Omega. A Rare and Early Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch
Model: Speedmaster Professional
Cal. 861 mechanical movement, 17 jewels, brown dial, luminous baton numerals, three engine turned subsidiary dials for 12 hour and 30 minute registers and constant seconds, stainless steel case, black bezel with tachometer scale calibrated to 500 units, two round chronograph buttons in the band, screw down crown, lyra lugs, screw back engraved with Speedmaster logo, case, dial, and movement signed
More about Omega:
Launched in 1957 as a sport and racing chronograph, the Speedmaster model has become one of the most well-known chronograph models ever. The first Speedmaster model was the reference 2915, featuring a distinctive luminous broad-arrow shaped hour hand. It was outfitted with the caliber 321, which would be used until 1968, when it was replaced by the caliber 861.
Starting in 1962, NASA began testing a series of chronograph watches from various brands (including Breitling, Longines, Rolex, and Omega) for their astronauts to wear to space. Only three watches passed the first round of “Qualification Test Procedures” and went on to final stages of testing. Omega’s Speedmaster chronograph was the only model to pass final testing, and went on to space. Following this event, Omega added the word “Professional” to the dials of their Speedmaster models, and gave them a new reference number – 145.012.
The present watch is a fine example of a first generation reference 145.022 Speedmaster with a tropical dial. These watches are highly sought after for their extremely short production run which lasted a little over a year. Examples such as the present watch with all-original details and a dial that has aged to an attractive chocolate brown are even more desirable by collectors. The transformation of the dial to a striking brown is further highlighted by the contrast against the black bezel and light cream color of the baton numerals and printing.