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This 2998 carries a very rare Chronograph hand with a large disc at the end, know as the lolipop.
Watches carrying these hands have asking prices up to $6000 more than similar watches with the straight chrono.
Recently a set of 2998 hands including a lolipop was offered at nearly Euros 6000.
I am trying to photograph the three examples of an asymmetric speedmaster together and here is what I have so far. Placed side by side it might not be immediately apparant to a novice that the value of the watch on left is twice that of the one on the right.
I came across this, and it caught my eye. I wont know until the end of this piece if I like it, you are literally coming on the journey with me, as I assess it.
The eBay lot is here.
So my initial feelings are, over touched photo, but potentially interesting. Dial and handset not the most attractive, but they seem to have a nice aging, although the plots are missing the lume. The hour recorder shows chrono creep so it will need to go straight to service, if bought.
It is hard to really get a feel when a photo has been this edited. So lets look deeper. I am liking it less and less…
As I always say, check the case reference, then the movement calibre, and then the serial – and see if they all could have left the factory together. First then the movement, because that’s what I looked at next.
Movement. Note the number. It is not correct for a 145.012
Oh dear, we are in trouble now. 2052xxxx is way to early for a 145.012, so better check inside the case back….
Note the reference is a “Double 00” reference, which indicates a factory supplied service part.
So this is a franken-watch ! Certainly the movement is from around 1962, long before the 145.012 was ever made.
I wonder if the whole case is a service case, although I think not as it shows too much wear:
The seller needs a little investigation now. No one gets one of these by accident.
The description suggests he is a non English speaker. Not being racist, but several of these assembled watches come in from middle Europe, so it might be a factory sending into UK to a “friend” to disguise the origin. Here I am just thinking aloud, my anti-scam radar on full alert.
Now I dig into his ID history and found he changed it in 2003 from a strange name, “buddhikaweerasena” which does not sound Eastern or Middle Europe. More like 419 territory to me.
Then checking further, I look into the sellers history, (as we always should) and I see he sells a lot of watches. So he is a dealer, (certainly he passes the IRS’s definition of over 20 trades). As a dealer I think he should be ashamed of himself to offer this watch up as though it is an original piece.
Pieces like this have a place, but must be sold under full disclosure. A fine 145.012 might be worth this much, but this is a dubious condition, assembled non original watch. I think it cannot be worth more than $2200-3000 as parts.
But that’s just me – I expect too much from people I realize.
Anyway – DON’T BUY THIS WATCH !
Its a monster.
Lot 396 Antiquorum 2998-4 sold for $9,400 reviewed here
Lot 217 Phillips 2998-5 Sold for $26,800 reviewed here
Lot 60 Christies 105.003-65 Sold for $9500 Reviewed here
Lot 61 Christies 105.002 Sold for $12,200 Reviewed here
Lot 215 Christies 2998-2 Sold for $29,900 reviewed here
Lot 216 Christies 2998-2 Sold for $12,900 reviewed here
Prompted by the recent sale of this 145.012 I thought I would have a hard look at what has been selling recently, to make sure the price chart its accurate. I must confess that this is my least favorite reference, as it offers little in the way of evolution or historical interest – each of the previous references were either used first in space, or were the first to carry improvements – particularly the 105.012. In other words, if I wanted an asymmetrical cased 321, then I would want a 105.012.
Here are some examples sold off ebay in recent months, that illustrate to me the price for a running 145.012 has moved to a solid $3300+. All the following watches have something wanting, but had very strong bidding. It is clear that good photos encourage higher prices – some of the photos obviously better than others.
At the end are two Buy It Now examples. (BIN). Unfortunately Ebay has removed the ability for the end price to be found, (Used to get it from the “print” option) so we do not know what they sod for.
All photos are from the ebay listings.
