OMEGA 1611 CHRONO-QUARTZ MONTREAL ALBATROS 1975

The Chrono-Quartz 1611 developed inhouse by Omega in 1975 was launched in 1976 to celebrate the Montreal Summer Olympic Games. It is believed to be the first hybrid watch in the World combining an analogue time display and a dual LCD chronograph display both of which are powered by a single quartz resonator. I use the word "believed" as Zenith had a fancy analog-LED Futur also in 1975! The 1611 CQ is huge to accomodate two separate "movements" that are also operated separately with buttons on the left or a spring-loaded crown on the right. Pulling out the crown activates time-zone adjustment that allows you to set the hour hand without interrupting the minutes (identical to 1310 and 1510). On the other hand pushing the center of the crown advances the minutes by means of the motor (similar to Tissot 2031).

 

 

Both the analog and digital "movements" are placed on a common grey-plastic carrier. Removing it from the case is tricky. First pull out the crown with stem by firmly pressing (from top) a small setting lever below the stem. Only then you should unscrew 4 large steel screws holding the carrier in the case. Both "movements" use the same battery power source and are fed with one 32.768Hz quartz resonator but their micro-chips operate independently. The chronograph LCD is however a Slave whereas the analog circuitry is Master as described in the User manual: "The batteries supply the power necessary for the functioning of the chronograph's integrated circuit and its LCD. A frequency of 512Hz is appropriated from the dividing part of the analog integrated circuit and introduced into the circuit of the chronograph as a source of counting".

 

 

The 1611 has not been designed for repairs but you might try your luck. Only after unscrewing 4 screws on the motor you can proceed to removing the mechanical movement by unscrewing 3 gilded screws on the electronic module. Going forward...the electronic pertinax substrate is affixed with 4 red screws to the grey carrier but then you also need to desolder the thin wires on the quartz. The electronics rarely require repairs as the microchips are safely sealed (still a bath in vinegar/alcohol helps remove old acid residues causing shorts). The real challenge is the motor which has been poorly designed and made. The coil is not exposed but has tips soldered to a very fragile pertinax substrate that is usually broken due to improper handling. Compare with Zenith motor! Pictures show a very difficult but successful repairs providing 2.4kOhm.

 

 

Shown below is the motion work and setting assembly of the 1611 calibre. It is similar to a large extent to the concepts used in the 1300 and 1510 providing time-zone setting by means of a dual-layer magnetic wheel. Hint: Most of these watches have a busted motor which is responsible for advancing minutes upon pushing the button on the crown. If minute setting does not work the first thing is to verify if a gilded pin (protruding from the electronic module) is aligned correctly as shown to the right. In some cases the pin might be broken but it only requires slight adjustment so that it does not connect with the mechanical movement when crown is in neutral position. When the crown-button is pushed the setting lever connects with the gilded pin and closes a circuit on the electronic module and thus advancing the minute hand as long as the crown remains pushed.

 

 

Except major issues you might experience minor flaws on a 1611 that are easier to repair. The LCD reflective mirror can be replaced with some effort but at no cost with aluminium foil or you can buy a new LCD polarizing filter (A4 sheet) for a few bucks. Removing the stem on this watch is a real pain and might end up with the tip getting broken. If that happens the crown's push-button will no longer spring back making time setting difficult or impossible. A 1611 stem might be unavailable or cost a fortune so search for a replacement stem for the twin 1320 or 1325 movements. These are 95% identical to the mechanical movement on the 1611. The 1320 stem might have a shorter thread but it is sufficient to mount the crown tightly without any functional difference. Check more similarities between movements on the 1320 review.

 

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Keywords: omega chrono-quartz, omega 1611, omega albatros, omega montreal

Market value: 500-2000$ (condition, box)

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