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The Life of a Collector Old School Cool

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The Speedmaster Pre-Moon

There is nothing better than finding a diamond in the rough; especially when that piece is among the most iconic and most highly sought after watches on the market. Debuted in 1957, the Omega Speedmaster quickly rose to become one the most prolific watches ever made. With few cosmetic changes, the current iteration offers collectors both new and seasoned a piece of history on their wrists.

The initial Speedmaster 105.012, underwent a series of tests in a pre-selection process completed by NASA.  From there, it then was subjected to another 11 trials to test the watch for space travel and narrow down the final three watches. These two models, the 105.012 and the 145.012, both went to the Moon and were the last to include the Caliber 321 movement and applied logo on the dial.  The hands and sleek a-symmetrical case have also changed slightly from these models to the more recent model.

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Vintage Omega Speedmaster 145.012

Our recently acquired Speedmaster Pre-Moon 145.012 is a stunning example, and a pleasure to wear. This model is equipped with the Lemania based Caliber 321 movement, and is the same reference worn by astronaut Michael Collins from the Apollo XI mission. The Caliber 321 was last produced in 1968, though some models were released in 1969.

The original “thin link” bracelet is far from NOS condition, as is the dial; but the crystal however is surprisingly clean for being 46 years old. The original owner, from whom I bought the watch, wore it almost everyday since it was purchased. I’ve worn it myself, for almost two weeks now and it keeps near perfect time, with a chronograph that works beautifully.

While the bracelet has seen better days, it features flexible links near the folding buckle.  The links are connected with springs, making it stretch slightly when putting it on.  These springs add another touch of old school style in a design that is rarely seen in modern bracelets. This bracelet is also quite light compared to its modern counterpart.

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The tritium lume is far from perfect, which helps add to its charm. Looking at the cracked hands and fading markers is almost like seeing a tangible testament to the lifetime of this watch; proof that it has had a less than delicate life, while living to gracefully tell the story.

This watch is the definition of “Old School Cool,” where something so utilitarian in its construction can be worn nearly half a century later as the ultimate accessory. In a casual setting this watch serves as the focal point in one’s summer outfit, while in the office it rests quietly underneath a French cuff, making its presence known only to those with a discerning eye.

There is no doubt in my mind that this is one of the best watches money can buy, and in the watch world, it is relatively “cheap.” Similar examples to ours can be had for anywhere in the $3,000-$7,000 range depending of course on condition, originality, and all of the other normal qualifiers (not to mention a new one is available for around $5,250 at your local AD).

 

About Josh Srolovitz
After getting into watches at a young age, Josh acquired his first luxury watch while still in high school, the Omega 300m GMT 50th Anniversary. He has since continued on with his passion for watches and has owned a Rolex 16233 Datejust, 16013 Datejust, 17000 Oyster Quartz, 1803 Day Date, Rose Gold Chronographe Suisse, and a Corum Trophy 41. He started at Govberg Jewelers in 2012 and it has only fueled his passion for collecting timepieces. Find Josh at the Philadelphia location of Govberg Jewelers.