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  1. Spacefruit

    Spacefruit Prolific Speedmaster Hoarder Dec 16, 2015

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    image.jpeg

    I think the 2915's sold on 15 December 2015 need their own thread.

    The Chisties sale room was about half full of seats, with all the seats occupied. There were about a dozen or so christies staff on the raised desks at the side taking phone bids.

    Lot one (the case openers) opened slowly but gathered momentum and sold well as did the hippocampus. (Not something I would enjoy owning ). Both for substantially more than I have seen these items sell for elsewhere.

    The 2915's came next. The 2915-1 was dispatched for 110,000. When these rare watches sell, it is the figures of $50,000 to $100,000 that is spoken of. Christies have held this up as an original case, in spectacular condition. There was a considerable swell of thought circulating about this watch' case. It had the exterior thickness, polish and finish of a NOS case, but underneath there was corrosion at the case join. The case back was not sharp like the case band, and did not match in finish. There was something smelly about this. If this had been genuinely accepted by the community as NOS I would expect this watch to have breached $200,000.

    However I inspected this watch. Here is what I saw.

    The case was thick, well defined and perfectly brushed. I have never seen one like it. My first impression was it reminded me of the refinished Rolex cases out of Asia. Opening the back there is corrosion on the gasket sealing edges, and on the case back. If this case was so unused, why does the case show so much corrosion? Any corrosion at all, would not fit with the perfect exterior. And the exterior, is perfect.

    On inspecting the top of the case, I saw a machine mark like a knife cut on the shoulder near the bezel on one lug. This is a very hard place to get into and possibly a machinist error. I have never seen anything like it on a straight lug case.

    On the case, up near the bezel join, the case showed micro holes. This is sometimes seen in laser welding. I don't know enough about it all, but I don't like to see those holes, nor the additional corrosion at the bezel junction.

    The dial, bezel and hands all matched in terms of age and patina. Each other, that is, not the case.

    The 2915-2 was bid sharply to 65,000 and then hung for a while as Christies tried to get a phone bid. Eventually sold for 95,000. If you compare the two 2915's you can see the market liked the -2 better than the -1. This was a far more honest watch. I think this was the deal of the day.

    I spent a long time holding these two watches in hand, and the -1 did not grow on me like I expected it to. The more I looked at them, the more I liked the -2. In my experience, fine object grow on me, and less objects lose their initial attraction.

    I am not sure who bought the -1. I don't think it was the museum, the buyer sat in the front of the room and the winner of the 2915-1 was at the back. I could be wrong, or the museum could have had another bidder in the room.

    I am interested to hear what others think.
     
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  2. Traveler

    Traveler Dec 16, 2015

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    Agreed on all counts - I didn't like the lume on no.1 and it looked 'prepared' ... No.2 looked like a real honest watch.
     
  3. abrod520

    abrod520 Dec 16, 2015

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    Also agreed - the -1 looked off, I liked the -2 but it also had strangely perfect lume when almost every example of a broad-arrow 2915 has little or no lume left in the hands. I suppose I'd be happy with it though
     
  4. oddboy

    oddboy Zero to Grail+2998 In Six Months Dec 16, 2015

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    I thought the lugs on the -1 looked odd right from the original listing and those suspicions were confirmed when I saw it in the metal. The outside of the case was just toooo perfect. The bottom lugs appeared to be slightly different widths one from the other. Overall, it just didn't hang together. I will say that it's easier for me to be critical as I was never in the race to begin with and wouldn't have been even if it only reached half of the low estimate.

    The -2 was definitely the nicer of the two.
     
  5. E-diddy

    E-diddy Dec 16, 2015

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    Great share, @Spacefruit. I looked at both through the case only (was interested in other 321s). I thought the -2 was the better of the two, even though the -1 was getting all the attention. -1 & -2s still scare me. I don't want to pay so much for a piece that has doubts about it.
     
  6. mozambique

    mozambique Dec 17, 2015

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    Interesting summary................how did the rest of the sale go?
     
  7. watchknut

    watchknut New watch + Instagram + wife = dumbass Dec 17, 2015

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    Thanks for the summary, and wow, that case is razor sharp as you point out. Evaluating these watches is like a complex math problem--you go through the equation, step by step, entering known data, and validating the answers before moving onto the next step. After you go through the process, you are much closer to surmising whether or not the watch is as close to 100% as you can determine.

    Something seems to be a bit odd for sure as corrosion on case does not equal near perfect finish.

    Learn something new every day.
     
  8. Davidt

    Davidt Dec 17, 2015

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    I just don't for one second believe that case on the -1 is original. There are two options;

    1. This case was a prototype or very early case, possibly made for early advertising pictures, but nevertheless, with a different finish from those generally seen. This case then went almost 60 years without losing its sharpness. Even stored in a drawer, it would be expected to pick up knocks and dings. Therefore, it must have been stored on a box. However, the bezel and pushers still managed to aquire some wear.

    2. The case has been expertly but incorrectly refinished.

    I know which I think is most likely.

    I'll add that I've never even held a 2915 in my hand, so this is purely my opinion and I may well be wrong, but to me at least, the -2 was by far the more attractive and honest looking watch and had I been a player, that's the one I would have gone after and the one which I think represents a better buy.
     
  9. oddboy

    oddboy Zero to Grail+2998 In Six Months Dec 18, 2015

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    Anyone brave enough to give an appraisal? What would you pay for this watch?

    ..or is that taboo. (I honestly don't know)
     
  10. Mark020

    Mark020 not the sharpest pencil in the ΩF drawer Dec 19, 2015

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    The market price has just been set I'd say
     
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  11. Davidt

    Davidt Dec 19, 2015

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    I'm not at all convinced that if someone listed a 2915-2 at $120k or a 105.012 at $15k, that they would sell.

