Pre-Owned Spotlight: Two Omega Speedmasters And A Spacemaster
Omega has increased the price of its Speedmaster models quite significantly in the past few years. While one could buy the classic Moonwatch for less than €5,000 not even that long ago, the models with a sapphire front and back crystal are rapidly approaching the €10,000 mark. Granted, it’s not the same watch that it was before 2021. The Moonwatch now has a new case, bracelet, dial, and Master Chronometer movement. However, if your budget doesn’t stretch so far or you want something different, there are some interesting options available on the pre-owned Speedmaster market.
Today, I’ve selected three different Speedmaster models. We’ll look at a modern but discontinued straight-lug variation, a classic Moonwatch (with a twist), and something more out of the ordinary.
Omega Speedmaster CK2998 322.214.171.124.02.001
Back in 2018, Omega introduced several special and limited-edition Speedmasters. One was the Speedmaster CK2998 ref. 3126.96.36.199.02.001, limited to 2,998 pieces, with a pulsometer bezel.
The 39.7mm case diameter is identical to that of today’s Speedmaster Calibre 321. This pre-owned model, however, houses the Lemania-based caliber 1861 that Omega used in its Speedmaster Professional watches for 25 years until 2021.
What makes this watch special, besides the panda-dial color scheme, is the bezel with a pulsation scale. With this and the central chronograph hand, you can measure a person’s heart rate in beats per minute. In the past, this was a useful tool for medical professionals as it allowed them to quickly measure a patient’s heart rate. You sometimes find this scale graduated for 15 heartbeats and more often for 30, as on this Speedmaster CK2998 Pulsometer. To use it, simply locate the pulse, start the chronograph, and count 30 heartbeats. Then, stop the chronograph and read the number on the pulsation scale where the large red chronograph hand stopped.
The Speedmaster CK2998 Pulsometer edition’s last known retail price was €6,800. This 39.7mm watch (with a 19mm lug spacing) might be an elegant alternative to the sportier-looking Speedmaster Professional 42mm or simply a nice addition.
For this Speedmaster CK2998 Pulsometer, the market price depends on the condition. You will find the most affordable ones offered in Japan due to the low yen, but you shouldn’t forget about the shipping costs, local taxes, and import duties if you live elsewhere. Here’s a full set on offer in the UK for £7,995 (approximately €9,545).
Omega Speedmaster Professional 3592.50
One of the coolest variations of the regular Speedmaster Professional is the one with a Hesalite crystal and a sapphire display back, allowing you to see the hand-wound caliber 863 with gilt-finished bridges at work. Omega discontinued this reference 3592.50 decades ago, and the “sapphire sandwich” took its place. The nice thing about these 1990s models (this particular one I found is from 1992) is that they used tritium luminous material for the hands and hour markers. Often, you’ll see that this has discolored over time and taken on a warm, yellowish tone.
Limited and unlimited editions of the same Speedmaster
This reference has “Apollo XI” engraved in the steel ring of the case back, but it is not a limited edition or official Apollo XI tribute. Earlier, Omega created a limited batch of 1,000 Speedmasters, which were very similar to this model but had a unique number engraved on the case back.
This unnumbered series of the Speedmaster Professional 3592.50 was in production from 1990 to 1995, and the watches were available both with and without a stainless steel ref. 1479 bracelet.
Inside, we find Omega’s caliber 863, the luxury-finish iteration of the caliber 861 used in the Speedmasters with a standard stainless steel case back. In the Speedmaster 3592.50, you can find the 863 movement with 17 jewels but also 18 for the later ones.
These Speedmasters with their boxes and papers often command prices of €6,000 or more. If you want just the watch, though, you can find one for much less. Here’s one from 1992 on a leather strap for €4,750.
Omega Spacemaster Z-33 3188.8.131.52.01.001
When I attended the official introduction of a Planet Ocean model in 2011, Omega’s then-CEO Stephen Urquhart whispered that something was on its way for Flightmaster fans. One year later, during Baselworld 2012, Omega raised the curtains at 9:00 AM, and there it was — the Spacemaster Z-33 ref. 3184.108.40.206.01.001. This futuristic-looking 43mm titanium ana-digi watch is a crossover between the vintage Flightmaster from the late 1960s and the 1990s Speedmaster X-33.
The Omega Spacemaster Z-33 does not have “Speedmaster” on the dial, but you’ll find the hippocampus engraved in relief on the case back and, above it, the word “Speedmaster.” On the dial, the thin hour markers and the two dots flanking the index at 12 o’clock should remind you of the classic Speedmaster dial design too. Like the third-generation X-33 models, this watch offers a black digital display with red segments. On the display, you can use functions like an alarm, chronograph, countdown timer, perpetual calendar, and UTC plus two time zones. All functions can be programmed via the four buttons and the crown.
Omega delivered this watch on a black rubber strap with a folding clasp. Despite being made of titanium, the watch still weighs 131 grams. Now, before you get too enthusiastic and ready to hit that “Buy” button, realize that this 43mm watch has a 19.9mm thickness and a 53mm lug-to-lug. This watch is not for everyone, for sure! But for those who have their Speedmasters and Flightmasters, this might be a very nice addition. The retail price of this watch is €5,600, but on the pre-owned market, you can find examples for less than €4,000. I found a 2018 model here for £3,150 (roughly €3,780) with its box and papers.
Also, make sure to check out the Speedmaster offerings in the Fratello Shop here.
Let me know in the comments below what you think of these pre-owned Speedmasters. Are they good alternatives to the current Moonwatch, or would you go for another (discontinued) Speedmaster model instead?
Featured image: Zeitauktion