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  1. ArmbandUhr69 Dec 28, 2021

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    Hi, new member and a bit more of a watch wearer than collector. I have been wearing Omega for over 50 years and have also fallen for a Black Bay bronze, some Glashuette mechanical models and several German quartz watches that appealed to me. All worn still. As an engineer I have a practical relationship with mechanical watches, and an appreciation for the "just there" place watches had in life before the arrival of "devices".

    I have an issue that I didn't know I had. I bought my Speedmaster Mk2 in 69 if my memory serves. It may have been a display model at the jewellers and at that time it was just a quality watch for a person who needed that attribute. I wore it daily for 25 years before buying a Seamaster Pro 300 which I then wore Daily before accumulating additional watches and I then swapped them around. I recently started taking an interest in my Speedmaster as I had had it for 50 years and as I started reading it became obvious that it didn't meet any of the standard criteria.

    To set the scene, 50 years is a long time to remember details but it started of as a new watch and has been regularly serviced over that time. It has had several new crystals but I don't recall any other replacements of hands, face, bracelet etc but there have been some movement components replaced during service.

    This is what I have. A speedmaster Mk2 Racing Dial with a 26427xxx movement number suggesting an Aug 68 manufacture. The hands seem to belong to an early Mk2 black dial, the bracelet is an 18mm early 60's shape with an 1167 clasp. Clearly this is not classic specifications for an early watch, while all servicing was done through Omega with no reference to it not being kosher Omega configuration.


    omega face1.jpg watch_Back1.jpg movement1.jpg bracelet.jpg 1167.jpg
    The watch back seems to indicate a 68 service, which was before I bought it??? Over time with many moves, both national and International, the box and papers have all vanished. The instability of early life! The buckle picture is off the web, better than I could get but identical to mine. Not the bracelet though.

    So, would appreciate any comments or thoughts on how it became the orphan it is. The simple answer would be parts substitution and I can't rule that out but as the apparent owner from new I don't have any recollection of these parts being changed and their condition suggests originality to me at least.

    My plan is to get it serviced again, put in a sapphire glass from TM when USPS start sending mail again, display back and a Gator strap while leaving the face, case and hands as is. Not original but then it isn't now and it will be an upgrade and I'll keep wearing it.
     
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  2. SkunkPrince Dec 28, 2021

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    The markings in that original caseback imply service by other than Omega. I can't see why they would scratch that info in, but maybe it was only Omega authorized service, which would still be independent watchmakers? What you think is a date might not be. Every watchmaker had her own code.

    Comparing to what Omega shows as a '69 Mark II, yours is actually pretty close. Not sure what you think might be different.

    Speedmaster experts will be along soon enough!
     
  3. ArmbandUhr69 Dec 28, 2021

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    At that time, authorised servicing was done by the dealer, now it seems all watches are sent to the national Omega HQ for service. To the best of my knowledge all services were done under the Omega umbrella.
    Differences, The chronometer hands are/ seem to be for the black dial, the racing dial hands are different in all photos I have seen. Bracelet is a puzzle. In real life you buy and wear it, not analyse it to death so it is only now 50 years on in a fit of curiosity that I even realised it was different from the accepted standard for that watch. I would have said just a month ago that I had a one owner Speedmaster Mk2 that was unmodified but now I have a puzzle.
     
  4. SkunkPrince Dec 28, 2021

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    Don't suppose you took any pictures when it was new?
     
  5. ArmbandUhr69 Dec 28, 2021

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    People didn't back then. You could almost buy a car for the price of a camera that would take detail photos and every shot cost! The first photo that showed the watch in any detail at all was 1972 and you can't see anything. Times change.
    1972 watch.jpg
     
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  6. Donn Chambers Dec 29, 2021

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    Watchmakers used to scratch marks into the caseback to indicate when they serviced it, but the numbers rarely correspond to a date, but are usually a code they used to indicate the type of service and date. So the “68” on that number is almost impossible to interpret unless you know the watchmaker’s code. So don’t overthink those numbers.

    Regarding the dial/handset — that isn’t a racing dial model. I’ve attached a photo of a racing model below (stolen shamelessly from the internet). There are obvious differences — dial, different hand set (including seconds and sub dial hands). Yours looks like a standard Mark 2 which has a orange seconds hand added (but not one from a Mark 2, looks like from a standard Speedy Pro painted orange). perhaps the shop you bought it from did this before you purchased?

