First review Of 2020

Currently offered for sale on Ebay, is this 145.022-69 SWQ (The SWQ abbreviation is one I use to denote the Straight Writing “Flight Qualified”- the other Straight writing abbreviation is the SWA which mentions “Apollo”.  The ebay listing can be found here.

What I look for is finding out exactly what is on offer: The reference, the calibre, the serial and then I check each part for correctness, and finally assess the condition of each part – this will help me arrive at an overall condition description that I can then look to the Price Chart.

This is offered for USD$12,000 by a New York based Ebay seller with over 7000 feedback. Before going any further when looking at an ebay sale, I always do a quick run through the sellers feedback, and other items. He is currently has nearly 1000 live listings and the worst feedback is only two neutral. The seller strikes me as a high volume dealer who can be trusted to deliver what he offers, but might not have any in depth knowledge. (Not a criticism, just its better to know that, than expect a knowledgeable answer to a query).

So this is what makes it interesting, the straight writing case back. The paint is missing and this is common. I have in the past re painted this back using enamel paint to good effect – as this is not a permanent restoration, and the paint can be removed at any time. When looking at these case backs always check the slots are short, as they are here. Omega make a service version, and it has longer slots. Of course they are quite different inside, but the slots are the quick tell.

First we establish what we have:

  • reference 145.022-69
  • Cal 861 Serial 3221 8?864
  • Dial Stepped, black, short hours, painted logo
  • Bezel DN90 long serif tall TACHYMETRE
  • Hands White baton
  • Crown 32 tooth (?)
  • Pushers Omega correct

Now we see what we have and can check some things.

First I look at previous SWQ’s I owned and see if the serial comes close. While it falls into the ranges expected, I do not have a 3221xxxx watch. I would want an extract. further inspection of the movement shows it to be complete and probably in need of a service – there is some hair or fluff on the regulator, shown in the photo above.

The Dial.

In an 861 the dial is as important as any Speedmaster, but the value is not quite the same proportion as earlier 321’s. I always download the photos onto my PC and blow them up. Now we get some heads up things to check, the marks on the left subdial, and near the 10 to 11 marker. If these are on the dial it makes a big difference to the desirability. The plots look pretty good, the colout is nice, but there are two marks, on the 3 and the 9.

The Bezel.

This one is Fair at best, the colour is faded, and there is a lot of damage. I count the damages over 1mm and under 1mm. I don’t have to count very far to push this bezel into the poor category.


When I go in this close you can easily see the difference in colour between the H/M hands and the Chrono. This can be an indication of a change, but it does sometimes happen that the hands age differently. However as we can see the H/M hands have been removed and replaced, it is more probable the Chrono hand was damaged requiring replacement during work. Not a huge deal, but it is quite a hassle to sort out.


This is being offered at $12,000. My Chart puts a price of $11,000 for an excellent head, and this comes with a bracelet that cannot be confirmed but it does have the 516 end links, if it was a 1039 then if the watch were Excellent then it fits…is it?

Well no, its not. When asking such a high price, we become obsessed with minor details that would not really bother us if the watch was offered for a realistic price, which in my opinion is $5,000 to $6,000.

This watch is to me a Good. It comes with a bracelet, which assuming it is a 1039 pushes the price up. The marks on the dial/crystal need to be verified, and the bezel condition taken into account.

So this is how I work:

Good = 4,000

Adding in for barcelet and endlinks – $1500 – $1,800

Subtracting for poor bezel -$300

Gives an Estimate of Value of  $5200 to $5500.

Then comes the intuitive bit – to me I think it might be worth a bit more – so I value it in my head at $5000 to 6000. Then I sit back and feel how my heart reacts to the watch and add or subtract accordingly.

I am just one person, with an idea. Others will have different ideas, clearly the seller does. That is the fun of all this, we can all have our own ideas.