A fine and very rare chronograph wristwatch with tachymeter bezel and special orange chronograph hand

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  • Manufacturer: Omega
    Year: 1968
    Reference No: 145.012-67 SP
    Movement No: 26’077’243
    Model Name: Speedmaster, "Ultraman"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 321, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel mesh bracelet, additional leather strap
    Dimensions: 42mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, and movement signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied by Omega Extract from the Archives confirming sale of the present watch to Switzerland and production on June 21, 1968, where the watch was fitted with a special orange hour hand.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The decades immediately following World War II were marked by explosive technological growth, as global powers sought to strengthen their military and economic status. Wartime innovation led to incredible strides in the field of rocket science in particular, and in 1955, the Soviet Union startled the world by sending the first man into space, Yuri Gagarin. The following fifteen years, until Apollo 11 successfully landed on the Moon, were marked by the Space Race: an escalating competition between the U.S. and the Soviet Union on who would conquer the next great frontier.

    Though stories of aliens had been part of folklore for centuries, stories of men defending Earth from alien invaders became more pervasive in popular culture once the idea of entering space became a reality. And thus, in the mid-1960s, Japanese director Eiji Tsuburaya (co-creator of the original Godzilla series) began writing what would become the Ultraman series. Tsuburaya used many of the leftover sets from Godzilla to create Ultraman, beginning in March 1966. Ultraman begins with an intergalactic being (Ultraman) accidentally colliding with and killing a member of Earth’s Science Special Search Party (SSSP), Shin Hayata. Feeling remorseful, Ultraman merges his own life force with Hayata’s and vows to defend Earth against any that would seek to threaten it. Ultraman lives within Hayata, who transforms into Ultraman when the need arises. While Hayata is a normal man, Ultraman is a 131 foot tall silver and red-orange creature. His crested head and large, intimidating eyes became instantly iconic, as did his orange and silver suit. In 1971, Tsuburaya’s son spearheaded the production of Ultraman Returns, where a different iteration of Ultraman – Ultraman Jack – returns to Earth and teams up with the Monster Attack Team (MAT). According to Omega, the producers of Ultraman Returns selected Omega’s "Moonwatch" as part of the Monster Attack Team’s monster fighting kit.

    As mankind was developing the technologies required to enter space, they were also testing the means of timing their efforts in that harsh environment. The Omega Speedmaster’s place in the Space Race is well-documented, particularly the reference 145.012-67 – it graced the wrists of astronauts on Apollo 11, Apollo 14, and Apollo-Soyuz. It was the last Speedmaster model to be fitted with the renowned caliber 321 and is set apart from its predecessors by its ‘SP’ (‘SP’ for “Spécial Poussoirs” or “special pushers”) that increased water resistance. Though it is not known why a selection of the reference 145.012-67 were fitted with an orange chronograph hand – legibility is one theory – it is estimated that less than fifty correct examples exist with this bold, colorful detail. In order to be truly called an "Ultraman", the watch must be examined in person by Omega and accompanied with a note on the archival extract. These watches typically fall within a certain serial number range - between 26’076’XXX and 26’079’XXX.

    With the introduction in the summer of 2018 of the immensely successful Speedy Tuesday Ultraman limited edition, interest in vintage Ultraman Speedmasters has dramatically increased. Perhaps, if alien invaders ever did attack Earth, the brave men and women called to defend their planet would do so wearing a Speedmaster "Ultraman". The present lot, preserved in original and unpolished condition, is a superb example for the “defender” collector.

  • Maker Bio

    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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Omega

Ref. 145.012-67 SP
A fine and very rare chronograph wristwatch with tachymeter bezel and special orange chronograph hand

1968
42mm Diameter
Case, dial, and movement signed.

Estimate
$20,000 - 30,000 
CHF19,900-29,900
€17,400-26,100
HK$157,000-235,000

sold for $76,250

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas
+1 212 940 1293
pboutros@phillips.com

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