blog

An Ebay 105.003

Now I have sympathy for New York dealers, as I imagine life is so intense that things get glossed over. They dont have time to slowly check things over, or they are just plain careless. Here is a Speedmaster offered on Ebay

Look at that! A nice full set, box and papers. Hold on, look at the papers, then look at the case. Something is not adding up. Asymmetrical reference on the papers and a straight lug case!

So papers show a 105.012 with a serial 24533975. This is not an asymmetric case. The dial is non pro so definitely not a 105.012.

These plots by the way are what I refer to as Algae coloured. Close spaced T marks indicate an early dial. But not a 105.012 dial, so has it had all the parts changed? We have to check the movement and case back:

Well its very blurry but we can definitely see the movement is 2282xxxx and not that on the document.

What about the case back? here we see its a 105.003-65

So my conclusion is that it is simply the wrong papers for the watch. There might be papers and the seller made a mistake, (New York rushing?) and the real papers are somewhere. I cannot believe this is a deliberate attempt to deceive as it is so blatant.

Is the watch worth buying?

Current bid, with 9 days to go, is $4500, so I am sure it will be bid to more. At this level its definitely a buy, but for how much longer? The main problem is of course the dial. Its a decayed, pond-life dial. No life, or colour to attract. So we have to remove a large chunk of value for the dial. The case is tired as is the bezel, but correct. We have to ignore the papers, (or ask the vendor if he does have matching ones and made an error in the photos).

There are not many correct Ed Whites on the market for less than $10,000 and any that are will have much to discuss. The question always is, can you live with a watch with issues if it is cheap, and how cheap is cheap?

Thats the fun of collecting these. For me, that dial will always make it a no. Unless we can factor in the cost of a new dial. Last time I saw, a nice Ed White dial was around $4500 if you could find it.

Something I have not seen before: Lemania Bridge

Selling on Ebay, and fully declared by the seller, is this 145.012 with a bridge that is labeled Lemania. Here is an example of what it should look like:

So we can see the “horseshoe”shaped bridge is identical except for the markings. I must say that I may have been caught out, had it not been brought to my attention. Going forward, I will not as it has been added into my brain’s automatic checklist.

Now since we are here lets check out the watch, and see if its worth buying. The ebay link is here

Its an unusual combination of silver degraded bezel and bright yellow plots on a black stepped dial. That is definitely a super-ghost bezel for sure, and the dial plot colour is strikingly even and fresh, like cake icing. The rest of the dial looks in very good condition. The hands in contrast are a little grubby.

Lets have a close look at a plot.

What I see here is a very even colour throughout the plot, and also that all the plots are exactly the same. They all have a fresh look to them, and the colour is pleasing. So pleasing in fact it is the colour one might chose if one could. One of the contributing pieces of evidence against a re lume is that the hands are so degraded by comparison – most people will do the hands and the dial at the same time.

Now we look at the bezel. A bezel as degraded as this has seen a lot of something to cause that level of fade, and indeed abrasion damage. This is not reflected in the state of the case – not at all, look at this:

We see pretty well defined lines and finish on the case, so suggests that the case has not been through what the bezel has.

So we have a dial with fresh looking plots, grubby hands which are unlikely to have experienced life in the same watch until now.

The same goes for the case and bezel that also show different levels of aging.

So my conclusion is that this watch has been assembled with parts that originally came from other watches.

It is possible the dial has been re lumed, or that it is a very fine dial, out of keeping with the rest of the watch. If I had to bet, I would say it was re lumed and that the hands simply were not done.

The movement has a non Omega part – understandable if done during the time when 145.012’s were trading for about double what a service cost, so people sought independents and cut corners.

Currently this watch sits at about $3600 and at that level its going to give someone some pleasure if they go in with eyes open, and prepared to find the lume is re applied. If it heads much higher, and by that I mean in excess of $5000, then I think that might be a little strong.

This watch underlines my attitude that at the right price, and incorrect watch can give pleasure for the wearer, as long as they know what they are buying. After all, a top example of a 145.012 will be over $12,000


A family owned Speedmaster

One of the great pleasures of this site is the people I meet, who have one watch and very different lives to mine. I corresponded with a gentleman in the west of England for months about this watch, and eventually I managed to drive down and meet him. The watch belonged to his friend, who told me the watch had remained unused for many years after the late original owner departed. It has clearly been used well. I did not know for sure what it was.

