Sotheby’s 2915

This is the most 2915’s I have ever seen in one place. There are no fabulous examples that would compare with the examples sold in Phillips for $400,000 but none the less there are opportunities to acquire. As ever with 2915’s we are trying to check the bezel for authenticity, and the hands for originality. There are a few people out there who can truly check a bezel and I have to confess I am not net one of them.

The broad arrow hands are a challenge to lume, because of the large area on the arrow head. This often leads to cracking and loss of lume, necessitating stabilization or replacement. Should we care? Well I believe we should try to know. However dismissing a 2915 because of suspected re luming will make it hard to own one, so instead I would like to get more knowledgeable and base my value on all facts.

Some collectors will only consider an absolutely perfect and original example, and I respect that, indeed any form of ownership. I would rather actually experience the pleasure of informed ownership rather than spending my life judging from a distance with an empty wrist. Each to his own.

In general, the 2915-3 are more attractive to me than the others.

Lot 4

Lot 4 2915-3 16’648’570 $40,000-60,000

This watch has chrono creep indicating a problem, but frankly I would be servicing anything I bought in this sale as a matter of course so this is irrelevant to the value.

The dial is oval O, small indices. The crystal is quite marked, and I cannot quite judge the condition of the dial as a result, so I would be nervous of bidding hard without knowledge of what is the dial state. The hour hand is the correct long one, nearly touching the plots, but it does look re lumed to me. (For comparison see lot 30 where the hand lume is radium green) Most of the original ones I have seen are green radium. This one looks too fresh and perfectly coloured.

Are those pushers the right size? I will be checking at viewing. They look too big but it could be the lighting.

The watch has an engraving on the back. I dont like it, but some dont mind.

So this watch has a few issues for a buyer to be aware of. The pusher size, chrono creep, the cthe engraving and the hand lume. These should not prevent a purchase but they need to be known before buying, not after.

Lot 10

Lot 10 2915-1 15’996’671 $150,000-200,000

So here we have the most expensive lot in the sale. Of course we are all wondering if it will sell! Immediately we can criticise the lume, and the hand lume which quite possibly is stabilised or even re done – but I am not sure any 2915 is without this help. The dial plots are varied and loss of lume is uneven throughout.

Is the bezel real? I think it may be.

The case back bevel is longer than usual and has been polished. This has reduced the diameter of the round back – Luckily we have others in the same sale to compare! Note the size of the first step. For me this case back polishing bashes the value.

Lot 20

Lot 20 2915-2 15’997’556 $120,000-180,000

So here we see plots with much better integrity. The hands look very similar to the last lot.

Lets check the bezel:

Well this could be a repro bezel completely turned down and washed. Is it?

Lets check the back to compare with the previous lot, so you can see what I mean about the oversize step on previous lot. This is more like it, you can just see the Speedmaster engraving around the edge. For me this is a much nicer watch than the previous 2915-1

Lot 30

I think this is one of my top lots for the sale.

Lot 30 2915-3 16’648’998 $40,000-60,000

I think this lot has an air of honesty and originality that I seek when buying a speedmaster.

Here you see what I mean about green radium hands. These are certainly original. Are the dial plots? They are very even colour and nice looking. If they are then this is a valuable watch especially taking into account the very nice bezel. Lets look at the plots

They look fine to me.

This watch comes with its original box and guarantee. Its a big fat buy from me, I want this watch.

Lot 40

Lot 40 2915-1 15’996’993 $100,000-200,000

This is the other 2915-1. It has another of the really bleached out bezels that make it hard to judge. The hands look correct, but perhaps re lumed? In this reference you kind of have to take a view – its going to be a very rare and expensive watch that has no issues or critisisms. The back of this watch looks a little blurred from polishing, and I would have to view it to see what is really going on here. Again note the size of the case back bevel.

Again the metal bezel is almost devoid of ink. Its hard for me to call these bezels, even though I have seen a few, because the factory bezels had variation, and ascertaining a bezel as original to use as a reference is very tough.

Lot 50

Lot 50 2915-3 16’649’302 $50,00-70,000

So the last lot of the sale, is a 2915-3 with broad arrow hands and black Base1000 bezel. It has never been established which combination went where in the 2915-3 and so I accept any combination of these hands and bezels. At least with the black bezels we are not driving ourselves mad with originality.

The case in this watch has some minor corrosion. Check the case back edges, and the lip on the case. This corrosion is not uncommon in this reference, and while undesirable will not stop me buying, it will make me think and modify my bid.