All posts by admin

Sotheby’s Sale NY 2019

Often results can be misleading if you have not actually held the goods. A prime example is this 2915-2 for $52,500. This seems very cheap. Original lot is here

It has original looking pushers, but a 32 tooth crown. It has a oval “O”but the plots might have had help. Th dial body is excellent, with only a tiny spot that if you are obsessive with a loupe you will find. I looked hard at the bezel and frankly I do not know. And to be honest I didnt worry about it, because of the next thing issue, The movement. I think this is a dodgy movement, as the engraving on the bridge was unlike any engraving I have seen before – easily legible, and the digits clear and thin, well defined. Not your normal Speedmaster number. So I dismissed this. At the price, it might be worth it for the case and dial, and hands which are good. Who knows. However if you are after an honest 2915 this was not it. Nowadays, if a major auction house presents a 2915 without an extract, we have to ask why. Extracts can be obtained in days, now, and so if they do not present one, I can only think it cannot get one.

My message to all you buyers of 2915’s in the last two years (Prices ranging from $120,000 to $400,000) do not think your watches have plummeted in value based on this result.

Updated Price Chart released

Recently Acquired One Owner watch – They are still out there!

The price chart is updated. I am hoping to move server in the new year and use a different web editing program – this site gets about 600 – 1000 visits a day and it is a job to maintain, and to that end I have engaged a professional to keep it secure and up to date, behind the scenes.

At the same time I will be releasing a new updated style of chart with five grades not 3, and I shall be sharing my own grading system so that you can go through a watch and find out what you have.

Here is the summary of the market:

  • The market has seen a great many sales in the last few months, at Auctions and privately. There is a solid trend to high prices for fine watches, and zero interest in poor watches offered at prices that while less than for a top example, are simply not cheap enough to attract those who would enjoy them.
  • The FOMO crowd has left. People with money burning holes in their pockets, over paying for correct but poor watches. I am no longer fielding numerous enquirers that start with the value question, its more now about quality.
  • you will note several references have gone down in the Running quality and up in the Collector
  • I feel that dealers have a lot of dead stock that they cannot move. This stock is overpaid with quality issues. I have always questioned the ability of any dealer to make a good living from speedmasters, as there simply is not the volume compared to Rolex.
  • Good watches are fetching good prices.
  • This Chart is for MOTIVATED COLLECTORS. The prices here DO NOT reflect retail prices (as found in Vintage Watch Shops), or often not even dealer prices all of which are often 20%-100% higher. Almost every price in the chart is backed up by a known purchase or sale, often my own.  I genuinely believe I or you can find a watch at prices I quote – with patience and dealing with the Vintage Omega community.
  • DO90 bezels are now an important part of any valuation. A flawless one was $5000 but I think realistcly the value is now $4,000 but I know of no sale to back it up in the last 12 months. The value plummets quickly as the damage, marks or discoloration appear. If it is nearly fine then it might only fetch $2000-3000. There is a huge difference in value for that last 10 – 15% quality. (A small degradation is a huge loss of value).

New Price Chart Here

Learning More from a Bad watch….

Than a good one.

Here is a watch offered on Ebay by a seller with a good reputation – I imagine he is selling this on Ebay as when a watch is this err… “interesting” a seller must search far and wide for the Princess who sees it as a frog and gives it a kiss. (Spoiler alert – this will remain a frog, albeit an attractive frog).

Sellers Photo

Currently with six hours to go it is around $3,800, from 28 different bidders. 28! That is a lot of people with puckered lips thinking this is a watch with potential.

Sometimes the attraction is simply the price. With 105.012’s selling for over $10,000 for ones with criticisms, all the way up to $25,000 for a very good one, if you could buy this for $4000 it would be fun right? Lets have a look. For me, to be fun, it should have some attraction, and part of that attraction is the parts being correct. This one is pretty good in that department, except for the pushers and crown.

The bezel is a ghosted DO90. In a cheap watch, I like it. It is correct, and quirky and interesting.

What about the dial? Can you live with those algae plots? Again, if it is cheap, I can. (We will get to how cheap I think is cheap soon)

Those plots are terrible, but they are even, and consistent with the damage to the dial, which is also terrible. There are blisters all over it. It is however a correct, tritium professional dial and belongs in the reference. If sold loose I wonder what it would fetch on ebay?

