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The Black Racing Sold at Phillips

From the Spring Geneva Sale 2018

(All photos are harvested from the Phillips site and used pending permission – they would be removed if I am asked)

First up is the Black Racing Dial Speedmaster, the 145.012-67. It comes with its original sales document. I must confess this is my favorite speedmaster reference.

Estimate was much lower than any Black Racing has been offered on the market recently. It sold for CHF40,000 which while double the estimate was half what other examples have sold for at auction. There are several good reasons why:

The bezel is correct, but damaged. This is but one example of how damaged the bezel is – a generally shagged bezel. But it does suit the rest of the watch and I would not change it if I was the new owner. (Which I am not).

The dial condition is poor. If a dial this damaged was on an “ordinary” 145.012 it would be dismissed as unwanted by most collectors. here we see missing plots, and also chrono creep, though that would never stop me buying a rare watch like this.

Here we see more printing missing from the track

And the worst damage is up here at the top, right where it strikes the eyes. The Hour and Minute hands are missing all lume, but that is an minor issue.

The big issue for me is the lack of extract. Omega will issue an extract for these black racing dials stating the dial as having red indices. There are some black racing dial watches in circulation that do not have this on an extract and the dials might be fitted after production. I personally know of two watches in this state. So that will affect the value – maybe the new owner will get an extract showing a racing dial, which will be nice.

The condition of this watch is, frankly poor. However, I would have loved to own it for the low estimate – which tells me it is not a watch to be dismissed. Sometimes poor condition rare wachtches can give enormous pleasure of ownership, and I feel this one is in that category. Now the price of this one was very high, half what a good one fetches – this to me indicates either that prices of the good ones need to be higher, OR we are in an inflationary period where mediocre condition watches are fetching prices that the owners would find hard to recuperate for several years after purchase.

The last thing I want to discuss with this watch, is what might happen to it next. A dealer may well decide that it is worth restoring, and with over $30,000 to play with thats a lot of room to work on the dial, relume the hands, replace the bezel and go for an extract – perhaps we could see the watch in a future major auction. The good thing about these Omegas, is that there are so few of them  (unlike Daytonas), that the collector community will probably notice them.

There are three other Speedmasters to look at, stay tuned to the blog and we will look at them….

Two Speedmasters From Phillips November Last year (2017)

How do they look now, a few months on? It is always interesting to go back over previous Auctions and see if I would have been happy to have bought them. (I did not buy these).

The first is a 145.012 Serial 25’004’098.

On initial inspection it is clear it has the wrong bezel and the wrong bracelet. The lower subdial is off centre, but as the chrono is partly run it cannot be said for certain it is Chrono Creep, but my guess would be that it is:

The link to this watch is here

The final price was HKD 40,000 or about USD$5100.

Well that is not a lot for a correct 145.012 but this one needs a bezel, and that will be at least $2000 to match the condition of the rest of the watch. So $7000 which in todays market is OK.

What are my worries were I to buy this?

  • How polished is the case?the pushers are new, and so indicates a recent replacement
  • And so why is the subdial off?
  • Does the dial look nice?
  • These photos are overexposed, and hard to make a judgement. so I would need more images before buying.

To sum up it was probably OK, possibly great, and unlikely that you would loose your trousers on this one.

On to the next, another 145.012 Serial 25’003’211

and this one sold for a strong HKD 168,750 or about USD $21,500. That is a huge price for an example of this reference, and more than four times the other identical reference discussed above.

Here is the link

First impressions are very good – it has the original guarantee, the box and an extract of the archives.

It also has a correct bracelet, and I think that photo disguises a very attractive dial. The bezel DO90 is very good with some small marks. It is a very good watch, but $21,000? For me that is very strong, and I would never bid that much without seeing it.

My guess is that when held, this watch has real quality. I think the dial may be especially good, and the overall watch conveys an air of originality that not many do – helped of course by the papers. I have never heard of this reference selling for this, but perhaps it was just one of those gems we sometimes see in auctions that excite two people to fight.

