Due to take place on December 15th 2015.
I would put photos but I do not have any of my own – this is a quick reaction to the published catalog.
Christies have made a fanfare and is presenting 50 Speedmasters for sale, (oops no, 48 watches and two non watch items) including some Alaska prototypes, a flown speedmaster, an astronaut’s commemorative gold speedmaster, (one of three BA145.022’s) and several other not so interesting later limited editions.
You can see the catalog here
Now before you get too exited, there are only 21 vintage, (Pre -78) Speedmasters. There are some interesting prototypes and space connected watches. There is even the infamous waste of time collection on sale, again – the case of near identical 1861 speedmasters, though to be fair, at least this time the estimate is half to a third of what I have seen asked recently.
The sale is a little upside down, normally I see auctions starting low, and introducing more and more interesting lots as it proceeds. Here we slap straight into the most valuable speedmaster in the world. The 2915-1. All manner of questions must be asked of this watch, especially in view of the recent bezel debacle, where several supposed vintage bezels have surfaced on the market only to be exposed as new made items. With a steel bezel like this, these is no reason that would prevent a skilled artist replicating it beyond my ability to tell.
I am not in a position to comment about the content as I have not examined all of them, but my thoughts on the 2915 are as follows:
At first sight it looks very good indeed. The case is almost unworn, and the lugs show a profile I have only seen on a NOS 2998-1. So I believe the case is correct. The rear case back has the speedmaster around the edge, as it should. The dial looks to be correct, with the shorter 5 minute markers on the right subdial. (the 2998 dial is a little longer).
The hands worry me. The hour hand looks like the arrow head is similar to repro I have seen, but the minute does not worry me so much. (I do not know enough).
The bezel scares the pants off me.
The short answer on this 2915 is that it scares me. It is a lot of money to put down for a fantastic case and a bezel and hands that to me, because of my inexperience, I cannot say for sure are original.
Lets sum up the rest of the sale:
Lot 3 2915-1 $100,000 – $150,000 NOS Case
Lot 4 2915-2 $50,000 – $80,000
Lot 5 2998-1 $20,000 – $30,000 Tropical
Lot 6 2998-4 $8,000 – $12,000
Lot 7 2998-62 $12,000 – $18,000 Massive Chono Creep
Lot 8 105.002-62 $5,000 – $8,000
Lot 9 105.003-64 $8,000 – $12,000 Tropical
Lot 10 105.003-65 $8,000 -$12,000 Non Valuable history
Lot 11 105.012-66 $4,000 – $8,000 CB case
Lot 12 105.012-66 $3,500 – $5,500 CB Case
Lot 13 145.012-67 $3,000 – $5,000 With Box and Papers
Lot 14 BA145.022-69 $15,000 – $30,000 No 85, with Crater Box
Lot 15 145.022-69 $ on request Flown Watch
Lot 16 BA145.022-69 $40,000 – $80,000 No 1007 For Ron Evans, with Crater Box
Lot 17 145.022-69 $2,000 – $4,000 220 bezel , with printed crater box
Lot 18 145.022-69 $3,000- $5,000 tropical Dial, with printed crater box
Lot 19 145.022-69 $6,000 -$10,000 Meister dial with box
Lot 20 145.022-69 $20,000 – $30,000 Racing dial
Lot 21 BA145.022 $12,000 – $22,000 No 971
Lot 22 145.022-69 $3,000 – $6,000 Straight writing back. Printed box
Lot 23 145.022-69 $3,000 – $5,000 Telemetre bezel Km
Lot 24 145.022 $20,000 – $30,000 Soyuz
Now often I go through lot by lot and give an opinion.
You will have to wait until after the sale…..
I am going to buy some of them!
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