There seems to be considerable variations in the actual layout these hands, and it is important to determine which are original. One of the reasons, apart form value preservation, is that having original, old, correct Omega hands adds to the attraction and desirability of the watch, while a watch fitted with service hands, especially the flat ones, will be less and less attractive as the owner becomes more and more aware.
These are my conclusions.
First if I see flat hands, with sharp edges, and sharp lume openings all through (on all four ends) then I treat them as service replacements.
There are new service replacements, “old” service replacements with tritium, and new hands with replaced lume.
These hands I consider modern replacements, with aged lume. Therefore when buying, I reduce the valuation. It is almost impossible to find old replacements, so it does not stop me from buying.
This is another example of what I believe are service hands:
Here is an example of what I think might be early service hands – because of the shape of the hands and the lume openings. I have seen this on numerous watches, but the colour does not strike me as truly vintage – but it is just a feeling. Perhaps these are early service hands from 60’s/70’s? Who knows, all I know is that I do not appreciate the colour.
So are all thin lume hands replacements? I do not think so. Are there any original thin lume hands for 2998’s? I think so. Note on the following examples the lume openings have ends that while are not always curved, they are not the “laser cut” sharp of the modern hands. Note also the minute hands reach the minute track.
Another set of thin lume originals:
So when I look at thin lume hands, I want to see:
- curved metal (not mirror flat)
- Minute hand to the minute track
- Curved or uneven lume opening ends. NOT sharp.
On now to the triangle lume hour hand sets. These are more desired by me, and also have different characteristics, including a shorter minute hand, and lume openings in the minute hands that can be sharp, or at least straight. Often we look immediately at the minute hand length, but I have seen some of these original sets do not have a minute hand that extends all the way to the track – but very close.
There are some service hands with the triangle lume but these hands are flat and super luminova. It would be possible to relume these but the flat would be harder to deal with.
Here are what I think are good sets. Note that some of the minute hands are not as long as the thin lume sets, and that some of the lume openings are squarer. However they are not sharp.
So the triangle lume set seems to date to be much easier to accept as original, as there does not seem to be any reproductions or service items that can come close to looking like them.
So that is why I will always value a watch with correct triangle lume alpha hands over the straight lume.
See more about Minute hands here
See more about Hour hands here