The case is a 1966 HF case. It has a single bevel on the back, and retains a good proportion of its shape. I have seen worse cases on more expensive watches, but its still a well worn case. It also shows several damages – but nothing truly major. Of course this is relative. If this was a $10,000 watch we would be calling it an awful case. For example there is a bad dent underneath level with the 4 o’clock plot.

In the shot above you can see that dent, also we see clearly the thin necks of the service pushers. Also the 32 tooth crown. Some failed opening marks, which I would expect to see on a watch like this. The crown doesn’t seem to fit properly.

The hands to are commensurate with the terrible condition of the dial and case. If anything, they add to the attraction of the watch, in that they could be the original hands and been through the same experience as the dial.

Lets go inside. If the movement is good it is worth about $2500, more if it gets an extract.

Initially we could think it is not great. Its either dirty or discolored. But on closer inspection, the screws seem to be in good condition. It has not been attacked with a knife and fork or a 47th Street $150 per service mechanic. The column wheel is complete, and all the bridges are without corrosion. It seems it is just the horse-shoe bridge that is dirty. Someone has put a gasket in. The number is very close to two Extracted 105.012’s I have, but it is also as close to a Seamaster 105.006. So there is a chance it is original. I personally would gamble yes, but I am a gambler.

Is it worth $4,000? Definitely yes. Is it worth $8,000? Not to me. So it will be somewhere in between. We can break it down into components and see that it might be worth as much as $6,000 in parts – though to get that you would have to Ebay them and hope that all the buyers slightly over paid – and then ebay would slice off their part then you would have to deal with Ebay buyers which might go easy or might not….

In summary, I like this watch at a low price – a perfect interesting beater with mostly correct parts. Imagine it on a nice leather strap. Originality wise it is let down by the pushers, but I am not too worried about the crown.

Here is the thing. Every single part on this watch is poor. Even the grey bezel is dented, so if you took it off and put it on a better watch it would not look good. The reason this watch looks good to me is that the patina, (yes I am invoking that term) is really attractive as all the parts have a similar level of degradation – they fit together and have integrity as a unit. Split them apart, and you have a collection of bad parts.

Am I bidding ? No but if I had not just paid the school fees I would be a buyer at the low range.

Good luck to the buyer. It has been a long time since I found such a poor watch so attractive.

(All Photos are from the listing and used without permission and this post will be removed if the seller requests it)

Phillips Speedmaster Results

The sale took place at Marriot Hotel in Hong Kong, 26 November 2019 and can be seen here. All prices I have converted to USD and include any premiums, so what you see is what was paid.

  • 105003 $19,300 Lot 892
  • 105003 $11,200 Lot 893
  • 105003 $No Bids Lot 894 Brown
  • 145.022-68 $12,065 Lot 895 Transitional
  • 145.012 $8,050 Lot 896
  • 145.012 $24,100 Lot 897 Ultraman
  • 145.012 $35,400 Lot 898 Black Racing, poor dial
  • 145.022 -69 $12,050 Lot 981 Modern Bezel
  • 145.022-69 $6,100 Lot 982 SW
  • 145,022-71 $6,435 Lot 983 No Nasa
  • 145.022-71 $7,720 Lot 984
  • BA145.022 $64,350 Lot 985

Lot 892 105003 $19,300

Lot 892

The first Ed White (892) sold strongly at $19,200 – I was surprised it reached this high. The bezel was poor, and the dial plot at 11 was damaged as though pushed with a tooth pick.

Its worse in real life

Also at 6 the plot is very dirty.

Lot 983 105003 $11,200

Lot 893

The next Ed White (893) was Estimated at a spectacularly optimistic USD$ 16,000 to $32,175 ! It had severe microscopic dial pitting, the movement was damaged, and the case back pitted.

It had a Rolex finish on the top of the lugs, and so I was deeply suspicious of the whole watch.

Note the polish lines on the top of the lug. This is not seen in Omegas, but it is seen in Rolex

Then I noticed that it was being sold as ” without Reserve” and sometimes these can go cheap – so I worked through the parts value and came up with $8,000 so USD$6000 / HKD 46,000 to bid. It sold for well under low estimate, but over my value at $11,200.

Lot 894 105003 $No Bids – Zilch

Lot 894

The last of the three Ed Whites (894) was this enthusiastically valued but questionable tropical, or damaged dial. Indeed some of us at the viewing wondered if it had been cooked – the plots have a lot of black on them ,and the dial has a special sheen seen in other heated dials. I cannot believe that estimate – still, nor could anyone else. Lot 894 was Unsold – I do not think there was a single bid at the sale.