While I think the buyer will be pleased with the watch, it might be sometime before we see 145.012 reach over $20,000 again.

Buying Parts For Vintage Speedmasters

It is with great pleasure I introduce the first the very first guest article by a fellow collector, who you might know already on Omegaforums.net as @Oddboy. He is a knowledgeable and prolific collector and I am thrilled to have him contribute his thoughts here.

As Speedmasters rise quickly in value, so too does interest in Speedmaster parts.  In this article, we will explore some of the – sometimes contentious – issues around buying parts.

Of course all of us would love to buy original, first owner watches that have been tucked away in a sock drawer or shoe box in someone’s closet.  The reality is that this doesn’t happen all that often.  The majority of Speedmasters bought these days are from the more common outlets – eBay, auction houses, dealers, pawn shop and of course, watch forums.  As these watches pass from one person to the next, we lose sight of the watch’s originality.  The friction of moving through all those hands often leads to watches that are “upgraded” or “enhanced” for sale.

What does “enhanced” mean?

Old watches often have issues that need to be addressed.  The movement, for example, may need parts in order to continue to function.  While many of the initiated would buy a Speedmaster in a non-functioning state, the majority of us would not.   While many of these parts are available at various parts suppliers or on eBay (among other sites) as well as directly from Omega (with some caveats), there are parts that are simply not available.  There’s also the matter of finding the right watchmaker to service a vintage movement.   However, buying and replacing old, worn movement parts is generally acceptable.  The watch wouldn’t work if we didn’t do this.  The key here is that the replacement parts are authentic Omega parts intended for the caliber and, ideally, the reference of the watch.

Pictured here is a Hammer Spring for a 321 (part #320-1734). These are no longer available. If your watch needs one, you have a long hunt ahead of you. A short time ago (late 2017), a parts supplier had a number of these listed on their web site – 38 if I’m recalling correctly. I made contact and ordered a few. Through an email exchange coordinating the purchase, I learned that somehow, word got out that these were available, and the parts supplier was selling them like hotcakes. In the space of 2 days, his stock was depleted (though he mentioned that he would keep some for his own watch repair business).

But what about the visible parts – the parts that make up most of the value; that attract or repel us?

This is where the lines begin to blur.

While not preferred, many collectors accept watches that are enhanced, as long as disclosed, and when the “enhancement” is unobtrusive.  Replacing a beat up old “meteor” DON bezel with a nicer one is generally acceptable, provided that the new one matches the condition of the rest of the watch.   There is a question here too of whether anyone would know if you did such a thing (hint: the experienced collectors probably will).

Replacing modern parts on a vintage watch – be it hands, bezels, dials – all more or less accepted as “returning a watch to its original form” and this practice is generally OK to all but the most pedantic purists.  But is there a line?   What if all of those parts – hands, bezel, dial – are replaced with sourced parts?

Even if disclosed, is the watch still desirable?  (hint: it can be).  We are not talking here about embellishing parts with reluming, repainting (perhaps an article in its own right), or otherwise changing the part, but rather hunting out proper, authentic, vintage parts to put onto the watch in question.  Opinions on this are divided.

So, what about buying parts?

eBay, parts houses (“while supplies last!”), watch makers and fellow collectors are all sources of parts.

You can find just about anything with a little patience and a ready war chest.  Many parts, especially “consumable” parts (like pushers, crowns, stems, crystals, main springs) are available with very little effort on ebay.  You can find DON bezels of varying quality without too much effort as well, though the better ones – and the better prices – are often on the forums.  Baton hands are also not impossible to source, but you have to be quick.

Proper tritium hands go quickly, and are not cheap.  An Hour and Minute pair of hands would go for somewhere around $500 these days, and they don’t last long.

