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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

A question here from a long time lurker. I just had my 1998 c.861 Speedmaster that I purchased privately 5 years ago serviced (I had no idea of the service history when I purchased the watch) and it came back good as new with a zip locked bag what was replaced. The hour and minute hand had also been replaced but what I've noticed is that they glow much, much brighter is easier than the rest of the watch. I'm sure my Speedy does not use tritium although the the dial does display the "T" marking at 6 o' clock and I've heard that superluminova does not fade over time. If this is true what are the other reasons for the extreme lume on the hands?

What was in the bag:
speedmaster.jpg
 

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If it really is a cal 861 speedmaster manufactured in 1998 it is the latest I know about.

Also T markings on dials were no longer on the dials in 1998 - I think, I am not 100% on that as it is a little out of my time period.

It sounds as though your watch is earlier than 1997 when the change from 861 to 1861 took place, and perhaps older if it has a T SWISS MADE DIAL T.

A photo of the dial, and the first four digits of the serial will help.

The hands in the bag look like Tritium, and if they were replaced by Superluminova then the new hands will glow much brighter than the originals.

Photos will help you get more reliable feedback.
 

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If it really is a cal 861 speedmaster manufactured in 1998 it is the latest I know about.

Also T markings on dials were no longer on the dials in 1998 - I think, I am not 100% on that as it is a little out of my time period.

It sounds as though your watch is earlier than 1997 when the change from 861 to 1861 took place, and perhaps older if it has a T SWISS MADE DIAL T.

A photo of the dial, and the first four digits of the serial will help.

The hands in the bag look like Tritium, and if they were replaced by Superluminova then the new hands will glow much brighter than the originals.

Photos will help you get more reliable feedback.
Good info.
 

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That must have been one hard-ridden 1998 Speedmaster given the shear number of parts swapped during the service. I agree that it must be considerably older. Do you have a list of the parts removed? I'm seeing parts in that bag that often last many decades….or forever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
If it really is a cal 861 speedmaster manufactured in 1998 it is the latest I know about.

Also T markings on dials were no longer on the dials in 1998 - I think, I am not 100% on that as it is a little out of my time period.

It sounds as though your watch is earlier than 1997 when the change from 861 to 1861 took place, and perhaps older if it has a T SWISS MADE DIAL T.

A photo of the dial, and the first four digits of the serial will help.

The hands in the bag look like Tritium, and if they were replaced by Superluminova then the new hands will glow much brighter than the originals.

Photos will help you get more reliable feedback.
Sorry guys, it seems like it's a '97 Speedmaster given the first 4 number of the serial # 4834. Seems like the calibre is 861/1861 according to here Roman Hartmann’s Omega Speedmaster Serial Number Chart.
My speedy definitely needed service I could feel but I put it off for quite a long time but it ran like a champ. I'm kinda bummed out that they had to replace the hands that I guess were applied with tritium? Though I thought that was discontinued in the early 90's? I have seen the innards of my Speedy 2 years ago when I visited the Omega Boutique in NYC to check which movement I have so I can attest to the c.861 calibre. Also: I took a closer look to see what was wrong with the old hands... It does seem like some of the lume has flaked off and the minute hand is bent, not sure if that was like that before it went in for service.

Here's the front of the watch:

speedy 2.jpg

hands.jpg

I tried to get a shot of it in the dark. This was best I could do. The dial markers were glowing just couldn't get it on camera but they also needed a bit of light to "charge" them before they would glow albeit faintly.
 

