In total there are four BASE500 bezels and here is a quick easy method to identify if the watch you are inspecting has the correct bezel.
For the purposes of this site we are interested in two types of BASE500 bezel, and we need to make sure that a later bezel is not fitted. As the value of post -69’s has risen, so has the importance of making sure the watches carry the correct bezel. There are two types of tall letter bezels – one of which is correct for watches up to -78 and the other that is too late for us. In the past this did not affect the value but that has now changed, and so then must I.
Once again we are looking for small differences in font that someone new to Speedmasters might shake thier head wondering at the fuss, but these small differences can change the value by thousands – so it matters!
In three steps we can quickly and accurately identify the bezel :
1. Is there a Dot over the 90 ?
If not go to #2
If so it is the most valuable of this set, as fitted to the 2998-3 until midway through the 145.022:
If you have a DO90 then you do not proceed as you have identified the bezel. If the Dot is Next to the 90 then proceed to next step:
2. Is there an Accent on the TACHYMETRE ?
If not go to #3
And a Dot Next to 90? :
If the bezel has both the accent and Dot Next to 90, it is the late, small font bezel from the 1990’s+ and as such not fitted to any watch covered by this site.
If there is no accent then proceed to next step.
3. Is the 7 on the 70 with a serif (a downward drop on the left edge of the 7 as shown) ?
if so it is what we refer to in this site as the DN90 bezel as fitted from mid 145.022-69 until the 145.022-78.
This bezel also comes with the 200 replaced by 220. This is a misprint and is correct on a narrow range of 145.022-69’s produced in 1970.
If it does not have a serif, then it is only correct on watches post 1990:
This is seen on 1990 to 1995 approximate and therefore is not original to any of the watches covered on the site.