Forums Latest Auctions Members

First Speedmaster: "Professional Rhodium" 3572.50

  1. Travelller

    Travelller Feb 3, 2016

    Posts
    259
    Likes
    2,900
    Moonwatch Only
    "Be Prepared!" A Boy Scout's motto and when it comes to choosing that next watch, it's my motto too. The first "chapters" on the subject of the Moonwatch were of course, gleaned from the 'Net. Not long into my research I decided to make life a little easier and for Christmas, I presented myself with the Moonwatch Only book.

    Fantastic. Highly recommended to any admirer of the Speedmaster and a must-have, I would think, for any avid collector. Please keep in mind that the book manages to cover all Speedmasters up 'till about 2012's First Omega In Space (FOIS). Naturally, concentrating mainly on vintage and earlier Special Editions of the 80s, 90s & 2000s. However, you will not find your GSotM in there (at least, not in the current edition).

    [​IMG]

    Prerequisites
    As we know, there are many versions of Omega's Speedmaster. Keeping track of every possible reference is almost as hard as dealing with Daytonas and sooner or later, it will be about as risky as well - thanks to the Speedmaster's continued exponential rise in the collecting community. But I'm no collector, just a humble watch-lover. One that likes to learn about the history of even the most mundane reference. So after covering the basic history and cosmetic/technical milestones of the watch (pre-space, pre/post-moon, broad-arrow, alpha, baton, stepped dial, applied logo, etc.) I set out to find a reference that would fit to my style (...and budget) and so I applied my most basic prerequisites:

    Historically-oriented (original style dial, hands, crystal...)
    Access to the movement (exhibition / display caseback)
    Other more generic "nice-to-haves" (Stainless steel, size, functional quality ...)
    We can quickly break down the Speedmaster into sub-categories and the one I'm most interested is (one that is faithful to) the one that made it to the Moon. That's not to say that the 1965 tribute, First Omega In Space is not of interest, not to mention the Replicas of Omega's original, pre-space, "sports-car enthusiast" references. But I had to pick a starting point and the (post-)Moonwatch it would be.

    [​IMG]
    click-the-pics for hi-res goodness

    I own everything from a 38mm dress-watch to a 47mm military-diver (tribute). If I consider just the case & lugs, I'm easy with anything in the range of 40~45mm. If the dial is busy, such as a chronograph's, I tend to favor the larger end of the range. As such, I was immediately oriented to the Speedmaster Professional. Truth be told, the additional 2mm is more likely used up by the case and not the dial. If I'm not mistaken, the dial is not even 1mm larger than the original Speedmaster (something like 30.8 vs. 30.0mm). I'm not used to asymmetrical cases but I must say that Omega did a very nice job with the Speedmaster Pro; it's hard to even picture it as asymmetrical once it's on your wrist.

    [​IMG]

    Note that I wrote Historically "oriented" and not "accurate". Having the Hesalite crystal adds to the historical feel of the watch and while I usually play it safe with sapphire, in this case I think Hesalite's the way to go. On the other hand, while the solid caseback is the historically-accurate choice, I really enjoy viewing a watch's movements... .

    [​IMG]

    Next criteria - display caseback. This really narrows down the selection as most Speedmasters come/came with solid casebacks. there's no denying the mystique of Omega's Seahorse stamp/medallion. There's also no denying the visual appeal of a nice manual movement. Omega chose well with the Lemania-based 321/861 for the Speedmaster and I definitely want to see it! As a matter of fact, the only serious member of my humble collection with a solid caseback is my Rolex 16600 Sea Dweller. And I don't need to see the 3135 inside of it, to be quite honest... ;) No to mention, putting a display caseback on a saturation diver's watch is... well, absurd. We won't necessarily be having that same argument with the 50M Speedmaster. Yes, yes, no antimagnetic-iron "dust cover"... I get that.

    [​IMG]

    Then, there's the simple question of price and availability... . Let's just say I wouldn't turn down a 1985 Apollo XI numbered reference with the bragging rights of having the first Speedmaster with display back. Finding one however, is another story...


    Down to Business
    So let's summarize... Speedmaster Professional, displayback and Hesalite crystal. And available. And preferably affordable. This leaves me with...

