Speedy Tuesday – Vintage Speedmaster Mark II Buyer’s Advice

Buyer’s Advice: A vintage Speedmaster Mark II

To everybody who likes watches this might sound familiar: when it comes to purchasing a new watch your friends, family members or colleagues might seek out for advice from you. Not too long ago a friend of mine asked me which vintage Omega he should buy. His criterions were: it should be reliable, shouldn’t break the bank, can be used as a tool and have a nice wrist presence. So when he asked me which watch should he get I gave him some buyer’s advice and said “Omega Speedmaster (Professional) Mark II”. If you are into vintage and fancy any or all of the above features this is the watch for you too.

Speedy Tuesday   Vintage Speedmaster Mark II Buyers Advice Let’s start with the obvious it is an Omega. You cannot go wrong with an Omega chronograph. Not that you can go wrong with any decent Swiss vintage chronograph that houses a Lemania-based movement. This is not only a movement this is one of the most significant movements Omega ever used; the caliber 861 which is based on Lemania’s famous 1871 used by the likes of Heuer.
And that leads us to the second point. The heart that beats in the iconic Omega Speedmaster Professional, caliber 861 is the same movement you find in the Speedmaster Mark II. As a matter of fact the Mark II is also a Speedy Pro.

This is the model that started a series of 5 different Mark pieces that established the Speedmaster-line within Omega. Technically the Mark II is just another Speedy Pro. The only difference is the streamlines cushion shape of the case and the fact that this watch never went to the Moon. The look and feel of the watch is solid and chunky yet very comfortable on the wrist. I was even surprised how cool and relaxed it looks. A great justification of this is the 2014 Speedmaster Mark II model that came out earlier this year and pays tribute to the original 1969 version.

Speedy Tuesday   Vintage Speedmaster Mark II Buyers Advice We should not forget that this is a chronograph. Not just a great looking vintage watch, but a fully functioning tool. You can use it for timing everything from your performance in the gym to the time your significant other spends in shops while you are sitting at a coffee shop waiting for her. The manual wind movement is a little ticking, living machine attached to you. Something you need to care for every day. You put it on then wind it and set the time. The Omega Speedmaster Mark II is also a very versatile piece; you can wear it on a bracelet or a leather strap or perhaps even on a NATO strap. Sport it with a suit for a day in the office or with shorts and flip-flops for a summer get-away. The combinations are endless.

A crucial question for most of us out there is the money. How much would this piece set me back? If you are not trained in vintage watches I would suggest to “do you homework” as we say. Research for prices and condition, ask questions on various watch forums, read our posts on the Speedmaster Mark II, look for the Speedmaster Mark II reference 145.014 on Chrono24.

Then go to a reputable dealer or seal a deal perhaps through a forum with a reputable member. You can find Mark IIs on both places. At a dealer you might pay more but most of the time they will give you warranty as well. This comes pretty handy when thinking of the possible service cost of the caliber 861. If you buy from a private seller, make sure to ask about its service history (and provenance of this) or calculate service cost for this watch in your budget. A total overhaul with set you back around 250-350 Euro, depending where and what.

If you feel however that you have the knowledge to spot the right Speedy you can have a look around the auction sites like eBay. Most of the watches on these sites are considerably cheaper. You must however remember that there are extra costs over the price like shipping or customs charges. eBay for instance is fled with Mark IIs from all over the world and the prices are sometimes surprisingly low. Make sure you know what you are buying!

Speedy Tuesday   Vintage Speedmaster Mark II Buyers Advice All in all I’m sure anybody who needs a trusty workhorse, a truly cool vintage piece would be happy with the Omega Speedmaster Mark II. Getting a hold of the rarer Speedmaster Mark II racing dial version is just the added bonus.

Written by Blaise for Fratello Watches.

Speedy Tuesday   Vintage Speedmaster Mark II Buyers Advice
Speedy Tuesday   Vintage Speedmaster Mark II Buyers Advice

Balázs Blaise Ferenczi

Blaise joined Fratello Watches in 2014 and he has been a fan of watches as long as he can remember. His passion for watches really took off in 2007 when he purchased his first fine Swiss timepiece. From 2007 up to recently, he was also an active and involved member of a number of on-line watch communities. Blaise has a weak spot for vintage Omega watches and vintage watches in general.
Speedy Tuesday   Vintage Speedmaster Mark II Buyers Advice

3 Comments

  1. Chris Reply

    Great advice, been thinking of picking up a speedmaster myself. Hadn’t had much luck on ebay though…

  2. DC Vintage Watches Reply

    Another great, highly informative, and relevant article – thanks for giving us vintage collectors so much love!

    Now, where’s an article on the Citizen 8110A bullhead? ;)

    ~DC Vintage Watches

  3. roman Reply

    Hello,

    I have enjoyed reading your advice’s to prospective Byers of vintage Mark II.

    But I want to add one, from my perspective important detail. Case back! Certain OMEGA Models has had quite weak engraving. and this would partially worn out during longer time on hand. And original replacement case back is not any more available.
    Unfortunately this is a case on Mark II but as well on OMEGA Seamaster 300 Series. And I would presume that in this the reason why in all this presentation the case back is not shown.
    But not a new dial and hands and properly polished case will really tell you the whole story about your watch past.. Look at original case back.

    And just to add there is third model of Mark II, the rarest, Ref.145.0037. If anybody interested to know more about it just contact me.

    Mark II is a great watch and I am quite sure any new owner will enyoe it.

    Regards, Roman

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