We received a letter from Indonesian watch collector Ruby about his Omega Speedmaster Mark 4.5. There are more of those around of course, but Ruby found one in NOS (New Old Stock) condition. Complete with box and papers.
Ruby started his watch collection in November 2013, when he purchased a Seiko World Time 50th Anniversary watch. Ever since, he collects mechanical Seiko chronographs but also has a weak spot for Omega. Besides the Speedmaster Mark 4.5 we will talk about today, he has a Speedmaster Professional Apollo XI with caliber 863 movement and a gold-capped Constellation caliber 751. Both in awesome condition.
But let’s have a look at his Omega Speedmaster Mark 4.5. We covered this reference in various other Speedy Tuesday articles (like our Speedmaster Buyer’s Guide) and the 4.5 is actually not an official ‘Mark’-series watch. The Speedmaster Mark II (1969) was the first in line, with its tonneau shaped case it was a more modern upgrade of the Speedmaster Professional 145.022. The Mark III (1971), IV (1973) and V (1984) followed and were always in production parallel to the regular Speedmaster Professional ‘Moonwatch’. There never officially was a Mark 4.5, but collectors named the 1974 Speedmaster Automatic reference 176.0012 the ‘Mark 4.5’ as it had similar appearance as the Mark IV. This time however, with a Lemania 5100 based Caliber 1045 movement.
This movement is a bit of a cult thing in the meanwhile. It was a work-horse movement and used by many brands, including Omega. Omega renamed it caliber 1045 for their watches. It appeared in the Speedmaster Mark V, Speedmaster Automatic ‘Holy Grail‘ reference 376.0822 and in this Mark 4.5 reference 176.0012 for example. Brands like Sinn (EZM1, 142), Tutima, Orfina, Alain Silberstein and a couple of others used it as well. You can easily recognize a vintage chronograph with Lemania 5100 movement due to the dial lay-out. They have a day, date and 24 hour indicator as well as a centralized minute and seconds recorder or the chronograph. That’s where it differs from its biggest opponent, the Valjoux 7750. The Lemania 5100 has been out of production since the early 2000s, although Tutima was able to use them long after for their military spec watches.
I won’t go into detail on the Mark 4.5 or its movement, as we did a couple of times in the past. The story on how Ruby purchased his Speedmaster Mark 4.5 is what I want to tell you. Now, we did see a full set Omega Speedmaster Mark 4.5 here earlier, but that one was from 1977 and used on a daily basis. Ruby wrote us that his Speedmaster was offered to him by someone who isn’t a watch collector or seller, but who inherited one from his father. His father received this Speedmaster Mark 4.5 176.0012 in 1982 as a gift from his employer. It was actually a retirement gift. His father never wore the watch, and tucked it safely away, together with its box and papers.
The watch was offered to Ruby in May 2016. He made an appointment with the seller and he simply couldn’t believe his eyes. The original sticker was still on the back, all dried out. The Speedmaster Mark 4.5 is in this all new condition and attached to an Omega mesh bracelet. The papers state it was sold in June 1982. This must mean that the watch has been laying around at the retailer for quite some time.
Ruby cherishes the Speedmaster Mark 4.5, especially due to the condition it is in. There are more 176.0012 Speedmaster Mark 4.5 watches out there, but only few in the condition like his. The mesh bracelet looks very nice on the watch in my opinion. The question is, will you wear the watch or keep it in this beautiful condition?
There are different versions of the Speedmaster Mark 4.5. In 1974, Omega introduced a couple of Speedmaster Automatic chronographs, using the caliber 1045 movement. The officially all came on the reference 1162 or 1204 (for the TV shaped model) bracelet or a leather strap, so I wonder how this one ended up on a mesh bracelet. In those days, retailers offered their watches on optional Omega bracelets some times I guess. I know that some of the 1960s Constellations in stainless steel were never officially offered on a bracelet, yet you will find them on a bead of rice bracelet every now and then. Officially bought that way, via a retailer. I can imagine that the retailer who sold this 176.0012, put it on an optional mesh bracelet.
Anyway, the Speedmaster Mark 4.5 was introduced as 176.0012, 176.0014, 176.0015, 176.0016 and 176.0017. All with the same movement, but with different case shapes. They were all made between 1974 and (roughly) 1977. However, only the 176.0012 had the Mark IV case. So you could say that only the 176.0012 is the ‘real’ Mark 4.5, based on the case design.
So now you know a bit more about this Speedmaster Mark 4.5 watch. If you have an interesting story to share, do not hesitate to contact us.
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more