This watch was quite a quandary to value. Until I arrived, we did not know what the reference was. The dial is an AML with T marks – I did not capture that in the photos. It would appear it is well hidden under the silver rehaut.

The hands look to me like service items. Note the flat surface, and the sharp square ends of the lume slots.

The chrono hand looks original, and is a lovely thing to have. They are surprisingly unavailable in the secondary market – the Omega service item is an ugly, fat tailed thing that looks terrible.

This watch has a big dent in the lug: (oops! – Destroying, literally decimating the value)

In the shot above, we can see the dent. A candidate for laser filling perhaps? trouble is once you go down that route, the whole watch will be refinished.

Note also the lume, which appears original, and the corrosion on the pusher necks. If these have been replaced, (and the rest of the watch suggests they probably were) then they are original and old Omega parts, suggesting the last service was some time ago – especially bearing in mind the T mark dial.

Another view, showing the marked crystal. The bezel is a very nice DO90 – with quite a lot of dirt obscuring what I think is a near perfect example.

I have opened the watch, and it is a 2998-1 with an appropriate looking serial number. It was clearly serviced, and now carries non original dial, hands and bezel. My next step is to decide how best to bring this watch back. I have a 2998 dial, but no bezel, and I have a 105.003 that will love this dial as it currently has a service one.

Unfortunately I am now away once more, and the watches are back locked in the bank. As soon as I can, I will update with more photos of this interesting, though incorrect watch, and what I decide to do with it.


Bukowskis Shoot themselves in the foot….

And the seller of the 2915…

Lot 97, sold for $119,000 incl premium. Less than was openly offered pre sale by dealers, and that was before the Premium is deducted.

How to Screw a Sale:

The Auction House instigated a deposit requirement of 30% before allowing bidding on the most expensive speedmaster in the sale. This sale was going to be a challenge to market successfully as they only had it for a few weeks, and it felt rushed to market. I think the buyer got a bargain and a lovely (Nearly) original watch for considerably under what my dealer friends told me they offered the seller privately. While the seller was told to give it to an auction house, the Omega Forum regulars did say Phillips, or another of the big four, who would have taken their time to market directly to collectors. I should know, they do it to me. Bukowskis only contacted me to write an article, they did not offer to send Hi res photos, or ask if I wanted to bid, and most importantly, no one suggested that if I wanted to bid, I would have to send them 30% deposit.

Learn gentlemen. If your Big Brothers are not doing it, chances are its a bad idea.

Here are the results:

Lot NoEstHammer%over/UnderPlus22.5%In USD
1500008000060%98000$10,579
65000040000-20%49000$5,290
116000050000-17%61250$6,612
174500044000-2%53900$5,819
26350004200020%51450$5,554
3160000600000%73500$7,934
35300003800027%46550$5,025
39600007000017%85750$9,257
49550008500055%104125$11,240
72400004800020%58800$6,347
76550009000064%110250$11,901
7950000500000%61250$6,612
83380004600021%56350$6,083
874000035000-13%42875$4,628
951200000900000-25%1102500$119,015

One to avoid, and learn

I was recently asked an opinion on this watch, offered by a dealer in Miami. It is listed as a 145.012, and I am sure those familiar with this site will see several issues straight away:

145012 from Gray and son

The Pushers on the watch are probably non omega, and do not fit. Check the upper one which is overlapping the case.

The bracelet is just wrong and without endlinks.

The dial has lost lume in places, leaving the the white showing. This is not immediately obvious from the photos, but quite clear once you look for it.

The listing states the movement is 14xxxxxx which does not make any sense at all.

But what really has me looking, is the bezel. This bezel is DO90 but is it one of the new fakes? The dot is in the correct place on the 140 but there is no wear on it at all. The metal edge is slightly heavy and this is something I have seen in fakes, but also the photo may be making it so. However it is extremely hard to think of a life where this watch appeared as it is today with the bezel experiencing no damage, bearing in mind the state of the rest of the watch.

I am away from my comparables but if I was looking at this watch I would be checking everything, including the originality of the bezel, if there is any damage from those pushers, and just in general going over everything with a fine tooth come, as this watch has red flags all over it.

