October Market Report Speedmasters over $10,000

Keeping track of prices used to be a matter of following Ebay and some of the watch fora. Now Speedmasters are retreating into the hands of dealers and collectors. The committed hunter will still find some private watches, (my favorite), but gone are the days of several every week on Ebay.

105.012 from the sock in the bathroom
This is a recently acquired 105.012 from the niece of the original owner. It was found after his house had remained empty for over a year, in a sock. I don’t think it has ever been opened. I paid more for it than any other 105.012 I have ever bought – because I value the originality and the history.

My price chart, which was always my private ideas that I used to help me value watches for my own acquisition, is now reliant on people sharing watch purchases with me privately, for which I am grateful to you all.

Ebay used to be my favorite source – so here is a little review of recent sales.

2998-61 – $22,500

This watch was offered by a Peruvian seller. Peruvian seller has become a synonym for “scammer” which may well influence the genuine sellers. It looks tired and original, and the seller faffs on about an undocumented FAP connection. Still, all in all if it arrives, its not bad.

There were 14 bidders, and 5 bid over $15,000.

2998-61
Apparently correct 2998-61, Ebay, Sept 26 2016

 

2998-3 Sold on an offer less than $22,500, and more than $16,000

This watch was double posted and it is only a rough guess that it was sold at all. Nice handset, good bezel, my guess is it sold around the $20k mark. Again an overseas seller but one with over 5000 feedback.

2998-from-jordan
2998-3 from Jordan, Ebay 3 October 2016

 

2998-62 $16,250(?)

Hard to know if this one sold. Another good handset and fairly good bezel. Correct.

2998-california
2998-62 Sold on Ebay 29 August 2016

 

105.002-62 $15,100

16 bidders, 6 over $10,000.  Very interesting to see this, as so few trade. A very rare reference and this one looks ok, from the same Jordanian seller as the 2998.

Baton hands and 1983xxxx serial. I cannot be sure if the Alpha hands/Baton hands followed early/late serials but this is an early serial with batons – so against perceived wisdom that the early serials carried Alphas. Lovely bezel, and fair dial although to me the plots are unattractive.

105002
105.002-62 sold Ebay 23 September 2016

 

105.003-65 Sold for $11,988

12 bidders with 6 over $8000.

I have no doubt this is an assembled watch, prepared by a dealer.

105003-tired-dial

Look at the dial step. There is a polished line, with bare metal showing. This is commensurate with a dial kept loose in a drwaer, where it can be abraded as it moves around, Tell me, how can a dial be ground down to the metal, and yet the plots go right over the step undamaged? Because it is a relume.

Look at the inside, the bridges don’t match. The pushers are new, and hands look like new hands with aged insert material. The serial is 2607xxxx and I have not seen a -65 with this serial but I suppose it is possible. Combined with the dial state, the work to the hands and dial, the service pushers, the multi coloured bridges, this watch points to a dodgy dealer assembled watch that I would personally avoid at all costs. Horrible thing.

145.012-67 $11,100 (Not proven as relisted for $12,500)

I like this watch a lot. Plenty of provenance and history, backed up with papers and additional information. I am sorry not to have bought this.

145012-tropic
145.012 sold Ebay 1 October 2016

Interestingly this was sold by the same seller as the awful 105.003. Neither watch has appeared in the sellers feedback, as yet.

105.003-63 Sold for $10,000

Sold by a pawn broker this was another great watch. It has problems which will vanish on service. A rare -63 with the no T dial this was rightly fought over. I wish I had bought this. Its hard to tell from the listing if this was actually sold through ebay.

105003-63
105.003-63 Sold Ebay 15 September 2016

 

105.003-63 $11,700

Another rare -63 but also another dodgy listing where the watch is shown as sold and relisted. This seller likes to heavily edit his photos. This example caries the T marked dial. Its in fair condition and I think the sale price was right on the value.

10500365-another
105.003-63 Sold Ebay 2 October 2016

 

An Unusual Bezel

Bezels often fade, or degrade. Some bezels go grey, and some are dipped in bleach to achieve a “Ghost” effect. I have seen blues, on older Speedmasters, and saw a green one last year.

Rolex bezels have been seen in faded brown, but so far I have not seen a brown bezel on a Speedmaster until now:

pa240004-006

 

This is a later 145.022-69, and so the bezel has the correct, DN90 dropped serif layout.

I just dont know if this face is man induced or through natural aging.

Phillips Auction – Where are all the Speedmasters ?

Phillips have an auction in Geneve:

12 November 6pm CET (lots 1-100)
13 November 6pm CET (lots 101-196)
Hôtel La Réserve, 301 Route de Lausanne, Geneva

Click here for the filtered Omega search.

I have put my initial thoughts down – I am not very exited by anything here, so my comments might come across a little bilious – there is a lot of over description in the catalog, and that irritates me.

I feel this is a pretty poor selection compared to what Phillips have found in the past. Several are watches from the MWO book, which might drive the prices up a bit.

I would also love to know how all these auctions get Omega Extracts for serial ranges I cannot.