Even cases can be found, but it starts to get harder.  Modern twisted lug cases are slightly different from vintage ones.  Straight lug cases are often pitted or rusted, or have damaged threads (for caseback, or for pusher stems).  Sometimes the holes for the pushers are worn and pushers can’t be fitted anymore without “adjustment”.   Dials, the heart of the watch, can be found too, but you have to ask yourself… why is the dial for sale and not on a watch?  Quite often, it’s because the dial that’s for sale has been replaced by a better one.  And often, the better one came off another watch.

In other words, some people will buy a whole watch just for a particular part.  As far as pricing goes, well, it’s all about condition.  A nice pre-pro dial in good condition with original lume can easily command $5,000 or more.  Earlier dials (flat O, short minute marker dials) have pushed right up to $10,000.  Good Professional dials will fetch $3,500 to $5,000.  Less good versions of these dials will easily drop to 50% of those prices or less.  The difference between a watch with a good dial and one with a worn dial can be 100% or more.

So here we are at the far end of parts acquisition… buying a watch to yank parts off of it to enhance another watch.  Again, the question is always, how would anyone know?

Where is the line?

In my humble opinion, I think buying a watch for no other reason than to dismantle it is going too far – but as always there are exceptions to the rule.  There are watches for sale, most often on eBay, that sell for “VAP”, or Value As Parts.  These can be good buys for a heavy collector who wants or needs to gather some “spares”, especially as a number of parts for 321 movements are NLA.  If the watch is too far gone to ever make to even the “Running”+ category on the Price Chart, then I would accept it being bought for the constituent parts to be disassembled and used elsewhere.

There are no hard rules about buying parts for watches.  There is a code of ethics that fellow collectors expect of each other, and your morals will guide you when the community consciousness is not there to help you with that.  But aside from the expectation of forthrightness, there are forces to contend with, or at least be aware of.  Replacing parts can result in a more valuable watch, but more often than not, the investment does not pay for itself.  Replacing parts can certainly increase your own enjoyment of a watch – especially, it can increase your enjoyment of posting in the WRUW thread.  But the most rewarding kind of watch is still one that you bought that was already complete, and ideally all original.  There is still no better find than the one owner sock drawer find.

Footnote

Value As Parts

It is important to understand the concept of VAP.

In order to determine if an investment in parts – whether on their own, or in a parts watch – you need to appreciate the value proposition.  The Price Chart has a good discussion of the Value of DON bezels and how they affect the price of the watch.  This same approach can be used for any parts decisions.

For example, if you’re considering a dial for your watch, consider: does replacing the current dial with a better one increase the value of the watch?  If so, by how much?  By at least the price of the dial you’re considering?  For example, if you bought a 105.003-65 for $8,000 but you aren’t thrilled with the dial, is it worth spending $5,000 one a better one?

If you buy the dial, you’re now $13,000 into the watch.  You may be able to sell your not so nice dial for $2500, possibly less.  So let’s say your watch now cost you $10,500.  From a pure value point of view, was that a good buy?

Maybe.  If it increases your enjoyment of the watch, then, well, only you can put a price on that.  From a market perspective, you might break even.  However there is an intangible cost here to replacing the dial: the watch is no longer original.  Would anyone know?

Probably not (unless they recognized the dial – which happens!).

Should you disclose it?  Of course.

Would you disclose it?  Hmm, personal decision.  I hope you would.  I would.  But as soon as you do, the value of the watch drops by some immeasurable amount in the eyes of Speedmaster hunters.  So your $10,500 Ed White might only be worth the original $8,000 you started at even after you’ve invested in an expensive dial not to mention all the blood, sweat and tears you put into finding it and having it put on.   Did the investment pay off?  Probably not.    Is it worth doing for your own enjoyment (or for increasing Likes on the OF WRUW thread)?  Could be.  The point of the discussion is to be conscious of what you’re buying into.

 Bonus Material

Part #320-1112.   Looks kind of like a paperclip, doesn’t it?

