All posts by admin

Fixed a minor bug

In the site that stopped all the images displaying full size:

Back to big pictures

Three 145.022's. The first two exhibit a pleasing patina, while the one on the far right is in close to factory fresh appearance with its black dial and clean hands
Three 145.022’s. The first two exhibit a pleasing patina, while the one on the far right is in close to factory fresh appearance with its black dial and clean hands

2998 with Lolipop

This 2998 carries a very rare Chronograph hand with a large disc at the end, know as the lolipop.

Watches carrying these hands have asking prices up to $6000 more than similar watches with the straight chrono.

Recently a set of 2998 hands including a lolipop was offered at nearly Euros 6000.

2998-4 With rare lolipop chrono hand.
2998-4 With rare lolipop chrono hand.

The Three Asymmetric Cases

I am trying to photograph the three examples of an asymmetric speedmaster together and here is what I have so far. Placed side by side it might not be immediately apparant to a novice that the value of the watch on left is twice that of the one on the right.

The three examples of asymmetric cased Speedmasters. From left, 105.012, 145.012, 145.022
The three examples of asymmetric cased Speedmasters. From left, 105.012, 145.012, 145.022


A 145.012 for sale on Ebay

I came across this, and it caught my eye. I wont know until the end of this piece if I like it, you are literally coming on the journey with me, as I assess it.

The eBay lot is here.

145.012 on ebay
145.012 on eBay, May 2015

So my initial feelings are, over touched photo, but potentially interesting. Dial and handset not the most attractive, but they seem to have a nice aging, although the plots are missing the lume. The hour recorder shows chrono creep so it will need to go straight to service, if bought.

It is hard to really get a feel when a photo has been this edited. So lets look deeper. I am liking it less and less…

As I always say, check the case reference, then the movement calibre, and then the serial – and see if they all could have left the factory together. First then the movement, because that’s what I looked at next.

(EDIT: Really I should check the case ref. first as you will see)Movement. Note the number.

Movement. Note the number. It is not correct for a 145.012

Oh dear, we are in trouble now. 2052xxxx is way to early for a 145.012, so better check inside the case back….

A service case back! Note the 145 0012
A service case back! Note the 145 0012

Note the reference is a “Double 00” reference, which indicates a factory supplied service part.

So this is a franken-watch ! Certainly the movement is from around 1962, long before the 145.012 was ever made.

I wonder if the whole case is a service case, although I think not as it shows too much wear:

Side view showing either dirt or corrosion
Side view showing either dirt or corrosion

The seller needs a little investigation now. No one gets one of these by accident.

The description suggests he is a non English speaker. Not being racist, but several of these assembled watches come in from middle Europe, so it might be a factory sending into UK to a “friend” to disguise the origin. Here I am just thinking aloud, my anti-scam radar on full alert.

Now I dig into his ID history and found he changed it in 2003 from a strange name, “buddhikaweerasena” which does not sound Eastern or Middle Europe. More like 419 territory to me.

Then checking further, I look into the sellers history, (as we always should) and I see  he sells a lot of watches. So he is a dealer, (certainly he passes the IRS’s definition of over 20 trades). As a dealer I think he should be ashamed of himself to offer this watch up as though it is an original piece.

Pieces like this have a place, but must be sold under full disclosure. A fine 145.012 might be worth this much, but this is a dubious condition, assembled non original watch. I think it cannot be worth more than $2200-3000 as parts.

But that’s just me – I expect too much from people I realize.


Its a monster.

Auction Results, Geneva May 2015

Lot 396 Antiquorum 2998-4 sold for $9,400  reviewed here

2998-4 for sale Antiquorum May 2015. Photo from listing.
2998-4 for sale Antiquorum May 2015. Photo from listing.

Lot 217 Phillips 2998-5 Sold for $26,800 reviewed here

2998-5 in Phillips May 2015
2998-5 in Phillips May 2015

Lot 60 Christies 105.003-65 Sold for $9500 Reviewed here

Lot 60
Lot 60

Lot 61 Christies 105.002 Sold for $12,200 Reviewed here

Lot 61. Photo from Christies listing
Lot 61. Photo from Christies listing

Lot 215 Christies 2998-2 Sold for $29,900 reviewed here

Lot 215. Photo from Christies listing
Lot 215. Photo from Christies listing

Lot 216 Christies 2998-2 Sold for $12,900 reviewed here

Lot 216. Photo from Christies
Lot 216. Photo from Christies



145.012 Market Report

Prompted by the recent sale of this 145.012 I thought I would have a hard look at what has been selling recently, to make sure the price chart its accurate. I must confess that this is my least favorite reference, as it offers little in the way of evolution or historical interest – each of the previous references were either used first in space, or were the first to carry improvements – particularly the 105.012. In other words, if I wanted an asymmetrical cased 321, then I would want a 105.012.

Here are some examples sold off ebay in recent months, that illustrate to me the price for a running 145.012 has moved to a solid $3300+. All the following watches have something wanting, but had very strong bidding. It is clear that good photos encourage higher prices – some of the photos obviously better than others.

