Produced in four executions, over three references.
Ascertaining originality on these watches is a refined skill, one that I am working on and learning about all the time.
If I were you, I would not rely solely on this site for information before purchasing a 2915 – though I bought my first 2915 almost without any real knowledge (!)
I make no pronouncements here, I just gather what I have learned and put it here. There is a small number of collectors who know a lot about these. Some have been kind enough to share some details about bezels hands and dials that they have asked not to make public, so as to not to educate counterfeiters. In this I now agree that it is better to keep the minor tells on bezels for example, quiet for the moment.
It seems there are at least three current bezel projects around the world so that means there may be more. It is surely only a matter of time before the very high values of these bezels motivates people to produce indistinguishable replicas. I do not let that concept put me off, but I take that idea into account when arriving at a valuation.
Authors note: I have seen more now, than when I first wrote this site, and this page is updated (2020). I will reiterate that 2915’s are a minefield of counterfeit parts and put together watches. Be careful, and do due diligence.
Please do not take anything on this page as proof of correctness.
2915’s are very rare, and verifying them is very difficult as we do not always have reliable information as to what is original.
Be careful. Comparing bezel styles, for example, with photographs found on the net, is extremely poor research practice. The problem is we simply do not have the provenance to say that any given part was with the watch when new. And if it was, that is one variation of perhaps more than one specification.
One source that cannot be relied upon is contemporary Omega literature, as it has been shown many times that the watches illustrated, (often with drawings not photos) do not depict the watches on sale at the time.
As Omega Museum has now stared to issue more extracts for these 2915’s we are gettingmore serial data. This is the framework I am currently using although I am open to change.
2915-1 and 2915-2 : 1599xxxx or 1550xxxx
2915-3 : 1664xxxx
I would be very suspicious of watches carrying other serial ranges, because when I see a watch outside these parameters, there is almost always a question mark over it for some reason – perhaps other non original parts, or dubious history that make me doubt it is an original movement.
The original bezel is steel, and engraved using acid etching engraving. The size and shape is unique to the reference, and different to some modern steel bezels that Omega produce both for other models and as service replacements.
Original bezels are highly valued, and much sought after by collectors. I have heard talk that some collectors are willing to pay tens’s of thousands for a bezel. This is quite beyond my understanding and out of my league.
There rare also reproductions made by at least three different people, and some of them sell for over $4,000.
I recently spoke to an auction house who told me they would rather sell a 2915 without a bezel than risk having the watch returned at a later date for a counterfeit bezel dispute. Which I thought was quite smart.
This example is the “Bukowski” 2915 that sold for $275,000 and again there are several people who say this is a real bezel.
The 2915-3 comes with Alpha hands (note the length of the hour hand) or broad arrow hands. I tend to think this execution should have the black BASE1000 bezel if fitted with Alpha hands – but just because it makes sense does not mean it was true. These alpha hands are very rare indeed, and differ from the 2998 alphas by having a slightly longer hour hand, you can see it is closer to the end of the dial plot.
Here are some broad arrow hands. On the left are vintage service replacements and on the right original vintage (either original or service). There are other modern ones on the market but they have different shape lume. Over the years many sets seem to have been manufactured, and so even those below on the right may well be old service items. It is a minefield.
Subdial hands are all leaf, and I see them unpainted. Of course over years these get painted.
I have seen a lollipop on a 2915-3, and I am inclined to think this was added after it left the factory – because I have never seen it on another example and I believe lollipops were only fitted to the middle production of the 2998. However it does not put me off, if there is a lollipop on a watch – any watch!
The dials are Radium. Most I have seen have an oval O in the Omega, though some have a round O. All have short subdial indices. There is also a difference in some in the distance between the Omega Logo, and the print. So called “high print” and “low print”.
The first, and most sought after Speedmaster of all. Very hard to find in original condition. The last one that was thought to be original sold in Christies for around $70,000 several years ago. Then in December 2015 Christies sold a 2915-1 with a reworked case sold for $120,000 – but I doubt it was to a knowledgeable Speedmaster collector. Most recently Phillips have sold a 2915-1 for over $400,00. See more about it here
The case back is engraved “Speedmaster” at the edge on the bevel.
Identical to the -1 as far as I can see. Even the serial number ranges are the same, in observed watches.
This example of the 2915-2 was sold by Christies who claimed the bezel is genuine. The whole watch is in very nice condition.
The dial has an oval O and the print is lower on the dial.
The dial has short indices on the subdial, and the watch reacts to a Geiger counter.
A further example can be seen here
This reference came with both Alpha hands and Broad arrow hands. It also came either with a steel bezel or a black BASE1000 bezel. I have tried to discover if there is a pattern where the alphas go with the black bezel, but I see all combinations. Of course the watches are so old that these could have been changed.
So valuing them is based on which equipment they have.
The alpha hour hand is slightly longer than the 2998-1 that follows. Also the engraving on the back changed so that the Speedmaster text was closer to the Hippocampus.