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Speedmasters at WoK auction, 16 Nov 2019

  1. ewand

    ewand Oct 22, 2019

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    The latest in a long running series looking at vintage Speedmasters that are featured in a sale by Watches of Knightsbridge. Previous tomes here, here etc.

    Remember the buyers premium is 24% and if you choose to buy via The Saleroom, add another 6% for their fees. Generally, WoK have been pretty good at estimating their lots and they usually sell for at or higher than their low estimate. Their photography skills are still a bit meagre though, but they often have lots more photos they'll share if you ask. Full catalogue is on here and contains lots of other interesting watches (including a Gemini IV LE Speedmaster), but for now, we're looking only at vintage Speedmasters.

    Lot 140 - 105.003-65 Ed White - est £5,500-6,500
    Hammer price £5500 (inc premium, £6820 - $8798 - €7979)

    [​IMG]
    Not a fine example by the look of it, though only photo so who knows what the case back/movement etc is like. Bezel is too far gone for my liking unless it's bargain basement territory (bearing in mind that low estimate would put it at the "Running" price point for a head-ony Ed White according to Speedmaster101). Hands are replaced and it looks like it wants servicing too.

    Lot 141 - 105.012-63 with Soleil Dial- est £20,000-30,000
    Hammer price £24000 (inc premium, £29760 - $38390 - €34819)

    [​IMG]
    Well you don't see these very often. @Spacefruit has the authority here in my experience. The dial looks good (short index, non-Professional though it is...) and it's got replacement hands and crown. No interior shots but described as havng scratches to the back. Is it worth £30K+? If so, it's all about that dial... Has an extract but not photographed and the full serial no is not disclosed.

    Lot 142 - 105.012-66 CB - est £5,500-6,500
    Hammer price £5500 (inc premium, £6820 - $8798 - €7979)

    [​IMG]
    Not bad. Bezel's a little dented between 75 and 80 and otherwise not in amazing condition but there are a lot worse. Dial looks evenly-coloured with creamy lume (is that original, or a relume? It's very even...) and has teh slightly dirty look that a lot of collectors want. As long as the dirt isn't hiding case corrosion or anything nasty.

    Lot 143 - 145.012-67 - est £6,500-7,500
    Hammer price £9000 (inc premium, £11160 - $14396 - €13057)

    [​IMG]
    Looks good to me. The dial and hands match well, bezel might well just be in need ot a careful clean, and the watch comes with original 1039 bracelet and an extract. Has the case been polished in the past? The lower right lug does look very shiny... For me, this is the pick of the Speedmasters unless you want to go exotic with blue, or gamble with unusual configurations such as the next couple ...

    Lot 144 - 145.022-69 ST brown dial - est £6,500-7,500
    Hammer price £6500 (inc premium, £8060 - $10397 - €9430)

    [​IMG]

    This will be an interesting test - will a not-particularly-even brown coloured dial with an 861 movement behind it, be valued the same as a nice AML black dial with a 321, as in lot 143? Otherwise, looks like a nice watch.

    Lot 145 - 145.022-69 ST with 220 misprint bezel - est £3,500-4,500
    passed - presumably bidding didn't make the low estimate?

    [​IMG]
    WoK must have some logic that says if they're only going to pocket <£1,000 in fees from selling a watch, it doesn't deserve more than 5 minutes being photographed, as the above is the only photo published. Looks OK, though the hands do seem a bit too white for the most part, but that could just be harsh lighting. If you want a 220 misprint, go for it.

    Lot 146 - 145.022-69ST - est £3,500-4,500
    passed - presumably bidding didn't make the low estimate?

    [​IMG]
    It feels like we're getting to the dregs a bit here. Dirty, washed-out looking dial (though again, that could just be the lighting), and presumably offered by a dealer who's value-add was to take the watch head and stick it on a cheap new NATO.

    And that's it. The cheapest way into a Tritium-dial Speedmaster on lot 147 might be worth a look [Hammer price £2000 (inc premium, £2480 - $3199 - €2902)], or there's the frankly grubby-looking Gemini IV with extract but no B&P and an estimate of £5-6k on Lot 149, (or $8-9.5k including commission -
    Hammer price £5000 (inc premium, £6200 - $7998 - €7254). Compared to @Hijak's much nicer example that spent the summer on the FS forum, that feels like a strong estimate.
     
    Edited Nov 17, 2019
    Dash1, ext1, gemini4 and 7 others like this.
  2. Toishome

    Toishome Oct 22, 2019

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    Other than the Soleil nothing else talks to me :D
     
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  3. ewand

    ewand Oct 22, 2019

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    An observation - if you want bargains at WoK, it might be worth checking their monthly timed auction. One closed the other day and a good number of the lots were Passed- meaning, I suspect, that the opening price was the low estimate and nobody bid. I was keeping an eye on a couple and with only a few hours before the close, there were no bids placed...

    Check out the Speedy Tuesday I and Ultraman LEs, along with a couple of other (late Tritium and pre-moon) Speedmasters-on-a-brand-new-brown-leather-strap:

    https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/...mega#lot-7710f8cd-1df4-4399-9742-aadf009cd7d2

    Expect these same watches to be offered for sale again in future, or I bet if you called the auctioneer up directly and offered to buy at 10% under the estimate they might well cut you a deal...
     