It is being offered for $12,400.

You can see the original offer here.

Bukowskis Sale April 2019

There are fifteen Speedmasters coming up for sale in Sweden. Some might question the salability of so many all at once, and it will be interesting to see how strong is the demand and if the prices are supported by many bidders. In particular there are six 105.012’s. I think it is useful to list all the speedmasters here:

Estimates are in $Italics RESULTS ARE IN $BOLD INCL 22.5% Premium

  • Lot 1 145.022-69 $5400 Tropical Dial $10,560
  • Lot 6 105.012-65 $5400 Service Pushers otherwise correct DO90 $5300
  • Lot 11 105.012-64 $6500 Luminova hands, service pushers DO90 $6610
  • Lot 17 105.012-66HF $4850 Service Pushers, DO90 Wrong bct$5820
  • Lot 26 145.012-67 $3800 Tired. White plots. Poor DO90. $5560
  • Lot31A 145.022-69 $6500 Brown Dial, luminvoa hands, DO90$7930
  • Lot 35 105.012 / 145.012 $3250 mismatched case back and midcase$5025
  • Lot 39 145.012 $6500 dial from 105003. Good DO90$9260
  • Lot 49 105.012-66HF $6000 miss matched pushers, good DO90 $11240
  • Lot 72 145.022.69 $4350 Good DO90, seems good $6350
  • Lot 76 105.012-66HF $6000 Close spaced T’s Good DO90$11900
  • Lot 79 145.012-67 $5400 1039 bracelet, good DO90, Correct$6610
  • Lot 83 145.022-69 $4100 Fair DO90 Service bracelet$6080
  • Lot 87 145.012-67 $4350 Serviced, later bezel and bracelet$4630
  • Lot 95 2915-2 $130,000 Believed original family$120000

As ever remember the buyers premium totaling 22.5%. There is a bit about a further “Resale Right” fee of 5% but I cannot understand when it is due or when it applies. Edit: It has kindly been pointed out to me this fee is due to living artists on works of art sold in Sweden – we think it wont apply to watches.

One last note, is that since publishing this summary I was contacted by Bukowskis, who asked me to write a report. This report was published before they asked and I am happy to say it was my idea to write it, and I am happy they appreciate it, even though I consider myself completely independent and free to write what I believe.

The sale can be accessed here

Lot 1 Tropical Dial 145.022-69 Est $5400+ Commission

Link to lot Here

This is a non working watch, in the 2960xxxx range known for its attractive brown dials. It comes on the correct bracelet and is potentially a good watch to buy – it will need sympathetic recommissioning but I like it. Like all brown dials it would be best to view it before shooting the moon on it, but at the estimate I think its good. The DO90 bezel looks good and as far as I can see correct. This would be a watch I would try to buy.

Lot 6 105.012-65 Est $5400+ Commission

See it here

The first thing that strikes me is of course the damaged bezel. The watch looks like it has been serviced, but dont take my word for it. The movement is clean, but shows signs of minor corrosion, which is joined by corrosion on the hands. So commensurate with a little water damage perhaps. The pushers have been changed for service pushers (thin necks). The chrono hand is square end, so perhaps the hands were changed some time ago. The bezel is correct but poor. For the estimate, it is not crazy, but I wonder if there are currently buyers for this kind of watch at this price. Its a wearable speedmaster, with an attractive dial and handset, let own by the bezel, but then it is cheaper.

Lot 11 105.012-64 Est $6500+commission

Listing can be seen here

Those hands burn my eyes! This example has the close spaced T marked dial, and a very early serial, so attractive for its rarity. For me the 64 is quite hard to find, and this might account for the higher estimate than the previous lot, which is quite similar. I would guess this one also had a recent service, the pushers and hands were changed, and the good thing is the old hands come with the watch. I will take note of how the sale of these two 105.012’s progresses with interest.

Lot 17 105.012-66HF $4850 + Commission

See the lot here

Yet another 105012. This one is the 66HF and I think it is harder to find than the 66CB. This one has an incorrect 1171/633 bracelet. It also has the service pushers, and a tired bezel in common with the last two. So by being the cheapest it might be the best value one to go for, if you are looking for an entry level or wearable 105.012 Speedmaster. It looks like it needs a service (look at the hour subdial, which has crept all the way to 4). But then most watches here need a service.

