Buying Parts on Ebay

Here I look at a few parts for speedmasters on Ebay right now, and ask is it worth it?

Here we have a listing with six days to run, for a 2998 mid case. Seller is completely open and has excellent feedback – I am not here to criticize the seller in any way.

The case here has serious issues. You can go to the listing for more photos but here is a classic example of corrosion. I see this quite a lot on early straight lug cases, so much it leads me to wonder if the steel quality was lower in the early production.

Note the corrosion between the lugs and at the bezel seat – this is not going to polish off and the case may have challenges retaining a bezel and any waterproof abilities.

So I have to ask who would want this part? I can only speculate that it could be used to build onto a certified movement  – or replace an incorrect mid case. I did once acquire a 2998 that was entirely correct, except the dial and mid case were replaced ion late 1970’s by service items. Asking price is £1,500 and while it is not a lot for a 2998 mid case, it is also not a lot of case. I do not think laser welding can help this.

What is thought provoking is that we now have to be aware that many 2998’s may well be just a mash up of partys from many sources.

A dial from another seller:

This 2998-2+ dial is listed here.Another high feedback seller

It is quite damaged, but it is going to be passable under glass – never good, but will build up to finish a budget watch.

I think the damage between 9 and 10 is painted over, and there may be more repair work.

If I had to call it I would say the lume plots have had some attention.

Its a generally shabby dial, but in this world if you have a 2998 without a dial, there is never a lot of choice.

At $2,500 asking, again like the case it is nowhere near the value of a nice item. I have seen a fine early short indices brown dial sell for $40,000 – so not quite the same thing, but finding comparables for anything 2998 is very hard. These are not Rolexes!


It is very hard to attribute values to these parts – they are poor condition, but often the choice is not between two parts, rather the choice is do I own it or not. Someone might buy the dial as a placeholder to replace a service dial until a better one comes.

The prices asked are not insane.

Early speedmaster parts are very rare, and most people who have them don’t sell them. Collectors, like me, might have a spectacular 2998 dial that is waiting for a case. But we tend not to sell, as we are not in this for the money, we are in it for the watches. Perhaps another difference between speedmasters and rolex. (No offense intended)

As ever I have no connection to the sellers or the items, and photos are taken from public domain but I will always remove a post or photo if you ask nicely.