Another Pair of 145.012’s

Here are two very different watches, both 145.012

On the left is a service movement and dial, that came to me in a straight lug case. The dial and handset is very attractive, though not valued by many today. It is very rare, and especially nice to see one with pleasing patina.

On the right is a really brown dial. This is an extreme change, and I have not seen one like it.

Black Racing Pro vs Non Pro

These two very rare black Racing Dials are both 145.012-67

So few are known.

Note one is a professional dial, and the other non pro. The chrono second hands are different, but there is no way of knowing for sure what the original specification is.

One thing we do know, is that both watches have an extract of the archive that state Black Racing Dial.

State of the Speedmaster Market

In March 2018

Much discussions over on OF on this subject here. Here is my bullet points as I see the market:

  • The best examples are held by collectors who are not selling
  • Most watches on the market are sold by dealers or collectors who like to churn thier collections for profit.
  • Dealers continue to ask higher prices, but they may or may not be selling
  • Private sellers are asking too much as well
  • If you want to actually sell a speedmaster, it will sell for more than 12 months ago, but not as high as some are asking
  • The 1970’s Speedmasters are hard to find, demand is rising and I expect these to rise in value, but not by a huge amount as they are not much to begin with
  • 2998 prices are all over the place. Lack of extracts and difficulty to verify is making buyers nervous of the very high prices ($100k) asked by some. A 2998 will still sell well for under $30,000
  • 105.002’s are so hard to find – so few have sold its very hard to know what one would sell for today. Possibly in line with a 2998-61/62
  • Oddities, like blue dials and racing dials, NoNasa, BA145.022-69, and the Soyuz are all selling like crazy – these are quite a different market to the black dials – so they should be when you think how few there are.
  • There are very few nice watches on the market at the moment
  • The watches that are available, need to be inspected closely

A pair of rarities

On the left is the very rare blue soleil dial, and on the right the black racing. Very few examples of each are known, perhaps between 10 and 20 of each are known.

Prices of both are headed towards $100,000 – but data is thin.

Watches Of Knightsbridge March 2018

Watches of Knightsbridge are presenting an auction of watches on March 17th here. Also you could go to my friend @ewand ‘s post over on Omegaforums.net here and see the photos, and his very good assessments. However after seeking legal advice I can now point to the images from this page, allowing you to have it all on the one page.

I have spent some time studying this sale. It would be easy to dismiss the speedmasters here as all being overpriced and not good quality. But I think that is an error (one I nearly made to be honest). Because after going through them in depth, I think they all have something to offer, and while we might say they could be a little high, I suspect they will all sell and therefore (by definition) they are priced within what the market will pay. In general the photos are sharp, but not able to help me full appreciate the watches, with dust, lint or crystal damage that without further images from different angles it is hard to make judgments.. More photos of each lot would have helped make judgements on the states of the dials and location of damage. The Ed White is especially interesting, and I think completely misjudged. See below for my ideas. The other watches are fairly run of the mill, possibly from owners possibly from the dealers of Portobello, but they often flip watches untouched so not a bad thing.

I think WOK are offering a range of watches not easy to see elsewhere. I don’t think they are cheap, but they are there.

The photos shown here are not hosted by me, nor copied from Watches of Knightsbridge. I am happy to enable you to see the WOK images by embedding them, not hosting and therefore there is no infringement of copyright.

I have to say I look forward to any WOK sale as they always produce an interesting, varied and packed sale, with lots of interesting watches that do not often come up in the bigger auctions. The catalog is always a pleasure to read for its variety. Here I will only concern myself with the speedmasters, as that is all I know.

This post is a preliminary look through the catalog, and I hope to add more information later. Because of the standard of curation we need to view these in hand to fully be able to value them. (Again, not a criticism – I like this sale for that, it means we see a wide range of qualities and therefore more watches). It is great to see all these early speedmasters in one sale.