    Although it's an indication, I certainly don't think these are market values.
     
  12. Dash1

    Dash1 Formerly: Ash Dec 19, 2015

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    Thank you for the write up Spacefruit, unfortunately I couldn't make it to the auction in person so I am interested to hear a first hand report.
    If you've handled enough watches, both good and bad, you pick up a good feel of what's right and what isn't and although we collectors can occasionally be over picky there is enough negative feeling on the -1 case to suggest it is not right. I wouldn't have touched it.
    I Have a few suspicions about the -2 bezel, possibly of the recent re manufactured batch, although I would need to spend a bit more time on that to confirm.
    Having said all that I still don't think people should be frightened by purchasing a 2915. Of course the stakes are higher but we all know what a genuine dial, hands and case should look like for this model, we know the correct serial number ranges, the trickiest part is probably the bezel because we have seen so few for comparison but a posting on this forum should sort that one out fairly quickly anyway. The Omega Sportwatches book has some good examples of genuine bezels to get you started.
    The auction results are just further proof that the Speedmaster is the ultimate vintage chronograph!
     
    Edited Dec 19, 2015
  13. cicindela

    cicindela Steve @ ΩF Staff Member Dec 19, 2015

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    Spacefruit, The subdial hands on -1 look too white for the age and in comparision to the -2 hands.
    How did they appear in live view?
     
  14. Spacefruit

    Spacefruit Prolific Speedmaster Hoarder Dec 19, 2015

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    The -1 was smelly.

    The more I held it, the less I liked it. Mrs Fruit, who seems to spot a fake across a room, (how???) took a visceral dislike to it. - as did I after handling it extensively.

    It felt like a watch that someone has "restored" . A pretty good job, BUT.....the corrosion and decay in the back simply cannot be repaired with today's laser welding, to my knowledge. The gasket lip (channel) is too delicate. Plus the machine mark on one of the lugs, an undercut near the bezel, just doesn't ring true to original.

    Yes the hands are painted, but the whole watch didn't feel honest, together or matching.
     
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  15. BASE1000

    BASE1000 Prolific Speedmaster Hoarder Dec 19, 2015

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    There is maybe one 80 % genuine CK 2915 Speedmaseter for ten perfect 6538 Submariners and they all sell beyond 100k.

    IMO in terms of rareness and of being a legend the CK 2915 is still seriously undervalued. Go and buy a 80% CK2915 and you will not get one.
    Go and buy a perfect 6538 and there will be 3 or 4 for your choice.

    IMO the 2915 and especially the 2915-1 will go further upwards and people will start to give up their obession of getting the all parts must be genuine thing. The Speedmaster is a working horse. It needs to look rugged and there will be always parts that were exchanged during its hard life. You will never own a 2915 if you haunt the Patek Philip condition on these watches :D
     
  16. Spacefruit

    Spacefruit Prolific Speedmaster Hoarder Dec 19, 2015

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    Just to be clear, my dislike of the -1 was not because it was not in a good condition, it was because the condition was mixed, miss matched, and suggested to me unoriginal parts to the watch or parts modified from when it left the factory not to improve performance but to disguise the true history of the watch.

    I agree these tool watches are more appealing with patina. But I like the patina to match whithin the constituents of the piece.

    Which is why I liked the -2 a lot.....
     
  17. TNTwatch

    TNTwatch Dec 19, 2015

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    +1 to what Spacefruit said. There have been quite a few franken 2915s over the last couple of years that are, frankly, more honest than this one.
     
  18. watchyouwant

    watchyouwant ΩF Clairvoyant Dec 20, 2015

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    the museum was there. and it was a good result for the Omega Speedmaster rarity. and I very much doubt, that there is even one 2915-1 left, that was not altered over the years. it is only in the last 15 years, that collectors are obsessed with unrealistic goals. time to enjoy, what we have or can get. start somewhere and trade up, if the opportunity arises. kind regards. achim
     
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  19. Spacefruit

    Spacefruit Prolific Speedmaster Hoarder Dec 20, 2015

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    Mmm. I am not sure what you are alluding to. The museum was there, but had nothing to do with this watch that I saw. Are you saying they bought the watch? If they bought the watch it was via a different bidder who was in the room in front of me, to the other lots the museum acquired. So possible, but not evident.

    The result was a terrible result for what was billed as the rarest, finest example of a 2915-1 to come to auction. All the collectors I spoke to before anyone had viewed estimated a NOS original cased 2915 would sell for over $200,000. I think I would stand by that estimate. The priced achieved was a deafening slap in the face for the sellers. Also telling was the speed that the auctioneer took to sell this. He knew this watch was moody, and sold it in about a minute and a half, without hanging around for any further bids. Contrast that with the 2915-2 he sold, which hung in the air for about 5 minutes as he cajoled bids and delayed while telephone connections were made.

    Valuing one of a kind pieces, like this one was said to be, is notoriously difficult and in my experience often catches seasoned dealers off guard with much higher prices. Of course this was not the case here.

    I would like to know who bought it.

    I also do not think I know any current speedmaster collectors obsessed with unrealistic standards when it comes to speedmasters - this may change, as more rolly-boys migrate into our patch! But as you say, there are not many very fine condition ones out there.

    Personally I prefer a watch not to be so special I can't wear it.
     
    Edited Dec 20, 2015
  20. MSNWatch

    MSNWatch Vintage Omega Aficionado Staff Member Dec 20, 2015

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    I actually think if a true NOS (or something close to that) 2915-1 exists I would value it at $500,000 and above. Precisely because the speedmaster when originally sold was a relatively inexpensive toolwatch is exactly the reason why the very few truly excellent examples should command a significant premium over the average ones. And by significant I mean 5-10x or higher multiple.
     
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