Back in December of 2004 I reported on the mysterious tale of the missing Speedmaster 176.0017. Prior to an email message from Fabio Iannella of Italy. You can read the details of our conversation by clicking on this sentence.
Fabio, like most of the Italian collector's I've had the privilege of interacting with has continually been searching for information on the 176.0017. Today, I received an e-mail message and a scan from him... He's tracked down what is most likely the story of the 176.0017...
Here is Fabio's email note to me and the scan he forwarded...
Hi Chuck this is Fabio
I discovered what a 176.0017 is. It took all this time to discover it but I finally turned up some information. This source is pretty reliable.
According to my source:
"The ST 176.0017 has never been produced and the photo is therefore to be considered as the one from a prototype!"
This is the only scan I could get!
I hope this helps to solve the mystery about the eighth Omega 1045 model... It appears that was never born!
Actually there are other Omega 1045 models, but that is another story...
I hope you all enjoy
Have a Great Time!
Fabio from Italy
OK... Here is a blowup of the photo portion:
This has to be one of the most interesting c.1045 "coulda been's"... This watch appears to have elements of the Speedsonic [case and day-date window treatment], Seamaster [chrono minute hand and hour sub-dial treatment], the crystal seems to be a Mark II/Mark IV part, and the rest of the dial [minute/second track, and 24-hour sub-dial treatment] is, well... Unique!
Looking at the card again...
... we have the case reference (176.0017), Calibre (1045), a couple of unexplained symbols... 6 Atmosphere's (60m W/R rating), Mineral Glass Crystal (the norm for all c.1045's), 1976... Don't know what that means... MD and ST which would indicate to me that there were plans to offer this model in both Stainless Steel and Gold. and the cryptic 1.6.74 which might be a printing date (either January 6th, 1974, or more likely the European style of dating 1st of June 1974).
By gauging the strap on this watch, I'd guess the lug width would have been 22mm.
All in all an interesting watch. I personally have no reason to doubt this document's authenticity, nor the word of Fabio's source that it was never offered by Omega. I certainly have never seen a watch that looks like the one pictured offered for sale anywhere.
I plan on sending a link to this posting to Marco Richon and Omega Vintage Information for confirmation. I've had an email conversation with Marco recently, the details of which I will report soon (I hope) and I'm sure he will find this of interest.
My thanks and gratitude to Fabio for his determination to solve the mystery of this case reference! Fabio, like nearly every Italian Speedmaster collector I've crossed paths with, the Italian's are a joy to converse with. Their knowledge, enthusiasm and joy about the topic may be paralleled, but is rarely equaled much less exceeded.