145.022-71, 74, 76, 78

Produced from 1971 until 1978

This set of watches has for a long time been the least sought after of the T marked dials, but this has changed, and that mantle has been passed to the later watches made up until 1994 (I believe) and these watches can have attractive patinated tritium, but no date mark in the case back and slightly different dial pattern

The main difference in this group is that from -74 there is no dial step.

The -74 can be found with both a stepped dial, and a domed dial. As of now (September 2019) I cannot find a definite correlation with serials and dial specification. I can say that -76 and -78 must have a domed dial to be considered correct.

All have a DN90 bezel, and these are becoming harder to find in good condition. Identify bezels here. All are fitted with the square end chrono and have T SWISS T marks on the dial.

From left to right: -71, -74, -76, -78 Note the 1039 bracelet on the -71, while the others are 1171

When this site was first written, these seventies Speedmasters were trading around $1000 and up – and the top condition 1970’s Speedmasters were not appreciated to the extent they are now.  I grouped all of them in the same price category, which now does not serve us well, so I have separated them in the price chart.


I think the stepped dial -71’s are worth a little more now. They are possibly quite rare on the market as there are less of them for sale than -69’s at the moment. However as we have learned, rarity does not proportionately affect value.

The stepped dial early reference, the -71,  is more highly desired than the later references, because of its stepped dial. So now we need to re-examine the specifications to make sure the watch we consider is correct.

145.022-71 Clearly showing the correct stepped dial. The step runs through the hour markers, all around the dial about two thirds up the marker. This watch shows the correct hands, bezel and the 1039 bracelet. It is missing paint from the hour subdial hand.

This is the first time we see the stamped medallion case back. The -71 came in the engraved medallion case back:

And also in a rare smooth backed execution. This is very rare and I do not have one (Edit: Now I do, the owner of this one sold it to me! Thanks Marc):

Rare Case back from a 145.022-71, photo courtesy Gemini4

For all the -7x Speedmasters the cases are otherwise identical, apart of course from the date stamp in the back. Remember this date is NOT the date of manufacture, it is a model reference. The only way to be sure of a date of manufacture is to get the extract from Omega.

A diversion into stepped / No Step Dials

For me the more attractive is the watches with the stepped dial, which is seen in the -71 and sometimes in the -74. I am not sure if it is original or added at service, but certainly by the -76 the step has gone and definitely all gone by -78. These later dials are slightly domed, not flat like the MKII dials.

On the left is a flat MKII dial. The centre dial is from a -76 with a slight dome. The right dial is from a -71 showing a step.

The step disappears by 1976.

I have seen so many stepped dials in -74’s I am  sure they are original. The general feeling is that -74’s could have either stepped or domed dials if original, and the stepped dial version is more valuable.

Flat Dial from MKII
Dial from -76. This shows a junction, but not a step
Dial from -71 showing a pronounced step

The step can be difficult to identify, as the later dials can show a pronounced change in plane, without a step, or ridge. Here are some dials, only one of which has the step (top right)

All are 861 dials. Top left is a flat MKII dial. Top right is a stepped dial for a -71. Bottom right is a new service dial.

At the moment, (April 2016) stepped 861 dials are worth about $200-400, and smooth dials are about $120. I expect the stepped dials to increase dramatically in the near future. In the same way I expect the bezels for this reference to rise. (EDIT As of 2021 I estimate a Stepped 861 dial to be worth $500-1000.)

The next consideration is the appearance, patina or lack of it on the dial. Some of these tritium dials can fade very attractively, and these sell for more. If a dial is damaged, then it is worth much less.


145.022-74. This watch is also correct and shows a pleasing patina on the dial plots and hands. The bezel has slight damage, but even so it is more desirable, and hence more valuable, that the other two non-step examples shown on the page.

The watch above has the correct parts and is in good condition. The bezel is slightly chipped but otherwise it is very attractive, and as it has a fresh service, I would grade it at Good+.

This reference has been seen with stepped dials, but much more frequently with domed. As ever when we see a deviation we have to ask if it is original. In this case however, original or not, I value a stepped dial more.




We start here with a watch with typical issues that make it worth less. It can be easy for a novice to miss these issues.

This is an incorrect dial for a -76. Note the length of the “S” in Speedmaster extends the length of the “p”.

This dial is correct for a -78

The bezel is too modern for a 1970’s speedmaster – note the small tachymetre letters, the lack of serifs on the “7”‘s.

The dial itself is in poor condition.

145.022-76. This watch has several issues that a buyer might miss. The bezel has small TACHYMETRE letters and is too late for the watch. The dial has numerous small marks, perhaps from oil, and several other blemishes not easily noticed, until of course you buy it and then you cannot stop seeing them. Hands are Superluminova replacements.

Looking closer at the dial:

Closeup of the 145.022-76, with damaged dial. While the dial in this reference is not that hard to find, there is no point in buying this watch unless it is quite cheap. There are plenty about without its issues, both the dial and the bezel, and , er , the superluminova hands.

Here is a photo of a correct -76 with the domed dial with a short “S”.

There is an issue with this watch in that the hands are superluminova replacements and are showing too bright and white.

Otherwise I think this is a beautiful example, and in time I will address the hands.

Above is a correct 145.022-76 with the domed dial with the short "S" in Speedmaster, not extending all the way down the "P"



145.022-78. An almost flawless watch, not without signs of wear, but correct, attractive and without damage to hands, dial or bezel. This watch is near, but not quite, collector quality on the chart.

Things to note in the watch above is the long S in the dial, which is domed. This one has slightly greenish plots which is common. The hands are original and the tritium has decayed to a darker colour, and does not mathc the plots – again this is to be expected in an original watch.

A final word on the movement. From about 32.8m serial numbers the metal brake was replaced with a Delrin plastic part, for better lubrication and longevity. When the display back was introduced Omega returned the metal brake.

Calibre 861

Serial Range:

  • 145.022-71     31xx xxxx – 32xx xxxx
  • 145.022-74     31xx xxxx – 39xx xxxx (dial loses its step)
  • 145.022-76     37xx xxxx – 39xx xxxx
  • 145.022-78     44xx xxxx – 45xx xxxx


  • Stepped, or domed in later, post mid 70’s
  • Short S until -78
  • Painted logo
  • Professional text
  • Short hour indices
  • Wide spaced  SWISS MADE T’s


  • Asymmetric case, 20 mm lugs
  • Caseback- Stamped and engraved.


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


  • 5mm x 3.5 mm


  • 7mm


  • Black BASE 500 bezel with dot next to 90 (DN90)