A discussion between two 2998’s at Sotheby’s

A good friend emailed me and asked why there was such a large differential between lot 3 and lot 9 in the last Sothebys sale.

Now there are of course obvious differences, but the first and most obvious is the reference. The -1 of any Omega reference is more pursued in the wild, and here we have a 2998-1 that is correct, with the BASE1000 and the added bonus of the lollipop hand. This hand on its own has been seen to trade for over $5,000.

The -1 and the -61 have three differences in equipment that themselves make a huge difference in value. The BASE 1000 bezel, the short indices dial, and the lollipop. So even if the two watches were in identical condition, the -1 is worth considerable more simply by virtue of its more valuable parts.

Of course these watches are in quite different condition. The -1 is in attractive but not fine condition. I think a fine -1 like this might sell privately for as much as $85,000 in today’s market, between two collectors who know what they are doing.

The -61 is awful – the dial is seriously damaged and it is a restoration case. Arguably it could be bought at $12,500 and then a new dial sourced. But good dials are rare, and most I have seen sold in the last two years have serious issues as well. The advantage of buying this watch at this level, is that Sotheby’s persuaded and extract out of Omega, so it may well be appearing again on the market with a new dial – keep note of the serial.