145.012

Produced in 1967-1969

The last of the calibre 321 speedmasters. In two identical executions, the -67 and -68. The -68’s seem to be very scarce, and I do not have any observed serials that I can confirm the range a -68 should fall into. this is the cheapest calibre 321, and for a while about 15 years ago the value of them was quite close to the cost of servicing. As a result quite a lot of them are in very poor condition, or show evidence of cut-price servicing. All this has led to the situation that there are very few fine examples out there.

In addition, there are three special editions, in the form of two black racing dials, and the Orange Hand Ultraman.

here is a 145.012 in attractive condition. It is quite typical of the usual quality available.The plots are slightly discolored, but they are original and attractive.

145.012-67 Charming brown dial and patinated hands. Poor but correct bezel. Note clean pusher tubes from recent service.

145.012-67 with a charming brown dial. Brown dials need to be valed much higher than the standard black dial. Note this watch has new pushers from service. The correct omega service pushers are identical to the originals.

This reference was the last calibre 321 to be flown by NASA. At first glance it is similar to the preceding 105.012-66, though the pushers are larger at 5mm x 3.5mm, which is the same size as fitted to the new Speedmasters today. The case back remains a single step Hippocampus.

This is the most affordable 321 Speedmaster, and consequently it spend the longest time languishing in sub $1000 territory. (Some while ago now!) This value made them uneconomic to service, so care must be exercised in choosing one that has not been neglected.

All bezels are DO90.

Most early watches have fitted spear chrono hands, but that it was on this reference we first see the flat ended spear toward the end of production. It appears that both these Chrono hands were fitted at the same time of production, or at least there is no saying which is correct.

The reference also came in a Black Racing Dial version. This is extraordinarily rare and the last examples seen at auction fetched over USD$75,000. I have seen, or heard of about 10 in total – and it is more murky as there are two dial versions.

A non Professional AML, and a Professional printed logo as seen below. (Note: In May 2018 Phillips sold a professional version  for approximately USD$40,000 with a damaged dial.)

Here are two examples of the 145.012-67

145.012-67’s. On the left is a drop end chrono, and on the right the flat, or square end. Note the log indices, AML dial, and DO90 bezels.

Calibre 321

Serial Range:

2406 xxxx – 27xx xxx

Dial

  • Stepped
  • applied metal logo
  • Professional text
  • Wide spaced  SWISS MADE T’s
  • Long indices

Case

  • Asymmetric case, 20 mm lugs
  • Caseback- single step with speedmaster engraved on rear

Hands

  • Hour/minute – baton
  • Subdial – Stick, painted
  • Chrono – spear, and square end spear fitted concurrently

Pushers

  • 5mm x 3.5 mm

Crown

  • 7mm

Bezel

  • Black BASE 500 bezel with dot over 90 (DO90)

 

There is also an Ultraman, fitted with an orange hand. I have heard there are about 50 in existence and they all fall in the 2607xxxx range. An Extract is essential when buying one. The one I own has a central orange hand that is 1mm too short – I know it is not original, as I fitted it with this Omega Service hand. The MWO authors cover Ultramen in depth here.