Lot 895 145.022-68 $12,065

Now the first of the 861’s, a very nice Transitional. This was an example were if you did not view the watch, you might not realise just how very nice it was. While the bezel was slightly damaged, the dial is spectacularly perfect. Sold for $12,000 and while its not cheap, it is a very good example. I have not seen one quite so nice all round for a while. Actually it is quite special, and only the damaged bezel might have held it back, both in value and bidders. If you look at the photo above you can get a feeling for how good the dial is, with a lovely colour and no damage

Lot 896 145.012 $8,050

This watch is a 145.012 (896) and sold for a very strong $8,050. At first thought, a 145.012 for $8,000 is cheap right? No it was not – because the dial had several issues, the 2 and 3 o’clock marker missing lume:

And the 7 o’clock marker is running away., and lume missing from 8

These are massive attraction issues and dramatically affect the value when in a cold sale situation. (face to face). The DO90 is grey, and I know some people love grey bezels, but for me they are not valuable. So the watch sold for less than the low estimate, which was $9,625 but I cannot see anyone I know buying a watch with that seven o’clock plot.

Lot 897 145.012 $24,100

The Ultraman (897) fetched $24,150. Not such a strong result, for these rare and often highly contested watches. But we must take into account the deceale bezel when comparing to previous sales, which had quite good DO90’s which today are around $3000 to $4000. While I have it on good authority this Decimale is vintage, I wonder if value wise it is comparable to a DO90. (I do not know, I just know that personally I pay more for a DO90) Otherwise It was correct, but the dial had issues with its plots – these showed leakage and probably all have been adjusted or repaired. There was what looked like binder leakage all around each plot, especially the 4. This is not obvious in the photos:

In real life there is leakage around many of the plots. It is not visible here.

The case was slightly soft, but that wasn’t the issue, it was the dial. The more I looked at it the more I found it terrible. These photos do not show this plot condition. This sold at a level lower than many UM’s that have changed hands recently. I imagine a dealer might buy this for $24,000 then change the dial for a nice one, and next thing you know its a $40,000 watch. As anyone who reads my posts knows, I have zero understanding for the very high values attributed to the Ultraman.

Lot 898 145.012 $35,400

Lot 898

The Black Racing is in a similar boat to the previous lot, in that it is an extremely rare watch, with perhaps 10 examples seen, but it is in poor condition. The white dial plots are all cracked and missing in places – the red plots are perfect.

lot 898 Detail

The dial body colour lacks a depth of lustre we take for granted in speedmasters. The print on the track is missing slightly between 11 and 2. The red hands have been repaired with the wrong colour paint, and the Rehaut shows damage – which made me open it and check the movement – this shows signs of service and there were 4 service marks in the pearlage back. The case back has lost a little definition. Selling at $35,400 this is much less than some examples have fetched. I was lucky enough to be able to compare a fine one sid by side with this one, and it highlighted the severe problems in the dial on this watch. Last point, this is a non pro dial, with an applied logo. The other, Professional, version with the painted logo, is in my opinion more special. In the painted logo version the dial plate is unique in speedmasters, as the sub dials are smaller, requiring smaller subdial hands. So for me there is a case to say the the Professional dial is as a result more valuable than the AML dial as that dial appears to share the plate with all other stepped 321 dials. In any event all the Black Racings are rare birds. I was a bidder on this, but pulled out once the price exceeded that which I paid for a good one.(!)

Lot 981 145.022 -69 $12,050

Lot 981

This very early 145.022-69 has a 28m serial but a bezel from much later. The dial body is very attractive, but the plots have exploded slightly, leaving micro debris on the dial. It sold in the end for $12,050 (Lot 981). this is an inexplicable amount in current environment, only making sense with the idea that maybe the speedmaster market is getting solid in the 145.022 area. Remember this watch is missing a bezel that is going to cost at least $4,000 to replace. The final problem for me on this watch is the back has been lathe polished, leaving rings. The sale price is very hard to make sense of, as if the buyer makes it correct with a decent bezel, then the watch has cost him $16,000. Thats an awful lot of money for a -69. Even with original papers.

