Bonhams 13th September 2016

Bonhams is holding a watch sale on 13th September in London. The details are here.

There is only one Speedmaster, which surprises me as they had several in the last sale and one of the staff told me they had more to sell but did not want to flood the sale…but clearly they are not in this sale.

Lot 126


Estimate £1500-2000

bonhams 3 sept 145012

Not one of Bonhams best photographs, but what we can see is that the bezel is a late service bezel, and the bracelet is 1171/1 indicating that this watch has had attention. The sharp eyed will note this is a -68 and this is a rare bird – not worth especially more than the -67 but as there are much fewer of them, if there are some compleatists about then that might push the price, which at this estimate is low.

There is a second photo which is hardly more useful.

bonhams 3 sept 145012 hi res

What you can see when you zoom in on the Bonhams site is that the crystal is heavily marked. I do wonder what this watch has been through prior to sale. One theory is that a dealer found a beaten up watch, changed the bezel and added the bracelet, then shoved it into Bonhams with a low estimate, and is rolling the dice.

The photos are terrible, and do not capture the essence of the watch, although I don’t think that is a nice dial, as it looks like it is missing all the lume. I cannot tell what the handset is.

Even after all this, my guess is that this will exceed the estimate.

Lot 133


Estimate £1800-2200

133 bonhams
Ref 2451/7 Cal 321

Here is an interesting watch, for speedmaster collectors. This reference carries a calibre 321, and is the same number range as a 2915. Although produced in 1956.

It is from watches like this, that an unscrupulous person might assemble a deceitful 2915.

As it is I like this watch – it is after all a close cousin to that very first speedmaster.

August Price Chart

August is an awkward time to be updating the chart, as the sales are thin, and during this time of year opinions without substance can gain traction as everyone is off doing something relaxing.

Every September for the last few years the stock market and gold have shifted, often against “August Opinions” and so I make the changes to the chart with the reminder that I try to reflect known transactions. September may bring changes.

105.003’s have become hot. Several sold at auction for $13,000+.

105.012’s are quick to sell when attractive, and slow to sell when not.

Several put together or unattractive watches have languished, and some correct but poor quality watches have also failed to sell.

As ever, top quality gets more expensive. I know of a fine 105.003 selling for $18,000, and several 145.022-69’s selling above the chart, even with a DN90.

2998’s have reached very high levels, and so now we must look for Rolex-Level deceptions in the areas of counterfeit parts, or aged dials and hands. As yet I do not know of any fake black bezels.

Remember too, that the very expensive watches have to be appealing. When we get over $10,000, and especially over $25,000, the watch must have that certain special appeal that cannot be quantified or certified. It must have an appeal, and special attraction, and if you cannot see it, then it is unlikely that the “rich person” that we all think will pay a lot of money for a watch will see it either.

2998-62. Rare Lollipop. Alpha hands are Omega service items. Dial is scratches and missing lume. It is a very attractive watch that despite its issues would sell well. It also has a fresh service. However it would never fall into the collector range of prices.


What are “Factory” profile lugs, on a Straight Lug?

I for one was very disappointed when I got to hold the Chrosties 2915 from last December that was supposed to have a NOS case, as in fact it was acknowledged to be a lasered, re profiled case.

So what do original lugs look like?

I had a visitor today, and here is a shot. Top is what Omega does to a watch when you send it in. Next is a “market” watch, came from an LA dealer several years ago. At the bottom is an original watch.


I am pretty sure thats much closer to factory than anything else I have seen.


Service Dial 105.003 on Ebay

There is a day left to run as I write and it stands at $4400.

It is being sold as serviced.

We can see immediately it has service hands, dial, bezel and pushers. Albeit this appears to be an older service, when tritium was still issued.

Service dial ebay aug 2016

Item is here

As a 105.003 it should have the long indices dial. Here we can see the AML, the T markings but the hour plots stop short of the minute track, like the later 861 dials.

Always interesting to see, but I doubt it would be a good place to spend a lot. Some service dials can be very nice, though in this one the plots have gone green. Now from a collectors point of view it is interesting because it is a T marked, AML service dial, and these are quite rare. Just not valued.

This one has other problems. The bezel is new, and the pushers dont look right. It is being sold as serviced, but if I bought it I would send it straight off to service by a workshop with access to parts.

The hands are possibly replaced, and because the square ended chrono hand is fitted my theory would be that the watch was serviced, possibly by Omega, at a time when Tritium service dials were avaialable, so perhaps mid 1970’s. (I am guessing).

Case looks a bit shiny too, with some strange engravings on lugs. Unless they turn out to be some famous prevoious owner, it also detracts from the value.

Just to show service dials can be nice, look here.

2998 – No Need For Perfection For Attraction

Here is a nice watch obtained by me a while ago, but just returned from a long trip to service. Long because I dont push, and often have other things that I want first.

This was bought some while ago. It has issues, as well as its charms.

The issues are :

  • Dial has two scratches
  • H/M hands are thin lume
  • sub dial hands are dirty
  • Case is worn and scratched
  • Bezel is untidy, not high value

The charms are:

  • Correctly appointed
  • Original pushers
  • Case in acceptable condition for year and rarity
  • Lollipop hand – wether or not original (I dont know. Recieved wisdom is that they appear on -4’s but I think they can be seen on other 2998’s and even 2915’s)
  • Lovely colour dial and plots, despite the poor body condition.


The dial has two scratches on it – and has clearly seen better days. However it is original, correct, and a nice colour with good looking plots and a full minute track.P8080003

Hands, despite the lollipop, seem ok but not the nice triangle lume, and pretty rough. But correct, and all there.P8080003-001

Above and below, the two scrateches are in focus.P8080004

And who’s gorilla tried to undo it? Exasperating!