    345.0808/3352B (& variants)
    3592.50 (& variants)
    3572.50 (in Gilt 863, Rhodium 1863/Tritium & 1863/Super-LumiNova).​

    Of the above, the 3572.50 with Rhodium 1863 and Super-LumiNova is the most common (available). Honestly-speaking, if I can't have the first (1985 345.0808 Apollo XI numbered), I'd just assume have the more "functional" variant and that would be a Rhodium finish and active Super-LumiNova hands.
    Hence, a 1997-2003 3572.50.

    [​IMG]


    The right watch will find you...
    I had already mentioned here and elsewhere that I was on the hunt for a SMP w/display-back. There were (and still are) a number available online, but whenever possible, I prefer to buy locally, to actually handle the piece in question. I came across a couple of 3573.50s (as well as 10x as many 3570s) but not a one 3572.50. Last week I happen to be passing by one of my dealers and figured I'd pop in to see if anything interesting had come in. I lightly brush up against a guy just heading out of the store, a guy that had just traded his Speedmaster for a Daytona... his 3572.50... ! Unbelievable. A 2000, "77.01mio" in very good condition with card, documentation and original box. A good friend of mine as well as mentor in horology often says, "the right watch will find you"... . Well, it can't be all that far-fetched as this was the second time I've had such crazy luck! All in all, I would say it's been a great introduction to the Speedmaster and I look forward to enjoying my "Professional Rhodium" while embarking on the search for the next piece... !

    :thumbsup:

    [​IMG]
    click-the-pics for hi-res goodness

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Chronograph function off...
    [​IMG]
    Chronograph function on...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    :D

    EDITED: Errata - There's no 3572.50 w/ Cu 863. The 1985~1988 345.0808/3352B have the Cu 863.
     
    Edited Feb 4, 2016
    Pazzo, Stuntman81, WatchCor and 57 others like this.
  2. oddboy

    oddboy Zero to Grail+2998 In Six Months Feb 3, 2016

    Posts
    9,079
    Likes
    22,814
    Awesome pics. Awesome.
     
  3. Jones in LA

    Jones in LA Mmm... must have shiny things... Feb 3, 2016

    Posts
    2,322
    Likes
    8,881
    Thanks for sharing your Quest in such well-written form! (fabulous pics, too)
     
    nonuffinkbloke and Travelller like this.
  4. immustard

    immustard A condiment that loves to chive to thyme songs Feb 4, 2016

    Posts
    154
    Likes
    303
    Well written piece, I am currently on the same quest as you were(although I think I am swaying towards the 3592.50), and am awaiting my 'moonwatch only' book to be delivered in the next couple of days, can't wait
     
    nonuffinkbloke and Travelller like this.
  5. lando

    lando Feb 4, 2016

    Posts
    618
    Likes
    1,093
    fantastic pics! great story!

    not too long ago i have bought this ST 345.0808, numbered A 0819. One of the first 1000 with a yellow Cal. 863:

    caseback+movement_small_(3101)_hidden_sn.jpg

    On its way to the watchmaker right now.
     
    Edited Feb 4, 2016
    nonuffinkbloke, Speedygi, Pun and 3 others like this.
  6. Travelller

    Travelller Feb 4, 2016

    Posts
    259
    Likes
    2,900
    Great choice, great book. Why the 3592.50? Do you prefer the look of the "gilt" 863 over the 3352B's Cu? Speaking of which, looks like "Lando" (above) has snagged an awesome 3592.50 - numbered ed. :cool:

    Now that's a display-back grail piece in my book, congrats to you :thumbsup: Looking forward to your impressions (and lots of pics!) once you get it back :)
     
    Edited Feb 4, 2016
    lando likes this.
  7. immustard

    immustard A condiment that loves to chive to thyme songs Feb 4, 2016

    Posts
    154
    Likes
    303
    Hi,Yes i like the gilt movement & tritium(think this will be harder to find on a 3572?)once i get my book will be looking into the different references in a lot more detail i imagine what i want will change several times!lol
     