Lot 982 145.022-69SW $6,100

Lot 982 is a straight writing, in deceptively poor condition, good from far and far from good. It has a dial that is covered in debris, which may or may not be removable, The pushers are odd, and extend different heights from the case, indicating poor previous work. The dial has a series of minor issues in addition to the debris: A bogey at 12, a mark on running seconds subdial, and glossy patch below the RS subdial. Plots are slightly greenish yellow and thin – this is commonly seen in this reference, but just because it is original doesnt make it attractive enough to want to buy it. At $6,100 it was one of the cheaper watches, but with issues I did not want to deal with.

Lot 983 145.022-71 NN $6,345

Lot 983

I like these No Nasa case back references very much, for their rarity. They are often very affordable, and so if you are after a ’71 why not choose this version? Here is the back:

well the best thing about this example is the back. The dial has some small marks, with a spot near the centre, and a small mark near the 48 minute mark. There is a further minor mark to the right of the Omega logo. There is a small amount of debris across the dial. Hands are very bright, plots are greenish yellow and overall this example is not one that grabs me by the balls, however much I really want to like it. Selling at $6,345 (Lot 983) was not expensive, but with reason.

Lot 984 145.022-71 $7,720

Lot 984

This was the little sleeper of the sale. The dial is absolutely lovey, clean, with an attractive colour and perfect plots. At $7,700 it was not a steal, but it is a special quality – yes the case has a small damage on the 2 oclock lug, but I think that will polish out without metal removal. It will be interesting where it was delivered to, as the bracelet is possibly a foreign fitted one. 24 tooth crown and dirty neck pushers add to the idea this is an original and very attractive example. Ok, yes, I bought it.

Lot 985 BA145.022 $64,350

Lot 985

Gosh. $65k for a BA with a service bezel. Take off 10k for the box and that is still $55k. This is a very strong price, and I think the box had undue influence. And the papers, too. Sonwhere under these hands is the spot – I cant remember exactly where but its hidden as it is not showing….

Cheeky hand positioning, grounds for a return if you wanted.

And the Subdial. Look closely at the track:

Note the damage across the upper arc of the subdial track

The dial is the Oval “O” and I like them better if there is a choice. The service bezel is a shame as they are absolutely irreplaceable and I dont know how a speemaster collector (who must have a bit of OCD) can live with the service bezel – I could not and sold mine. The bracelet on this watch is a bit tight on my average western wrist. I have learnt the hard way not to budget for an extra link or two when buying from Asia. These links have to be made and fitted by a jeweler – they are not serviceable in the normal way.

Overall I liked this sale. As far as speedmasters go, Phillips have presented the most predestining, buyable and accessible collection of Speedmasters of any Auction house to date. They still offered a couple of howlers, but I would rather see more than less. We can only learn by seeing watches with problems, and learn to appreciate special watches. Dare I say it, but I do not think a lot have people have the skill to spot them. I am not haveing a go at the staff of Phillips, or any other House. They need to have a broad knowledge that dwarfs what I know.

Phillips Hong Kong November 2019

Phillips have one of the best selections of watches I have seen ever in Hong Kong, and much more interesting than the recent Geneva auctions. The have taken over a large part of the Marriot hotel, and Phillips branded Tesla’s litter the Valet Parking lot. (which I think is fun)

I spent a lot of time studying the speedmasters and I am going to comment here one by one to start with – it takes me a long time to truly study and assess a watch before auction – there can be so many pitfalls when buying from an auction and now values are rising, I really need to handle a watch before buying rather than rely on the catalog photos.

Here is the first speedmaster, a 105.003. You can see the original listing here.

This Photo, from Phillips is quite good for showing us the issues – but they might not be obvious until I point them out. First thing I look at is the dial body colour. By this I mean the quality of the black paint on the dial, and I look for any spots, blisters or blotches. In this case it is very good, so we are off to a promising start.

The printing, the white track and numbers, is all complete and undamaged.

Now the luminous material, this is where the watch falls down. The 11 o’clock plot is “squidged” – and I cannot think why. Its like someone took a piece of pegwood and lent on it.

Several plots have black dirt, the six being the worst. The three is missing some lume. While the lume has problems, it remains attractive at a certain level.

The dial overall is presentable and the problems are acceptable at the correct price, its just important not to buy this without knowing they are there. There are less attractive dials in this sale, but there are also more attractive ones.

The hands look commensurate to the dial, and are correct and do not jar the eye. This is important, and again not every watch has this.

The case is (wear) worn, and slightly polished, the lines have lost some definition. The top of the lugs and the side of the case is shiny – often this is a combination of natural wear combined with a watchmaker trying to tidy up a watch. It is not an unusual situation for a watch of this age, and I would say the case is fair, and in ownership you wont shed any tears if you wear it every day.