It has a lot of marks, which I think are on the crystal but could be on the dial. By comparing the face on and side on photos, I conclude that the marks are on the crystal. I would if buying triple check that, and do not rely on me.

Lot 26 145.012-67 $3800 + Commission

See it here

While this might appear cheap, there is good reason as the whole watch is tired cosmetically, in a way it cannot be brought back from without re polishing the case, and re luming the dial – which looks like it has lost all lume and now showing the white pant of the plots. It is a great example of a watch that while having all the correct parts, is just not worth very much as all the parts are poor. Obviously the bracelet is a later one, and so does not need to be taken into account for value. It comes with papers, which are probably genuine as they have a hint of carelessness or incompetence often seen in original papers. If the extract were to match the country of issue I would be happy to accept them. However as the watch is so poor, its a moot point.

Lot 35 105.012/145.012 $3250 + Commission

See the lot here

So this is what appears to be a 105.012 with a 145.012 case back. It is ironic that this is the most attractive 105012 in the sale so far! That is taking into account the price and condition.

The pushers are fat necked originals. The dial and bezel look correct and indeed the bezel may be better when cleaned or just in real life. The hands are damaged but a good watchmaker will repair them or even fully restore them to vintage appearance. Although I would expect a drop end chrono, and therefore this may be an early replacement set. The lume on the dial is not perfect but I would leave that alone, and give it a full service. If you have a case back lying around, (which I do) then this will give a very cheap 105.012-66CB. And if it clears an extract….it wuld be quite cheap. So I would be a buyer for this at the estimate. Bearing in mind the value of the fat neck pushers I expect this lot to do better than my bid.

Lot 31A 145.022-69 Brown $6500 + Commission

See it here

This is a well prepared lot, serviced, with an extract, but somehow disappointing.

However the bracelet is too late. The brown on the dial is blotchy, and the photographs have as yet failed to excite me as far as the colour and appearance go. And that is the secret with a brown, it has to excite the viewer. Perhaps this will when held in hand, but so far I am not a bidder for this. Bezel looks nice, but they changed all the hands for Superluminova, and the whole watch just doesnt look as nice as it should for the money being asked. It has a new dust cover, and this always puts my speedy senses tingling. We shall see if this sells.

Lot 39 145.012 with 105.003 dial $6500 + Commission

See it here

Well this is one for the watch builders. It has good parts. The price is strong, its no bargain, but the watch is interesting. The dial could go straight into a 105.003 and make it better, the bezel is good and real, and the bracelet is period, even if the endlinks do not fit. The case sides show clear brushing. I wonder what is the origin of the case, and what the story is. Perhaps this is a re-cased 105003 rather than a 145012 with an early dial. I would want an extract telling me what the movement should be in before buying this, but its an interesting lot for a gambler.

Lot 49 105.012-66HF $6000 + Commission

See it here

Oh dear. How many mediocre 105.012’s can the market absorb at once? This has one service pusher and one original. A good bezel and an ok dial, with the wrong bracelet and a dirty movement. Its going to need a bit of work, and the hands need adjusting as they look awful to me. I dont like or trust this watch at this money. Who replaces ONE pusher?

Putting my visceral feelings aside, is it worth buying? Well I would want to fit another pusher and finding one will be a challenge. Plus a service , and some minor hand adjustment will bring the watch into roughly $9000. So not crazy.

Lot 72 145.022-69 $4350 +commission

See it here

Assuming that the speckling over the left subdial is on the crystal, I like this one for the money, its downright cheap. Good DO90 bezel, and a nice looking dial *(Subject as I say to the speckle check), I cannot see why this is not going to sell over estimate. Its a 2911xxxx series so even if not brown, it is likely the dial will be nice. I am a buyer for this watch at this price. Subject to confirming that dust/dial marks.

Lot 76 105.012-66HF $6000 + Commission

See it here


This is a good looking correct watch and so far the 105012 I would try to buy. The dial is close spaced T’s, and the serial is at the lower end of the correct range, so the early dial makes sense. The DO90 bezel is nice. It comes on a 1039 bracelet, which is filthy. I like this watch. It seems unmolested, in spite of the slightly discoloured bridge in the movement.

