So much has been written about the Omega brand, and the Speedmaster in particular, that there is not much for us to add. For those of you earlier in your collecting journey we will give you some of the broad strokes.
The first Speedmaster was introduced in 1957, setting the tone for all of the Speedmasters to follow. It featured a three register chronograph, high-contrast lumed hour markers, and a tachymeter bezel, all of which can still be found on Speedmasters produced today. This watch also featured the famed calibre 321, produced as a joint venture between Omega and Lemania. In 1963, we saw the first iteration of the Speedmaster case that we know and love today with its famous twisted lugs and added padding for the pushers and crown.
All of this history dwarfs in comparison to the event that made and continues to make the Speedmaster famous. The Speedmaster was the watch of choice for NASA; it was the watch that went to the moon. The story goes that NASA purchased several chronograph watches and put them all to a number of high stress tests to determine which watch could hold up to the harsh conditions of space. The Omega Speedmaster was the only watch that passed the test. The watch would go on to fly on Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions and was worn both during space walks and on the lunar surface.
When the Omega Speedmaster Professional reference 145.022 was introduced in 1968 it represented a major change in the Speedmaster line. We’ll, maybe not major in the traditional sense but major in the world of Speedmasters where very little has changed since its inception. The biggest update to the 145.022 from its predecessor was the introduction of the Lemania based, calibre 861 movement. The new movement featured a new construction, a different balance wheel, and ran at a higher frequency. There are also several sub references within the 145.022 lineage and they are denoted by the two additional digits following the reference number. The -76 watch that we have here has the correct domed dial and a dot next to 90 bezel. The production of this watch dates to May of 1976.
The Case and Bracelet
With so many Speedmasters having come into production, condition is everything and the condition of this case is very sharp. The lines of the trademark twisted lugs are crisp and pronounced and the crown, pushers, and caseback are all correct for the reference. There are no major scratches or dents to report outside of a small dent on the bezel right below the lower chronograph pusher. Additionally, the watch comes on the correct 1171 bracelet with 633 endlinks.
The Dial and Hands
Much like the case, the dial of this Omega Speedmaster Professional is in superb condition. Like all 145.022 Speedmasters this watch features a painted logo and tritium lume on the hands and hour markers. Compared to earlier models of the 145.022, this piece features a no step domed dial, which is correct for the -76 sub reference. Lastly, the Hessalite crystal, which is Omegas marketing term for acrylic, is in excellent condition showing no scratches or marks.
The Lemania based calibre 861 that powers this watch was a workhorse for Omega. They used it across a number of references, including the Speedmaster Mark II that we featured on the site. To this day, Omega sells a Speedmaster with a very similar movement based on this original 861. The watch is running and keeping good time. The service history is unknown.
|Movement||Manual, Cal 861|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Band Material||Stainless Steel|
|Clasp Type||Single Deployment|