The case back has a defined hippo, and the bevel is in the correct place, indication no major polishing.

The bezel is the correct DO90 but for me it is not top quality, as it is slightly grey (I have started to use the expression “dry looking” ). As you can see there are several flecks and minor damages, but it really is not an especially nice bezel.

The crown is 24. tooth, the pushers have dirty necks and domed tops. I think they are possibly original or at least correct, and not service items.

The bracelet is the 7912 with 532 endlinks. The bracelet is good, and valuable.

Overall this is a complete, correct but slightly tired example, in above average condition for an auction but with some issues to be aware of before bidding. For me I am put off by the 11 plot, and the grey bezel.

Added to the list of pluses on this can be the extract, and the original papers, which interestingly call this a 145.003 although the extract states 105003.

The estimate is HKD$94,000 to 140,000. In USD including the 25% premium this translates to USD 15,000 to USD 22,300.

At the low estimate I think this is fair – I am super critical in my assessments and just because I find a list of issues does not mean the watch is not worth buying. It means that because I look closely I am not going to get a nasty surprise if the first time I put a loupe on it is when I collect it after purchase. We are in interesting times in the Speedmaster market. This could go higher.

It will be most interesting to see where this watch ends up, because it is attractive but not fine. As such it is in that middle ground that requires a good eye and a talent to balance value and condition so that you may have pleasure of future ownership.

If you are considering bidding on a Speedmaster in this sale, let me know the lot number – I will publish a report on it, if I have the time.

Geneva Auctions reviews

Here I review the four Geneva Auctions from Phillips, Antiquorum, Christies and Sothebys. They are on separate pages and if you keep scrolling you will see them, or click on the names to go direct to my page on them.


  • 9th Phillips : Hotel La Reserve 6pm (following double signed auction)
  • 10th Phillips : Hotel La Reserve session 2 at 4pm
  • 10th Antiquorum : Beau-Rivage Hotel 11am and 2pm
  • 11th Christies : Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues 10.30 and 2.30pm
  • 12th Sothebys : Mandarin Oriental 10.30 and 2.30pm

I have looked at all the Speedmasters for sale in Geneva this November and gone through the catalogs. You must inspect the watches before buying as I have only seen photos. What I am concerned about is that some of the dials are showing marks that may just be the crystal. As there is only one of each photo, we cannot judge the depth of a mark.

A lot of the watches offered are poor, and perhaps they are attractive and worth having at a cheap price. Some of the watches are very expensive, and we have to wonder are they badly presented? So its best to view if you are a serious buyer.

The two Soyuz watches can be bought without viewing. After all, what are you going to do, look for another? These are very rare to market so you have to take what you can get.

Antiquorum wins the most speedmasters for sale award. Really wide selection and an opportunity to learn a lot if you get the chance to view. I really like that they put up so many, but you have to go and view as some have issues you have to see. They are the only House to offer a 2915 this season.

Christies have only two. One is an ex Omegamania Ed White with added booklet. Its nice, but be aware.

Sothebys also just two, but they have the nice Soyuz with correct bracelet, under estimated from a private family.

Phillips have two, and Ultraman and a very rare, but dull ACP.

Christies Geneva November 2019

Again only two Speedmasters. You can see the whole sale here.

Lot 25 145.012-67 Ultraman $30,000 – $50,000

Dial shows some spots in the centre, especially on the subdials. This “dryness” is contiued at the step, especially seen 9 marker to 1 marker. Plots are thin, white and not attractive. The lume is missing in places. The dial does not exhibit the glossy finish that some expect on an Ultraman. It is not a great dial. The H/M hands are correct, with decayed lume. The Chrono hand is correct colour and length and in good condition. (As an aside, the condition is almost perfect. Begging the question is it original? Surely someone is making the long central chrono hand by now).

Lot 132 105.003-65 $20,000 – $30,000

Dial is very good. Body is clean and attractive colour, and print is intact. Plots are a little wobbly but we see this in original Ed Whites. The plots have slight black marks. While it is possible they are adjusted, I believe based on comparison with other Ed Whites this dial is original. The hands have a lume colour not normally associated with this era, and I would inspect them closely – but I would be willing to accept them as original on inspection and UV comparison. Pushers look very new, but have domed tops as per original spec.

