The present model, Seamaster XVI, was produced by Omega for a limited period of time to celebrate the Summer Games of the 16th Olympiad in Melbourne, Australia. It is particularly unusual to find an example of this model with a lacquered dial rather than the more common gilt dial. Omega made approximately 100 examples in this special lacquered series.
The Seamaster XVI was created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Omega being the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games. Beginning in the 1932 Los Angeles games, Omega watches were, and still remain, a constant at finish lines during the sporting fortnight.
The emblem seen on the dial and back of this model is the Olympic Cross of Merit, which Omega received in 1952 for their outstanding technical support of the Games.
The Games of the XVI Olympiad were the first to take place in the Southern Hemisphere, which meant they were held in late November and early December - autumn for countries in the Northern Hemisphere.
The host-country Australians showcased their excellence in international competition, including swimmer Murray Rose's three gold medals and runner Betty Cuthbert's three gold medals.
For more information on this model and several illustrations, see Richon, M., Omega: A Journey Through Time, pp.282-283.
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