Lot 31

1-phillips-lot31
Omega Ref. ST 145.0022 caseback further stamped 345.0022 A limited edition stainless steel chronograph wristwatch made to commemorate the Apollo XI mission Estimate CHF6,000 – 9,000
Made in 1998, this watch typifies Omega’s prolific limited editions that has until now put off many of my collector friends in Asia – who are bamboozled by the sheer numbers of special editions. At the estimate this is ok, but it will probably go more.
Sold for CHF9,375 (about $9500) A truly baffling price for a modern limited edition.

Lot 32

1-phillips-lot-32
Omega Ref. 105.012-66 A rare and very attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with telemeter scale and bracelet Estimate CHF8,000 – 12,000
With its Telemtre bezel, this is quite expensive on the estimate, and is really riding on the fact it as pictured in the MoonWatchOnly book. Its not one I would rush to, as there is no DO90 bezel.
Sold for CHF10,000 (about $  10,115). Without a DO90 bezel, it is a little expensive, although I understand why it sold  – it is an attractive package for a newer buyer.

Lot 33

1-phillips-lot-33
Omega Ref. 105.003-63 A very attractive and historically important stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with tachymeter scale, bracelet, box, papers and hang tag Estimate CHF20,000 – 30,000
A nice full set – although one always wonders, when a watch is in this used and polished condition, how many of those accessories were the actual ones with the watch from new.
Another MWO watch, this is being touted as historically significant (why? I cannot see it), and has another of those extracts that often eludes mere mortals like me. The watch looks tired, and while it has all its accessories, I don’t think this justifies the price for condition. I have no doubt it will find a home, as frankly there is nothing much good in this sale.
sold for CHF25,000 (about $25,300). A rare watch with all the papers – clearly bodes the way the market is going.

Lot 34

1-phillips-lot-34
34 Omega Ref. 145.022-69 An extremely rare and unusual stainless steel prototype chronograph wristwatch with white dial and tachometer bezel, accompanied by red thermo-protective case, made for NASA Estimate CHF100,000 – 200,000

Definitely a rare  item.

Not sure if I would want it, because the Speedmaster Alaska prototypes were an Omega initiated project, not one asked for by NASA, So they were created to solve a problem that wasn’t there, and I  have a difficulty being part of what is essentially a self pleasing project by a brand. NASA was already happy with the Speedmaster, was never interested in this, and didn’t want it when shown it.

I do see it is an interesting project, but it was never to my knowledge of any use whatsoever.  Certainly not $200,000 worth.

Sold for CHF156,250 (About $158,000). Well it sold, and quite low really. Although I am not best qualified to understand the value of something like this.

 

A Review of a 145.022-71 for sale on OF

I am always scanning the www.omegaforums.net sales forum, as the people there tend to be honest and sensible. Recently very few speedmasters have come up, and if they have, then I havent been moved to think about them. This one caught my eye:

https://omegaforums.net/threads/speedmaster-145-022-71-1039-516.46533/

First I have to say I have no connection to seller. I am reviewing this as it is interesting to go through a watch as an exercise in assessment. ( I do this for fun remember.)

145.022-71 for sale on OF
145.022-71 for sale on OF

First we do the basic checks:

  • Case ref 145.022-71 and serial 3.2m fit.
  • Dial is stepped, TST, painted logo
  • Bezel is a DN90 with the dropped serif.
  • Hands appear to be tritium.
  • Case is correct with stamped medallion,
  • pushers look original, crown looks original too.

Now we must move on to aesthetics.

Overall impression is good. Its a -71 so the last of the stepped dials and therefore the most affordable of these. It is also the reference most likely to have been neglected, carelessly serviced or generally abused. (This one has escaped those fates). The tritium on this one is greenish, and I have seen this from this era. It is a characteristic some find charming. The dial is in excellent condition, and in this photo if you look at the step there is a little discoloration, or patina which I find attractive and only found in vintage dials. It is very mild and probably hardly visible in the metal, photographs often show these things much more than in hand.

The handset looks tritium, and also in excellent condition. There is no chipping or damage.

The bezel is a very good example of a DN90 dropped serif. These bezels are going to start getting valuable and its nice to see a good one.

The case is showing marks commensurate to age, but no serious polishing if any. It has an indentation on the non crown side that is a little off putting – but I did not immediately see it.

On inspection of the back, the gasket has deteriorated and left gunk all around the lip of the case back. This would indicate to me a service would be a good idea, and replacing the case back gasket. The new owner might decide as part of the service to change the pushers crown and crystal so as to have a waterproof watch. The originals can be retained with the paperwork for prosperity, but I think it will be a while until people will want to change back these items for original on a -71. (But you ever know).

In summary, this watch is a well presented example of a watch held by a collector that has not been over prepared, or dealer prepped to sell for profit. It is an honest watch with the correct parts. I think it needs a service to ensure longevity. I don’t usually like greenish lumes but this whole watch has an attraction.

The minus points are the degraded gasket in the case, and the very slight case wear. These are not big deals. After all this could be a perfect wearing watch after an Omega Spec service.

So how to value? The chart says 3400/4800 (Good/Collector). This watch is asking $4200 with a bracelet.

It seems fair to me, which is another reason I enjoyed writing about it.

NOTE: I am not connected with the seller, I do not recommend you buy, or do not buy this watch – that is up to you. Setting a fair price is between you and the seller.