    7E373B79-4EE2-46BE-B61E-95BE77CF1DCE.jpeg
     
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  7. Spacefruit Prolific Speedmaster Hoarder Dec 29, 2021

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    Well I would be very happy to take those hands off you - they are extremely rare, and only go on the 69 Racing to my knowledge (anyone tell me I am wrong I would be happy as it might make finding a pair easier)

    Your hands are I think for this, which was serviced in Bienne a long time ago, (where they added these MkII) hands. Which would be correct for your watch.

    I have a sneaking suspicion Omega might have fitted entirely new (but old stock) dial and handset. Note the T marks and step. It is the freshest dial I have ever seen.

    1F2699E7-588E-4B63-AD90-F625C04EE63A.jpeg
     
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  8. ArmbandUhr69 Dec 29, 2021

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    Thanks for the comments. Noted your comment on watchmaker numbers so I won't agonise over those anymore. I probably wouldn't be quite as definitive in my assessment as there are a number of possibilities but most are not backed by enough evidence to bet the house on.
    So, bought the watch new (but may have been a display model) in 69. Came with all paperwork / manuals / gaurantee in my name etc which has sadly gone missing in the last 50 years. Def came with the racing dial as in the 72 photo above. It is 50 years old and faded, not the bright orange tones of a service replacement but completely identified as a normal racing dial. T swiss made T marked.
    Bracelet, no idea and could have been changed out in my time but totally no recollection of that happening. I'm leaning towards that happening though, or at least a clasp replacement with something available on the day.
    Racing dial, that was on the watch from new and condition suggests no change at any time.
    Hands, obviously possible they were changed but again no recollection of that happening. All of them are far from new so more likely they are original than service replacements at a later time. A close look under a glass shows the Hr, Min & Sec hands are white, the timer min and hr hands are a tan / yellow (well faded) and the Sec hand is red but not bright.
     
  9. ArmbandUhr69 Dec 29, 2021

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    Thanks, that is a new take on it. I had basically no collectors knowledge of this watch up until just a few weeks ago and what I have found has only complicated the situation. The hands fitted are all I remember so the next service is the movement, new crystal, display back and a strap and leave everything else as it is and wear it. It means a lot to me in the condition it is in but wouldn't with all new visible parts.
     
  10. Davidt Dec 31, 2021

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    As far as I’m aware the Mk2 was only introduced in ‘69. Your serial is very early so may have been part of the first batch?

    If it interests you an extract from the archives may be worth ordering (c.$120) to confirm exactly when it was made and delivered. A cheaper bit of research would simply be to Google racing dial mk2’s and note the serial numbers of a good few to get a serial range. It will point I’m you in the right direction as to whether yours is a) within expected range, b) within range but very early, c) clearly outside of observed range (at which point an extract may be worth getting to confirm the movement wasn’t swapped by a watchmaker along the way).
     
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  11. ArmbandUhr69 Dec 31, 2021

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    Many thanks. I wasn't aware until joining that this Omega archive service was even available. I will look at that as something to request. It is certainly clear that at this time, a better history record and the original papers that I have waylaid over the years would be invaluable to me but no going back on that. Of the Mk2 serials that I have seen to date on line, none are earlier. The movement is in great shape though and currently it is matching time with a few very capable quartz movements which in turn match internet time. By comparison my Tudor BB has lost maybe 5 mins in a month although the watch winder may have a small part to play in that.
     
  12. pmontoyap Jan 1, 2022

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    It must be nice to have owned a watch for so long, I can imagine the sentimental value that has build up during this time.

    Given the regular service history, back when internet was unimaginable and watch collecting was not a thing, it wouldn’t surprise me watchmakers used a different hand in order to provide a quick service and turnaround time, hence the repainted red sweep hand from a regular Speedy. The small register hands may very well be the original orange hands that have faded to an extreme, or again may have been replaced with readily available Speedmaster hands during service. Imagine typewriting a letter and mailing it to the Omega distributor (in those time Norman Morris) and then wait for a mailed response to see if the correct hands were available. Then telling the customer the options and start the process of ordering. It would have meant a huge delay.

    As other users have pointed out the engraved numbers are just watchmaker codes, not necessarily dates.

    I like the idea of ordering the extract and adding the display caseback, the 861 is an admirable workhorse and a joy to look at. Wear it in good health
     
  13. ArmbandUhr69 Jan 1, 2022

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    Just working through the process of an archive search. Some of the links I have found to date are extinct.

    For sure the processes of yesteryear were slow but also the Just in Time mentality wasn't as prevalent so most people stocked a much wider range of parts. People knew the delays so had no other expectations. Technology has marched on through time but it is only the last two generations that the consumer has benefited to any great extent. The short time between WW2 and the 60's saw space travel and man on the moon which is huge, but in the last 2 generations every person on earth has just come to accept mind blowing technology as a right.

