The 168.0055 (watch head), also known as the 368.0850, is one of the less common calibre 1011 integrated bracelet models to be produced in the earlier nineteen-seventies. While they're not rare by anyone's definition, they're also not plentiful, and make an excellent entry-level admission into the world of collecting chronometer grade Omegas.
Powered by the calibre 1011 – see here for a review of this family of movements – the 168.0055 came in a range of dial colours and styles, including maroon and blue. Both plain and ‘knurled’ bezels were available, depending on the metal content of the watch. The model above has a 14k solid gold knurled bezel to match the 14k gold inserts in the bracelet.
The 168.055 case has a more classic design story than the heavier integrated bracelet day-date model 368.0851 and its predecessor, 368.0845. With a case size at a little over 35mm, it is a sibling design to the 168.0061, another less common variation powered by calibre 1011. Dial furniture is consistent with other models of the period, featuring gold hour markers framing quite thick onyx inserts on some models and pointed stick hands. The watch is less ‘dated’ than some styles of the nineteen-seventies, the round knurled bezel adding a dressier feel.
A jewellery version of this case style was released in a limited quantity by Omega in 1980 under the model number 468.0802. Featuring a solid gold dial, the hour markers and bezel were set with a total of 80 diamonds, a fitting accessory for the Gordon Ghekko wannabees of the heady nineteen-eighties.
Values fluctuate with metal content and dial colour, and I have seen them fetch at auction anything from USD 350.00 for a stainless model with plain bezel to much more for the two-tone examples. A good comparative rule of thumb is to align values with what a good 368.0851 would fetch.
If you're looking for a less common and dressier version of the chronometer grade calibre 1011 collection, then this model is well worth your consideration.