In the last few weeks and months, we’ve received quite a bit of e-mail about the cheap copy Omega Speedmaster Professional 145.012-67 reference. This particular reference was produced in 1967 and 1968 and is the last Speedmaster with caliber 321 movement. Also, it was the Speedmaster with this column wheel movement that had the highest production, somewhere between 27000 and 28000 pieces. The 145.012, together with the 105.012, was also the Speedmaster that Omega Replica Watches sent to NASA for use during Extravehicular Activities (EVA) by astronauts during the Apollo missions. We know now that the 105.012 reference was actually used by Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin on the Moon in July 1969. However, Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins was wearing the Speedmaster Professional 145.012.
The Speedmaster Professional 145.012-67 is quite ‘steady’ in its configurations. So you could say that the characteristics to look for are quite straight-forward. Nevertheless, we receive quite a bit of messages from readers who want to buy a Speedmaster Professional 145.012-67 and have some questions about it, or people who actually have or found one, and have some doubts about its originality. This article is meant to give some insights in the Speedmaster Professional 145.012-67 and what to look for. I will also give some examples of do’s and don’ts and right and wrongs.
Popularity of the Omega Speedmaster Replica Watches Professional 145.012-67
The 145.012-67 is one of those references with caliber 321 movement that is still relatively affordable. It is the caliber 321 Speedmaster with the highest production, which means that it should also be the easiest Speedmaster with that column-wheel movement to find. However, I also noticed that prices are increasing rapidly. This reference was actually the first Omega Speedmaster that I bought myself, in 1999. It was still in the pre-Euro era (although in 1999 the conversion rate was already communicated, the coin itself wasn’t there until 2002), and I paid 2000 Dutch Guilders for my Speedmaster Professional 145.012-67, which is now about 900 Euro in those days. Later on, I bought a couple more of those 145.012 references and I think the last one was in 2003 or 2004, for a whopping 1300 Euro. I can’t remember whether it had the correct bezel, but in those days, nobody really cared about this. In recent years however, the price of the 145.012-67 was between 2500 and 3500 Euro, depending whether everything was original (hands and bezel are the main concerns these days) and whether it came on the original reference 1039 bracelet. That was until 2015. It is with quite a bit of amazement that I’ve monitored and watched the market for these Omega Speedmaster Professional 145.012-67 models this year.
As the pre-decessors of the 145.012 (105.012, 105.003, 105.002, CK2998, CK2915) went up in price quite a bit, it seems the 145.012-67 profits from this as well. A profit for those who already have one of course. The 145.022 models on their turn, seem to step into the price bracket that was formerly the one of the 145.012. I am currently looking for a 145.022-76 for a friend of mine, and it seems to be impossible to get a decently priced one that she can wear on a daily basis. Truth to be told, and you might laugh, I prefer the looks of the 145.022 over the 145.012 to be honest. However, the Omega Speedmaster Professional 145.012-67 has the column-wheel caliber 321 movement that a lot of Speedmaster enthusiasts are so keen on owning. Below, a nice 145.012 that is being offered for sale (here).
Don’ts and Perhaps Wrongs
Before I head over to the do’s and rights, let me get back to the e-mails I was referring to earlier in this article. We receive a lot of fake watches for sale – and especially Speedmaster – related e-mails on a daily basis, mainly questions about a a watch that someone owns that we discussed or the typical “I have 3000 Euro/USD to spend, what should I buy?”. With regards to the Speedmaster related e-mails, there are some interesting ones between them that concern the Speedmaster Professional 145.012-67. Or should I say Speedmaster 145.012-67? I have received three different e-mails (from three different persons) who have this Speedmaster 145.012-67 that doesn’t say ‘Professional’ on the dial. I have seen one of them in the flesh as well. ‘Professional’ was added since the 105.012 reference, in 1964 and onwards. The story goes that Omega added ‘Professional’ after the Speedmaster was chosen by NASA to be their official chronograph timepiece for astronauts in 1965, but that is not the case. It was already added to the dial before that.
I would say that a Speedmaster 145.012-67 without ‘Professional’ has a faulty or better said, incorrect dial. However(!), I also have to add that it isn’t always that black & white as described in articles or books. There is a huge grey area as a result of what was quite common in those years: use what you have. This also explains the “transitional” models from certain brands. Either huge stock on parts or a change of supplier caused that some references have models that should look equal, but don’t. For the Omega Speedmaster Professional 145.012, this was mainly in the use of hands. At some point, Omega started using the flats (or straight end) chronograph seconds hand instead of the drop shaped chronograph seconds hand. So you might find 145.012 models with the newer type of hand, that was later used in the 145.022 as well. I can’t imagine though, that it would be ‘OK’ for Omega to finish-up a pile of non-Professional dials in a watch that is basically the 2nd generation of ‘Speedmaster Professional’ watches. A watch maker might have been sloppy, but it is easier to assume that the dial has been swapped during a later period when the original dial was damaged for example, and a watch maker just added a non-Professional dial he had in stock.
Two very interesting e-mails came in the last few months as well (the most recent one is from last week), where people have a 145.012 with a straight-lug case (and no crown-guards, obviously). One of them has a ‘Professional’ dial and the other has not. As one of the guys who mailed me pointed out as well, it wasn’t until 1969 when Omega finally delivered all 105.003 Swiss replica watches to the market (straight lugs, pre-Professional). So a mix-up is possible of course, but very unlikely. The only way to get certainty about this is to contact Omega in Bienne to see if they have any facts on these combinations.