The 5 Most Important Buying for the Omega Speedmaster

Part 3 of buying advice on new or used Speedmaster models from Omega

Through our blog Fratellowatches.com we reach every week numerous emails from readers looking for a new or used Omega Speedmaster. No wonder–We have the speedy Tuesday, an article series that appears every Tuesday and revolves around different speedmaster models. Therefore, we answer the questions of the readers only too gladly. So that all readers can benefit from our answers, we have developed an article series that deals exclusively with tips on buying an Omega Speedmaster. You are welcome to read the first part of the purchase advice, which is dealing with the various speedmaster models, and the second part, which presents the procurement possibilities.

Eyes on the watches–the details make the difference

The third part of the Speedmaster purchase advice is about the crucial details–what is important and what is not. Since some e-mails also ask questions about new or hardly used models, we also take these into account. In the third part of our purchase advice you will receive 5 tips for buying a modern and a vintage speedmaster. One more thing to be said: With the collection of Omega Speedmaster watches you do not get into a snake pit like with Rolex watches. We hope that this will remain so. Of course you will find here and there also a self-assembled speedmaster. Certified retailers and watchmakers have also exchanged parts of the service for vintage Speedmaster models over the years and replaced them with parts that were not originally used in the models. Although this can affect the value of a vintage speedmaster, it is not always quite clear what has been exchanged and what is still original. Simply because the boundaries here are not clear. A good example is the Omega Speedmaster Pro ‘ transitional ‘, where old and new components were mixed because there were two models at the same time. Anyway, luckily it is still possible to get an original and beautiful vintage speedmaster at a reasonable price according to nonprofitdictionary.

Modern Speedmaster

Tip #1 to buy a modern Speedmaster: Pay attention to the serial number

Let’s start with the current Omega Speedmaster professional. Often we are asked about the serial numbers, what details to look for and how trustworthy certain sellers are. On the serial numbers there are some lists online, we always use the Roman-Hartmann-list. It contains both the serial numbers of very early Speedmaster watches as well as those of the newer models. Although everyone can access these surveys, some sellers are still doing wrong and confuse Speedmaster serial numbers with those of other Omega models (there is a difference!) and indicate the wrong production years.

Omega, on the other hand, reveals no details about models that appeared after the year 2000. For these watches it is not so easy to find specific information or an excerpt from the archive. In our opinion, every watch produced after 2000 should be fully equipped with casket and papers. Before purchasing, check the serial number (Omega designates it as the factory number) in one of the bands on the back of the watch. The plant number should correspond to the information on the warranty card.

Tip #2 to buy a modern Speedmaster: Check the watch for visible damage

Another aspect that is important in modern speedmaster models is visible damage: If the watch has been hard hitting that has left deep scratches or dents, you can imagine what kind of shocks the work was exposed to. If that is the case, you should definitely ask about the service and repair history.

Tip #3 to buy a modern Speedmaster: Check the accuracy of the work

If possible, check the speed accuracy of the watch and pay attention to the amplitude specified in degrees. The balance of an intact clock shows a rash between 260 and 290 degrees at full lift. If the value of your vintage speedmaster is dramatically lower, one-sided bearing may be defective. If the value is generally low, a revision is due (how much a revision can cost, read here). Usually a simple “oil change” is enough, but it can also be worthwhile to replace the tension spring. With a new tension spring, the watch regains its old energy. A too high amplitude, that is more than 310 degrees, speaks for bouncing. There is too much force in the inhibition. The excess force can damage the elliptical stone of the balance that actuates the armature. If there is no verification of revisions, and you do not have the option to check the accuracy of the clock, you must always calculate the cost of the revision in the price you are willing to pay.

Tip #4 for buying a modern Speedmaster: are packaging and papers included?

