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First, thanks Chuck for this fine article. It is very nicely written and I would highly recommend that anyone thinking about collecting/buying a vintage Speedmaster read it.

I like the use of the "dinosaur - Swiss craftsman" analogy (?) - Ouch...;-)

My question is - and I know this is a tough one - would you hazard a guess as to the production numbers of the various Speedmasters described in the article?

Thanks, Joe
 

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Thanks for the opportunity to type about something other than...

Joe K. Posts: Chuck's article in IW- question/comments...

First, thanks Chuck for this fine article. It is very nicely written and I would highly recommend that anyone thinking about collecting/buying a vintage Speedmaster read it.

Hello Joe,

Thank you for your kind words.

The article, which is in the December 2007 issue of IW [International Watch], is the first of at least three parts. The first part covers from the first model CK2915 with the "Broad Arrow" hands up through the 145.012's just before Omega made the switch to the c.861 movement.

My goal with the article was to provide as much detailed information as I possibly could in the space I was alloted [Seven pages!]. I hope to be able to provide enough basic and perhaps enough detailed information that a person who is casually interested can get to a certain level of knowledge/understanding without having to go to the expense of having to purchase either the "Master of Omega", or Marco Richon's book if they simply wish to purchase a vintage Speedmaster and know what they should be looking for in a good example.

I hope to be able to cover the switch to the c.861, the early changes of the 145.022's backs to commemorate the Speedmaster's use on the Moon, and hopefully cover the 1970's in it's entirety. Meaning: the Mark Series, the early c.1045's, the 125 and the LCD's will be covered. If I have the space to do so, I will make casual mention of the Speedsonic, Flightmaster and Seamaster sister lines. After that, as space permits the article may go as far as the early 1980's [including the first Anniversary models and the c.861 Teutonics]. I honestly doubt I'll be able to fit all that in seven pages, but if I have the space to cover those topics in one installment, it may happen that way. I would rather have more installments and do the topic justice than give it short change. I also don't know if the next installment will be in the January issue or not. I'll try to post a note, hmmm where to do that?, either in my blog or on Zowie/Chronocentric most likely.

I also hope at the end to include a bibliography of sorts, where people can learn about the other available sources of information on the Speedmaster, both in print and on line.


I like the use of the "dinosaur - Swiss craftsman" analogy (?) - Ouch...

[wince]

Well, it's not so much I meant it in that manner. But documenting what transpired years, if not decades, after the events occurred is not unlike an archeology dig or a police investigation. We gather evidence, formulate theories and know that the next piece of evidence we find could shred or torch all of our previous notions.​

My question is - and I know this is a tough one - would you hazard a guess as to the production numbers of the various Speedmasters described in the article?

I have no idea how many Speedmasters Omega made last year! Trying to guess how many they made 50 years ago is really tough.

Thousands? Yes. Ten's of thousands? Of certain models yes. Hundred's of thousands? Hmmm... I'd think maybe the 105.012's and 145.012's possibly they were in production long enough and NASA connection was marketed effectively enough that production runs of those models were that high. But the early models probably aren't quite in the hundreds of thousands. And the really short production run models... The 105.002 and 145.003, perhaps hundreds, maybe a couple of thousand at most.

But those are all guesses. If I get the time, I might craft a note to Marco Richon, Claude Racine, J.L. Miranda, John Diethelm, et. al and see if I can get a guesstimate from them. I don't want to ask them to do anything they are uncomfortable doing though.​

Thanks, Joe

Thanks for the opportunity to type about something other than Administrative administravia over at Chronocentric/OTD. It's been a busted day for me.

Cheers!

-- Chuck​
 

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May be a lay persons question but why no nmbers on the various models. I take that Omega knows their numbers for each speedy produced down to the watch. Is there some reason that these numbers are protected? Same with Rolex as I have heard nothing but quesses but that there are more of them than Omega. I have the latest production run (I think it is a year or so old) Speedy Pro. Is this one of the 100k speedys?
 

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Joe K. Posts: Chuck's article in IW- question/comments...
[snip]

My question is - and I know this is a tough one - would you hazard a guess as to the production numbers of the various Speedmasters described in the article?

hunter Posts:

Re: Chuck's article in IW- question/comments

May be a lay persons question but why no nmbers on the various models.
Because Omega doesn't publish those figures publicly.​

I take that Omega knows their numbers for each speedy produced down to the watch.
I would suspect so.​

Is there some reason that these numbers are protected?
Um... These folks are Swiss. They really really get into secrecy...​

Same with Rolex as I have heard nothing but quesses but that there are more of them than Omega.
The Swiss Watch Federation publishes the number of COSC certificates each Swiss watch brand is issued each year. Rolex has been the leader of certifications for years, probably decades. Omega is nearly always in second place, but Breitling edged them out a couple of years ago for a year...



Ah! 2004, I knew I had created that table at some point...​

I have the latest production run (I think it is a year or so old) Speedy Pro. Is this one of the 100k speedys?

Well, Joe was asking about the production numbers of the various Speedmasters described in the article...

As the article covered the Speedmaster line from it's origin [in 1957] though the last of the c.321 powered models which left producton [in October 1968], so your example would not be in that guesstimate of production numbers as it is so new.

I do not know of any published accounts of Speedmaster production available at this time. Rest assured that should I find a source I will post those numbers if it isn't covered by copywrite or some other stricture.

I wish it wasn't so!

Congratulations on your new Speedy! Wear it in good health!

-- Chuck​
 

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Well, we know the most it could be. And some reasoning can narrow that number down.

I am away from home, but Omega has published the total number of 321s produced, in both the Omega Saga and in Journey Through Time.

We know Omega assigned a section of serial numbers to calibres, not to models of watches. Calibre 321 was produced, including as CHRO 27 C12, for about 15 years before the Speedmaster.

Thus whatever calibre 321s produced prior to 1957 can be deducted from the total calibre 321s and cannot be Speedmasters.

We know Seamasters were produced with calibre 321s after 1957, and some deductions would have to be made for them as well.

Now, we just need data to make some reasonable assumptions.

Sam
 

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My December copy arrived in the UK last week, as you would expect Chuck has produced a very informative and interesting article.

The magazine is the background to this picture...the watch shown is my own 67 - 321 watch.
I also have a transitional 1968 watch an 861 that I think must be one of the earliest, as the serial number 26555xxx it is only 788 numbers away from this 312 which implies that it also must be one of the last 312’s

Looking forward to the next issue, keep up the good work Chuck...

Best regards

Mark


 
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