This is the last of the straight lug cases, and were produced over quite a long period. While the case backs show a date stamp of -63, -64, -65, there are confirmed cases of watches released from the factory up to 1969. This reference clearly illustrates the delays some watches experienced between manufacture, shipping and sale.
This is the most plentiful of all the straight lugs on the market at any given time, suggesting that these were produced in much greater numbers than all the other straight lugs put together.
105.003-65. This watch is correct. Note the T marks, which are narrow spaced. They fall under the 28.25 and 31.75 nark of the minute track. Note also the “wobbly lume”. This original feature of 105.003’s is quite common and often leads people to think the dial has been relumed. It is an original feature only seen in this reference.
Although the Omega website states that the last 50 pieces of 105.003’s were delivered in the spring of 1969
105.003-63. An exceptional example with a beautifully patinated dial and handset, coupled with an almost perfect bezel. This watch has an attraction that makes it worth more than the chart would suggest as it is so attractive in many areas.
Although a watch might have -65 in the case back and a movement from that year, it might have an Archive Extract showing a delivery date much later. Perhaps this reference was not so easy to sell, especially towards the end of its life, as it was up against the concurrently produced 105.012 with its professional label and its more modern case design.
This is the only straight lug reference with a black rehaut. Also the only straight lug reference to have T marks on the dial. So an original example of this reference can be easily identified just by looking at it.
105.003- 64 This example is all correct, The pushers are original. Case and bezel show signs of wear and aging – Patina.
Note the bezel condition is poor. This is quite common on these older watches, and it does not always match the condirtion of the dial, which as in this case is very good.
This reference up until now has been the most affordable reference of the straight lug cases. Historically this reference was left behind in the market, but in the last year (as of November 2016) there has been an increased number coming to the market, and prices for better examples now regularly exceed $18,000. (March 2017). There are some awful ones for much less, and care has to be taken inspecting a potential purchase.
Things to watch as usual are the dials, which should be the narrow spaced T SWISS T. Interestingly I have seen a lot of these dials make their way onto 2998’s, where of course they are out of place with the T marks. Pushers are very often the wrong size. There have been several assembled watches offered recently. It is also not uncommon for watches to have been sent to Omega and come back with all new furniture. As I said, this reference was at one point the least desirable and so it was often neglected. Believe it or not the price of a service made them uneconomic to maintain at one time.
I have seen several examples of a short indices dial, with and without an applied logo. At the moment I feel these are Omega supplied service dials. These have to be valued without dial, even though they are much more uncommon, and have an appeal all of their own – though not an appeal that people pay for.
106.003-65. While this looks a little tired, it is in fact fully serviced. The bezel is very worn, but correct. the hands have been repainted in the past, and the chrono hand is a later replacement. The pushers were replaced. In this case I chose to leave the Chrono hand, because it fits the patina of the watch. Note the dial is missing lume, the plots showing the white paint. This is a lower value example. However it is honest.
In 1967 Omega changed its numbering system and gave this reference the external reference 145.003. While this appears on some extracts, I have yet to see an example of the number stamped in the back. More on the 145.003 here.