As anyone who knows me knows, I am not the biggest fan of this reference. To be more accurate, I am not impressed with the way values were hyped and promoted by a small minority of owners, who then sold them for huge sums after viciously defending their position in public fora.
That said, I do like the watch. I simply do not understand anyone paying the $70,000 being asked here.
The listing is very well presented and the photos are good. We can really see the rather poor plots, but we can also see that this Ultraman has a long hand, of the correct reddish orange colour.
We can see the hand is long enough. The case sides seem polished, as those are not the original profiles, and the watch is quite shiny. That does not fit with the state of the movement and dial. Lets see that movement:
Those darker bridges do not fit the condition of the case, (supporting the idea it has been re finished) but they do go with the rather tired looking dial plots. That is not what I think of as a nice clean movement. However when looking for an ultraman, beggars cannot be choosers and you have to take what you can get.
The museum liked it:
In my opinion the owner is flying a kite. I have seen several UM’s sell for much less, and some have been better and at least one had original papers.
Bear in mind this is a 145.012. These sell for between $8,000 to 15,000 and this one recently sold for just under $10,000.
So my question is, can the addition of an Orange hand really be worth $60,000?
At first sight, this might seem a lot of money for a non running and incomplete watch. It has numerous other issues too. Here are the immediately obvious ones:
Missing pusher Cap
Lume plots patchy, and what remains is dirty
Badly marked Crystal
I think a dealer will rightly look at this watch and think, well I can put a new set of old hands on ($500) find a NVG bezel (Not Very Good), and service it ($500 – should be more but that is what dealers like to pay) and literally most of the issues will be resolved. It will come back shiny, complete and running. there is this bezel on ebay which is currently $86 with less than two days to run :
Back to our Dealers Ebay Special. We have not actually finished with the issues. Look at the case back:
Notice the junction between the middle and the bevel, it is very soft, and indicates some polishing, or at least heavy wear – but that is not reflected in the Hippocampus. I think the case is free from corrosion and that what we see is just dirt. But there is more to come, look at the movement
Look at the screws, every one is damaged. This is an easy fix, if you have access to all the parts, like Swiss Time Services does, and as this was a UK watch perhaps that is what is going to happen.
Assuming of course that the gorillas whose serviced this only damaged the screw heads….
The dust cover is correct. Which is becoming an important thing.
What the buyer will end up with, if all goes as best it can be, is a serviced watch that has a sad dial, with non original hands. So the other option is to use these hands, strip repaint and re lume them and also re lume the dial.
I have for some time felt the 145012 is undervalued. Does this sale reflect that? Because when this is all fixed up, the buyer will be into this for at least another $1200 and probably more. Here is the difficulty in trying to add old parts to an old watch. You have to get the commensurate amount of wear on the part (in this case the bezel) and the rest of the watch. Putting a $5,000 bezel on this watch, with its terrible lume and worn back is never going to look right.
Then again, if the watch is re lumed on the plots and hands, we are getting into the too-good-to-be-true territory. You need a very, very skilled re lumer to make a speedmaster pass muster. Which leads on to the next watch:
We can see in this case the watch has a new crystal so we can see everything on the dial. Note the 5 and 6 markers which are so sloppy I would have to think they have been re applied (Along with the others). Pushers and crown are wrong, and it also has corrosion on the case as we can see here:
In fact if you had to choose between the two, the first watch is I think the better one
Both are poor, both need a huge amount of time money and effort.
I am curious to see if the coming sales of nice 145.012’s are strong