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Omega advertisements

I have several copies of Omega advertisements, both from English and Dutch sources. I put them in chronological order, to show the development of the Omega models. Most of them I found somewhere on the internet, so I can not guarantee that the accompanying information (date, from which magazine) is 100% correct.

The oldest advertisement is from 1914, from an unknown English source. Remarkable is that it is speaking about "Omega sidecars & two stroke motor-bicycles", and that the upper image is a sidecar. This gives the impression that sidecars were the main Omega product at that time, and that the motorcycle (offered in single-gear version only, thus without gearbox) was more or less a by-product.
The motorcycle is the Model 1 in the 1914 catalogue.In the catalogue the sidecars are not mentioned.
The prices are misleading, as totally different currencies are used. This gives the impression (at least to me) that the sidecars were more expensive than the motorcycle. But the motorcyle cost 28 guineas, which is the same as £ 29.8.0 (1 guinea was 21 shilling, 1 pound 20 shilling). Thus twice as much as the cheapest sidecar, and 1½ times as much as the most expensive one.

English Omega advertisment 1914

The second advertisement is dated December 16th 1914. It introduces the 1915 model, as mentioned "an entirely new and re-designed machine". The image on the left is probably the front of the 1915 Omega catalogue.

Omega Advertisement Motorcycling 1915

Some differences with the 1914 model are clearly visible:

  • The frame has a different connection of the headstock
  • The handlebars are shorter
  • The engine is different; most clear differences are the magneto, which is not longer placed before but behind the cilinder, and the cilinder which now has the decompression outlet on the front side with a connection to the exhaust
  • The seat is different
  • The luggage rack is longer
The 1915 model strongly resembles the motorcycle that can be found on several old Dutch pictures. The engine is a 2-stroke, but the cilinder differs from that of my Omega, as this engine has the decompression valve on the front. The frame looks roughly the same, but the luggage rack is completely different. The motorcycle was available at choice in single-gear, 2-speed or 3-speed version.

The next ad comes from the English magazine "Motorcycling" from April 6th 1915. Now only motorcyles are mentioned, no sidecars anymore. Remarkable is that the 1915 catalogue does mention sidecars in the Omega program.

Omega Advertisement Motorcycling 1915

The next also comes from the English magazine "Motorcycling" from May 11th 1915. It shows the same motorcycle and roughly the same text.

Omega advertisement Motorcycling 1915

The next is also from the English magazine "Motorcycling", this time from November 30th 1915. We see again the same motorcycle and catalogue front, but now with a different text. Here the motorcycle is also offered with Omega lightweight sidecar.

Omega advertisement Motorcyling 1915

The bottom text already mentions that a 4-stroke Omega with JAP engine will be available in the beginning of the next year. Unfortunately I don't have any catalogue info available about Omega in the years of the First World War. On Grace's Guide I found info from the "1913-1917 Motor, Marine and Aircraft Red Book" that gives an overview of selling prices. Here this books info about Omega:

Omega pricelist 1914-1917

The topline regards the model with the Omega 2-stroke (TS) engine with 2 speed gearbox (2 Sp) and chain-cum-belt (CcB) drive. Remarkable is that the listed price for 1915 is almost 5% higher than in the advertisement.
The second line regards the newer model with 4-stroke JAP engine, so it seems that the 4-stroke model was indeed available in 1916.

The oldest Dutch advertisement for Omega motorcycles that I have (with special thanks to H. v. Dissel / Stichting Historische Motor Documentatie) is not dated. Most probably it originates from 1915, because it only mentions the 2-stroke model. The depicted motorcycle looks to be the 1915 model, the same as in the English ads above:

Dutch Omega advertisement  ±1915

Dutch Omega advertisement  ±1915
Detail with the Omega motorcycle

The second Dutch advertisement is from the magazine "Motorkampioen" from June 2nd 1916. It only mentions the name Omega, without any image (the depicted motorcycle is a Premier). Now 2 models are offered, the 2-stroke and the new JAP 4-stroke.

