(The photo above are all 145.022-69’s, although this page only discusses black dial versions. For the Specials, see here).
In this site we examine watches which have a date stamp in it, that is -68, -69, -71, -74, -76, -78. Later references lose the date suffix, and after about 1994 they loose the Tritium marks. I have chosen to cut off at -78, as for me when I started to increase my watch collection, I wanted to decide a cut-off. I must say that some of the early 90’s tritium dials do acquire a pleasing patina.
Below is a -69 marked inside the case back.
Some quick pointers to watch for:
The above is a 145.022-68 with a 26m serial. The indices reach all the way to the outer track, the same as the 145.012 (Dials are not interchangeable as the Dial Feet are different). The body of the dial has suffered some decay so that it has a lovely and attractive brown hue. This decay is not apparent as such in wear. The plots are about the limit i can accept as far as algae is concerned, but here combined with the brown surface it is lovely. The hand lume has been re applied, and it was done some time ago, when I thought it would be better to match it to the plots, and in a case like this I would still match them, as after all it is clear they have been redone. In this case the redone hands do not detract from my desire for the watch, The central chrono hand is square ended and while I have seen drop ended hands on a transitional, I do not think they are original
26555 xxxx – 2771 xxxx
This is the classic 69 Speedmaster. It is quite common, so if you are looking for one, so there is usually one for every pocket, and a huge choice. The bezel changed from DO90 to DN90 at about 3090xxxx and makes a significant change to the value. It is still possible to pay more for an excellent DO90 bezel than an entire correct 69 with a DN90 bezel – it will not be very good quality but it might be fun.
The above is a 145.022-69 in the 2960xxxx serial range. It has a correct DO90 bezel, a stepped dial which is easy to see at the two o’clock marker. The hands are correct, with aged tritium that has changed colour compared to the plots. This is not unusual. The watch is on a 1039 bracelet. IF I was to grade this, it would be at the top of VERY GOOD, verging on EXCELLENT. The dial has a brown tint which increases its attraction, hence value. As of November 2022 this watch might sell at auction for $12,000 to $14,000 as it is unusual to find in this quality.
2842 0xxx – 3162 9xxx
For a very short time, there was a DN90 bezel with 220 instead of 225. For me, there is no reason to pursue one of these to the exclusion of other, perhaps better examples. For me if it has one, then great. I do not think it adds much value in the market, although it is rare.
The above is a 145.022-69 with a 220 misprint sold by Sotheby’s in their speedmaster specialist sale. You can read more here
The last of the 69’s had engraved commemoration of the moon landing. Some have speculated that Omega had not quite worked out the wording or permissions from NASA when they made these backs, perhaps a flurry of excitement in Omega’s boardroom. This theory is proposed to explain the next reference, the “No Nasa” below.
The most common one is the “Flight Qualified” Version pictured above left. The other is much rarer, and known as the “Apollo XI” version
There is a service version of the Flight Qualified version with longer opening slots, below right
The above is a 145.022-69 in the 3131xxxx serial range. It has a correct DN90 bezel, a stepped dial. The hands are correct, with tritium that has that is quite bright – sometimes they can be confused with superluminova, though not in this case – they could be service replacements as they are very clean.. A simple torch under the table and superluminova will light up strongly.The case is very good, and the bezel is unusually good. I would say this watch is VERY GOOD on the scale,
31xx xxxx-32xx xxxx
The 71 is where we see the change in case back. All have DN90 bezels, and these watches are surprisingly hard to find. The still have the stepped dial, and some do go brown. Some have the 1039 bracelet while many have the 1171.
This is a No Nasa, and from the front it is indtignishable from the Medalion Case back.
31xx xxxx-32xx xxxx
The watch on the left was thought on purchase to have superluminova hands, but on inspection and testing we concluded they were tritium, probably service replacements as they look so new. The watch on the right has a more attractive patina.
Note, the S in Speedmaster does not reach the end of the P – save this info for later, when we see the 78 dial
Note for 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. This plastic part can be made out in the photo below, slightly to the left of the centre of the movement, in that medical colour plastic.
31xx xxxx – 39xx xxxx
This is a correct and Very Good condition watch
Note the S in Speedmaster does not reach the end of the P – save this info for later, when we see the 78 dial
37xx xxxx – 39xx xxxx
The domed dial changes slightly in design, in the S of Speedmaster is elongated so the bottom of the S is level with the end of the P.
Most people will miss this detail if it is wrong. The 78s rarely have what I think of as attractive patina, so we have to pursue condition.
This watch is in unusually very good condition and correct.
44xx xxxx – 45xx xxxx
This example is challenging for anyone to value let alone a novice. The bezel and case are very good, but the dial has poor plots. I start with “Good” then take away some value for the plots, but add some for the excellent bezel. Then I add what I feel is right for the brown colour. Sometimes with a brown dial, I add a lot.
A beautiful example, from a single ownership. It has a clean dial with perfect plots. The DO90 bezel is near perfect and the case is well-defined. The bracelet is 1039 with 526 End Links.
This is a rare Excellent example.
The dial is fair, with some surface damage, and discoloured lume markers. The DN90 bezel is also pitted. The hands have been repainted. Overall, this watch is “Fair” Plus
This is in overall “Very Good” condition, however the value is reduced by the greenish lume on the hour markers. The hands are also missing paint and quite untidy. This vcan be improved, but the dial plots cannot.