This is my pick of the sale so far.

Lot 79 145.012-67 $5400 + Commission

See it here

An attractive looking watch. A fair DO90. The dial looks nice but has lost some plot lume, under a damaged crystal. The bracelet is a 1039 but the hands look luminova. The watch comes with a lot of paperwork and a genuine looking filled Omega booklet. The bracelet bears initials on the bracelet. At the estimate it looks good, but it may fail to sell at this price in this market. I hope I am wrong.

Lot 83 145.022-69 $4350+ Commission

Another 2911xxxx, this time with a bracelet, but it is a later service bracelet. The dial and hands are very nice, but the bezel is slightly more damaged than lot 72. It also comes with what is described as a damaged 1039 bracelet. One pusher has been replaced.

Lot 87 145.012-67 $4400 + Commission

This is another photo that shows lots of dust, or specks, and we need to know if they are on the dial. I am assuming its dust for this assessment, but if I was a buyer for this lot I would HAVE to confirm the state of the dial with the auction house. The dial is otherwise ok, but the plots are losing lume and what is left is dirty. The DO90 bezel is fair. The bracelet is 1450 so I imagine there will be buyers of this lot who just want the bracelet. I will not be bidding for this, even at the estimate which will make it quite an inexpensive calibre 321 speedmaster – I just could not live with those plots.

Lot 95 2915-2 $120,000

This has caused a minor stir over on the forum, here. The hour and minute hands show different colour lume, so at least one of them has been re lumed. It is believed to have been found in a drawer of the original owner. I will let any buyer make their own mind up about this watch. Good luck!

Some Interesting Hand Sales

I am often asked what hands go for. A quick trawl of Ebay yields some interesting things.

First, from Ebay being sold by a very good seller is a set of NOS Tritium hands that sold for so much money they must be headed for a straight lug watch.

NOS Tritium Hands sold by Usmidur on Ebay for 1400 sterling

Next we have a set of New hands, which I think must be Superluminova. The seller is another one with a good reputation. These have a Buy It Now price of 165 Sterling.


There are also aftermarket hands, which are sold to replace Omega hands. These are being offered for 50 Sterling. The seller makes it clear that the hands are aftermarket:

And here is an Original set of Omega Hands in original packaging for 175 Sterling:

It is fascinating to me that the NOS tritium hands were fought so hard for, but it makes sense when you work it out, and if they are going to end up in a valuable straight lug.

We also have to be careful when buying lesser valuable references as it seems that aftermarket hands are going to be prevalent.

Pulsation Bezel on 2998

The Pulsation Bezel is seen in two executions. Here is a 2998, with an early (vintage) example. The vintage bezel is identified by the silver line separating the inner edge from the numbers.

This particular example is pleasing but with issues.

When buying we must always check the dial, and the dial printing. This is a classic example where the printing, (near the 12 marker) has degraded. While the dial is a correct vintage dial, the condition is lower, and so therefore must be the value. By how much, well thats the game!

Here is the rest of the watch.

We also have to consider the For a long time these bezels were not especially valued, and people wanted the DO90. I have noticed an uptick in interest, and prices paid for the pulsation bezel in recent months.

AQ Fake Bezel Resolved Happily

In December 2018 I traveled with Mrs Fruit to Geneva. Early start, day trip from London.

attachThumb715122

Primarily I wanted to look at the 2915’s being offered, as it was a great opportunity to see several examples in one place. I was especially interested to see the prices realised for these early speedmasters after two sold earlier in the year for $400,000 and $275,000. Prices so much outside my understanding I wanted to handle the pieces being offered so I could feel what was going on. I wrote about that visit here.
In my previous life I made my living trawling through auctions (not for watches) and so its a familiar environment. One of the habits I picked up was always try to buy something on a trip. It seems to lock my mind into a feeling of what was going on at the time. It also focuses the mind, trying to find the sleeper in the group. There were four auctions to choose from, surely I could find it? As it turned out, if I had money, the real sleeper might have been one of those Phillips 2915’s.
When buying, my mindset now is all about finding a watch that will knock out an existing watch from my collection. So if I find a good example, I buy it take it home and put it next to the one I have. Best watch wins, and its another OF sales listing for the one that was knocked off the pedestal. 
This caught my eye – its a 2911xxx 145.022-69 with what appeared to be a flawless DO90 bezel:

attachThumb715069

Please remember this was December 2018. At that time, not many people considered that a fake DO90 bezel was plausible, possible, or circulating. Let alone circulating early enough to have arrived into an auctioneers office in time to be cataloged for a December sale.
So my hunters eye was drawn to the Dot Over the Ninety bezel – and I focused on the actual dot over the ninety. I went round the rest of the bezel searching for blemishes and saw none. I admit i got over-exited. To me, a flawless real DO90 is worth $5000. No question. Offer one to a big speedmaster dealer for his grumpy 2998 with a meteor bezel and he will snatch it from you. So my feeling was that at $6500 for the whole watch it was a bargain. The bracelet is a later 1171 which alerted me to the idea this was a trade watch – which should have made me more careful, but I was blinded and ignorant.
It just shows that I do not know half as much as some people think I do. (I am just happy to share what I do know). I can only know what I have learned, and there is always more to learn. In the knowledge of bezels, I was complacent, without meaning to be, but I was.
I did not collect this watch until January, and I did not realise the bezel was fake until I posted a slightly show – off post on IG….well I did think at the time I had done spectacularly well. Oops. Here is that photo, showing the AQ watch on the left,  next to a recently acquired one owner watch of the same reference on the right.

attachThumb715083

A sharp eyed follower alerted me (politely – some are not so polite when they see me make an error and delight in trying to shame me, so that was appreciated). So I took the post down to investigate, and to approach AQ.
Note the watch on the right, is the original one owner watch. On the left, note the position of the Dot at the 140. It is almost an ” i ” compared to the left where the dot is over the 4 of the 140.
I wrote to AQ informing them I wanted to return the watch, as the bezel was counterfeit.
The response was as expected, that the sale had taken place three months previous, and that no mention or representation of the bezel’s originality was made. They went on to say that the bezel was clearly shown in the photographs, and it can be seen that the dot over the 140 is in the wrong place.
Now this is all true. It is clear in the photo to us with the knowledge we have today, that this is a fake bezel. However in December 2018 it was not common knowledge. I am also not surprised, nor do I blame the staff for not knowing the bezel was fake for the same reason.
I also accept that it took some time to discover. Although if it were a Rembrandt sold by Sothebys that was discovered, years after the sale, as fake, then what would happen then?
Having laid out their case, which was the bezel was clearly shown, and the discovery of the counterfeit months after the sale and settlement, they offered the choice of a new genuine service bezel or a vintage DO90 replacement bezel.
I was pleased with this counter offer – returning a watch is always bureaucratically challenging, crossing customs jurisdictions and money returning, its a headache I would rather avoid. The offer was, without accepting liability, in my opinion the correct thing to do, and I am impressed with AQ’s decision. As auctioneers they are just agents, and have to be knowledgeable across a wide spectrum. How they deal with inevitable issues like this is a window into the operation. As a result of how they handled this, I would have no qualms about bidding again – I would perhaps do more due diligence, but that goes for all auction houses.
Here is the replacement they sent:

attachThumb715100

Its not the best DO90, and we all know hard it is to find one. It is better in real life than in the photos. Bearing in mind the cost, and the condition of the rest of the watch, I am very happy. The staff at AQ turned my thinking right around. I was never going to bid at AQ again, I was so upset. I felt completely conned, and let down. However they way they dealt with it, by replacing the bezel, was an example to other auction houses. I think they took a bad situation, and turned it around. I cant tell you how rare that is in the auction world.
Now the story with AQ ends here. But the counterfeit bezel story continues.
What would you guys think of this? Here is a bezel on the same AQ watch:

attachThumb715119

This is one of the newer fake DO90 bezels, where the DO140 is correctly positioned.
The give away here is the steel ring, and some minor font issues. Its actually easier to spot once you know.
So this watch has gone off to Simon Freese for the new AQ bezel to be fitted, and I am a happy customer of AQ. 
The more I think about it, the more I think they really did the right thing.

Bonhams Auction Feb 2019

I have done well in the past, finding original watches from this auction house. It is important as ever to view an expensive watch in person, especially to check it really is as attractive as we might think.

