Updated for December 2019
- The market has seen a great many sales in the last few months, at Auctions and privately. There is a sold 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 enjoy.
- The FOMO crowd has left. 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.
- That said 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).
- BEWARE OF FAKE DO90 BEZELS !
- There is no longer any speedmaster on general sale worth having under $3200 – if it is under it might need a lot of work and parts, or you could be lucky…
- Lastly, if you disagree with this chart then produce your own – go for it. I would be happy to publish it. I am not the guru here, others know far more than me, and I would be happy to help them spread their knowledge.
- The next issue of the chart will be at the end of january and will coincide with a server move and site upgrade. I will then hope to release a new style chart with five grades, as well as a grading system based on an assessment method I have been working on for some time.
Prices in Bold are increases and in italics are reductions over the previous issue.
Don’t forget to value of the intuitive attraction some watches have.
Please Read All Notes At The Bottom Of The Page
There are now only three categories as the Poor is non existent, and I cant find any in this condition any more.
SW=Straight writing engraved back
Remember a Collectors Condition 2915 is probably not the same condition as a Collectors 145.022-78
Complete correct 321’s are getting good money. Be sure it is correct before you go spending your son’s inheritance.
Its getting hard to sensibly price watches with good DO90 bezels – I am sure you can see anomalies that this might through up in the calibre 861 speedmasters.
Recent prices for DO90 bezels have peaked at $5000, but now I detect no recent sales at that level and so $4,000 seems a better estimate. Therefore 145.022-69’s need to valued higher if they carry a DO90.
I have separated the 145.022-69 with a DO90 bezel, or 145.022 with a DN90.
I am not sure how to deal with bezel madness – the bezels are selling for more than they increase the value of a watch without one. My figures for REPLACING a missing bezel are:
- Rough on “POOR” +450
- Passable on “RUNNING” +500- 800
- Good on “GOOD” +1700- 2500
- Top on “COLLECTOR” +2700- 4000(Very, very few are 4000)
Note also that the references preceding the 145.022 without a DO90 bezel need to be devalued as appropriate.
Note On BASE 1000 bezels
The 2998-1 and -2 are often traded with DO90 bezels instead of the correct BASE1000. The prices for 2998-1 or -2 above include a price for a commensurate bezel. These are worth approximately $10,000. A poor one might be $1500 – 2000 while a mint one might sell for $15,000. There is talk of them selling for more but not confirmed.
If you use this table use your head too.
The figures here are based on actual transactions (that I know about) between willing buyers and willing sellers. Prices are in USD $ for the head only.
You will have to make a judgment on the watch you are looking at, and take the price from that category. You will then have to subtract as you see fit for missing or erroneous parts, or add a premium if the watch holds a particular attraction. I have chosen names for the categories. Don’t get hung up on the words, they are just four groups.
Poor – I have removed this category, because they really need to be valued for the useful parts they contain – that’s a new subject.
Running – Probably needing a service, but almost all parts present and correct for the reference. This is the most common category, be prepared to reduce from here for each incorrect part.
Good -Serviced, complete with absolutely correct parts. Could be called “very good” it is likely the condition most collectors or owners are happy with. The case and dial should be undamaged.
Collector – Very, very few watches are in this condition. Almost unworn, untouched. Unpolished, faultless. This is the highest price I would expect a Speedmaster to fetch unless it is New Old Stock and absolutely unworn ever. If you take this price to value a watch, I am certain I could find reasons to reduce from the figure. (Which is the idea). A further concept to illustrate “Collector” is the idea that if it were worn for six months, it would become “Good”. It does not include NOS which is an ethereal market. In the early watches, (2915 and 2998) the collector price reflects the best that I have seen available. There are early watches I know of, that if placed in auction might sell for double the Collector price as the condition is so exceptional. As this has not happened, I have no data with which to move the chart.
Fratello has a good price chart for more modern Speedmasters here.
More General Notes on Using the Chart:
- This Chart is REFLECTIVE, not PREDICTIVE. So it is what watches have previously sold for, not what they are going to sell for or what they OUGHT to sell for.
- This Chart is FOR MY REFERENCE. You are welcome to use it and remember your experience and opinion of prices may well be different, and it is equally valid. My Chart, my Experiences, my Values. If you disagree, then try instead to see the relationship between the values and that could still be helpful. I am not omnipotent, and this is the best I can do with the resources I have.
- People continue to be confused by the categories. There is no hard definition. There cannot be. This chart is to give you an idea when you see a watch.
- It is possible/likely that watches trade for over the chart – it does not mean they are too expensive, it means the market is moving and if you let me know I will adjust the price based on actual transactions. Also if the watch is just more attractive than the average watch, the it is worth more.
- Most watches are now offered via dealers or collectors. Premiums are paid for one owner untouched watches. So well over the chart.
- Remember also, this chart is aimed at collectors, trading between themselves. Bricks and Mortar auctions are more expensive. Dealers got to eat – with your money.
- These prices are US$ for the head only. Any papers, bracelet, original box or history will add value.
- Remember also, exceptional watches will command prices off the chart – if a watch is especially attractive, then they will command a premium. A exceptional dial can add 100%. (Note: Exceptional)
- Be careful with this chart – and be ruthless with your judgment. Get a base price and add on for the indefinable attraction, or even that you just want to pay more to buy it now. We have seen tremendous rises in prices and the danger is the poor qualities are selling for silly money – to be regretted later I think.