    Travelller likes this.
  8. Travelller

    Travelller Feb 4, 2016

    Posts
    259
    Likes
    2,900
    Well let's see... the 3592.50 ran from 1988-1995 and the 3572.50, with gilt 863, were issued from 1995-1997. So one could assume that there are more 3592s... . You will have to check the book - the 3592 came in both numbered and unumbered variants, so it's not possible to do the math.
    I think more interesting for you will be the differences in the caseback; I think the 3592's "Apollo XI" caseback is a little more nostalgic than the word "Professional". But I will let you enjoy your book and I am looking forward to hearing what you finally decide on :thumbsup:
     
    immustard likes this.
  9. Traveler

    Traveler Feb 4, 2016

    Posts
    1,857
    Likes
    12,492
    Nice pics - better user name
     
    Tritium, oddboy and Travelller like this.
  10. blufinz52

    blufinz52 Hears dead people, not watch rotors. Feb 4, 2016

    Posts
    1,587
    Likes
    2,395
    Thoroughly enjoyed this story. And fantastic pics!
     
    Travelller likes this.
  11. fibonacci086

    fibonacci086 Feb 4, 2016

    Posts
    741
    Likes
    3,410
    Thanks for that review, and yeah, awesome pics.
    That rhodium plated movement looks good
     
    Travelller likes this.
  12. Travelller

    Travelller Feb 4, 2016

    Posts
    259
    Likes
    2,900
    Thanks, everyone!

    Needless to say, I think anyone owning a Speedmaster has some vested interest in the Space Program past and present. I am no exception and even had the luck of seeing the last Apollo launch - 17 (well... it was a partly-cloudy day (night) and I was very young so the Saturn 5 was visible all of like ...8s. And then there was the 8hr drive home ...4hrs to get out of the local traffic and 4 more to get back down to Miami... :D)

    [​IMG]
     
    Edited Feb 9, 2016
  13. Travelller

    Travelller Feb 8, 2016

    Posts
    259
    Likes
    2,900
    Amazing... even found the patch I took home... :)
    [​IMG]
     
    wagudc, ptfly, nonuffinkbloke and 4 others like this.
  14. ibis888

    ibis888 Feb 11, 2016

    Posts
    289
    Likes
    153
    Great review. I really like the display backs. Part of the joy of owning a Speedmaster is knowing that there is a mechanical movement on my wrist. I Being able to see it is even better.
     
  15. ibis888

    ibis888 Feb 17, 2016

    Posts
    289
    Likes
    153
    PS

    Which setup did you use to take those pictures? Great shots.
     
  16. Travelller

    Travelller Feb 17, 2016

    Posts
    259
    Likes
    2,900
    Thanks!
    I use a Canon 70D with EF-S 60mm macro for most of my closeup work. One really sharp lens, coupled with the 50/60/70D's "Live view" allows for extremely accurate focusing. :thumbsup:

    Actually... too accurate at times... :confused:
    [​IMG]
     
  17. demollo

    demollo Feb 19, 2016

    Posts
    836
    Likes
    560
    Nice pics and review. Thank you !
     
    Travelller likes this.
  18. Travelller

    Travelller Feb 29, 2016

    Posts
    259
    Likes
    2,900
    Now that I've had it long enough for valid accuracy checks, I thought I'd jot down my notes.
    First off, my sample is amazingly accurate when worn and when stored crown-down. I'm talking -1/+4 daily. That's assuming >40% PR (i.e. winding it daily).

    I can work with this combination so as far as I'm concerned, it's all good :thumbsup:

    Having said that... the 1863 starts to lose accuracy dramatically as the PR approaches 0. At roughly 25% PR, I'm looking at -5 and at 5%, -15. While there's no reason to run it down that low, I have to say it's the worst of all my watches, incl. my 48hrs automatics (my Rolex 16600, for example).

    Finally, storing it in any position other than crown-down also results in dramatic accuracy loss, this time in the opposite direction. For example, I've noted variances of up to +12/day when placing it in crown up, dial up, etc.

    Speedmaster FTW!
    [​IMG]
     
    Edited Feb 29, 2016
  19. Fernando

    Fernando Mar 12, 2016

    Posts
    113
    Likes
    217
    great review
     
    Travelller likes this.
  20. Jaacck

    Jaacck May 10, 2016

    Posts
    347
    Likes
    963
    Really enjoyed reading this. Excellent photos and great write up. I am getting my first speedmaster in July. I will be getting an new one with the Hesalite and caseback. I am very interested in the book though even though it delves into vintage, may have to be on my christmas list.
     
    musicamega and Travelller like this.