  • Photos look good, until you try and get solid information from them. (Good from far, Far from good). Watches all have one or two  images (Except for Lot 194), that is hard to glean value influencing information. This sale needs to be viewed and when I have I shall adjust these notes.
  • Auction fees here are 24% incl VAT (Reasonable compared to the grownups).
  • Estimates are quite narrow.
  • Most bezels are unusually poor.
  • A good selection of what might be original watches, that do not show dealers preparation.

Lot 193 105.003-65 £6000-£8000

NAAFI receipt, decayed dial. Many correct parts with possible exception of crown, and maybe pushers

At first glance this does seem a lot of money for a damaged watch.

I don’t think those decayed, but matching(!) hands and dial will ever look good, but they might, and appeal to a real patina junkie. Mrs Fruit looked over my shoulder and remarked that it looked like it has lived too long in a dirty ditch, and I think that is a better description than Tropical. “Ditch Dirty”.

I love this watch, and I think it will sell. The auctioneers describe this watch as having a good condition tropical dial. This should tell you a lot about this auction house’s standards, the standards of the people in it, and their demonstrably limited knowledge in assessing watches. How can you call this a “Good Tropical Condition” ?

Please do not interpret this as an insult – I am merely pointing out that anyone looking at this sale cannot (demonstrably) rely on anything the staff say – so, you HAVE TO DO YOUR OWN DILIGENCE.

Now lastly, you could look at this the other way round. What is a papered Ed White worth with a nice dial? Well a nice one has to be around £15,000 today – could this watch, with a nice dial be worth that? So then we start to think, could we buy this for £8000 or even as much as £10,000 and then go shopping for a dial? The dial might cost as much as £5000 and it would still make sense. So I can now see where WOK’s valuation comes from. This does assume that the rest of the watch that we cannot assay is good, the movement the  case etc.

The question is, who has a nice spare dial, and then who wants the un-original watch? (After all the watch will always be known as a dial substitute, and is identifiable by the paper, even if we do not have the full number. On the internet, nothing vanishes.)

I think a dealer will buy this.

Lot 194 145.012-67 £5500-£6500

Correct parts. (Except the movement attachment screw)

This might be quite nice, the dial has a potentially pleasant fade. A fair DO90 bezel, though a bit faded. There are plenty of photos on the site to enable a much deeper assessment.

I really want to like this watch, its on the line between patinated and shagged. The dial needs inspection, or at least some photos which I am sure WOK will send you if you ask (they are very good about supplying additional photos). However with 24% fees the high estimate puts it above some better watches sold in the last few months, and I so not think this will fly. UNLESS on viewing that dial looks nicer than it is.

There is a mark at the 7 minute marker that is on the crystal or on the dial – which it is will make a huge difference to the price.

The movement shows plenty of signs of work, and could be tidied up. The movement is attached to the movement ring incorrectly, and so demonstrates a non-qualified service history – which could indicate some deeper problems in the movement.

Lot 195 105.012-66 CB £6000-£7000

CB case, with Extract. Good bezel, except where it is chipped, slightly “meteor”. Appears original pushers which is attractive.

I have a feeling this will look good in hand.

Good evidence of Facet lines. Dial plots are yellow and slightly incomplete but not bad. In fact I think the dial is good apart from the slightly inconsistent plots.

Hands dirty and signs of multiple removals.

It is always better to buy a 105.012 with original pushers rather than service, and always better to buy one with an extract. There are simply too many alternative calibre 321’s from that era that are potential donors for transplants.

Ignoring the price this is a good buy.

For the price? Well a little strong but I think it should sell as it is a pretty much an up together watch, with a lot of good attributes. Hard to find a better one on the market today, without saying this is a fine example. Its good, and there are not many available, and this might push the price beyond what a private sale may yield.

Lot 196 145.022-69 4500-5500

Correct.

