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    Sale 1348

    Important Pocket Watches and Wristwatches

    12 November 2007, Geneva

  • Lot 135

    Omega. A very rare stainless steel water-resistant chronograph wristwatch with bracelet

    SIGNED OMEGA, SPEEDMASTER, BROAD ARROW MODEL, REF. CK 2915-2, MOVEMENT NO. 15'997'568, MANUFACTURED IN 1958

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Omega. A very rare stainless steel water-resistant chronograph wristwatch with bracelet
    Signed Omega, Speedmaster, Broad Arrow model, Ref. CK 2915-2, movement no. 15'997'568, manufactured in 1958
    Cal. 321 gilt-finished lever movement, 17 jewels, soft iron anti-magnetic cap, the black dial with luminous baton numerals, luminous "Broad Arrow" hands, three subsidiary dials indicating constant seconds, 30 minutes and 12 hours registers, in large tonneau-shaped water-resistant-type case with blank bezel engraved for tachymetre scale, straight lugs, screw back engraved Speedmaster, two round chronograph buttons in the band, stainless steel Omega bracelet and deployant clasp, case, dial and movement signed
    39 mm. diam.


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    The present watch is one of the very few original "Speedmaster Broad Arrow" models ref. CK 2915 to be offered in public in recent years, its rarity further enhanced by the period Omega bracelet.

    Launched in 1957, the celebrated Omega "Speedmaster" was the creation of Pierre Moinat, head of Omega's "creative" department, with case designed by Claude Baillod and the prototype made by George Hartmann. The watch was originally destined for "men who reckon time in seconds", i.e. automobile racers, athletes, engineers and scientists, the tachymetre scale engraved on the bezel allowing the calculation of speed at a glimpse, hence the name "Speedmaster". As the thought of men on the moon was still in the realm of science fiction at the time, it was only later that it became the "Moon Watch".

    The original "Speedmaster Broad Arrow" ref. CK 2915 such as the present watch had a 39 mm. water-resistant case with engraved steel bezel graduated to 300 km/h, its principle characteristics, the "Broad Arrow" shaped hands, and the calibre 321 movement protected by an anti-magnetic soft iron cap. Its dial showed some very distinctive features such as the applied metal "Omega" logo as opposed to the common printed version, the "Omega" signature in a different fond, appearing smaller and thinner, the letters "O" and "G" almost oval in shape, and the simple "Swiss Made" below 6 o'clock, omitting the "T" designation.

    In 1959, the "Broad Arrow" hands were replaced with "Alpha" hands and the engraved steel bezel by the version with black insert graduated to 500 km/h. It became reference CK 2998, the model worn by Walter "Wally" Schirra on his Mercury VII space walk.

    Even before its conquest of space, the "Speedmaster" was and still is one of the most iconic watches in production. Introduced into the market in 1957, it can be considered the originator of the water-resistant sports chronograph watches. The most important improvement is unquestionably the tachymetre scale on the bezel as opposed to printed on the dial, hence rendering the dial more legible while simplifying the calculation of speed. In the years to come, this revolutionary feature was incorporated by most of the other watch manufacturers, notably by Rolex when introducing the famous "Daytona" model in the 1960s.

    The "Speedmaster Broad Arrow" is described and illustrated in Marco Richon's Omega - A Journey Through Time, pp. 596 - 597, Omega Saga, pp. 372 - 374 as well as in Omega Sportswatches by John Goldberger, pp. 95 - 107, where it is in addition prominently featured on the cover.

    Pre-Lot Text

    For Men Who Reckon Time in Seconds: The Omega Speedmaster