Omega Memomatic: "The only wristwatch in the world with a self-winding alarm"

Jun 30, 2009,16:26 PM

I would like to share with you few photos of a watch that I re-discovered very recently following a change of its strap:

The Omega Memomatic




The Memomatic is an alarm wristwatch issued by Omega in 1970, as you can guess from its 70s funky style.

It is the first (and until now the only) watch produced by Omega with the alarm feature.




It belongs to the Seamaster line although it is waterproof to a depth of only 200 feet / 60 meters. However, it is just enough for someone like me that wears it with a leather strap.



The movement of the Memomatic is the Omega 980, created in 1968 by Raoul-Henri Erard and produced from the following year by Lemania. A total of 35 000 units of this movement were built.

This movement has some very specific features:

  • Doubly automatic, as written at that time! It has a self-winding alarm that is operational only one hour after having been used. Only one barrel for both time and alarm.


  • It is also first model where the alarmtime could be set to the minute. This precise setting relies on a couple of moveable discs. The central disc with 2 parallel bars enables to point the minute. The triangle of the second disc is for the hour.

    On the photos, the alarm time is set for 7:20.


There is no doubt regarding its 70s origin: black and grey dial, orange second hand, oversized case with a tonneau shape. Groovy baby!

And please note the nice effects of the various types of polishing, in particular the nice sunbrushed bezel. Sunny baby!



Concerning the sound of the alarm, I must admit that it is not loud enough to wake me up. The sound is produced by a hammer that strikes a gong attached to the plate of the movement, not to the caseback. Omega admitted it and even better, decided to communicate on it. As mentioned in the advert :

« The Omega Memomatic rings like a miniature alarm clock, it rings discreetly to remind you of your next appointment – until you shut it off with a push-button control.

So when it happens during a meeting your colleages won't fall out of their chairs. They will, on the other hand, begin to see you as a man for whom the minutes count


A riddle to conclude: the album used in background is also from 1970... Any idea? smile 



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That watch is more than groovy, baby

 By: respo : June 30th, 2009-18:07
Thanks for sharing the post on that Omega. I love it! It is funky looking but definitely has a depth of character. The self-winding alarm that can be shut off by a push button is really a nice and unique feature. Wow, I am really glad to have seen this on... 

Sounds different though...(Lower your volume first)

 By: Kong : July 1st, 2009-21:39
Hi Respo For you Click the PLAY button after tune down your PC's volume. Kong This message has been edited by Kong on 2009-07-01 21:41:00

Excellent record!

 By: Marv : July 2nd, 2009-14:32
Kong, my memo sounds exactly like on your record ! Great ressource you have posted here, Thank you

Indeed, a strong character

 By: Marv : July 2nd, 2009-15:07
Thank you for your nice words, respo. I can understand your interest in alarmwatch. It is a larger field than usually expected, - starting from the early pocket watches, - going through the 50s to 70s icons: Vulvain Cricket and JLC Memovox - and being rev... 

"Déjà vu", of course . . .

 By: Dr No : June 30th, 2009-22:36
. . . one of the seminal albums of my generation, too . . . cordially, Art

Your are right!

 By: Marv : July 2nd, 2009-15:15
And I can add that this album also left its mark on the later generation!

Some additional information

 By: Marv : July 2nd, 2009-15:38
I post hereafter the specifications of this mouvement (source: Omega Saga ) - Self-winding (one single barrel for both time and alarm) - 21600 A/h - anti-shock device - quick set date with a discrete correction pusher at 3 o'clock - alarm - 19 jewels - si...  

One of these watches you really have to see in the flesh

 By: amanico : June 30th, 2009-23:04
To fully appreciate it! This was another of these excellent suprises of our GTG, Marv. Mechanically interesting, aesthetically charming, this watch deserved a post like this . I love a lot the idea ( and the fact, here), of the double repere for the Alarm... 

one of the best Memomatics i've ever handled Marv

 By: G99 : July 1st, 2009-12:31
its a bit of a forgotten Omega and great to see one in the flesh after selling mine 2 years ago. i know its been to Bienne for service, but that original dial is in minty condition. i think the name indicates its purpose as they intended it to be a 'memo'... 

Graham, I am pleased to have met such an passionate Omega collector

 By: Marv : July 2nd, 2009-16:07
And I have still in mind the beautifull early Seamaster 300 you brought with you. You are right to precise that this watch was sent to Omega Bienne 3 years ago for an excellent service. And my main recommendation was followed: "please don't touch the dial... 

Thank you Nicolas for...

 By: Marv : July 2nd, 2009-15:54
... having contributed to this post! How ? Because of this new strap , that enabled me to re-discover this watch. Hope to see you soon for other surprises!

LOL, Marv

 By: amanico : July 2nd, 2009-22:42
But it was a common discover, as you were with me when we ordered these straps. I put exactly the same one on my Tribute to Polaris 68! See you soon! As for surprises, I think I know what you're talking about... Best, Nicolas

MARVellous is pretty accurate to the minute...

 By: Kong : July 1st, 2009-21:35
Pretty good for a 40-year work. Thanks for the pics and writeup, MARV. I've to change my straps too, yours now looks good. Kong

Yours is also very nice...

 By: Marv : July 2nd, 2009-16:43
...with its twotone rally strap. When I decided to change the strap, I looked for ideas, saw your combo and found it very attractive. All the best, Kong!

Great review Christophe

 By: DrStrong : July 3rd, 2009-10:26
and great undervalued watch, of course. Cheers Jeff

beautiful watch

 By: Blaise : July 4th, 2009-14:30
that was a very interesting post in deed. I just acquired my memomatic not to long ago and a good friend draw my attention to this post. Here's a quick and dirty pic of mine...not in such a great condition but still......  

Very nice!

 By: Zoodles95 : June 1st, 2010-17:58
Thanks for sharing that... It reminds me of my Seiko Bell-Matic except for the fact that the Seiko has an auto movement but the alarm is wound by the crown. I also don't think that the Seiko can be set for such a precise alarm time. Thanks for sharing.

Make & Model of Watch Strap

 By: WatchStrap : July 26th, 2011-01:26
Hi Marv, Please could you tell me which make/model of watch strap you've used? Looks great, but much harder to identify than the album cover! Many thanks!

I nearly bought one of these recently

 By: aroma : July 26th, 2011-03:36
but I exercised restraint, which is difficult for me but yours is a lovely example - enjoy