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Actually there is another possibility.

there was a time when during service, omega replaced the entire movement, with a 48m serial. I have seen it before, and discovered more about it when I tried to buy a 1971 Omega MKII telestop. It had been serviced by omega, but the movement replaced with a 48m serial. Even though this was an omega service, I considered the movement to be non original, as omega would not issue an extract for it. They did say they had replaced the movement, but had no record of the number.

i have also a 145.022-69 with omega service papers with a 48m serial. (Of course this is way too high for an original). I believe the movement is also a service replacement. I have seen other examples of earlier cases with 48m serial, and that is what leads me to suggest this as a possibility.

i stress this is just an amusing theory that I have not spent a lot of time researching, but as yet nothing has come up to contradict it.

luckily whatever the reason the movement is 48m, your watch is a beautiful example of a good condition, serviced and useful watch, who's value is not affected by any of my crazy theories.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Actually there is another possibility.

there was a time when during service, omega replaced the entire movement, with a 48m serial. I have seen it before, and discovered more about it when I tried to buy a 1971 Omega MKII telestop. It had been serviced by omega, but the movement replaced with a 48m serial. Even though this was an omega service, I considered the movement to be non original, as omega would not issue an extract for it. They did say they had replaced the movement, but had no record of the number.

i have also a 145.022-69 with omega service papers with a 48m serial. (Of course this is way too high for an original). I believe the movement is also a service replacement. I have seen other examples of earlier cases with 48m serial, and that is what leads me to suggest this as a possibility.

i stress this is just an amusing theory that I have not spent a lot of time researching, but as yet nothing has come up to contradict it.

luckily whatever the reason the movement is 48m, your watch is a beautiful example of a good condition, serviced and useful watch, who's value is not affected by any of my crazy theories.
That's quite interesting and a bit frightening for those who want to to keep their timepiece as original as possible as I do. The lume on the hands are pretty bright as I caught some sun on my wrist late afternoon and as I moved to a slightly shaded area in my house the hands were brightly lit. So is it safe to say the rest of the dial and chrono second hand are applied with tritium?
 

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That must have been one hard-ridden 1998 Speedmaster given the shear number of parts swapped during the service. I agree that it must be considerably older. Do you have a list of the parts removed? I'm seeing parts in that bag that often last many decades….or forever.
If Omega did the service, then this is very typical actually, and would be the same for a Speedmaster that is 5 years old. Omega does not give any consideration for the condition of certain parts, but they simply replace them on every watch that comes in. The is SOP for most brand service centers.

Cheers, Al
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That must have been one hard-ridden 1998 Speedmaster given the shear number of parts swapped during the service. I agree that it must be considerably older. Do you have a list of the parts removed? I'm seeing parts in that bag that often last many decades….or forever.
They didn't give me a list of the parts but I could tell that hesalite crystal was replaced, crown, pusher stems and button, hour and minute hand, main spring, a few gears that I can't identify, and some pins (I guess).

If Omega did the service, then this is very typical actually, and would be the same for a Speedmaster that is 5 years old. Omega does not give any consideration for the condition of certain parts, but they simply replace them on every watch that comes in. The is SOP for most brand service centers.

Cheers, Al
Any way to convince the service centers not to replace certain items that seem to be non-essential? The lume on the old hands was flaking otherwise it was functional before the service. I feel that eventually given enough time my Speedy goes in for service it'll basically return as the latest 1861 calibre model which sorta defeats the purpose why I bought an older Speedmaster.
 

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No, not really. To get that kind of service, you really need to use an independent watchmaker.

All the brands (at least at the Omega/Rolex level) are interested in making the watch look as new as possible, and replacing anything that might even give a hint that it could cause any sort of warranty return for them. They take the safest/quickest route possible.

Flaking hands can be stabilized for example, but the brand service centers would never take the time/trouble to do so, they just pull new hands from the drawer and install them. This is why I service a ton of vintage Speedmasters for example. If you turn the brand service center loose on a valuable piece, it can lose a lot of value in the process.

Cheers, Al
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Anyone know if the minute hand can be straighten? These are the hands replaced during my service, as you can see the minute hand is slightly bent at the tip. I'm guessing this is why they replaced the hands in the first place. Other than that, they look pretty good.

Hands.jpeg
 

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Anyone know if the minute hand can be straighten? These are the hands replaced during my service, as you can see the minute hand is slightly bent at the tip. I'm guessing this is why they replaced the hands in the first place. Other than that, they look pretty good.

View attachment 1489511
The minute hand is supposed to have this slight bend down at the tip. The hand looks normal to me.

Cheers, Al
 
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