Which Omega Speedmaster would you buy in 2019?
Here is our Product and Value Proposition in the year that marks the 50th Anniversary of the moon landing
If you just landed on this page, it means that you are A) an Omega watches' die-hard fan and quite possibly you own one already or, B) you're close to buying your first one, and you're so confused given the brand's catalog includes too many product codes, that finding yours is a hard decision to take.
Nearly two weeks ago, I visited Omega's new movements' assembly factory located in Villeret. I was so impressed by the technological level they have achieved, that I consider far above the competition (Omega manufactures, in Villeret, all the Master Chronometer certified calibers), that I changed my perception of the brand.
The tour of the brand's two factories helped me re-connect with the brand; after buying, from 1994 to 2007, a Speedmaster Mark 40, a Speedmaster Automatic Torino 2006 Limited Edition, a Seamaster Planet Ocean Casino Royale and a standard Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch respectively, Omega had gone out of my radar for a long time.
When you're talking Omega Watches, you're talking nearly 80% about the Speedmaster (and, in particular, the Moonwatch). The truth is that Omega is not all about Speedmaster and moon landing, but if you're eager to add your first Omega watch to your collection or try and make a good investment, a Limited Edition Speedmaster is with no doubt the way to go. I think, and I'm pretty sure many readers would agree, that a Limited Edition Speedmaster (being it a Moonwatch or not) has a rare combination of technical refinement and timeless design that helped the entire collection increase its market value year after year and rank on top of the ultra-competitive affordable luxury watches' segment's list.
Omega offers valid options to a Speedmaster; some Seamasters, like the Planet Ocean Casino Royale, for example, have grown their value over 40% in ten years. However, a Speedmaster still beats any Planet Ocean hands-down when it comes to charm, cool factor, and resale value.
Which is in your opinion the right moment to buy an Omega Speedmaster? What is the Speedmaster to choose and why? These are the most common yet difficult questions to answer. I'll try and give my suggestions as I'm willing to buy a new Speedmaster and I'm arguing whether innovation should win over tradition or is, instead, the other way round.
Should I opt therefore for an ultra-modern Speedmaster (a Dark Side of the Moon, for example), the pinnacle of industrial watchmaking in terms of technical prowess, or should I stay in my comfort zone and buy the umpteenth manually-wound Speedmaster? I think you're never wrong with a classic Speedmaster as you are not with a stainless steel Rolex Daytona too.
My advice is to avoid being early adopters, even when a new product looks stunning.
The title above is not a suggestion, but a rule that I strictly abide by; the Speedmaster has been produced in too many variants, they have flooded the market so much that picking yours has made a hard choice to take, even harder sometimes.
Moreover, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, and expect Omega launch commemorative collections along with a modern re-edition of the never forgotten and highly sought-after caliber 321. As a result, here is what is going to happen in my opinion:
- Omega will further increase its market positioning and price point
- Omega will launch a small run of limited edition watches that are expected to sell quickly
- Whoever cannot afford either a 2019 Limited Edition Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch or one equipped with the caliber 321 will start looking around for current ones
- The brand's value is going to grow further, and the same goes for all the Omega limited or numbered edition timepieces in stock, that are not yet all sold out.
I'm not sure of the above scenario, but, in case, you (I) might act now and make one of the Omega I added to my wishlist, yours, supporting the choice with the help of Chrono 24 that offers a professional tool to compare their price evolution. My list is as follows:
- Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Speedy Tuesday Limited Edition
- Omega Speedmaster 57 60th Anniversary Limited Edition
- Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 17 45th Anniversary Limited Edition
The three Omega watches listed above all belong to the brand's catalog since 2017, their asking price was at the time higher than retail (Apollo 17 excluded, for the reasons that I will explain later) and they currently sell at reasonable prices although they're not part of the standard collection. Let me add a fourth watch, that is actually not a Moonwatch but came before the Moonwatch debuted, and is the CK2998. It was re-issued some years ago, and then crafted also a Limited Edition watch, the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch CK2998 Limited Edition.
