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  • Manufacturer: Omega
    Year: 1960
    Reference No: 2998-1
    Movement No: 17'301'483
    Model Name: Speedmaster
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 321, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Omega semi-expandable bracelet, max length 190mm
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Omega deployant clasp stamped "7912"
    Dimensions: 39mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Omega Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch and its subsequent delivery on May 30, 1960 to the US Aviation Foreign Exchange Base (AFEX)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Omega’s original Speedmaster, reference 2915, was the first tool watch to feature a tachymeter scale on the bezel instead of to the dial, which had been the norm for chronograph wristwatches throughout the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. This innovative design would be a game changer and within a few years, it was employed by many brands. First released in 1957, the reference 2915 featured the foundations for all future Speedmaster timepieces, and it is from this lineage the series of reference 2998 was born. Released in 1959, early examples like the present watch used the famed Lemania caliber 321, which is revered amongst watch enthusiasts for its robust chronograph mechanism. The manual wound caliber was used by Omega from 1946-1968, and while small in size at 27mm diameter, it offered optimal performance and reliability.

    Reference 2998 was in production for only 4 years (1959-1963) but during that time 8 case variations were made (-1, -2, -3, -4, -5, -6, -61, -62), indicating how intensively Omega was updating their designs. The present -1 example is one of the earliest made: the -1 variation is found with serial numbers between 17’301’xxx and 17-761’xxx. The present piece bears movement no. 17’301’483, indicating it is one of the very first example to leave Omega’s workshop.

    Furthermore, it presents a remarkably well preserved and attractive dial, most notably the luminous material of hands and indexes has aged to an intense camel hue, enormously amplifying the charm and vintage vibe of the piece.

    It is interesting to know that while this is of course a pre-moon model, reference 2998 was the first Omega in space (albeit unofficially): it flew on the wrist on astronaut Wally Schirra as his personal watch in October 1962.

    An intriguing historical detail is found in the Extract from the Archives. It states that the watch was originally sold to the Associated Foreign Exchange Base (AFEX) of the US Aviation.

  • Artist Biography

    Omega

    Swiss • 1848

    Omega's rich history begins with its founder, Louis Brandt, who established the firm in 1848 in La Chaux de Fonds. In 1903, the company changed its name to Omega, becoming the only watch brand in history to have been named after one its own movements. A full-fledged manufacturer of highly accurate, affordable and reliable watches, its sterling reputation enabled them to be chosen as the first watch company to time the Olympic Games beginning in 1932. Its continued focus on precision and reliability ultimately led their Speedmaster chronograph wristwatch to be chosen by NASA in 1965 — the first watch worn on the moon.

    Key models sought-after by collectors include their first, oversized water-resistant chronograph — the reference 2077, early Speedmaster models such as the CK 2915 and 2998, military-issued versions of the Seamaster and oversized chronometer models such as those fitted with their prestigious caliber 30T2Rg.

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Ref. 2998-1
A very rare and early stainless steel chronograph wristwatch with bracelet

1960
39mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

Estimate
CHF20,000 - 30,000 
€18,100-27,200
$21,800-32,700

Sold for CHF35,280

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724
[email protected]

 

 

The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII

Geneva Auction 8 - 9 May 2021