Project Description

Omega Stingray Cobra 1972 Ref.166.121 £SOLD

The 1970’s. Funk. Moving on from the psychedelic 60’s. In the watch world, it was time for some new shapes, away from boring round cases.
So here we have an Omega Stingray Cobra from 1972 Ref.166.121. The elliptical case envelops your wrist just like a stingray or cobra snake. That and a beautiful sunburst grey recessed dial with a darker grey inner bezel makes this, in our eyes, a vintage watch for modern times. Just look at the curve on either side of the case….

Gerald Genta’s Patek Nautilus and AP Royal Oak both came later with their distinctive case shapes. And no we aren’t asking Patek or AP money for this piece of 70’s history!

We purchased the Stingray from a dealer in Europe. It is not ‘NOS’, but it is very close. In beautiful condition for a watch approaching fifty years old.

The case, with the original finish radial or sunburst brushing to the top, and mirror finish to the sides is in remarkable condition. The brushing on the left side of the watch is more “polished”, but this is where a sleeve has rubbed against it over many years. We can’t say for sure, but we suspect it might have had a light polish in its lifetime too.

Like the stainless steel case, the original Omega crystal (with the Ω in the centre) is in perfect shape with nice crisp edges and the correct profile.

And this brings us onto the heart of the watch; its dial. The grey sunburst dial has a silver and black chapter ring that features recessed indices with black highlights and within these are tiny dots of lume.  These have turned a lovely cream colour with age.  This three-dimensional dial creates wonderful depth to the watch, giving it an almost Space-Age look.

The polished hands retain their sliver of lume, but like the dots of lume to the face, these have given up their light.  They are a little pitted when viewed under a 10x Loop but they are so fine, this isn’t noticeable when wearing on the wrist.

The case back is beautiful too, retaining it’s brushing and sharp edged recesses.  There is just one light scratch to back of the watches case.

The Stingray Cobra featured two Omegas movements, the caliber 1480 and the 1481. Our’s has the 1481 which according to Omegas records was only used within this watch for one year – 1972. It’s special feature is the date change function that is operated by pushing the crown in towards the case. Omega developed this movement in conjunction with Tissot who used it in some SeaStar models. This movement beats at 21,600 vph and is running very well.

The original Omega 1170 metal Bracelet and Original Clasp have light scratches and desk dive marks, but the links show almost no “flex” or “slop” which would suggest considerate wearing of the watch, by its previous owner.

Comfortable, ergonomic, distinctive, unusual and in amazing condition. If you want early 1970’s style from one of the world’s greatest watch companies, you have found it with this beauty.


  • Name: Omega Stingray

    Model: Stingray or Cobra

    Reference: 166.121

    Year: 1972

    Case Material:  Stainless steel

    Case Width:  without Ω crown: 43 mm

    Case length, Lug to Lug: 41 mm

    Case height: 12 mm

    Lug width: 20 mm

    Approx Weight:  107 grams

    Crystal:  Plexiglas is in mint condition and has the Ω in the centre

    Dial: Two tone grey dial and silver hour markings. The dial is signed with Ω Omega automatic Genève and Swiss Made. Date display at 3 o’clock

    Hands:  Steel with inset Lume

    Crown:  Signed original Ω crown

    Movement:  Automatic 1481, 46h Power Reserve, 21 Jewels, 21600 A/h

    Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds and Date

    Case Back: Steel, still has original brushing

    Strap:  Original Omega 1170 Stainless Steel Bracelet

    Buckle: Original Omega Clasp

    Strap length: Retains all links

    Water Resistance: We do not guarantee any watch to be waterproof, unless stated

    Comes with a Chrono Duo Presentation box