The watch looks a bit dirty, which is a good thing, it could be original and therefore less fiddled with. It will be interesting to see where this ends up. The subdial is creeping, but I would expect to have to service this anyway. I would like to know the serial, to check if it is in the brown series, (2911 or 2960). I think the dial is slightly brown.

The DO90 bezel is either dirty or damaged. That makes a huge difference to the value, obviously. If all those marks simply wipe off, then we have a great watch….if its is damage….then not so much.

Either the dial is spotted or there is a lot of dust on the crystal or inside. Once again, we need to see more or inspect in hand.

The plots look to be devoid of lume but it may be the photos. I think I could like this, subject to inspection in hand.

Lot 197 145.022-69 £4000-£4500

220 bezel. I personally do not see much extra value attributed to these bezels – yet. We are all waiting I think!

This looks all correct but it seems a strong price. The lower subdial is creeping. There is a scratch over the subdial but I think it is in the crystal.

The case looks sharp.

The dial, (subject to checking the scratch) looks good. I can see this selling. Its quite nice, and appears correct. It will need a service.

Lets see if the market does value this bezel.

Lot 198 145.022-71 Straight Writing £4500 £5000

On bracelet, 1171/633.

Watch looks a little tired and original. A fine one will sell for double the estimate, but this is not fine. They are rare, and the market sometimes ignores them and sometimes they sell for a lot at auction. We will have to wait and see.

The bezel is unusually poor, so I would want to inspect the whole watch before bidding. Otherwise this looks a nice original watch that will respond well to a sympathetic service. Once again, I cannot tell the true state of the dial from the photos. There is something on the running seconds subdial that I would want to make sure is on the crystal not the dial.

This could be a good watch to buy, it needs, as ever, handling in person.

Lot 199 Smooth Lunar Box £1500-£2000

This has us all gasping at the price.

Someone might buy this for a Gold 1969 but they would be buying the wrong box. This is for late 1969 but I have seen most with early 1970’s watches. It is in remarkably good condition.

And I want it !

While we all in the collector community have smarted at the estimate, I can see this going for as much as the high estimate if not more.

It is very rare, and in very rare original fine condition. Show me another, the last one I saw sold was $850 and damaged. So I would say WOK have got it right on this. (I expect they have a low reserve so no skin off their nose).

Having said that I want it, I am not yet ready to pay more for this box than I have paid for some of my watches. But if I was feeling flush I would. Why? Because with something like this, its not about the money, its about the opportunity to buy. After buying this, the buyer will forget how much he paid, and will simply have one of the best condition boxes I have seen.

Again the caveat here is that the box really is in top condition – it looks it, but before following my somewhat headstrong advice above, for goodness sake see it in person.

Lot 200 145.022-74 £2800-£3400

It is important to see if this has a stepped dial or not I am pretty sure from examining the photo it does not – it is more desirable with the stepped dial, but correct with both.

Something unusual going on where the rehaut (metal ring under the crystal) has obscured most of the T SWISS MADE T.

The bracelet is not the expected 1171 but possibly original. These 1171 bracelets are gaining recognition and value in the last 12 months, but this is not that bracelet so the value is not there.

Not bad at the lower estimate, although there are currently better alternatives for similar money or less on the Sales Forum on OF.

Fellows Auction 105.012

I am always on the lookout for a nice one owner Speedmaster at a Cinderella auction. I found this 105.012-65 in Fellows Auction in Birmingham. The sale is on February 27th 2018

I would love to reproduce the photos here, but I do not have permission to do that, and as you will see, they might not want to give it.

Estimated at 4000 to 6000 sterling plus fees. At today’s rates, that works out at USD$5585 to $8375. So not crazy price-wise. (Until you add 30% buyers premium). Lets look at it, I have to describe it without photos so do get it up on another screen.

