It’s safe to say that I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for the obscure, and as I went looking for our “watch of the day” to close out this second week of June I stumbled across an old favorite; a watch that delivers killer value given its complexity, in an interesting package. It’s a Speedmaster, but not just any Speedmaster. You’re looking at their obscure split-seconds chronograph, that was only on the market between 1999 and 2001/2002.
A past WUS forum thread refers to the 3450.30 as “The Bastard Speedmaster“, and in a sense it’s not wrong. The piece is aesthetically Speedmaster-ish at best. Its tachymeter bezel is proportionally oversized, its hour and minute hands are much fatter, and its case design is much more closely aligned to that of the Omega X-33 than a conventional Speedmaster casing. Though there is also a black/carbon fiber dial variant out there, this silver dial contrasted by blued hands has had my attention for some time now. Measuring 42mm across and quite thick (16.1mm per the specs we tracked down), the piece wears about as hefty as modern 44.25mm Co-Axial Speedmaster models.
Looking at its inner workings, its Omega caliber 3600 movement is quite similar to the split-seconds offered by IWC in the same period. Based off of a Valjoux 7750, with the addition of a proprietary split-seconds module, these Speedys have proven generally reliable on account of their relative simplicity. A particularly interesting detail is that this was once of the first automatic Speedmaster models to gain COSC Chronometer certification. As with most other split-seconds chronographs on the market, its pushers at two and four o’clock handle start, stop, and reset function, whereas the additional pusher at 10 o’clock handles split timing operation.
The example we’re looking at today comes to us via eBay, specifically from a retailer on the platform that is a member of the e-commerce giant’s Authenticate Program for luxury watches. As you likely read earlier in the week, eBay’s Authenticate Program involves significant vetting of sellers and product, ensuring that any watch you acquire is guaranteed to be in true and authentic condition. Based on the available imagery this example appears to be in solid overall condition, with nominal scuffs and dings. The seller is offering it without its original box or papers, however they are backing the piece up with a 1-year warranty for added protection.
Listed at $3,299 or best offer, we (of course) always recommend tossing an offer in and seeing where the conversation goes. These things have been floating in and around the $3,000 mark, though we suspect that there’s definitely some wiggle room with the seller to close the deal. As with anything in the pre-owned space, it’s always worth engaging in at least a little haggling.