With Pulsations Bezel:
The watch above is a very nice condition watch – but what makes it very interesting is the original pulsations bezel. Note the line between the markers and the numbers, that is missing in modern versions of this bezel. This watch carries incorrect hour/minute hand, as well as a new drop chrono hand. The photos appear edited for contrast and this makes it harder to judge the condition. For all that the dial and case look good. The seller is British and feedback under 70 but all good, and specializing in watches. The high price for this watch might be explained by the rare bezel, the good dial, and the excellent photos.
Poor Dial from Mexico:
This watch has something funny going on with the dial, missing lume on the hands, and a poor condition bezel. I would have not wanted it. The dial is the heart of the value, and this one is simply awful. The seller is a solid watch seller from Mexico with a strong history. Many of his watches have had a hard life and this is an example of one such.
From a Canadian Picker:
This watch sold in Canada, which often causes a slightly higher price as locals feel ready to pay higher because of import charges. The seller appears to be a picker, or estate trader, for whom a watch is just another item. This watch also has some new hands. In general I find this an abused watch, one that will need some careful restoration – and removal of that modern bracelet. It will however be an excellent project, needing just a few things to be a nice watch. Once again I think the photos do not help.
This watch was sold by an enthusiast in USA. It has the wrong hands, (originals were supplied) and came with a bracelet. Again the photos don’t help. The bezel and case are fair, the dial hard to judge, but it looks as though the lume has gone, leaving the white paint on the plots. I am not sure this will ever be a nice watch – just an average. The white plots will always bother me.
BIN from USA:
Ironically the USA seller apologized for the photos, saying he didn’t have a very good camera. Frankly I preferred these photos over every other example I have listed. This is also, (bezel excepted) the best looking watch for me. The lume is present, the hands original, and the case in good condition. It is impossible to tell what it sold for since ebay removed that option. The bezel is new, but that is easily replaced. If expensive.
BIN from Argentina:
From an Argentinian seller, this watch is not as nice as the previous BIN example, and yet posted for similar money. The bezel is again new, but the case, like many south American watches, is heavily used and dinged. The dial is dirty and the hands look a mismatch from three different watches. It does not attract me.
Here is the page for the 145.012
Phillips are selling a lot of watches only two of which are speedmasters, and at first glance have relatively reasonable estimates. Reasonable for Geneva auctions! The sheer number of “rare” rolexes does make you wonder.
On the the Speedmaster. I will look first at the 2998, the other is a 1969 Gold commemorative, that is a bit outside my scope. I may get to it, but I cant add too much.
The first is my favorite reference a 2998. You can look at the watch on Phillips’ site here
According to the catalog this watch carries a movement serial number 17301309. My observations put this number in an earlier case, in fact a 2998-1. I would expect to see an 18m serial in a 2998-5. HOWEVER ! I am just an amatuer observing the watches as they appear and reading all the information I can. I cannot be certain this is incorrect. All I can say is that it will not be me going all out to buy it because I do not think it is correct. The listing says it has an Omega extract which will be very interesting to see – if it is recent, then I must reexamine all my ideas regarding serials for 2998’s. If it is old, its not worth the paper its printed on.
Estimate is $7200 – $12,000 plus commission.
The dial looks ok, and the case does too. The bezel is correct and in fair condition. If it were not for the movement discrepancy I would recommend this watch.
A minor issue is that the hand layout does not fit the received wisdom for a 2998-5. Here is what I would expect, stick hands on the subdials:
Once again, when I see something a little off in a watch, I start to be suspicious. In the case of the Phillips 2998-5, the movement does not match the case reference, and the hands are slightly incorrect for the reference. SO is it original? I dont think so. But I may be proved wrong if Phillips produce a recent Omega extract.
After some reserch, and trying to find one for a friend, I am going to modify the transitional price in the chart. I think there is a strong body of people prepared to pay a premium over the 145.022-69 that justifies these price changes, although the volume of transactions is so small due to the rarity it is hard to say if a price is correct or not. Pretty much everyone I speak to is ready to pay over $4000 for a correctly fitted transitional.
See more on Transitionals here.