At the end are two Buy It Now examples. (BIN). Unfortunately Ebay has removed the ability for the end price to be found, (Used to get it from the “print” option) so we do not know what they sod for.

All photos are from the ebay listings.


With Pulsations Bezel:

145.012-67 Sold Ebay  May 2015 for $5250
145.012-67 Sold Ebay May 2015 for $5250

The watch above is a very nice condition watch – but what makes it very interesting is the original pulsations bezel. Note the line between the markers and the numbers, that is missing in modern versions of this bezel. This watch carries incorrect hour/minute hand, as well as a new drop chrono hand. The photos appear edited for contrast and this makes it harder to judge the condition. For all that the dial and case look good. The seller is British and feedback under 70 but all good, and specializing in watches. The high price for this watch might be explained by the rare bezel, the good dial, and the excellent photos.

Poor Dial from Mexico:

145.012 sold ebay may 2015 $3151
145.012 sold ebay may 2015 $3151

This watch has something funny going on with the dial, missing lume on the hands, and a poor condition bezel. I would have not wanted it. The dial is the heart of the value, and this one is simply awful. The seller is a solid watch seller from Mexico with a strong history. Many of his watches have had a hard life and this is an example of one such.

From a Canadian Picker:

145.012 sold on Ebay May 2015 for $3850
145.012 sold on Ebay May 2015 for $3850

This watch sold in Canada, which often causes a slightly higher price as locals feel ready to pay higher because of import charges. The seller appears to be a picker, or estate trader, for whom a watch is just another item. This watch also has some new hands. In general I find this an abused watch, one that will need some careful restoration – and removal of that modern bracelet. It will  however be an excellent project, needing just a few things to be a nice watch. Once again I think the photos do not help.

Chicago Enthusiast:

145012 sold on Ebay March 2015 for $3333
145012 sold on Ebay March 2015 for $3333

This watch was sold by an enthusiast in USA. It has the wrong hands, (originals were supplied) and came with a bracelet. Again the photos don’t help. The bezel and case are fair, the dial hard to judge, but it looks as though the lume has gone, leaving the white paint on the plots. I am not sure this will ever be a nice watch – just an average. The white plots will always bother me.

BIN from USA:

145012 Sold on Ebay May 2015. The BIN price was $5500, but a lower offer was accepted.
145012 Sold on Ebay May 2015. The BIN price was $5500, but a lower offer was accepted.

Ironically the USA seller apologized for the photos, saying he didn’t have a very good camera. Frankly I preferred these photos over every other example I have listed. This is also, (bezel excepted) the best looking watch for me. The lume is present, the hands original, and the case in good condition. It is impossible to tell what it sold for since ebay removed that option. The bezel is new, but that is easily replaced. If expensive.

BIN from Argentina:

145,012 sold on Ebay. BIN price of $5400 and a lower offer was accepted
145,012 sold on Ebay. BIN price of $5400 and a lower offer was accepted

From an Argentinian seller, this watch is not as nice as the previous BIN example, and yet posted for similar money. The bezel is again new, but the case, like many south American watches, is heavily used and dinged. The dial is dirty and the hands look a mismatch from three different watches. It does not attract me.

Here is the page for the 145.012

Speedmaster 2998 in Phillips Geneva May 2015

Phillips are selling a lot of watches only two of which are speedmasters, and at first glance have relatively reasonable estimates. Reasonable for Geneva auctions! The sheer number of “rare” rolexes does make you wonder.

On the the Speedmaster. I will look first at the 2998, the other is a 1969 Gold commemorative, that is a bit outside my scope. I may get to it, but I cant add too much.

The first is my favorite reference a 2998. You can look at the watch on Phillips’ site here

2998-5 in Phillips May 2015
2998-5 in Phillips May 2015. Photo from Listing.

According to the catalog this watch carries a movement serial number 17301309. My observations put this number in an earlier case, in fact a 2998-1. I would expect to see an 18m serial in a 2998-5. HOWEVER ! I am just an amatuer observing the watches as they appear and reading all the information I can. I cannot be certain this is incorrect. All I can say is that it will not be me going all out to buy it because I do not think it is correct. The listing says it has an Omega extract which will be very interesting to see – if it is recent, then I must reexamine all my ideas regarding serials for 2998’s. If it is old, its not worth the paper its printed on.

Estimate is $7200 – $12,000 plus commission.

The dial looks ok, and the case does too. The bezel is correct and in fair condition. If it were not for the movement discrepancy I would recommend this watch.

A minor issue is that the hand layout does not fit the received wisdom for a 2998-5. Here is what I would expect, stick hands on the subdials:

2998-61. This carries the same hand layout as what I expect to see in a 2998-5. I dont have one at the moment, so this is the nearest I can offer!

 Once again, when I see something a little off in a watch, I start to be suspicious. In the case of the Phillips 2998-5, the movement does not match the case reference, and the hands are slightly incorrect for the reference. SO is it original? I dont think so. But I may be proved wrong if Phillips produce a recent Omega extract.

