Speedmaster 2998-4 in Antiquorum Geneva

Antiquorum are selling some interesting Omegas in Geneva – only one of them is a Speedmaster. The others are definately worth a look.

Usual auction house caveats must apply:

  1. They know less about speedmasters than an informed amateur – so take whatever they say under advisement and verify elsewhere.
  2. They sometimes have pretty girls handling the watches that can make you forget #1
  3. They charge a huge premium on top of the bid, which makes most of us pay more than we might on Ebay.
  4. In general Speedmasters in Auction achieve more than I think they are worth – with some exceptions.

Sale is on May 10th 2015 and the link to the lot is here

It is billed as a 2998-4 with a movement number 1958 4900.

2998-4 for sale Antiquorum May 2015. Photo from listing.
2998-4 for sale Antiquorum May 2015. Photo from listing.

There is only one photograph, but even so I immediately call this as an assembly and while I am open to be proved wrong – here is why I start from that position, rather than another:

Dial: this has short markers on the subdial minute track and I expect to see this dial on an earlier watch, -1 or -2. As such it is a valuable dial, but has no place on this watch. So for me, the dial and case back never left the factory together. The dial is damaged, scratches and blemishes, but overall attractive – not fine.

Movement: at 19m this is outside of my observed parameters for a -4, which I see below 18m. This seems a small difference but it is important. It may as well be a 24m in terms of being correct. So now I see a movement that did not leave the factory with this -4 case back.

Hour Minute hands: These have square ends on the lume, indicating Omega suplied service replacements. So that shows the watch has been worked on. These hands are worth much less than originals, which can sell for $500-1200 just for the Hour Minute set.

As I said – this is an assembly to me, and as such would not persuade me to bid. The estimate is so high, I suspect this is a dealers watch consigned to sale. If it were private I would have expected a much lower estimate. The description claims it is from a private owner, so the other explanation is that it is an overpaid recently acquired from a dealer piece.

The one thing that makes this watch buy-able is the dial – its wrong for the reference, but if someone owned a 2998-1 or -2 with the slightly later dial, they could swap, sort out some vintage hands and then have two correct watches. Expensive way to go – but then everything is becoming expensive, and the opportunities to buy are few.

Estimate is $10,500 – $16,000 plus premium.

Here is the correct appearance for a 2998-4:

Correct layout of dial and hands for a 2998-4
Correct layout of dial and hands for a 2998-4

Check out the 2998 page here