When it comes to a limited or special edition of the Speedmaster, you can find out about the original packaging, the original booklets, certificates and possible accessories. There are some limited editions that have been sold with a special casket or which have a special book with. A complete set is important, but more importantly, they are truly convinced of the authenticity of the watch. Since the range of dials and housing floors of limited editions (for example, the Japan Racing model of 2004 or the Snoopy Award model of 2003) fluctuates, it is important to check the corresponding numbers on the certificates.

Tip #5 for buying a modern Speedmaster: is the band original?

What amazes us most about relatively new speedmaster models is that they are sometimes sold with the wrong tapes. Although they are original Omega tapes, they are either too old or too new. Often you can find early 1990s models with tapes produced after 2000, on offer or also modern Speedmaster watches with the band of the known 1171 reference. This makes no sense, but it is relatively easy for you as a buyer to ascertain. If you still have doubts about a watch, it is better to look for another deal.

Vintage Speedmaster

Tip #1 for buying a vintage Speedmaster: is the dealer reputable?

Presumably the most important rule is very general, but Conquerable absolutely true: Always check the dealer. Is he serious? Did he already receive positive reviews? Nevertheless, you should also be familiar with the topic. With our expertise on the subject of Omega Speedmaster, we certainly offer a lot of comparison and information material. But also read the classic articles by Chuck Maddox. Or check out the book “Moonwatch Only”, which is the best hardcover reference piece to date. It offers a lot of detailed information on most reference numbers, from the very first CK2915-1 to the modern Speedmaster watches.

Tip #2 to buy a vintage Speedmaster: Ask for serial number

Once you have discovered a vintage speedmaster that you like, always ask for the serial/Werksnummer (please do not confuse the caliber label). Omega also has archive extracts that show whether the work was actually delivered in a particular case reference, in which year and in which country. We have often discovered clocks with works that were originally used in other watches than in the offered model. Especially at the first Speedmaster factory, the caliber 321, this can be a shady story.

Tip #3 for buying a vintage Speedmaster: How to understand the reference number

A common misconception refers to the reference and enclosure number. Omega used reference numbers such as 105,003, 145,012 and 145,022. However, Omega also sets Einzweistellige year behind, like 145.022-76. To this day, many people (still) think that the year is for the exact year of production. That’s not true! For example, you will not find a reference 145.022-75 or 145.022-77. The two-digit indication only provides information about the year of production of the housing floor.

Tip #4 for buying a vintage Speedmaster: Determine the year of manufacture

The serial or plant number is the key to determining the year of manufacture. For older models, this number is only engraved on one of the work bridges and not on the housing floor or the belt. That means you have to either open the case or ask the seller to open it for you. None of the dates in the sales documents or the warranty booklet indicates the year of production, usually even the date of sale is missing. To make it a little more complicated: sometimes on the archive excerpts there is a production and a delivery date that differs widely from one another. Why is that? The serial number was engraved on one of the bridges at the time of the factory assembly and not when the whole watch was assembled for shipping. It may be that a plant was not installed immediately but was stored for a certain period of time. In general, we use the serial number as an indication for the year of production despite the difference from the data from the archive.

Tip #5 for buying a vintage Speedmaster: is the overall picture correct?

Once you are sure of the production year and have the correct reference number, you can determine and authenticate the Omega Speedmaster (Professional). Do all parts correspond to the production period? Are they original? Which tape should you have? Make sure you are familiar with the differences between the CK2998 references (-1 to-62). or learn to recognize the different types of bezels and know which one to sit at which o’clock. Please keep in mind that there is no absolute certainty for some models and that even the employees in the Omega Museum and archive find out new things every week.

If you need more tips on buying an Omega Speedmaster, please read Part 1 and 2 of our buying advice:

Part 1: How to find the right Omega Speedmaster

Part 2: Where to find the right Omega Speedmaster

Robert-Jan Broer, born in 1977, lives in the Netherlands. His passion is watches. He is the author of various watch magazines and has been operating the blog Fratellowatches since 2004. On Watchtime.net we provide you with his articles in German: our site.

Tags: Omega Moonwatch, Omega Speedmaster, Omega watches, Swiss watches, vintage watches

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