The interest in vintage speedmasters has definitely firmed up. There were several auction results that astounded the speedmaster collecting community, the 2915 at Phillips for $3.4m and the Hong Kong Speedmasters at Antiquorum discussed here.
I have decided to ignore very high “outlier” results at auctions, until two further confirmations. There are factors at play that I do not understand from a pure collecting viewpoint, and I will take those prices into account only when three similar results reinforce the level.
A continuing trend, is that there are very few private speedmasters coming to the market, even less than last year.
I believe 2998’s have now consolidated at the levels I indicate, as I have several confirmed trades at the prices I show.
1970’s Speedmasters are attracting more buyers, as they are possibly an affordable entry into the world of vintage speedmasters.
All prices with an Asterix (*) are not backed by a recent trade and therefore should be treated with the knowledge the figure is based on a sale over 12 months old.
Points to note:
BA145.022-69 are rare, but regulars to the market. The prices can fluctuate at auction as buyers come and go – I have seen really nice ones sell for less than the ones with issues. It all depends on who is buying that day.
2915’s are selling over a wide range at auction, and the bezel issue is always there, with people trying to find the confidence to verify. Quite a lot of the recent offerings simply didn’t look right.
2998’s have settled and are now moving around. The median price among collectors now seems to be about $25,000 for a straight DO90 example, and that price can go up or down from there, and I have seen very attractive dialled examples go for more.
Asymmetric 321’s are very strong in better qualities, in terms of moving. The poorer examples only move when the sellers accept that the watch is worth less than they thought. For example, a 321 with fixable issues and cosmetic (non-fixable) issues with dial and bezel will sell for 3000-5000, whereas a Very Good example for a 145.012 will be triple and a 105012 could be four times.
As ever, the value between Good and Excellent is disproportionate, and easy to misjudge. Up and Down.
Later 861’s are in a similar situation, with lower qualities selling only when the owners come to their senses. There are more buyers for a $12,000 145.022-69 than a $6,000 one.
I am certain the Ultraman price is now stable around $30,000 to $40,000 in Very Good condition, and I think the Black Racing Dials are set to attract more attentions.
|2915-3||Broad Arrow / Steel bezel||No Data||No Data||35,000||50000||90,000|
|105002-62||Alpha Hands||No Data||12,000||15,000||24,000||33,000|
|105002-62||Baton Hands||No Data||10,500||14,000||23,000||32,000|
|145022-69 SW||Apollo||No Data||No Data||6,000||8,800||14,000|
|145022-69 SW||Flight Q.||2,800||3,300||4,600||6,800||11,000|
|145022-71 NN||No Nasa||No Data||No Data||4,700||7,000||11,000|
|145022-74||No Step Dial||2,900||3,200||3,600||4,600||7,200|
|145022-76, & 78||2,900||3,000||3,500||4,500||7,000|
|Blue Metalic Dial||25,000||32,000||38,000||52,000||85,000|
|145012-67||NonPro Black Racing||25,000||35,000||50,000||68,000||90,000|
|145012-67||Pro Black racing||30,000||40,000||65,000||80,,000||110,000|
|145022-69||Grey Racing||No Data||No Data||48,000||70,000||95,000|
|BA145022-69||18Kt Yellow Gold, inc bracelet||20,000||30000||40,000||65,000||75,000|
|145022||Apollo Soyuz||No Data||25,000||48,000||60,000||80,000|
|Alaska III||No Data||No Data||No Data||185,000*||200,000*|
Remember a Collectors Condition 2915 is probably not the same condition as a Collectors 145.022-78
Its getting hard to sensibly price watches with good DO90 bezels – I am sure you can see anomalies that this might throw up in thevalueation of calibre 861 speedmasters.
Prices for DO90 bezels peaked at $5000, but now I detect no recent sales at that level and so $4,000 seems a better estimate. 145.022-69’s need to valued higher if they carry a DO90.
I have separated the 145.022-69 with a DO90 bezel, or 145.022 with a DN90.
I am not sure how to deal with bezel madness – the bezels are selling for more than they increase the value of a watch without one. My figures for REPLACING a missing bezel are:
Note also that the references preceding the 145.022 without a DO90 bezel need to be devalued as appropriate.
The 2998-1 and -2 are often traded with DO90 bezels instead of the correct black BASE1000. The prices for 2998-1 or -2 above include a price for a commensurate bezel. These BASE1000’s are worth approximately $10,000 to $20,000 depending who you talk to. A poor one might be $1500 – 2000 while a mint one might sell for $15,000+. There is talk of them selling for more but not confirmed. Recently I have seen imitations that are close, but do not pass inspection.
The figures here are based on actual transactions (that I know about) between willing buyers and willing sellers. Prices are in USD $ for the head only. (Except the BA145022 and the 145.022 Soyuz which includes the unique bracelets).
You will have to make a judgment on the watch you are looking at, and take the price from that category. You will then have to subtract as you see fit for missing or erroneous parts, or add a premium if the watch holds a particular attraction. I have chosen names for the categories. Don’t get hung up on the words, they are just four groups.
Poor – These watches are unattractive, have damaged parts, and have very little going for them other than they can tell the time correctly twice per day. The bezel is damaged, the dial is damaged, the case has lost definition or heavily scored. The movement might be corroded, or missing some minor parts. Often these can be valued more accurately by valuing the parts separately. The figure here is really just a guide.
Fair – Often the quality of a well used watch, one that has lived a useful life. It might be damaged or missing some service parts, movement needing work. This category can sometimes be improved with sympathetic work and service. It will remain fair if after service it still shows a damaged bezel, a dial with damage or missing, or discoloured plots, and a case with missing lines or heavy damage.
Good – Complete with correct parts. it is likely the lowest condition most collectors or owners are happy with. The case and dial and bezel should be without significant damage, though there may be some wear or light marks on case or bezel. The plots are an attractive colour not green or missing. Some minor plot damage or issues are acceptable. The bezel may have several marks but no major damage.
Very Good – Case Dial and bezel are without obvious damage. Parts are original or replaced with correct vintage replacements. The watch is attractive. The parts look good together. There may be minor marks on case or bezel, and the dial is clean and with attractive plots with luminous material intact.
Excellent – Very, very few watches are in this condition. Very little wear and without any damage. Perhaps very minor marks from very light wear No damage or degredation to dial, case or bezel, all parts correct and original. This is the highest price I would expect a Speedmaster to fetch unless it is New Old Stock and absolutely unworn ever – this is another step up in value.
Fratello has a good price chart for more modern Speedmasters here.