They're technically comparable, since they adopt the same mechanical movement (caliber 1861), thus making the specs sheet all but a selection criterion. Should one of them be equipped with a Master Chronometer certified movement, the comparison would have been pretty unfair, in my opinion.
To honestly compare their market price, I used the Chrono 24's price trend calculator that provides the price trend of an assigned timepiece over a specified period, as soon as the amount of data collected is statistically relevant. Chrono 24 is an unofficial source but is based on tons of data gathered every day. I compared the three, using a "like for like" approach in terms of product conditions: they all come in an "as-new" condition.
Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday
The Speedy Tuesday was conceived to celebrate one of the most popular hashtag in watchmaking since Instagram was born. Launched one day by the blog Fratello Watches, it has quickly become so popular that Omega decided to craft a limited edition Speedmaster to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the #speedytuesday.
Made in 2012 pieces (as the year in which the hashtag was initially launched), the Speedy Tuesday is a re-edition of the 1978 Speedmaster Alaska Project III characterized by the so-called "radial counters."
The €5.400 product launch price is purely indicative because it's market price, from the exact moment each of the 2012 specimens was assigned, has skyrocketed and far exceeded the €8.000 threshold. A Speedy Tuesday is currently valued slightly above € 8.000, but last month's analysis proves the market price is steadily increasing.
Omega Speedmaster 57 60th Anniversary Limited Edition
The Omega Speedmaster 57 60th Anniversary Limited Edition watch is part of the Trilogy collection launched in 2017 that included a re-issue of two other highly sought-after historical Omega watches, the Railmaster and the Seamaster 300.
A faithful re-edition of the original CK2915, the Omega Speedmaster 57 60th Anniversary Limited Edition encompasses the unique features of the Pre-Moon, such as straight and elongated lugs, no crown guards, alpha-shaped sub-dial hands and the Broad Arrow hours and minutes central hands along with the historic applied Omega logo. Omega has, in my opinion, made a marketing mistake when they revealed the three watches altogether because product bundling tends to dilute the image of each of them, although you might buy the Omega Speedmaster 57 60th Anniversary Limited Edition as a stand-alone product, at €6.600.
Regarding its market value, an Omega Speedmaster 57 60th Anniversary Limited Edition was selling at over €7.700 towards the end of 2017, but its price has plummeted in the last two years and is today in line with retail. It is less exclusive on paper than a Speedy Tuesday, considering that it has been produced in 3.557 copies, but it's sleeker and more premium, in my opinion. Last month's analysis shows the price is stable; it is, therefore, difficult to make any prediction on future pricing.
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 17 45th Anniversary Limited Edition
When Omega opened its flagship boutique in Milan a few years ago, I had the honor of interviewing NASA astronaut Gene Cernan. The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 17 45th Anniversary Limited Edition celebrates the last man to have walked on the moon.
Despite being basically a standard Moonwatch, it introduced unusual features for the collection like bezel and dial made of ceramics, and is finely detailed and engraved to highlight the Apollo 17 mission, that marked the end of a historical era for NASA and space exploration.
From a collector's perspective, it is possibly the most interesting of the three, as it was limited to 1972 pieces and it is a Moonwatch, but it is not sober, and it's miles away from the quintessential Moonwatch, two feats that affected its resale value in my opinion. It's traded price is, today, in line with retail.
My choice goes without any doubt to the Speedmaster 57 Limited Edition 60th Anniversary, for the following reasons: its design is very close to the original one, the very first Speedmaster CK2915, it is smaller than a Moonwatch, its case diameter measures slightly less than 40mm (38.6mm), it features curved plexiglass and, finally, has an applied old Omega logo.
The only thing I don't like is that the original CK2915 featured the legendary caliber 321 while this modern re-issue is powered by caliber 1861. All in all, it is an incredibly sleek timepiece with a pure vintage taste: in comparison, both the Speedy Tuesday and the Apollo 17 look honestly much more like the outcome of a pure marketing campaign (Speedy Tuesday, in particular) while I feel they have nothing really in common with the Apollo missions (again, the Speedy Tuesday, especially).
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting, courtesy of Omega Watches, Chrono 24, Google)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®