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Omega Speedsonic ƒ300 Chronograph-Chronometer ST188.0001
Originally written by Chuck Maddox
on 14 December 2001,
Last updated on 11 March 2002 04:45 GMT
My interest in Omega Speedsonic Chronographs was sparked by a TZ Classic post by Les Zetlein who goes by LesZ originally posted back in 1999. It was and remains among what I consider high-water mark for informative articles in TZ Classics.
THE (ALMOST) UNKNOWN SPEEDMASTER: A Review of the Omega Speedsonic f300 Hz Chronograph Chronometer By LesZ (be sure to check out the movie!)

As you can see by viewing LZ's article it does an excellent job of covering the topic nearly completely. Nearly completely. The rarest and most highly sought Speedsonic is the "langouste" or french word for "Lobster" describing the bracelet of this model. Since Les didn't own one there was only scant mention of this model...

I received a phone call on Thanksgiving morning about an hour before I was planning to leave for the three hour trip to relatives for Thanksgiving dinner from fellow TZer Bill Sohne. Thanks to his sharp roving eyes he spotted a Lobstertail Speedsonic on eBay with an extremely attractive price in a Buy it Now... Bill said "pull the trigger" or you'll kick yourself for ever..."... So I did.
The transaction went very smoothly considering the fact that the watch was being sold by the Spanish friend of a French Jeweler... He spoke Spanish, I didn't. I would type up my messages to him in English use Babelfish language translator to translate the message into Spanish and send it both ways. When I received the message I'd reverse the process. I arranged to wire the money via Western Union MoneyGram (a very expeditious, efficient, easy and somewhat expensive process {and that's just the "e"’s)). The seller had the money by Sunday, shipped the watch via EMS fastest method, and I had the watch by Friday. So while it was a bit cumbersome and complex the transaction really was quick and very smooth. It was probably my most expensive watch acquisition in terms of the cost to get the transaction closed. But considering what these watches fetch on the open market, well I have good reason to smile.
Upon receipt the watch was really in very good to excellent condition. Certainly not NOS, mint or near mint, but really in great shape. The only real issue for me is the length of the bracelet which was really just too short for me to wear. Bill Sohne has a spare link so I quickly call him to ask him to sell me the link, which he does. So I'm looking at the 'Sonic sitting on the table, and looking around and see one of the packets of the Citizen extension clasps I wrote about previously on TZ Classics and I decide, what the heck... I'll try it out. To my slight surprise the extension piece fits perfectly, like it was made by the wizards of Bienne. To this day, the spare link purchased from Bill is in the ziploc it came in an organizer of other links while the extension is on the watch's bracelet.
Because we in the Omega Forum had decided to do theme Scan Day's for the last 6 weeks of 2001, and because the first Friday of December, the 7th, was the 60th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the first Scan Day after I took delivery of the Lobster wasn't an appropriate time to post pictures. But the next Friday, the 14th was it has to have a Battery Theme Scan Day. So I had plenty of time to take some pictures of the Lobster.

So these pictures were posted originally in the Omega Forum on 14 December 2001. The Lobstertail is a very difficult watch to capture adequately with photography. It's beauty is so striking it's nearly impossible to do it justice. Between the finish on the case, the mirrored dial, and the difficulties showing a three dimensional object with a two dimensional medium it is a daunting task for the best and most talented. I am admittedly not a great photographer, nor was the equipment I was using the best (Olympus D-620L c.1998). But having said that, I haven't found any on the web or in print to scan or point to that are better. Sorry, but I really have looked! But these aren't bad and I'm not embarrassed to show them...

Omega Forum Regular Uncle John posted the following comments to my original post:

Oh my . . . The dial and hands are acceptable, but that case and bracelet . . . a tad bulky for my taste . . .

Interestingly enough, the Lobster tail is thinner and lighter than the more conventional Speedsonic models:
Omega Speedsonic (Stainless Steel Models):
Width with Crown:
Width without Crown:
Weight with Bracelet:
Lug Width:

Speedsonic Lobster tail

46 mm
46 mm
44 mm
14.5 mm
137.0 g

Speedsonic Blue Dial

45 mm
45 mm
43.5 mm
141.4 g
The Lobster tail bracelet is a work of art. It is easily the most comfortable to wear Omega I own (sorry SeMPC!) and only the TAG-Heuer Kirium and the IWC Delryn (along with the aforementioned SeMPC) are even in the same league when it comes to wrist comfort. Like the Kirium and Delryn the bracelet is designed and engineered to conform exceedingly well with the anatomy of the wrist, so that when you have it on your wrist it's like your wrist and your watch have grafted themselves together. It's really an amazing feeling...

Why do leisure suits, white wing-tips and 455 Trans- Am’s come to mind?

I had high expectations for this piece when I purchased it via eBay from Spain, but when I received it I was totally blown away by it's beauty... This is the most modern and beautiful Omega I feel has ever been made. It makes everything else look bad by comparison, even watches I love dearly. That this 26+ year old watch can look so ultra modern and new after such a long passage of time is an astounding testament to the designers and artisans who crafted this tour-de-force decades ago.

Chuck, that is one interesting addition.

I think this is one area where Michael Stein and I are in lockstep agreement. This is one amazing watch. Omega would do well to incorporate a similar design into their current product line (perhaps with a Valjoux 7750 or a Lemania 5100 or 5195 movement.

If you ever get a chance to see one of these in person and to try one on your wrist, do not deny yourself... But you will be hooked...

There is not much I can do to add to LesZ's article except photos of the Lobstertail and my experience. Since I bought the Lobstertail, I have purchased a new Digital Camera. With time I might even attempt to better my previous efforts. But I do have other projects that need my attention more at this point, so some time may pass before this happens.

I'd like to thank Bill Sohne for his photo call and persuasiveness in getting me to pull the trigger, Les Zetlein for graciously granting my request to include a portal and link to his seminal article on the subject.

Questions and remarks can be made to me the author by clicking on this link.

Thank you for your interest. Good Hunting!

-- Chuck

Statement of rights retained and permissions granted...

Permission is granted for Damon, Derek, and RJ to include information in this article within the FAQ's they are writing as long as I'm given credit for this work. Permission for personal, educational or non-commercial use is granted. The author retains all other rights not specifically mentioned here... For all other use or questions please contact the author.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and knowing me should be taken with a grain or two of salt...