There are a couple of red flags. First, it was in Omegamania, and many of these watches have proved over time to have issues. This one may have none, but it makes me check. Secondly, a blank guarantee booklet has been added, and this was not part of the Omegamania lot. It is a nice thing to have, but it is not part of the original purchase and so adds nothing to the genuineness of the package. The DO90 bezel appears to have been added after the Omegamania sale. You can see that lot here.

Now the dial and case do look very good indeed. I would say this watch is worth having, just beetle on and get an extract if you win it, before paying.

I review the four Geneva Auctions from Phillips, Antiquorum, Christies and Sothebys. They are on separate pages so click on the names to go direct to my page on them

Sothebys Geneva November 2019

Only two Speedmasters here. The Soyuz is very interesting, while the 145.022-69 really is not. The sale is seen here

Lot 418 145.022 Apollo Soyuz $12,000 – 16,000

The dial is correct, and the body is good. There are some marks visible that a buyer must ensure are on the crystal not the dial. The plots are a little grubby but there. The bezel is correct and in good condition. The psuhers are the correct oversize 5.5mm ones unique to this reference. The bracelet also looks correct.

We can see also the hour counter has crept around the dial, and this indicates an adjustment at best, a service at worst – this will not deter any but the most novice collector.

I think this watch will sail past the estimate, probably selling for $40,000. If not, then I will be surprised. These are so rare, that any chance to buy one will be contested by multiple collectors.

Lot 419 145.022-69 $4,000 – $6,000

Dial is not showing an obvious step, but the description says there is one. I suspect this is down to Sothebys rather zealous post processing, first seen in the Speedmaster sale in july this year. The dial is quite hard to judge, with a few marks that are probably the crystal. The plots are varied and not attractive, the h/m hands are dark lume, as is the chrono hand. These hands are also quite dirty. The bezel is DN90 with slightly thick printing (normal manufacturing result, but less attractive). I think this watch will look less attractive in hand, to the extent I cant think what Sothebys were thinking putting it in – its not even cheap. Look at the lower endlink. Something is not right with that.

I review the four Geneva Auctions from Phillips, Antiquorum, Christies and Sothebys. They are on separate pages so click on the names to go direct to my page on them

Phillips Geneva, November 2019

Phillips are selling only two speedmasters, both unusual. See the full auction here. Quite a departure from last year when they were the King of 2915’s.

Lot 188 105.012-63 $30,000 – $50,000

Dial is the very early, and rare SWISS MADE Professional only seen in 105.012-63. It is even rarer with the ACP marking, backed up by an extract.

The dial body is good, with no obvious damage. The lume plots are poor, ugly colour and unattractive. If this was not an ACP I would not even bother to proceed with the assessment. The hands look original and commensurate to the dial. The pushers are fat neck original, and the crown is also original spec. The bezel is DO90 but has several areas of damage, especially to the left hand side. I personally have better places to spend this much money, but I make no judgement on those who want this very rare watch.

Phillips Lot 188

Lot 190 145.012-67 Ultraman $20,000 – $40,000

An Ultraman with the extract

Dial body looks nice, even a hint of brown. Slight dryness around the subdials, some damage to left hand side that is probably the crystal and also two marks over the running second subdial that need to be checked that they are crystal or dial. Hands all look original and correct, including the long central redish orange chrono hand that justifies the $10,000 – $30,000 premium these watches seem to fetch over the standard 145.012’s. Plots are fair, slight loss of lume on two plots, and black spots on two more.

Case seems ok, and pushers are correct. Crown is 32 tooth. Bezel is correct and in good condition. Slightly discoloured for my taste.

Overall the watch is well presented and attractive. Check out this page for more info on Ultraman.

Phillips Lot 190

I review the four Geneva Auctions from Phillips, Antiquorum, Christies and Sothebys. They are on separate pages so click on the names to go direct to my page on them

Antiquorum Speedmasters

Antiquorum is selling a 822 lots in Geneva on November 11-12 2019. The link to the auction is here

In general the Antiquorum catalog descriptions are the least trusted of the Geneva houses, in that there are a lot of watches with undisclosed issues, and miss described, and a lot that are fair to poor quality. It is as though they take a lot of watches from watch dealers who cannot (or too ashamed to) sell these watches directly. The reason I like Antiquorum is that they gather a huge number of varied watches, that give a buyer, (or even looker) a very wide selection to see and learn from. You just have to buy only after careful inspection, as you cannot rely on AQ’s due diligence. I am not trying to be rude at all – AQ is a stack’em high, sell ’em cheap(ish) operation with a large number of lots. Because there are so many lots, we always think there might be a hidden gem. The Auction scene would be a blander place without Antiquorum, I do hope they do not take exception to my comments as they are not intended maliciously.

