Auction values ​​#SpeedyTuesday and Rising reflect growing interest in Vintage Omega Speedmasters

Speedmaster CK2915-1 with kind permission of Phillips

In recent years, the values ​​of Omega Speedmaster chronograph dealers have increased. End of 2017, rare, first generation early ref. CK 2915-1 Speedmaster from 1958 was discovered in the attic of the family home by the owner’s son, which was auctioned at Bukowskis Auction House in Stockholm for $ 275,508, marking a new world record for the Omega Speedmasters.

The first generation of 1958 Speedmaster stainless steel ref. The CK 2915-1 is characterized by its famous design, including a black dial with Broad Arrow hands, a tachometric scale on the bezel and a caliber 321. Still rarer was the unpolished case and the original dial, making it one of the rarest The 2915-1 models seen at auction, and certainly one of the most sought after and the little over a quarter of a million dollars reflected the increasing resale values ​​of chronographs Omega Speedmaster vintage.

Omega Speedmaster CK2915-1 and caliber 321

Auction Values ​​#SpeedyTuesday and Rising Reflect Increasing Interest in Vintage Omega Speedmaster Chronographs

In mid-2018, another Omega Speedmaster ref. Cs 2915-1 “Broad Arrow” in better condition was auctioned by Philipps, breaking the previous Bukowskis estimate and record with nearly half a million dollars – $ 408,500, this was not a surprise, but it was dramatic. These dubbed securities were generally reserved for competing brands, but recently, watch connoisseurs seeking “blue oceans” (professional nomenclature referring to a new uncontested market that often creates a new value for the consumer while reducing costs), Omega seems to be where collectors, watch investors and speculators seem to be turning around. In fact, the CK 2915 refers to 1, 2 and 3, all resale values ​​of orders almost doubled.

2018 coming to an end, the resounding success of #SpeedyTuesday has ended with the crazy success of the Omega “Ultraman” Speedmaster Edition, which has run out a few minutes after the launch. opening the web record, while enraged fans inevitably clicked on discounting while waiting. the page to load and accept their details. However, I reserve my thanks for the Speedmaster “Alaska III”, an update from 1968, 10 years after the launch of the original Omega Chronograph.

“The overhaul of the chronograph sub-counters and the modification of their marking in a radial arrangement made it easier and more accurate to read the elapsed timing results.” – Petros Protopapas, Director of the Omega Museum

Omega began working on the “Alaska III” project in an effort to enhance the classic Moonwatch that we all know and love to include anti-reflective surfaces and an easy-to-read dial. The result was similar, made in America (a bit more, in a case) in brushed stainless steel with large radial numbers on the dials specifically requested by NASA’s engineer, Jim Ragan (recently seen on the #SpeedyTuesday 2017 model), making it one of the most distinct models from an aesthetic point of view, with the exception of specially designed “Snoopy” or “Apollo” dials in limited edition.

The first batch of the Omega Speedmaster Alaska III was composed of 56 pieces and NASA used them aboard the space shuttle missions in the 1980s. In addition to the evolution of the dial, the 1968 Speedmaster chronograph also presents the caliber 861, the second movement introduced in the iconic Omega chronograph.

Compared to the previous caliber 321, the Alaska III chronograph caliber had a simplified but no less efficient architecture (NASA certified). Several updates have been made through modifications, including a flat hairspring and a shuttle cam instead of a column wheel, which offers greater uniformity and lower production cost. The balancing frequency was increased to 21,600 vph to improve accuracy and, from the early 1970s, the steel chronograph brake was replaced by a Delrin brake, a low-friction polymer that improved the longevity of the movement.

The improved caliber 861 from which the modern incarnation Cal. 1861 is a direct descendant.

The cases of the Omega Speedmaster “Alaska III” were also manufactured in the United States because of the “Buy American Act” which made this chronograph version of the Biel Manufacture, the first not to to include the traditional “Swiss Made” marks on the dial as a federal regulation required that a certain percentage of value be manufactured in America. Forced to comply, Omega worked with an American case maker and chose Michigan’s ‘Star Watch Case Company’ for these Alaska III models. Another important distinction was the treatment of the case. They were sandblasted with microbeads to reduce reflections, as the light could reflect the metal casing to annoy the astronauts during operations.

According to Phillips, Alaska III was finally sent as one of three candidates when NASA launched a new solicitation in 1978 for the space shuttle program. After a series of environmental tests between Bulova and Omega – again – NASA has found the top Speedmaster – again. The “radial dial” Moonwatch has become the first of many projects in Alaska to become officially qualified in flight. It remained so until the Speedmaster X-33 models were generalized in the late 1990s, but the “radial dial” remained active. inventory for many years.

Just arrived on the auction market, it was impressive to note that the Omega Speedmaster Alaska III had increased the auction resale values ​​of $ 187,500 without any prior reference to the price value. It seems that #SpeedyTuesday and rising auction values ​​will continue to be an unfavorable factor for Omega Speedmaster auction values ​​for years to come.

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