  • 105.012-65 marked inside case back.
  • Movement 2262xxxx which is too low for a -65. Actually I have not seen a Speedmaster with 2262xxxx number so I would want an extract before paying. 
  • EDIT: Since writing the number in the listing has changed to 22827825 and now falls into line with expectations. Or I misread the site, oops.
  • Poor to fair correct DO90 bezel
  • Correct dial, in fair to good condition, dirty (Algae colour) plots, not so attractive. Close spaded T marks.
  • Service pushers, not sure about crown – but it looks ok from what I can see.
  • Case band appears in better condition than the rest of the watch, including the case back and bezel. This needs investigating to eliminate that this may be a service case band.
  • Service bracelet later than 1970’s.
  • Personal engraving on rear.
  • Replaced hands that look very white.

The auction fees are nearly 30% if you bid online. (which is why I always book a telephone bid).

The case band is really worrying, and if buying the watch needs to be inspected. In conversation with the auctioneers, they disclosed the watch is from a private source, who frequently had it serviced. While that is  good thing if you want your watch to work, it makes it less interesting for us!

It will be telling to see what this sells for, as it has had plenty of exposure, including here:

A Look at a 145.022-69 For Sale

This watch is for sale on OF (see here) and its been there for a while and I wondered why. I will go through it with you now as I write. I am curious because at first glance $5200 for this reference is not expensive. Let’s examine it. I am going to use photos from the listing but I am not going to copy the whole lot over, I suggest you click on the link and have the page open while you read.

Now the best head on photo from the listing is this: 

Now forgive me saying so, and bearing in mind not everyone is a natural photographer, but this is a terrible sales photo. So I took that photo and did this:

That’s better. Now we can get a better idea of what is here. I always find it easier to look at a watch the right way up, and also adjusting the white balance a little. One of the things I always look for in a 2911xxxx serial is the dial colour. Even if it has not gone as far as tropical, it often has a pleasant shade not seen in other series.

As far as I can see its a very presentable 145.022-69. True a little worn, but really how many have we seen for sale?

The seller has described the dial as having all the lume removed. The white balance of the photos disguises this, but it is apparent. The dial otherwise seems in fair to good condition with the printing intact. I would see this watch as a perfect candidate for a re-lume.  In the next photo the plots can clearly be seen as missing all lume, but the white paint is full. (Ideal for re lume).

Lets look at the dial, which is good on first glance but there may be something, its a bit crumbly at the edges. Also there is a little blotching around the 6 marker:

So the dial is let down by the lack of lume, the blotching at 6, and possibly 4, and the crumbly edge. Otherwise the dial looks good, the concentric rings are clear. The hands look correct and in good condition. Its not a fine dial but it is not bad. As the movement is 2911xxxx then we always look for hints of brown – but I do not think there is any here.

We can see damage on the crystal and the seller has declared it as non original. I would replace it. The claim is serviced and it may well be, which makes it even better value.

The bezel is a correct DO90. This always makes valuing these watches difficult because such a high proportion of the value rides on the bezel. If this bezel were released on its own then I expect on Ebay this would sell for perhaps $1000 – 1500. It could go for more. It is damaged but I have seen people fight over worse.

The bezel really is not so bad. I would rather have this than a service replacement.

Now also included in the sale is an original, trapeze logo 1171 bracelet. These are now selling for over $400 and could again get more.

So in summary this watch has problems of appearance, but it has been serviced and comes complete with correct parts and a correct bracelet.

The seller asks $5200. I cannot see it as expensive. Especially as I have really not seen any of this reference for sale. I feel I do not need to add that I have no connection to the seller, or the watch.

If I had to guess, I would say the sale has stalled due to poor photos that don’t show the true colour, nor the attraction that I am sure this watch has. Also perhaps the price was too high to start with and the watch over exposed at a poor time for selling.

It also may be an illustration that while the market might pay double this for a top example, one like this that can be criticised on several high value points is harder to value.

Since writing my friend Ewan started an interedting thread over on OF and out of this thread comes the concepts that this is a dull time for sales, (Pre March) and that forum sales are higher than this time last year, based on average sale. All interesting stuff, go and have a look.