Vintage Speedmaster 861 transitional purchase help
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  1. #1
    Member Lakecurry@gmail.com's Avatar
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    Vintage Speedmaster 861 transitional purchase help

    Good morning ! Iím very new to this forum but LOVE IT! Learning so much.
    I have a down payment on a ďpre moonĒ speedmaster 861 movít, great condition, DNN, functions well, and has been serviced. Iíve purchased off this person before and feel they are trustworthy- Iím just noticing that there are so many varying prices for transitional models itís insane. This has all of her original parts- to the best of my knowledge.

    Caseback reads 145-022 st 69, B U T , the serial starts with 313Xxxxx which would make it manufactured in 1970, late 69... she probably missed being around for the moon landing, lol- but was in existence when Apollo 13 happened, and the same watch did see moonwalk time in later Apollo missions, etc... all this info is out there - Iím wondering what you all think. Budget is 9.5K.

    Any opinions about price, investment, etc - or open and fresh discussion about the model and era are welcome!

    Im looking to wear the watch daily- with care. I have a watch I wear for biking, etc- although Iím sure the speedmaster wouldnít mind the bumps- Iím worried about the Tritium falling off , etc... not sure if anyone has first hand experience itís this..?
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  2. #2
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Speedmaster 861 transitional purchase help

    This is NOT known as a transitional. That term is reserved for 145.022-68 references with cal 861 but an applied metal logo. This appears to be a standard pre-moon 145.022-69 with a step dial and painted Omega logo. You can read about the transitional reference on the speedmaster101 and moonwatchonly website.

    The bezel is a legit DNN bezel, which is correct for the 31M serial number (145.022-69 references with serials before 30.5M or so should have a DON bezel). I would like to see the movement and the inside of the case-back to confirm that the reference and serial numbers are correct. By the way, a 31.3M serial number is correct for a 145.022-69, but delivered in the first part of 1971 (see ilovemyspeedmaster.com), not late 1969 or 1970 as you mentioned. These estimated dates are based on a large database of Extracts from the Archive.

    The crown is known as style A3 (angular feet, wide-Omega, 24-teeth), which has a chance of being original, but is more likely a later service replacement. The hands looks correct and original to me. There is some minor paint loss and the lume has aged a bit unattractively in the sweep hand, but it all looks ok to me. The case is nice, and only minimally polished.

    The main flaw I see is the pretty extensive loss of lume on the dial. This is a purely cosmetic issue, but it's significant, since the dial is the single most important part of the watch and you really need to love it.

    If the asking price is $9.5k USD, that's insanely high, even if it were a DON bezel. I posted a photo of my DON 145.022-69 in the WRUW thread a few days ago; I'd value that at about $7k and it's significantly more desirable than this piece with a great dial, a decent DON bezel, and correct A2 crown and pushers. (https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/%2...l#post47297715)

    The example you're considering is a vanilla -69; no DON bezel, no "mistake" 220 bezel, no brown dial, no bracelet. If you look on sales forums (e.g. omegaforums), you will see these all day long in equal or better condition for much lower prices, so there's no need to overpay. I'm at about $5k for this piece, all things considered. Take a look at the price guide on speedmaster101 for more info. Hope this helps, and here is a gratuitous photo of mine.

    [Edit: Sorry, I just re-read this and noticed a bunch of typos, so I fixed them.]

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    Last edited by badbackdan; October 27th, 2018 at 19:16.
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  3. #3
    Member Lakecurry@gmail.com's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Speedmaster 861 transitional purchase help

    Thanks for the clarity for “Transitional “! Although there are still heaps of watches called transitional for sale that don’t fulfill that definition- there’s also heaps that say all original parts but clearly are not!
    I’ve been reading forums and websites for 3 days , thanks so much for clearing some of that up! I Agree with all of it.