Transitional Prices

After some reserch, and trying to find one for a friend, I am going to modify the transitional price in the chart. I think there is a strong body of people prepared to pay a premium over the 145.022-69 that justifies these price changes, although the volume of transactions is so small due to the rarity it is hard to say if a price is correct or not. Pretty much everyone I speak to is ready to pay over $4000 for a correctly fitted transitional.

See more on Transitionals here.

145.022-68. Just Aquired
145.022-68. Just Acquired – this is now at the workshop for a service.

Speedmasters at Christies

Christies are selling four speedmasters on 11 May 2015 in Geneva.

The auction house charges 25% (plus vat if a local sale) and I have listed them below. The sale is in Swiss francs but I have quoted US$ on the estimates for consistency. The photographs are from the listing, and not good quality. If you go to the site you will be able to see high resolution, if much processed photos of the front only. For a company that wants to have as many online bidders as possible, this is not showing me what I need to see to give my maximum price.

Estimates in general are strong, and don’t forget the 25% buyers premium to add to the hammer price.

Here is a link to the Omega filtered page at Christies.

Lot 60

Lot 60
Lot 60. Photo from Christies listing

Estimate  $ 7400-$10,500

Omega. A rare and attractive stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with bracelet, Tropical dial and box


This has a very brown dial. I would want to see this watch in person before going ahead and bidding. The value is all in the dial appearance and it has certain queries for me. I have not seen a dial with this considerable degradation with such perfect plots. If they are relumed it is a very good job. I would accept it, but I want to know before buying.

This watch has a dial that will have people divided as to its attraction. The degradation has produced what looks like a nice brown colour, but the dial itself looks dry, and the minute markings are damaged. (While at the same time the plots look very good?) The whole dial looks as though it might have spent some time outside a watch.

The hands look perfectly matched to the dial, and the off colour  lume is in such good condition, that I would want to satisfy myself whether or not they are recently fitted prepared items – I think they are. This just needs to be taken into account when valuing. Its a hard thing, because I am sure if they are substitutes, the watch looks much better because of them.

The bezel is quite poor, and I would not let it influence the price.

I like that it comes with an archive extract.

The crystal has been replaced with one with a silver rehaut, and this is incorrect, It should have a black rehaut. As always, once I see one incorrect part like this, I have to be suspicious (but open minded) of the rest of the watch – what else has been changed? The more I look at it, the less I am inclined to say this is an original watch. I think it is likely to be restored one, and I cannot say for sure which parts it left the factory with.

This watch has a lot of question marks, many of which might have been answered had Christies put up more photographs, and processed them less. We could have seen so much more, especially the general case condition. As it is, I would not be flying to Geneva for this one.

Lot 61

Lot 61. Photo from Christies listing
Lot 61. Photo from Christies listing

Estimate is $7400-$10,500



Box and papers always are a red herring to me, you can’t wear a box.

This watch comes with original hand filled guarantee from the date of sale, but with a discrepancy in the last digit. I think I agree with Christies that this was a “misread” but I still don’t like it. I think this watch is outside Omega’s ability to issue an extract. In some ways these incorrect papers make me think they are genuine. After all if an unscrupulous seller is going to fill in a period blank form, would he make a mistake? He might.

The dial is not the best, it looks dry and very slightly blemished. It is not bad as such, just not attractive to me. It could be the photo, but I see little white spots all over the dial, and the subdial edges look rubbed from the dial being stored outside of a watch.

This is an early 105.002 and caries he alpha hands, indeed the more attractive triangular hour lume as well. It is a very rare watch.

This may well turn out to be the best of the bunch.

Lot 215

Lot 215. Photo from Christies listing
Lot 215. Photo from Christies listing

Estimate  $20,000-$30,000



At first sight Everything looks good on this watch, a high quality dial, correct, a Base1000 bezel that is in fair condition, a movement number in acceptable parameters.

The big red flag is that it has short, new, seamaster alpha hands. I have to ask why? Immediately we must look at the whole watch as potentially a non original.

I would need to see inside, because if the repairer thought it is acceptable to use those hands, then what else did he replace? Once again, Christies have not provided enough photos to allow me to judge.

This is a huge amount of money for a 2998, let alone one with these questions. If this sells then the market has indeed moved.

Lot 216

Lot 216. Photo from Christies
Lot 216. Photo from Christies

Estimate is $6400 – $8500



This has a movement number outside accepted parameters, it is too high. I am very suspicious. I think it more likely the movement in this watch came from a seamaster.

I am thinking the hands are modern replacements as the lume ends are squared and the originals are rounded.

It ought to have a BASE1000 bezel.

I cant find a nice thing to say about this, Even Christies know it is wrong, estimating it for a third of the other 2998-2 they are selling.

Even at the low estimate, this is going to cost a buyer around $8,000 which is a lot for a franken.

I wish you all the best of luck if bidding, and the only thing I can say is that all of these need viewing, and the presentation on the web, and in the catalog, is inadequate for me to make a proper assessment.