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….