LOT 315

Speedmaster 105.003-65 Serial 24006945 Estimate $7,000 – $9,000

Super spotty Dial, and the lume plots are in comparatively good condition(?). Dial is correct close spaced t’s and print intact. H/M hands are greenish black and Chrono hand has orange lume. Bezel as several damages <1mm and is fair but correct DO90. There is no extract and I have not examined movement but I would expect it to need work. As extracts are so easy these days, if it does not have one I think there is a fair chance it wont get one. As an academic exercise, what would we pay for it? $4,000 would probably have a lot of interest, so $5,000 ? Perhaps. But this is reserved at nearly $9,000 with commission. Its a dog.

LOT 316

Speedmaster 145.022-69 Tropical Dial Serial 29115295 Estimate $7,000 – $9,000

Sold in USA on March 12th, 1970

At first glance this has an attractive body colour on the dial. Looking closer I see quite severe damage in the hour subdial. The plots show unusual lume that leads me to suspect it is re lumed (the Lume colour is applied so that the white under paint is visible all around the lume material). The H/M hands have exactly the same lume laid by a bricklayer so I would say the watch is re lumed. The bezel is fair with many damages <1mm. Watch has an extract and a bracelet which is good, but I think the dial damage is going to slow me down on this one. The endlinks do not fit.

LOT 317

Speedmaster 105.012-66 Serial  24951146 Estimate $8,000 – 14,000

Sold on June 8th, 1967 in the USA

As I can see slight evidence of facet lines on the lugs I am calling this a -66CB.

The dial needs further examination to establish the presences of the T SWISS T status. Also from this photo we cannot ascertain a step. The running seconds subdial is dirty, and the hour subdial is badly scored from an incorrect hand. The plots are present but patchy, missing lume in parts. The printing is intact. The crystal may be incorrect as the Rehaut may be missing or incorrect, contributing to the inability to see the T marks. The H/M hands are in fair condition, poor colour and marked. The pushers are short, and may be original with fat necks, assuming they are indeed omega pushers. The lighting gives them a slightly unusual shape but I think it is the light. The dial must be investigated further to check for a step, but the scoring on the subdial really kills the watch for me.

LOT 318

Speedmaster 145.022-69 Serial 31624573 Estimate $4,500 – $6,500

Sold on March 12th, 1970 in the USA

This watch is probably a service dial with no step. It has the T SWISS T mark but I think it is a 90’s dial. The H/M hands are wrong, this whole watch is an expensive Elephant. Buy it at your peril. Even at the low estimate.

LOT 319

Speedmaster 105.012-65 Serial 22828462 Estimate $7,000 – $9,000

Sold to Mexico on April 15th, 1966

The dial is correct, short spaced T’s. Body shows some small marks that may or may not be from the crystal – further inspection required. The lume plots are unusually orange, and would have me looking for evidence the lume is re applied, we need to do a UV test and inspect under a loupe. There is not the usual evidence for re lume, in that the plots are undamaged, and no scrape marks. It is just an unusual colour, one prized by Rolex buyers and imitated by dial restorers – so I am on red alert. Bezel looks real, a DO90 and in good condition. I would expect the H/M hands to have had adjustment judging from the dial. The pushers are original fat necks. Its an attractive watch if bought well, and you know its faults.

LOT 320

Speedmaster 145.022-68 Serial 26556417 Estimate $3,000 – $5,000

Delivered to Meister in 1969

Well I suppose the best thing I can say about this is that it is cheaper than I would expect a Geneva Auction house to price a Meister. The dial plots are damaged and missing lume in places, that may have been re applied in places. Dial print may be damaged at the 31 minute mark, or it could be the crystal, check before buying, Hands are greenish lume and probably replacements. The bezel is poor, but correct DO90. This is an inexpensive Transitional – fun to have at the right price. Probably looks better in hand than here.

LOT 321

Speedmaster 145.022-76 Serial 39922606 Estimate $2,000 – $4,000

Dial is domed and correct for reference, with intact lume and print. The H/M hands are probably original, the M hand has cracking lume. The bezel is correct but shows multiple damages. At the low estimate its fair. Its so cheap they did not even bother to get an extract.

