A 1957 Omega Speedmaster Just Sold for a Record Price

It sold for over 25 times the auction house's estimate

Omega Speedmaster
The 1957 Omega Speedmaster.

How much would you expect to pay for an Omega Speedmaster made when Dwight Eisenhower was still in the White House? After this week, you might want to revise that estimate upwards by a bit. As part of an auction recently concluded at Geneva’s Phillips Auction House, a 1957 Omega Speedmaster CK2915-1 sold for a bit more than was expected.

Before the sale, Phillips had anticipated that the Speedmaster would sell for between 80,000 and 120,000 Swiss francs (or, based on the current exchange rate, between $87,700 and $131,000). Instead, the watch sold for 3,115,500 francs — or a little over $3.4 million — setting a new world record along the way.

What made this watch so intriguing to so many prospective buyers? Scarcity, for one thing. Watches with this particular reference number were only made from 1957 and 1959. It also has the distinction of being the first Speedmaster to use the Calibre 321 movement — a chronometer which Omega recently brought back into use, and which was notable for its presence on NASA’s early missions into space.

Especially notable about this particular Speedmaster is the fact that it wasn’t carefully preserved and locked away. Instead, both its band and its face show evidence of having been out in the sun, with the coloration of both reflecting this. This particular watch was produced on November 22, 1957. 64 years later, it’s now on its way to a new home — a journey that’s also a reminder of the engineering skill that went into its creation.

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