The Omega Speedmaster holds a special place in the hearts of watch nerds across the globe, thanks in part to its prestigious history and cultural significance. Since 1957, the Swiss timepiece has adorned the wrist of race car drivers, engineers and even astronauts, but despite having a rich history, no one could have predicted the monumental amount one such edition would run for. Phillips has just sold a 1957 Omega Speedmaster CK2915-1 for 3,115,500 CHF (AUD$4.6 million), more than 25 times what the auction house estimated.
Offered as part of Phillips’ Geneva Watch Auction: XIV, the unique Speedmaster is described as Omega’s “most historically important model”. According to the auction house, this first-generation model, reference CK 2915, is considered by collectors as ‘the grail’.
“In terms of design, it was the first chronograph to feature a tachymeter scale (or, as Omega called it at the time, the Tacho-productometer scale) on the bezel, rather than on the dial,” Phillips wrote. “In terms of movements, Omega did not go for a brand new calibre, turning instead to calibre 321, an extremely robust and reliable column-wheel chronograph, which it recognised as the best available option for its new Speedmaster.”
Most notably, the much-sought-after watch was only in production between 1957 and 1959, releases in three different iterations. The CK2915-1 and -2 models received the ‘Broad Arrow’ minute and hour hands, alongside a metal bezel – as opposed to the standard bezel with black insert. Additionally, this rare piece has slightly different dial graphics, distinguishable by the oval O of Omega, which later became perfectly round.
“The present watch displays an exceptional “tropical” dial that has aged to a vibrant milk-chocolate shade,” Phillips wrote. “The brown tone is not only rich and vivid, but it is also incredibly even throughout. Moreover, the luminous material on both the dial and hands have aged to an attractive golden tone.”
Prior to the sale, Phillips had anticipated the lot would go for around 80,000 and 120,000 CHF, however, the release shattered expectations and records along the way. Proof that even the experts get it wrong sometimes.
1957 Omega Speedmaster CK2915-1 Technical Specs
Reference No: 2915-1
Movement No: 15’500’006
Model Name: Speedmaster “Broad Arrow”
Material: Stainless steel
Calibre: Manual, cal. 321, 17 jewels
Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Omega pin buckle
Dimensions: 38mm Diameter
Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
Accessories: Accompanied by Omega Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch on November 22, 1957 and original product literature.
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