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Old 11 January 2018, 09:27 AM   #1
Colin10101
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Newbie speedmaster question

Hey guys, so I am pretty green when it comes to Omega watches, but I find myself browsing LunarOyster.com checking out the vintage Omega Speedmasters these days. I'm not as keen on the modern ones as I find they are elevated immensely with patina on the hands and dial.

I've noticed a large gap in time between vintage speedmasters. Perhaps I just haven't come across any, but I haven't seen any moonwatch style speedmasters from the 70s and 80s. Just late 60s and then early 90s onwards. My question is, were they not produced in any capacity during those times?

Really enjoying exploring the Omega brand If anyone has any recommendations for Speedmaster models let me know!
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Old 11 January 2018, 10:28 AM   #2
AEC
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It's possible the quartz revolution put pressure on demand and production of the Speedmaster Professional in the '70s and '80s, but they're around.

There aren't many changes to distinguish those watches from one another, or from a brand-new one, for that matter. The changes to the Speedmaster really occurred in the '60s, when the crown-guard was added to the case (1965-ish, I think), and then when the movement was changed from caliber 321 to caliber 861 (1968).

The difference in the two calibers is in the chronograph control, with c.321 using a classic column-wheel arrangement and c.861 using a simpler cam-activated arrangement. Caliber 1861 in a brand-new Speedmaster Pro today is the modern evolution of caliber 861 (one may say they're the same movement, basically).

They're all a joy to own and wear. The level of character and charm is remarkable, with a fascinating blend of shapes, materials and finishes all adding to the watch's character. Proportions are just right for modern trends. Legibility is fantastic. Winding it each morning is a pleasure. I'm pretty sure NASA selected it because the Astronauts thought it was the coolest one of the bunch they tested!

I used to wear a '67 reference 145.012, which was the last model to use c.321, but I sold it a few years ago to fund another purchase. Fortunately for me, I had a milestone birthday a couple of years ago, and my wife surprised me with a new Speedmaster Pro. I enjoy it immensely, and I know you will, too, when you find the right one for you.

IMG_3735 by Tony Cariffe, on Flickr

IMG_1493 by Tony Cariffe, on Flickr
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Old 11 January 2018, 12:18 PM   #3
Colin10101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AEC View Post
It's possible the quartz revolution put pressure on demand and production of the Speedmaster Professional in the '70s and '80s, but they're around.

There aren't many changes to distinguish those watches from one another, or from a brand-new one, for that matter. The changes to the Speedmaster really occurred in the '60s, when the crown-guard was added to the case (1965-ish, I think), and then when the movement was changed from caliber 321 to caliber 861 (1968).

The difference in the two calibers is in the chronograph control, with c.321 using a classic column-wheel arrangement and c.861 using a simpler cam-activated arrangement. Caliber 1861 in a brand-new Speedmaster Pro today is the modern evolution of caliber 861 (one may say they're the same movement, basically).

They're all a joy to own and wear. The level of character and charm is remarkable, with a fascinating blend of shapes, materials and finishes all adding to the watch's character. Proportions are just right for modern trends. Legibility is fantastic. Winding it each morning is a pleasure. I'm pretty sure NASA selected it because the Astronauts thought it was the coolest one of the bunch they tested!

I used to wear a '67 reference 145.012, which was the last model to use c.321, but I sold it a few years ago to fund another purchase. Fortunately for me, I had a milestone birthday a couple of years ago, and my wife surprised me with a new Speedmaster Pro. I enjoy it immensely, and I know you will, too, when you find the right one for you.

IMG_3735 by Tony Cariffe, on Flickr

IMG_1493 by Tony Cariffe, on Flickr
Wow great information, thank you very much. I felt a bit silly, because after I posted this thread I did manage to track down some 70s speedmasters, but they are definitely fewer and further between than 60s and 90s+.

The hunt is the best part right? I've got a lot to learn about Omega. The history of the speedmaster is almost overwhelming... where to get started..
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Old 12 January 2018, 08:37 PM   #4
arcadelt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin10101 View Post
I'm not as keen on the modern ones as I find they are elevated immensely with patina on the hands and dial.

What do you mean by the quoted sentence?
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Old 13 January 2018, 02:07 AM   #5
AEC
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I forgot to mention before: for researching the history of the Speedmaster, run a search on the web for a blog or a site that was founded and operated by the late Chuck Maddox. I think it's still around, although he passed about 8 or 10 years ago. He was generally acknowledged as the leading authority on the Speedmaster, and not just the traditional Speedmaster Professional.
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Old 13 January 2018, 02:14 PM   #6
Colin10101
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What do you mean by the quoted sentence?
I think Speedmasters look better than most watches with a bit of patina.
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Old 13 January 2018, 05:35 PM   #7
arcadelt
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Originally Posted by Colin10101 View Post
I think Speedmasters look better than most watches with a bit of patina.

OK, now I understand. In addition to Chuck's site, check out speedmaster101.com and see if you can access the Moonwatch Only book.
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Old 14 January 2018, 03:07 AM   #8
Colin10101
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OK, now I understand. In addition to Chuck's site, check out speedmaster101.com and see if you can access the Moonwatch Only book.
The first article on this site is called "How to buy a vintage speedmaster". Just what I needed, thanks
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