    I’ve seen so many for sale online- they have replacement hands, sapphire backs, totaled bezels , etc. I was just excited to find one with all original parts but bracelet. I’ve only been on eBay and Chrono24 and was starting to think it might just be worth it since I rarely ever see them complete and in front of me... it’s worth paying for the watch to be in from of me- but 500$ maybe, not 2K!

    9.5k is Canadian (7.5 us) is asking price, but it’s only on hold. I’m going to check out the movement and get photos and report back :) also, going to offer 7kCan. I was told it was from 1969, as stamped- but realized it’s WAY more complex. They were stamping some 145022-69 well into the 70’s. I read all the pages you mentioned above- just got overloaded- and am also very much a newbie who just just wants to start collecting some real watches- Thanks for the clarity! Very much a 70-71 with that serial and the patina is meh.

    I’ll report back with pic’s!

    AMAZING speedmaster collection, wow. Thanks for sharing
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  5. #4
    Member OhDark30's Avatar
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    Vintage Speedmaster 861 transitional purchase help

    Hi Lake, and welcome to vintage watch collecting!
    This is just a thought, and please donít take this the wrong way - how about starting with something other than the Speedmaster?

    My logic:
    Speedies are a minefield of mislabelling and wild claims, of high prices and outright frankenwatches. As youíre discovering

    How about starting with something else, to get your eye in?
    To get you used to what to look for, likely wear patterns with age, the level of attention to detail and research needed to challenge buyersí more brazen assertions
    In a lower risk environment.
    The Speedy is perhaps the most desirable, multi-version Ďiconicí watch out there, and can be a minefield

    What is it about the Speedmaster that appeals to you?
    The tech? - look at other chronos
    The history? look at other space watches
    The utility? look at other pilot watches

    Bid on a few, buy a few. Do your homework, enjoying the research
    And *then* come back to the Speedy
    The sense of achievement will be greater, and youíre less likely to catch a lemon

    Happy hunting!

    https://wristwatchreview.com/2011/08...-moon-watches/


    EDIT:
    Rereading your posts, I see youíre new on the forum, not necessarily to vintage watches
    Forgive my error, and ignore me if not relevant to your situation
    DO NOT put sales verbiage in your signature.

  6. #5
    Member joeuk's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Speedmaster 861 transitional purchase help

    Welcome to the forum, I own a speedy and they make such great watches that can be dressed up or down and still look good. Thought I would share this with you An index of articles written by Chuck Maddox they are lots of people on the Omega forum that have great knowledge of even the vintage pieces and places to buy. If you need a service of such a piece in Canada this guy as a great rep ArcherWatches.ca

    Here is mine not vintage but just love the watch.
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  7. #6
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    There are other vintage Omegas with the 861 movement that you can pick up for 1/3 of the price of a Speedmaster. Granted, the Speedmaster is just awesome but some of the others are very interesting and people will ask what they are because they don't recognize them, which I think is fun.
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  8. #7
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Speedmaster 861 transitional purchase help

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  9. #8
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Speedmaster 861 transitional purchase help

    Quote Originally Posted by badbackdan View Post
    And it's sold, I hope that OP got it - it was too good to last. I would have bought it myself if I didn't already have a very similar piece.
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  10. #9
    Member Lakecurry@gmail.com's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Speedmaster 861 transitional purchase help

    Thanks for the info and links! I decided NOT to buy it at all- I just prefer to hold out after reading for three days straight about the speedmaster- wait until a gem comes along and not spending money on fodder.

    Found a cool old Breitling I picked up to satisfy my watch itch! I’m posting it in its own thread soon, but it’s a nice way to end a thread- this is a 40’s Breitling with the Venus 178 movement, the predicesssor to the 321, if I’m not mistaken :)

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    Thanks for your help and saving me from getting a meh watch!!

  11. #10
    Member Lakecurry@gmail.com's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Speedmaster 861 transitional purchase help

    Thanks for saving me from myself , haha
    FOR REAL!
    I didn’t get it, and decided on a watch I posted below

    Thanks for your help!

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