
Sold for £4,300
Omega ‘went large’ last year on the triple 60th anniversary of its trilogy of the Speedmaster, Seamaster and Railmaster – but there are other significant names in the brand’s history, not least of which is the Ranchero.
And, if Omega plans to make a habit of celebrating 60th anniversaries, then we could be in for a celebratory Ranchero this year as the original was launched in 1958 as a smaller, more accessible alternative to the aforementioned, higher-end watches – but it proved to be a bit of a flop.
One of the reasons for the Ranchero’s relative failure is said to have been the name which in Spanish translates as farmer. The effect was to alienate many of Omega’s well-heeled Hispanic clients who regarded the watch as being too working class, despite the draw of its attractive looks and excellent hand-wound, Calibre 267 30mm movement.
So, although it was available in a variety of guises – with subsidiary or centre seconds; in stainless steel, steel and gilt or gold cases; with black or white dials and with Dauphine, Alpha or Broad Arrow hands – production was short-lived and examples seldom appear for sale.
This one that cropped up at Fellows was not only a rare survivor, but an appealingly original one, too. The faded lume, weathered Broad Arrow hands and clearly unrestored dial all spoke of a watch that had been well worn and probably well-loved. Hopefully the new owner will keep it this way and not be tempted to renovate it – because complete, functioning and wearable watches are becoming increasingly difficult to find.