Today we have an Omega Speedmaster for you in store that we haven’t covered here before. Although the reference number does not give it away, it is a Speedmaster with a blue dial. Very difficult to capture on photo, as the lightning conditions inside made it difficult to capture the blue dial.
In 1968, two Omega Speedmaster models co-existed: the reference 145.012 and its successor, the 145.022. In this year, the Omega Speedmaster Professional received a new Lemania based movement and the dial and hands changed as well.
It was of course still a year before Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong would set a foot on the Moon, so the case backs had the Seahorse logo with ‘Speedmaster’ writing engraved.
The movement changed from the column wheel chronograph caliber 321 to the shuttle-cam chronograph movement caliber 861. Not only the chronograph construction was different, also the ticking number was different as it went from 18,000 bph to 21,600bph.
1968 was a transitional period for the famous Speedmaster, which also explains the various executions of the Speedmaster Professional in that year. There are certain Speedmaster Professional 145.022-68 models that have the dial with applied Omega logo. However, this dial is not identical to the 145.012 dials as the sizes of the pins that connect the dial to the movement are different. The final 145.022 models came of course with the dial with printed Omega logo. It is assumed that October 1968 was the end of the 145.012, although the watch was still shipped to distributors and retailers till months after.
From the 145.022 and older models, we actually know that some of them have a discolored (or aged) dial and bezel. Dials that turned into this chocolate brown color are very sought-after and seem to fetch significantly higher prices than those that kept their original color. Even though the difference in price (luckily) is not as crazy as would it be a vintage Rolex Submariner for example, it is still significant for Omega Speedmaster watches. Some bezels have turned ‘grey-ish’ at some point as well, but this does not influence the price as much as a discolored dial would do.
So a chocolate brown dial is something you will come across if you are looking for a nice vintage Speedmaster. But a blue dial Omega Speedmaster Professional is something completely different. These blue dial Omega Speedmaster watches were delivered from the factory this way, not because of a hard life in the burning sun or something. They were produced in this nice blue color that also seem to have a trace of grey in there. The production numbers are unknown (as with most Speedmaster watches) but it is very rare.
This blue dial Omega Speedmaster Professional was produced in 1968 and could have been shipped to a retailer or distributor up to 1969. Whether the flat counter-weight second hand is original is unknown, normally the 145.012 was delivered with the drop counter-weight second hand.
Thanks to the Omega Museum for having us and taking some photos of this 145.012-68.
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