Even though it is obvious that this is EXCELLENT it is still good practice to assess it properly like any other speedmaster.
The dial is black body without damage. There is no obvious step, slightly domed. The dial print is clear bright and intact, with no damage. The plots are evenly covered in luminous material, and have aged to a pleasing colour. There is no lume loss or damage. The lume has not been tested under UV or Geiger. The O in Omega is round, and the text lines are in the low position. There are no T marks. The subdial indices are short.
Straight lug. Double step on back. No sight of Hippocaampus or inside. Appears untouched, and undamaged. There no signs of opening at all.
BASE1000. Undamaged with no blemishes. (I have never, ever seen a vintage BASE 1000 bezel in this perfect a condition)
The H/M hands are alphas. If you look closely the slots are curved slightly at the ends, as opposed to the service hands where the slots are sharp squared ends. The H/M hands also have an obvious transverse curve.
The chrono hand is the needle, and painted. The subdial hands are leaf, also painted.
Pushers and crown are very clean, and original. The crystal is also original, this is not obvious in the photos but I have handled this watch myself.
7077 marked 1/60 with 6 Endlinks. Clean, tight with original undamaged finish.
I have not seen inside this watch – No one has! It has never been opened. I am assuming it is correct and in as good condition as the rest. As this watch shows not signs of opening I am happy to make the assumption all is correct. It has a movement number commensurate with a 2998-1. We cannot be certain which reference it is, but we can be as sure as we need to that it is a 2998-1 or -2 for the purposes of valuing.
This is absolutely extraordinary. The BASE1000 bezel is perfect. The next thing to hit my eye is the mirror finish Rehaut around the dial, and then the dial which is perfect. Sometimes the Rehaut will degrade, showing small spots of corrosion or dirt – not in this case.
The lume is a lovely colour, and we can see here what original plots should look like, though perhaps the colour has aged to this extremely pleasing colour over the years.
This watch has rarely if ever been worn, and so it is a great reference point. Interesting to see the painted Chrono and Leaf subdial hands, which look as clean as if they had just been painted.
Immediately apparent is the tight 7077 bracelet. So often these bracelets are loose after having been worn for years. This one obviously is without wear.
Nore the state of the pusher necks which are clean and mirror finish. These are not service, these are unused from new, as is the crown. Fabulous.
Here we see the inner clasp and the year of manufacture. Unmarked clasps of this era are 7077’s. They were not marked until the next iteration the 7912.
The watch is very hard to fault.
The lugs are un touched and the watch shows no signs of damage anywhere, and do no degredation.
It is interesting to note the top of the the lugs are polished to a mirror finish.
The H/M hands are narrow slots, and if you look ccarefully they have slightly roundedends that I look for in genuine original parts, along with a transverse curve, also present here.
This watch has been preserved along with its original box, mega guarantee and some other contemporary documents and the outer box. These items alone are worth a great deal of money, but add far more to the overall value of the package.
Going through the major parts:
The service parts all appear to be original parts in excellent as new condition.
If there was such a thing as EXCELLENT + then this would be it.
If there ever was a possibility to describe a 2988 as NOS then this is it. I have never seen another like it, though I do not doubt that someone might have a comparable tucked away somewhere. However it is spectacularly rare to see this quality in ANY reference of speedmaster, let alone a straight lug, and let alone a 2998.
This is an aspirational watch. I do not think many of us will ever see a watch like this, let alone have the opportunity to buy it.
The Price Chart suggests a value of USD $70,000. Then we add in the bracelet, (10,000) and the accessories (10,000).
Is $90,000 a realistic estimate? Perhaps, but I would also suggest that given the rarity of this watch and its condition, that if offered at Phillips Geneva this watch might sell for much more. Then again, in a private sale environment, would a single buyer have the confidence to pay this much, without the supporting competition to reassure him?
Another way to think of this, is to compare it to one of the recent 2915’s that sold, I am thinking of the Bukkowski 2915 that sold for $250,000. If I have the choice, I would buy this. (However I do not, so the point lacks much credibility).
Thanks to MSNWatch, over on Omegaforums.net, for his kind permission to feature this watch and use his photos.