This is the definition of a “Collector Grade” pre-moon Speedmaster, and that’s partly the reason that I ended up selling it. I never felt comfortable wearing it, lest I should ding it against a door jam and ruin it’s near perfection. The story is one of pure luck and timing, so I suppose I may have sold my winning lottery ticket.
It was a Friday night and I had just gotten home from a long day of work. One of my favorite routines on a quiet Friday is to come home, crack a beer, and nerd out on all of the watch stuff that I’d missed during the week. On this particular Friday, Omega Forums had experienced some drama regarding people skirting the sales posting rules (you need a minimum of 200 posts to sell a watch) by posting very suggestive posts in the main forums – example titles include “What’s my Speedmaster worth, I want to sell!” and “My dad gave me this watch, what’s it worth? I’m not a watch guy.” In the middle of catching up on the thread, I tabbed back to the main page and saw a very similar post that had just been posted one minute earlier. The poster included one (bad) picture of a Speedmaster Pro and asked what it was worth and how best to sell it. The picture was taken at night and from a stupid angle, but one thing was clear – there looked to be razor sharp CB bevels on the top of the lugs. I shot the poster a private message on the forum and asked to learn more about the watch, and as I tabbed back to the forum after hitting “send” on the PM, I noticed something peculiar: the thread was gone.
I later deduced that one of the moderators had deleted the post due to (what they thought was) overt spam. To be honest, I don’t blame them. One post? With a rare Speedmaster, a blurry picture, and a clueless seller? Too good to be true. Except it wasn’t. Later that night I received a response from the poster, who was a female estate agent in Alaska and discovered the watch while organizing an estate for a future sale. It didn’t take long to persuade her that I was a logical, hassle-free buyer for the watch, and while I admittedly gave myself a little cushion on the purchase price, it also wasn’t a total steal (at that time). When it comes to collector-grade examples, one should have no problem paying up for them, and when I received it in-person, it was even more brilliant than I had imagined.
Perhaps the best part of the find was an email that I received from the agent after I had paid but before the watch had been shipped. She had found a “booklet” that went with the watch and wondered if I wanted it as well. I didn’t want to jump to any conclusions, but I said “of course” and crossed my fingers that they were the original purchase papers. As you can obviously see, they were the original papers, and they added a cool wrinkle to the story – the former owner had been a doctor in the military at the time of purchase.
The Nitty Gritty
If you’re looking to purchase a 105.012-66 CB Speedmaster, I’d encourage you to use this as the baseline. The case looks like it came straight off the line at Centrale Boites in 1966. All of the hallmarks of CB’s are present and in OEM-like condition: facets on top of the (slightly shorter) lugs, fantastic patina on the stepped dial, minty caseback (with the tasteful engraving), nearly perfect dot over ninety bezel, and completed purchase papers.
When I sold this example, I came to terms with the fact that it was one of the nicest preserved examples that I’ll ever own. It was a bittersweet day when I shipped it out, but it’s in the hands of a great collector now and the good news is that we still keep in touch. The beauty of this hobby!