Dutch Omega advertisement 1916

The next advertisement is again English. It comes from an unknown source, but it must be from October or November 1919, as it announces the presence of Omega at the Olympia Motor Show which was held end of November that year. The year can be derived from the remark "such a machine you will want in 1920". This was the first motor show after the First World War, and was a big success.
The motorcycle shown has the 293cc JAP 4-stroke engine. This is most probably the 1920 "Model C". The same motorcycle was also available as the Model A "Tourist" with touring handlebars and footboards, and the Model B "Sports" with "TT handlebars" and foot pegs. Unfortunately I don't have a 1920 catalogue with overview of all models.
This is the oldest advertisement that I know with the modernised Omega logo:

English Omega advertisement 1919

I also have 2 advertisements that are both said to come from the English magazine "The Motor Cycle" from December 11th 1919. The first shows the same motorcycle as the advertisement above (look at the license plate with number HPA1), and indeed says that it is the model C. Looking at the price this is the top model from that years range. The 2 other models also had a 2-speed gear box, but probably without clutch and kickstarter. Remarkable is that the price of the model C is already 2 pounds higher than in the former ad.

English Omega advertisement 1919

The other one from that magazine shows a drawing of the right side of the same motorcycle:

English Omega advertisement 1919

The next advertisement comes from the English magazine "The Motor Cycle" of September 24th 1920. It shows the same motor as the advertisement from 1919, but the price of all 3 models has increased with not less than 9 guineas, almost 15%.

English Omega advertisement - 1920

Now again a Dutch advertisement, placed in the weekly magazine "Motor" from April 8th 1921. Again both a 2-stroke and 4-stroke model were offered. The image of the motorcycle is again the same as the Model C in the 1920 ads (also with the same license plate), but in 1921 it was called Model 3.

Dutch Omega advertisment - 1921

Also from 1921, but from unknown date, is the following ad from the magazine "The Cycle Industry". It shows the Omegette with Villiers engine, that has been in the program in 1921 only.

Omega advertisment - 1921

Here the motorcycle in more detail:

Omegette with Villiers engine - 1921

The following does not seem to be a normal advertisement, it looks more like a page from some catalogue. Remarkable is that all text is in 3 languages: English, French and Spanish. 3 different motorcycles are offered:
- with the Omega 348cc 2-stroke engine, available in 4 versions, including sidecar combination
- with the 293cc 4-stroke JAP engine
- the Omega Junior with an Omega 170cc 2-stroke engine
As the Omega Junior was introduced in 1923, this overview must be from that year. In the 1923 catalogue all 6 available models are listed, including the 2-stroke with Duplex frame that was introduced in 1922.
The 2-stroke engine in this overview was introduced in 1922, and is the same type as in my own Omega motorcycle.

English Omega advertisement - 1923

The next advertisement is again from "The Motor Cycle", this time from August 23rd 1923. It shows the Omega Junior, the 170cc lighweight motorcycle. The accompanying text describes the good quality of the Omega products.

English Omega advertisement - 1923

I don't know the exact date of the next Dutch ad, but the advertisement was probably placed in the "Graafschapbode" in the period 1923-1925. This is a local newspaper from the eastern region of the Netherlands. The ad has been placed by a local Omega dealer in Doetinchem. Note the text error in the name of the city: Doetiuchem instead of Doetinchem.
The motorcycle is again the 293cc JAP 4-stroke, and it is exactly the same image as used in 1920/21. The gearbox strongly resembles that of my Omega, only the shift lever is placed in the front right side of the tank. Looking at the place of the lever on the box itself, this appears to be a more logical place than on the saddle tube.

Dutch Omega advertisement 1921

The next advertisement from June 25th 1924 from the English magazine "Motor Cycling" shows a sidecar combination based on the 350cc 2-stroke engine, the same as in my Omega. This motorcycle also has the same front forks (webb-type with tension springs) as my Omega. This type was introduced in 1923.

English Omega advertisment - 1924

The following advertisement should come from "The Motor Cycle" from June 31st 1924. Remarkably it uses a rather old-fashioned Omega logo with sloping letters. However, as it recommends the Omega 1.7 or the Junior, it must indeed be from 1923 or later.

English Omega advertisment - 1924

The next advertisement is from March 6th 1925, from an unknown magazine. Here we see the new frame design, where the bend in the upper tube is much closer to the headstock and the tank higher. This was probably introduced in 1924.
This motorcycle has the diamond-shaped cast aluminum exhaust silencer that has probably used from 1925 onwards. The front forks are still the proprietary Omega webb-type with tension springs.

English Omega advertisment - 1925

And last but not least an ad from Motor Cycling, dated March 11th 1925. The same motorcycle as above, with the new frame and aluminum silencer.

Omega advertisment from Motor Cycling - 1925

 

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