Christie’s New York, December 6 2016
Sold for $35,000
As most QP readers will appreciate, rare and interesting versions of Omega’s Speedmaster have lately seen a surge in value, with models such as the original Reference 2915, the Broad Arrow and those with “racing dials” proving especially sought after – and the recent and rapid on-line sell-out of the 2,012 special edition “Speedy Tuesday” pieces (all gone in four hours 15 minutes) surely demonstrated that the Speedmaster has a true cult following.
I’d like to bet, however, that we’re only witnessing the early stages of the Speedmaster’s potential and, as evidence, I’d like to cite the sale by Christie’s of this yellow gold, panda dial model.
We have all seen how prices of Rolex Daytonas with Paul Newman dials have gone through the roof and continue to climb – but, aside from its link with the Hollywood star and the myths and legends that have been built up around it, is that watch (for example) really any more covetable than this Speedmaster? Personally, I think not. And it certainly isn’t as rare: a mere 40 examples of the so-called “Golden Panda” were produced in 1997 to commemorate – you guessed it – the model’s 40th anniversary.
Remarkably, however, this is the first one to have pitched up at auction. Offered in truly superb, original condition (save for a rather ill-matched aftermarket strap) the tarnished appearance of the gold case suggested the watch had been in storage for a long period – indeed, it appeared to be in virtually unworn condition. Add to that the hand-wound movement (more interesting to horophiles than the automatic alternatives) and that superb, black-on-white dial that gives the watch its “panda” soubriquet and you have a watch that has the potential to dramatically rise in value.
In summary: One of 40 in the world; superb, original condition, unpolished and little worn with a manual movement. Whoever bought this watch undoubtedly made a sound investment. I wish it had been me!