CASE DIAMETER: 39mm
CASE MATERIAL: STAINLESS STEEL
BRACELET MATERIAL: STAINLESS STEEL
MOVEMENT: MANUAL WIND
The one thing at Fathom we pride ourselves on is finding good stories about people of character and their treasured watches. We have spent hours researching the original owner of this watch, with help from genealogists and military historians we finally have a pieced together this watches life and the original owners past. Some excerpts are taken from Neville Bougourd, Polish Military Historian.
Kazimierz Targ was 20 when the war broke out in 1939, after completing his National Service on 1940, he joined the Polish Air Force and was stationed near one of Polands largest cities. After Russia attacked them for 17 solid days, the Polish forces were ordered to cross into neutral Romania. Initially the troops were disarmed and interned to prison camps. The Poles had prepared in advance and their embassy in Bucharest was equipped to give them fake IDs, money and travel documents and the Romanians turned a blind eye to the mass escapes. Kazimierz made his way across Yugoslavia, Northern Italy and eventually to Polish air base at Lyon-Bron near Marseille. Once in the UK he would have taken the train to Blackpool where the Polish Depot was situated.
After Kazimierz completed his basic training (Polish and French aircraft were very different from British and American aircraft) and learned English to an adequate standard, he went to 18 (Polish) Operational Training Unit at RAF Bramcote near Nuneaton in Warwickshire to learn British tactics and to form into a crew since he had been selected for Bomber Command. After his training was complete he was posted to either 300 Squadron or 305 Squadron (he served with both at one time or another). He served as a Flight Engineer and his duties would be diverse. He performed running repairs whilst the aircraft was in flight, assist the pilots by maintaining hydraulic pressures and fuel flow and he would certainly have some flying ability, incase the pilots were injured. He would also have acted as a bomb aimer. There is no doubt that he was in the thick of the bombing sorties over Germany, France and Continental Europe.
When the war ended and the squadrons disbanded, now Flight Sergeant Targ re enlisted for the maximum of two years with the Polish Resettlement Corps. This guaranteed him a wage and a place to live as well as assistance to find training and a permanent job in civilian life. For the first few years he would have become a Registered Alien and would have to regularly report to the Police and would have to seek permission before changing jobs or his address. This also applied to his British born wife Ivy.
During his time with the re settlement corps, he decided to retrain as a watchmaker, after dealing with the instrumentation, clocks and gauges on the planes, he wanted to continue that line of work but in a now every growing industry after the war. His love for Omega started in WW2, some of his colleagues wore the Omega 6b/159 which were issued to Navigators and Pilots.
He moved to North Yorkshire, just outside Ripon where he worked as a watchmaker until his death in 1982. He owned two Omegas, a 2915-3 and this wonderful 2998-4.
He was proud of his service in the RAF and adored his watch. He inscribed the case on the left side with his RAF service number, his name and the dates he served in WW2. On the correct double stepped caseback, he's put the 300PS for the 300 Polish Squardon, his service number and the words Ripon N Yorks. Finally on the inside of the clasp, his address at the time, 237 Sutton Rd Thirsk. He was paranoid about losing his watch so made every effort to ensure that if he did, it would find its way back to him
The watch was 'improved' as his wife Ivy said many years ago by him. He himself changed the crown to make it easier to operate wearing gloves, he dipped the tip of the spear chronograph hand in red paint to increase legibility, and he paint matched the hands to the white chronograph hand for the same reason. The serial of 1776 is right on the cusp of the change over from the 2998-3 to 2998-4. The hour hand and chronograph hand is seen on a 2998-3, this is the third 2998-4 we have seen with a serial on the transition with some parts usually seen on the 2998-3.
The radium markers on the dial and the radium lume in the hands has turned a wonderful pumpkin colour. The original 1/61 stamped 7912/6 bracelet is in superb condition as is the DON bezel. It also has the correct 4x3mm pushers. The watch runs extremely well, the amplitude is sky high and its within six seconds on the timing machine.
We have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the man behind this stunning and characterful watch, we hope the next owner will enjoy it as much as he did.