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Today we put this stealth Omega Speedmaster watch limited edition in the spot lights

Le 18 November 2013, 02:27 dans Humeurs 0

Today we put this stealth Speedmaster Professional limited edition in the spot lights. Stealth? Yes, as it appears to be a regular Speedy Pro ‘Moonwatch’ until you take a closer look at the caseback. The special engraving tells you that this is a limited edition (9999 pieces) to commemorate the Moonlanding on the 21st of July 1969, at 2: 56 GMT. This replica omega Speedmaster Professional ref. 3560. 50 (or ST 345. 0223) was introduced in 1999 for the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.

During the Apollo 11 mission, astronauts Michael Collins, “Buzz” Aldrin and Neil Armstrong were all wearing Speedmasters. However, there seems to be a bit of uncertainty on who’s wearing which one. In this article I did a few years ago, I wrote that Collins was wearing a 145. 012, Armstrong a 105. 012 and Aldrin a 105. 003. This info was based on information that the late Speedmaster collector Chuck Maddox received from OMEGA. However, on the picture below, you can see Aldrin wearing a Speedy that seems to have crown guards.

We zoomed in on the differences between these pre-Moon Speedmasters and the actual Speedmaster Professional ‘Moonwatch’ that is in the current OMEGA collection. I suggest you give that a read if you are in the market for a Speedmaster and still deciding between a vintage model or a Moonwatch from the current collection.

Most limited edition Speedmaster Professional watches have an engraving in the left side of the case, a (mission) patch on the sub register at 9 o’clock or a bit of extra wording on the dial to indicate it is a limited edition or commemorative Speedy. This Apollo XI 30th Anniversary ref. 3560. 50 Speedmaster Professional has neither, only an engraving in the caseback. So, at first sight, there is nothing special about this Speedmaster Professional ‘Moonwatch’. Could be a regular 3570. 50 Speedy Pro.

However, if you turn the watch over, you will immediately notice the special engraving and the embossed Apollo 11 mission patch where normally the Seamonster resides. The case back has the wording “Hello Houston, Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed”. Famous words that Neil Armstrong spoke when they landed on the Moon.

Besides this special case back, the watch came with a black leather box with a bit different dimensions than the regular red leather box. Also, the Apollo XI 30th Anniversary Speedy Pro came with a certificate with some words on the Apollo 11 mission and the number of the particular watch.

This Speedy Pro Apollo 11 30th Anniversary comes with a reference 1498 bracelet (end pieces are of type 840) which looks very similar to the current bracelet except for the fact that this one tapers a bit and has no pushers to release the clasp. However, the lay-out of the bracelet is identical: three brushed Replica Hublot Big Bang, Cheap Hublot Big Bang Best seller and two polished links next to the center link.

With 9999 pieces, you should be able to find one of these Speedmasters. However, limited edition Speedmaster Pro watches have been increasing in value over the last few years. I can’t remember the exact list price of back in 1999, but prepare to pay (much) more than +/- 1600 Euro they were at the time. The one we show you in this article is for sale at a local watch shop in the Hague (The netherlands) that specializes in new, pre-owned and vintage pieces. The price tag on this particular Speedmaster Pro Apollo Limited Edition is 3150. - Euro. Click here for more information.

Earlier this year Omega watches make sure to visit this wonderful place

Le 18 November 2013, 02:26 dans Humeurs 0

Earlier this year, Bert and I went on a horological trip to Switzerland and visited the OMEGA museum in Biel. One of the people from the museum showed us a number of Speedmasters that they had on archive (that is: not displayed in the museum). One of them was this very early Speedmaster 105. 003 also known as the 3rd generation of Speedmaster pre-Professional model. One can dispute that, as there were three reference numbers before the 105. 003.

The CK2915 as the very first Speedmaster, the CK2998 is the second generation of Speedmasters and then there was the 105. 002. This watch is basically a CK2998, but at this time, OMEGA introduced a different method for their reference number system. We’ll stick to the 3rd Generation of Speedmasters.

The reference 105. 003 Speedmaster is also known as the watch that NASA astronaut Ed White was wearing during his first EVA. Actually, the very first EVA ever for NASA. This was during the Gemini IV mission, that OMEGA commemorated with a limited blue dialed Speedmaster (in 2005) that we’ve covered here. Ed White wasn’t very fortunate though, he died during an accident with a test for the first Apollo mission. Together with astronaut Grissom and Chaffee, White died because of a fire in the cabin of the spacecraft on top of the Saturn booster.

In any case, during the spacewalk in 1965, Ed White was wearing the Speedmaster 105. 003 even before it was selected and certified to become the official NASA watch for EVA activities. The Speedmaster 105. 003 was introduced in 1963 and was the first Speedmaster with baton hands (instead of dauphin hands).

OMEGA kept the 105. 003 in production till 1966, even though the 105. 012 (the first ‘Professional’) Speedmaster was in the collection already as well. However, OMEGA kept delivering the 105. 003 to authorized dealers up to 1967. The Speedmaster 105. 003 pre-Professional also had straight lugs instead of the later curved ones and the space between the lugs measured 19mm instead of 20mm. OMEGA delivered this 105. 003 on a variety of bracelets, but all in the same style (ref. 1501, 1035 and 7912).

Also, the 105. 003 was the last Speedy that came without crown guards. One could say that the 105. 012 and 145. 012 (that appeared it 1966) were the first Speedmasters that have a similar appearance to the ones that are still in the collection known as ‘Moonwatch’.

The pre-Professional Speedmaster models are highly sought-after by collectors, especially the CK2915 and CK2998 (including the 105. 002) models. The 105. 003 is the last generation of the straight-lug Speedy models and is perhaps least popular of the pre-Pro models, but certainly worth investigating. The prices on these vintage 105. 003 are low price depending on the condition and whether they come with a bracelet or leather strap.

We’d say that if you are looking for that vintage Speedmaster with a caliber 321 column wheel chronograph movement, consider the 105. 003 as well. The 105. 012 and 145. 012 are very nice and are considered to be the watches used on the Moon, but these Speedmaster pre-Professional models are the real deal bell&ross replica.

A big thanks to the guys at the OMEGA museum in Biel. If you are ever in that area, make sure to visit this wonderful place.