  4. Screwbacks

    Screwbacks Oct 22, 2019

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    prices are pretty conservative.
     
  5. ewand

    ewand Oct 22, 2019

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    Hmmm, conservative isn't a word I'd use. Bear in mind they typically won't sell at lower than the low estimate, and typically go somewhere between the two numbers. Then again, there could be some worth a punt take Lot 143 - est £6.5-7.5k. If that hammered at £7k, that's £8700 in hand, or just over $11,000. That feels pretty realistic given the condition it appears to be in, extract and all. I wouldn't be surprised it that beats top estimate, though.
     
    Edited Oct 22, 2019
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  6. kov

    kov Oct 22, 2019

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    That blue dial has nothing to do in that case IMO. On the other hand, once removed the dial, go find a 105.012-63 dial to complete the watch ::facepalm2:: That lot 141 per se is a headache...

    All the rest is quite uninteresting. Mediocre quality. I will eventually have a look on final results but there's nothing to catch my attention in this auction.
     
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  7. ndgal

    ndgal Oct 22, 2019

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    I concur.
    This watch has been messed with to death;
    Badly polished case.
    Service crown & pushers.
    Incorrect chrono hand.
    Garbage minute subdial hand.

    I would love to see this dial off of the watch and see if it has 321 or 861 legs (my money is on 861).
    As far as I am concerned these short hour marker dials have no business being on any Speedmaster pre 145.022-69.
    The only Soleil dials I would consider "legit" on any Cal 321 referece are the ones with long hour markers.
     
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  8. Cad290

    Cad290 Oct 22, 2019

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    I don’t think we’ve seen any soleil dials on cal 861 Speedmasters, so my guess would be 321 legs.
     
  9. ndgal

    ndgal Oct 22, 2019

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    There are so many 321 Speedmasters with 861 legged service dials...
     
  10. Cad290

    Cad290 Oct 22, 2019

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    Yup. But of the handful of short indiced soleil dials I’ve seen, every one of them has been in a 321. So my best guess is that they likely have 321 feet
     
  11. kov

    kov Oct 23, 2019

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    To me it should sit in a straight lugs pre-professional case of a bit later era.
     
  12. eugeneandresson

    eugeneandresson Oct 23, 2019

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    Wanted to quote...

    ...but then I realized...

    :)
     
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  13. ewand

    ewand Oct 24, 2019

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    I don't think there's any logic as to which configuration of a Soleil dial would be fitted to which watch, unless it was a time thing - assuming it was done by Omega at service, and presumably done with the consent of the owner (imagine if you sent a nice black-dial Speedmaster off for service and came back with this horrible sunburst blue thing, you'd be furious...), the only real variable is the date the service occurred.

    Does that mean that the short index dials must have been fitted in the 1970s (when regular black dials had short indices), whereas the long-index ones might have been late 1960s? We'll probably never know. It all seems like such a mystery that Omega should produce so few Soleil dials (as we've seen in the wild) but have several variations - could they have been a batch of prototype dials made to different styles and forgotten about, later rediscovered and perhaps mistakenly fitted when watches came in for service...?
     
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  14. Mods

    Mods I'm not really an ΩF mod but I play one on TV Oct 24, 2019

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    Did Omega make the speedmaster dials? Or were they made by other companies?
     
  15. kov

    kov Oct 24, 2019

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    Omega doesn't really make dials. Most of them come from Singer but they also use other subcontractors time to time.

    You would have to look at it's back, sometimes dials are signed like this one from Singer :

    [​IMG]

    But not all are signed. Most "special" dials (samples, prototypes) I've seen weren't signed.
     
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  16. ConElPueblo

    ConElPueblo Oct 24, 2019

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    They did not and neither did Omega make the cases or movements and probably not the bracelets, crystals, pushers/crowns or hands either ;)

    The supremacy of Swiss watchmaking on the international arena is to a very large extent due to the Swiss concept of manufacturing; all the different parts were produced by specialist companies on order of a brand who would then put the parts together and (often in a coglomerate with other brands) market and sell the product to importers/wholesellers in the various countries.
     
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  17. eugeneandresson

    eugeneandresson Oct 24, 2019

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    All hail Lemania.
     
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  18. kov

    kov Oct 24, 2019

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    This is all correct but please don't forget that however the production is run by subcontractors the development remains in-house at Omega.

    I can remember the endless conversations with a buddy of mine who used to work as product manager for the Speedmaster line... Man, he wasn't making the parts but his team did everything from originating the ideas to prototyping to CAD, to material suppliers research and negotiations followed by marketing, project and subcontractors management...
     
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  19. ConElPueblo

    ConElPueblo Oct 24, 2019

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    True, and more true today than fifty years ago. The many similarities between some Singer dials for instance in watches from different brands wouldn't happen today.

    I have a 1940 Eterna chronograph with a Valjoux 22 that has been tweaked ever so little to make it a separate Eterna caliber. I'll wager that the actual differences are negligible, however :)
     
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  20. td69

    td69 Nov 11, 2019

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    Regarding Lot 141, is this the first ever Speedmaster blue/grey dial with an extract confirming the dial?

    [​IMG]
     
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