This particular auction is poorly presented. I really do feel that if you want to maximise the price then more than one photograph is essential, and offering these photographs with so much post processing or over exposure, is not going to help buyers reach a maximum bid if they cannot determine the colours on the dial.

All photos are from the Bonhams site, and if you follow the links you can see high resolution.

Here is the first speedmaster offered:

Lot 103 Omega. A stainless steel manual wind chronograph bracelet watch Speedmaster, Ref: ST 105.003-65, Sold 28th December 1967

Estimate is £ 8,000 – £ 12,000 plus 25% Commission

Link to Listing

We have just one photograph to go on here, but there is still quite a lot of information, in both the image and the description. First if we look at the photo, we see that the dial looks correct, but the over exposure is hiding the true nature of the lume colour – and indeed the dial colour. Bidding on this photo alone will be a gamble. Look at the 4 o’clock marker, this is showing damage at the step.

Around the dial, the minute track is showing inconsistencies, but I think this may well be crystal damage distorting what we see. With only one image, it is impossible to determine for sure.

The whole look of the lume is worrying, and the colour indicates we need to check carefully if indeed there is lume on the plots at all. I think there may be, but what colour it actually is needs to be determined.

The bezel, always an important factor in the value, is original looking, and damaged. In my mind, I give bezels a mark out of five, as a top DO90 is $5000. So this one is about a 2.5/5 giving is a nominal value of $2500 for the purposes of determining this watches total value.

The watch comes on a correct 1039 bracelet, and this also adds to the value. The endlinks do look a little sloppy between the lugs

The pushers and crown do look original, and over all this watch may well be a very good basis for a sympathetically restored original piece.

This is underlined by the description, which includes the original paperwork, box and archive information (without actually saying they have the archive!) making this a very desirable basis.

However, it all depends on what this watch looks like in hand. I really do not understand why Bonhams cannot produce a better photograph. It is pretty inexcusable really.

So as you can tell, I am torn. This watch presents as an original watch, with the correct bracelet, and extract, and box and papers. This is wonderful to have such an original appearing complete set. The thing is, I am not sure it will look very nice if the plots are white and missing lume.

You have to see it.

On now to the next, lot 107

Lot 107 Omega. A stainless steel manual wind chronograph bracelet watch Speedmaster Professional, Ref: 145.012-67 SP, Circa 1967

Estimate is £ 5,000 – 7,000 plus 25% Commission

Link to Listing


This watch has some red flags immediately. First is that the bracelet is a service item, marked 1171/1 – so not an original watch. Possibly no harm, but does make me be extra vigilant. There is also no provenance in the form of an extract, or papers. It is just a watch dumped into the auction possibly by a collector or dealer, it does not “feel” like it comes from an original owner. Sometimes you have to go with intuition.

But is it worth buying? Sometimes it is, if the watch has been cared for. Getting the picture of the site was challenging, so I suggest you toggle to it directly, using the link above.

The 145.012 is a reference we see sometimes bought and broken for parts, and so in a way they are easier to value, in the cold valuation of components. Here we have a bezel that is probably a 2/5 or less. It is damaged near the 80 mark as well as various chips.

The dial has remnants of lume, but the printing is all there, and the dial might just have an attractive body colour.

Everything else looks ok, not special or in particulary special overall condition, so I would not expect this watch to pique interest like the previous lot might. I think for what it is, it is just a little too high in the estimate. I would be surprised if this sells.

Lot 117 Omega. A stainless steel manual wind chronograph bracelet watch Speedmaster ‘Ed White’, Ref: ST 105.003-65, Circa 1966

Estimate £ 5,000 – 7,000 plus 25% Commission

Link to listing

This is quite a different animal to the first Ed White. The bezel is bleached out, though correct, and while the term ghost bezel is attached to these, I do not rate them. The dial is really quite damaged, as we can see here:

I would say the dial has spent time out side of a case.

The position of the chrono hours hand would suggest the movmeent needs a service and in general the dial is not so fine.

This is a watch for a particular person, who enjoys a watch that shows its age. This of course is related to value, and part of the attraction of a watch like this is that it should not cost very much. I think this may well have been over estimated.