OMEGA’s Speedmaster line of watches debuted in 1957, and is rich in history. Since the initial launch of the OMEGA Speedmaster, there have been a wide variety of other chronograph innovations that formed part of the OMEGA Speedmaster name, which we’ll take a look at along with the factors that influence their worth.
The most famous of these chronographs is the “Moonwatch” OMEGA, more commonly known as the OMEGA Speedmaster Professional. It derives the name from its legacy as the first watch on the moon during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission. The OMEGA Speedmaster is not only one of only a few mechanical watches still qualified by NASA for use in space travel, but also the only one qualified as such for EVA.
The Original Speedmaster Watch
The reference CK2915 was the forerunner to the OMEGA Speedmaster line. The OMEGA Caliber 321 powered this timepiece. They used the Caliber 321 in all subsequent Speedmaster watches until late 1968. This is when OMEGA introduced the new caliber 861.
The original 1957 OMEGA Speedmaster model laid the foundation for the line’s signature features: its 12-hour triple-register chronograph layout, its domed Plexiglas crystal, and its high-contrast index markers.
The only differentiating aspect of these models were their broad arrow hands. This got an update in subsequent editions. In 1959, a second model of the Speedmaster, ref. CK 2998, debuted and featured alpha hands. This remained consistent in following models until 1963. The now-standard straight baton hands replaced them.
The Moonwatch models used the caliber 861 mentioned above. However, the OMEGA Speedmaster watch used in the Apollo 11 mission was the 1967 caliber 321 model. A common reference of this model is the “pre-moon” version.
So what is the value of an OMEGA“Pre-Moon” Speedmaster?
There were many different models before the Moonwatch, and as updated versions were introduced, the soon-to-be Moonwatch’s resemblances became apparent.
First, the CK2915 from 1957. As it was originally intended as a racing watch, it had a clearly sporty appearance featuring curved lugs, a black dial, and broad arrow hands. A CK2915 model could value anywhere from $32,700 and up in the secondhand market. For valuation, it is vital that the watch must be original, with no tampering.
Next, the CK2998 and the 105.002. These Speedmasters already look more like the Moonwatch edition, with a black bezel and alpha hands.
The CK2998 had many different versions, mostly differentiated by their hands. However, the only difference between the last version (the CK2998 [-62]) and the 105.002 was the reference number. That said, the 105.002 is usually available for a little less than the OMEGA Speedmaster CK2998. The price range for a CK2998 in good condition is anywhere from $7,630 to $8,720.
The introduction of the next “pre-moon” Speedmaster, the reference 105.003, was immediately after the 105.002. It remained in production until 1966. It closely resembles the Moonwatch with the white straight baton hands, and it’s also probably the most affordable of all the pre-moon watches, coming in at around $3,815 to $4,905.
The Price of an OMEGA Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
Originally, in 1985, OMEGA produced a limited run of 1300 “Moonwatches.” OMEGA introduced them with Caliber 861 movements, which were later updated to what is known as Caliber 866 – the difference being that there was an additional module for the moon phase and date complications. For a high-quality original, you should expect to pay around $2,500.
So, there are plenty of excellent OMEGA Speedmaster models produced within the last 15 years in various limited edition runs.
The OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional 318.104.22.168.01.005 has all the classic moonwatch features in a modern 42mm timepiece. It has a black dial, hesalite crystal, and tachymeter scale on the stainless steel bezel. The manual-wind chronograph is available for around $4,500.
For more on Speedmasters, learn about the watch that saved Apollo 13.