So out of all my research on speedmasters and the early nasa space programs, I've always wondered how much the speedmaster cost back then. I know I have read that nasa paid around $80 for all of theirs. That's about $560 after calculating inflation today. But how much did one cost on the civilian market? How much did they cost before and after being chosen as nasa's watch and designated as the professional moon watch?
Some explanations for these differences between Swiss and US retail prices:
1. Since NASA originally bought several Speedmasters (along with several examples of watches from other brands) for testing, I'm sure they received quite a discount. My recollection of the story is that all of the watches tested came from one local Houston jeweler. It wouldn't surprise me if they all were purchased at cost.
2. U.S. prices in those days would have included all customs duties and also a 10% federal luxury tax on imported watches. None of this would be included in the Swiss price.
3. U.S. prices were set by Norman Morris, Inc., (the US agent for Omega) and may have included a mark-up that was not included in the original Omega catalog price on their vintage website.
I remember looking this up about a year ago, and calculating the current value of a Speedmaster at about $2,400, including inflation and the relative devaluation of the dollar vs. the Swiss Franc. This was about the same as the grey market price of the watch. With all the price increases from Omega recently, I don't know if that is still true.
Hope this helps,