Saturday, May 28, 2005

Omega Speedmaster CK2998-6 (Straight Lug Pre-Pro Cal. 321)

Having got rid of the earlier and misguidedly purchased Speedy day-date (you can read the horror story of its screwed up service by Swatch UK here) and also having sold the wonderful Sinn 903 HD 24 with the Lemania 1877 movement paved the way to Straight Lug Speedy Land in the form of my favourite, the CK2998. This was the first Speedmaster tested in space (Walter Schirra, 1962 although apparently a 105.002), but not the first in the vacuum of space (Ed White's 105.003), but I won't begin to tackle the history of the Speedmaster as that is done so much better in so many places.

My 'new' CK2998-6 in lunar orbit yesterday.....

Here's Wally's for comparison. An incredible picture taken by Jean-Michel at the Bienne museum posted on his Speedmaster Mission site.

There's a bigger version on J-M's site. You owe yourself a visit there if you like Speedmasters. Note his different chrono second hand - another variation. Did Omega make two watches the same?! I digress......

What's interesting is that the case of mine has the same three plane lugs preserved. (look closely at Wally's.) So many of the watches available to me had cases where they had been overpolished and that subtle shape and transition had been lost forever.

2998 packs the awesome NASA test beating, lazy ticking (18000 vph), manual wind, column wheel chronograph movement: the Cal 321. Omega's version of the Lemania 2310.

If you want one of these new now you have to get yourself a Patek 5070! LOL, well at least some expensive Swatch or VC ;-)

It's hard to describe how gorgeous these vintage Speedies are in comparison to the current production and pictures don't do them justice either. However, of all the straight lug ones, CK2915 through to 105.003, this one has always been my fave with the dauphine hands (or as Omega call them 'Alpha' hands). (I'm a bit of a dauphine hand fan as some will know.)

Finally, thanks are due to advice from private individuals as well as the excellent services at the Omega forum at Watchuseek, Speedmaster Mission, TZ Omega forum and of course Chuck Maddox's encyclopaedic collection of articles and links on Speedmasters to help navigate the minefield of case, caseback, dial, hands, and so on and so on. Thanks to a whole host of other Speedmaster fanatic links and resources too numerous to detail including:

NL Speedy Owner Group
Eric So's Omega 4 U.Net
Steve Waddington's Old Omega
Omega-Addict, OSPOG

You can find links to those on Chuck's page.

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