1978 Omega Speedmaster 145.022 Moon
Sometimes you just need a little luck. Omega Speedmasters are lovely watches but finding a really special example is not always the easiest task. They’re not rare and at any given time there are plenty of different versions available for sale or auction but like buying a vintage Rolex, you do need to pick your way through the rubbish to find a gem.
A few weeks ago I began my search for a nice vintage Speedy and various WTB ads and frenetic scouring of the net really didn’t come up with much of interest. Most importantly I wanted a very clean dial and hands, all original without that “dirty” lume degradation that is so often present on the old Speedies. This would generally mean one that either cost a fortune or hadn’t been opened or serviced since new. A couple of weeks into my search a member of TZ-UK contacted me with an offer of a 1978 145.022 Moon Speedy. From the pics the dial looked very nice and the case as close to mint as you’ll normally find on a 35 year old watch. What was an unknown was the service history and thus the movement condition. The price was good so I decided to take a punt. On arrival it was better than I expected but with no service it needed to go to my friend Duncan Potter at Genesis Watchmaking. Duncan opened it up and reported that the movement was as good as it gets and that he was pretty sure this had never been opened or serviced since it had waltzed out of the Omega AD in 1978. This was exactly what I’d hoped for and Duncan got the green light to give it a full service and get it back to “new”.
The only drawback with this watch was that when I’d tried to fit my beloved 1450 bracelet to it the solid end links had a slightly different profile and there was no way it would fit. This was a major downer for me as I always think the Speedies look just right on the heavy 1450 and it feels just right on the wrist, too; the entire “balance” becomes perfect for me. Hmm…what to do? This wasn’t a disaster per se as the watch had come with it’s original solid link 1171 bracelet which is a lovely bracelet and works fine.. but it’s not a 1450 by a country mile.. I tried to fit it by using the 1171 end links but the 1450 centre link was approximately 0.5mm larger than that of the 1171 so it wouldn’t quite work. It was so frustrating, too, as the fit was as near as damn it but no cigar.. Then I had a brainwave.. (I don’t get these too often so a period of rejoicing ensued and then I calmed down as I realised it would still be a punt..) I ordered an NOS set of 1171 end links and sent them up to Duncan along with the 1450 bracelet and asked him to just polish that 0.5mm from those end links and see if by doing so we could fit the 1450 on my watch. A couple of hours later Duncan emailed me with the good news. They were now a perfect fit and the 1450 sat proudly on my new Speedy. The combination really is superb and the work that Duncan did has brought a very old watch back to virtually “as new” with the except of the beautiful patina on both the indices and the matching original hands. The fact that it came together with it’s original box and punched papers now makes this a very desirable set.