LOT 322

Speedmaster 105.012-66 Serial 24953867 Estimate $4,000 – $6,000

Dial is correct, wide spaced T. Lume is quite strong orange, missing in places. Hands do not match, which is often a sign the watch has not been re lumed. The h/m hands are in fair condition, and the chrono hand has a yellow lume. Its all a bit miss matched and as a result probably original – I dont know why AQ is so sure these are service hands. They may be, I only have one photo to go on. Thing is, its so cheap it doesn’t make a different. This is a strong buy up to high estimate. Pushers are service, I think the crown will be too.

LOT 323

Speedmaster 145.012 Serial 20552955 (out of Range) Estimate $7,000 – $9,000

Dial is correct, stepped and in good condition. Plots are slightly patchy, yellow lume. Print is intact. The h/m hands are unusually matching and may have been re lumed. Subdial hands are showing some corrosion. Bezel is a modern service replacement and kills the watch at this estimate – even if the movement turns out to be in the correct range as I suspect the second digit may have been a miss read “6”.

This watch is really a poor example. Look at the lines on the top of the lugs, and you will see it has been polished to within an inch of its life.

LOT 328

speedmaster 2915-1 Serial 15996671 Estimate $80,000 – $140,000 Sold on December 24th, 1958 in Mexico

Flat oval dial. Short indices on subdial. dial body has damage at hour subdial lower lip. There is also either debris inside or dial has numerous small marks. The plots are missing lume in places, and turning quite orange in places. The print at the 34 minute is either damaged or the crystal is distorting. The H/M hands are strong coloured. I would expect them to have been re lumed at some time. The Subdial hands are dirty and old. The pushers look original, as does the crown. The bezel needs further study but my assumption is that it is a German Repro until I can match it up with an original. So far I cannot. All these 2915’s, especially sub $100,000 mark, are going to have lots of issues. If you are going to play here, you have to have a gamblers attitude. As a gambler, the odds are against you in this auction house. All that said, its not a bad buy at this level. I just dont see it sailing past the low estimate too far. (Watch me be wrong).

LOT 509

speedmaster 2998-6 Serial 18645478 Estimate $16,000 – $22,000

Dial is correct for reference. The dial is damaged, marked at the running seconds subdial. There is some gentle bubbling at the 2 marker. The rest of the dial seems fair, possibly a little “dry”. The plots have thin coating of lume, missing in places. The hands are probably original as they show age and decay – but not in a bad way. The triangle lume hour hand is the best one to have on this reference. The centre chrono hand is needle, and not usually seen on a 2998 this late, so to contradict myself perhaps it is replaced. The bracelet needs verifying, along with the endlinks. If they are 7912 and original No 6 endlinks then this watch is a buy. The overall look of it is commensurate and it looks right. It is not fine, but it is not expensive either. It could be a great wearable watch – even though in the back of my mind I think this is a bit cobbled together.

LOT 510

Speedmaster 145.022-69 Serial 29636912 Estimate $3,000 – $5,000

Dial is very good and correct. Hands are correct and original. Bezel is good. Its a single family ownership. It looks really good. It does not have an extract.

LOT 602

Speedmaster 105.002-62 Serial 19584984 estimate $8,000 – $14,000

Dial is correct, no T marks. The body may be clean, but there is debris, and scratches that are probably dust and the crystal, but you need to make sure before buying. The dial plots are very thin and not attractive, with dirt. The printing is intact. The H/M hands are thin lume, with I think curved ends and also transverse curve so I think are age correct. The chrono hand is the correct drop end, with a yellow lume. The bezel is a correct DO90. Crown looks original and the pushers also look original. It is not expensive at low estimate, but it is what it is, a correct but fair condition example of a very rare reference.

LOT 603

Speedmaster 145.022 Soyuz Serial 39180966 Estimate $40,000 – $60,000 Sold in April 1976 to Italy

It has the extract, which it needs to be any use at all. Lets see where this goes, there is another single owner one in Sothebys for half the estimate. This one has issues with the bracelet being too narrow at the endlink. With A-S’s beggars cannot be choosers, but in this case you can choose to look at the Sothebys one.

On second look, I think we should also look very closely at the dial and hands, as they look similar to some Re lumes. I am not saying from this one photo that is the case, I am saying that from this photo I would need to check more carefully.

I review the four Geneva Auctions from Phillips, Antiquorum, Christies and Sothebys. They are on separate pages so click on the names to go direct to my page on them