Can an Omega Speedmaster be eligible for collection status?

The reasons why this or that watch model suddenly becomes cult are not always explainable. Fans address the Omega Speedmaster model by simply the speedy. It stands out from the great variety of watches released by the Omega brand.

Firstly, the length of continuous production – since 1957

Secondly, involvement in great historical events related to space exploration.

Thirdly, a huge number of varieties and modifications produced in more than 60 years.

Speedmaster Broad Arrow (1957)

The first generation of the legendary collection and the world’s first wrist chronographs is the Broad Arrow. The exterior of which the tachymeter scale has moved from dial to bezel.

By themselves, these criteria are not yet exhaustive for a watch to become a collectible. In particular, for the same Omega they include the Seamaster (since 1948) and Constellation (since 1952).

Omega Speedmaster Broad Arrow (1957)

However, when analyzing the reasons for the success among collectors of products from brands such as Rolex and Panerai, one cannot fail to notice that one of its most important components is precisely the variety of released versions.

Nothing can stimulate a real collector more than the dream of acquiring a rare version: the more types of dials (hands, marks, colors of type overprints, etc.), the higher the demand. This was confirmed in an interview with Hourly Alphabet, founder of the Speedy Tuesday networking community, Robert-Jan Broer:

“There are many different [Speedmaster] models for all types of budgets, both collectible and investment fun.”

Robert-Jan Broer wearing an Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday (Fratellowatches.com) at the Omega Speedmaster Club meeting in Moscow on May 17, 2018. The well-known fact of the possession of such a watch by some cult person, preferably from the world of show business, also greatly contributes to arousing interest.

Omega Speedmaster “Speedy Tuesday”

Unfortunately for Speed, space heroes nowadays enjoy much more modest popularity than actors or musicians, so in an amicable way, it should have provided the king of rock and roll Elvis Presley in 1960 with not a Seamaster (his copy is currently considered the most expensive – over $ 1.8 million – Omega watches), and the Speedmaster.

A joke, of course, but, as you know, there is some truth in every joke.

Omega Speedmaster "Speedy Tuesday"

For those wishing to ask the price for vintage pieces, we refer to the already mentioned interview by Robert-Jan Bruhr. For now, let’s take a look at which versions in the current Omega line claiming to be the most authentic Speedy.

Undoubtedly, this is Moonwatch Professional – a small offshoot of only six references in the giant Speedmaster collection of around 120 versions.

Six references of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional

The Moonwatch Professional Chronograph is the successor to the legendary CK2998, released in 1959, and the first Omega watch to fly into space.

Omega “First Omega in Space” CK2998 (1959)

They are still equipped with a hand-wound chronograph movement. First, it was caliber 321 from the Lemania manufacture, then, since 1968, it was caliber 861 of the same Lemania. Its derivatives are now used: calibers 1861, 1863, and 1866 (with a moon phase indicator).

Omega movements – Caliber 1861 and Caliber 1866

Modern calibers are rhodium-plated, giving the movement, which in some cases is visible through the sapphire crystal of the case back, a more spectacular look. However, some are looking for a complete resemblance to the original of the 1960s. There are versions with a blank case back, as well as a flat Hesalite (polymer) glass above the dial for them.

Moonwatch Professional Chronograph 42 mm Ref. 311.30.42.30.01.005

The dial is always black, with a V-shaped arrangement of the chronograph counters. The Professional Moonphase Chronograph adds a fourth to the three additional counters – a moon phase indicator at 12 o’clock and a hand date indicator.

Moonphase Chronograph 42 mm, Ref. 3576.50.00 and Ref. 3876.50.31

The old-fashioned aluminum made bezel with a tachymeter scale is not from trendy ceramics. The steel case of modern versions has a diameter of 42 millimeters.

Since 1970, after a successful moon landing, all Moonwatch Professionals have been engraved on the case back “The first watch worn on the Moon”, which is complemented by the inscription “Flight-qualified by NASA for all manned space missions.

The four models of the family – apart from the moon chronograph – are sold in a gift case containing two additional straps (a textile NATO and an extended astronaut strap with Velcro instead of a buckle), a strap change tool, a Speedmaster magnifier, and a metal seahorse plaque.

Omega Moonwatch Professional Gift Case

All models come with a black leather strap or metal bracelet. The prices are more than humane: from $4000 for a model on a leather strap with a blank back cover. Hesalite glass sells for $4800 for a version on a steel bracelet. It has a transparent back cover and a convex sapphire crystal.

The classic Moonwatch Professional is adjoined by a replica of the 1959 model СK2998. Over the past couple of years, it has been produced for the second series, limited to 2,998 pieces. In 2016 – with a minute scale, chronograph counters, and a blue bezel, this year – with the same black details colors.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch CK2998 Limited Edition (2016, 2018)

This is not a copy, but a “variation on a theme”. Although the diameter of the symmetrical steel case corresponds to the historical 39.7 millimeters and the original Alpha style hands, the bezel has ciramic in it. And the dial is in the newly fashionable panda style with contrasting (black) chronograph counters.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch CK2998 Limited Edition (2016, 2018)

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch CK2998 Limited Edition (2018)

The blind case back has a seahorse and the serial number engraved for the limited edition. Leather strap with racing perforation and white rubber inner layer. Retail price – $4984.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch CK2998 Limited Edition (2018) case back

The replica, like any of the six Moonwatch Professional models, in our opinion, may well become the first Speedy in the collection of a novice collector. Which might be simply a tribute to one of the most famous chronographs in the world.

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