    The best I'll be able to do is confirm the case the movement was installed in and date. The service events are long gone so any changes that may have been made there are all speculation.
     
  14. Scarecrow Boat 5000 Candles in the Wind Jan 1, 2022

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  15. ArmbandUhr69 Jan 1, 2022

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    Aside from getting the process together for an archive search, I have taken your advice and checked some the watches still listed for sale or sold. Also checked every movement number site I have been able to find. Very early days and the limited results to date are:
    The speedmaster Mk2 serial number range is mentioned as between 27xxxxxx and 35xxxxxx with cautions not to take this as gospel.
    Commonly an early 145.014 which is listed as using movements that were made in 1968 as numbers between 26xxxxxx and 27xxxxxx, which fits.
    The 1968 Ultraman Speedmaster is said to use movements numbered between 26076xxx and 26079xxx, which is the first specific reference I have seen to a movement earlier than mine but the dates fit with mine being somewhat later.
    The ones for sale which actually mention a serial number that I have found so far are all 72-73 models in the 31.3xxxxx range. Subject to the archive results, it seems that the movement number and my purchase date tie in date wise. I certainly did not ever pay for a replacement movement and never had any need to suspect that one would be needed. All services were routine, not defect driven.
     
  16. Evitzee Jan 1, 2022

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    I have a MKII that has been in my possession since it was bought new in 1973. It was overhauled in 1980 by an Omega/Tissot Service Agent in Houston where the crystal was replaced, and then seldomly worn as I moved on to other watches. Total overhaul in 1980 was $99. I finally had it overhauled again after 41 years by Nesbit's last year. The 1980 crystal was saved along with the original dial and hands. The orange hands haven't faded too badly in its 49 year life although the chrono minute counter hand was always a lighter shade of orange from the day I bought it. SN 313226xx

    OP, it looks like your MKII may have had as many as six interventions over its life so many opportunities for things to happen and which you may not have noticed, and not pointed out to you, when you got the watch back. It would not be totally out of the question to have had your movement swapped out during one of its services, things were a lot looser before watches became a 'thing' to collect. In your case I would buy an extract and see what it shows, it is very possible the original dealer changed out the standard dial for a racing dial prior to sale, and you would never be aware of that fact. The chrono second hand is NOT an original item and if you don't remember any hands being replaced along the way it could mean it was a dial swap from the beginning and the wrong hand was installed at that time.
     
    IMG_0206.JPG IMG_0199.JPG
    Edited Jan 1, 2022
  17. ArmbandUhr69 Jan 1, 2022

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    That's a nice clean watch and good to see yet another owner from new. Mine was well cared for but had a hard life in a marine environment and some motor sport although it stood up remarkably well under the circumstances. An interesting point is that in the first 25 years of my ownership I never met another person who was wearing an Omega. Forums open up the world but prior to, totally different. While the archive record will tell all, I am very comfortable that the movement is true to date with the watch case and hasn't been replaced in my ownership from new. There is only one hand in doubt, the rest are exactly as I would expect from time in the tropics and while my memory is pretty good, its a detail in a 50 year span that is a total blank so never say never. Same with the bracelet which is now stored away and an Alligator strap in place.
    strap.jpg
     
  18. Evitzee Jan 1, 2022

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    ^^^ I hear you. My Speedmaster spent its first three years on my wrist when I was working as a mining engineer at the Homestake gold mine in Lead, SD. It was regularly subjected to 5,000+ ft elevation changes in about two minutes, and experienced wide temperature variations in a relatively short period of time ending with extremely high temperatures (90+ F and 90+ % humidity), eventually the rubber gaskets melted and oozed out. It never gave me any problems but it was well used and knocked about as I climbed around at depths of up to 6,800 ft below ground level. The original mineral crystal was totally scratched up and eventually I had it replaced in 1980 and the watch had very little use in the ensuing four decades until I finally had it overhauled and refinished last year. These watches are pretty rugged and can stand up to a lot of use. Hope you can determine more about your watch. The chrono second hand is a mystery.
     
  19. ArmbandUhr69 Jan 1, 2022

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    Great to hear others just using this watch. Hard to think anyone would be giving it more stick than you did. A great watch to wear at any work site, I only supplemented mine when I needed it to be absolutely water proof at 200 Ft guaranteed. Even two feet with a Speedmaster is risking everything. The Seamaster pro 300 romped that in but I never became attached to it. Still got it but no love.
     
  20. eugeneandresson 'I used a hammer, a chisel, and my fingers' Jan 2, 2022

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    Since looking I (and some watch mates) have seen quite a few MkII's with these hands (not this particular chrono hand though, but the H/M hand) and also with these hands ...
     
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