The watch world is still reeling from the sale of the Paul Newman Daytona. While few watches have the provenance of Paul Newman’s watch, the fact that a well-worn example of a not-particularly desirable model fetched such an astronomical amount at auction is telling. To those in this world, it means one thing: vintage watches are still desirable.
Everyone from collectors to dealers is wondering: “What’s next?”
While we’re not holding our breath that Buzz Aldrin’s Omega Speedmaster will surface after decades in obscurity, we can’t deny that the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing is looming on the horizon.
We’ve already seen prices of pre-Moon Apollo era Speedmasters—like the one worn by Buzz Aldrin—rise to nearly superterrestrial heights. And with the buzz (no pun intended) surrounding this upcoming anniversary, the trend is sure to continue. What we see is an unusual transition, whereby a watch that was once considered a tool is now a collectible item—one not to wear, to use and abuse, but to cherish.
For the collectors who simply want a Speedmaster, any Speedmaster, the goal might seem as lofty and far-removed as the Moon itself.
But there’s one incontrovertible truth about Speedmasters—they’re not as scarce as moon rocks.
Quite the contrary: Omega continued to produce it well after the Moon Landing, and still continues to produce it to this day. Examples of the Reference 145.022, in particular, present a perfect opportunity for a collector to buy an affordable and wearable Speedmaster. Take this one, for example.
Dating from the 1990s, at roughly 26 years old, it’s now officially vintage. The case has the same proportions that the Reference has had since the late 1960s, with its sharp twisted lugs. The only concession to modernity beats inside: a Calibre .861 movement rather than the .321 found in Speedies like Buzz Aldrin’s.
Attractive—with gorgeous creamy patina and accompanied with box and papers—and above all wearable, it’s the perfect choice for a collector looking to get into the wonderful world of vintage Speedmasters.