Hysteria is building ahead of next week’s 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that first put men on the moon, and it is fueling demand for a number of Omega’s Speedmasters on the secondary market.
Buzz Aldrin wore a Speedmaster Professional as he followed Neil Armstrong onto the moon’s surface in 1969, securing the watch’s place in the history of space exploration.
It had already been part of NASA’s official equipment for manned space flight since June 1965.
Chrono24, a platform that connects watch buyers and sellers across the world, is reporting a surge interest for vintage and modern Speedmasters.
Since the start of July, searches at Chrono24 for “Moonwatch” have increased by 64% while searches for “Apollo 11” are up 136%.
Omega’s big launch this year, the Speedmaster Moonwatch Anniversary Limited Edition Series (pictured top), with a production run of 6,969 pieces, is already being listed on Chrono24 for around $14,000.
The same watch from an authorized dealer was priced at $9,650. If a buyer paid the full price for the watches listed on Chrono24 (there is often a big of negotiation offline), the seller would net a 45% profit margin.
Omega will be happy to know that its far more limited (1,014 have been made) moonshine gold Speedmaster has not appeared on any of the major secondary market platforms.
Both the gold and steel anniversary Speedmasters have only just begun to arrive with customers that pre-ordered them.
Many Omega Speedmasters have become sound investments over this collection’s long history, including the original Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch worn by Buzz Aldrin. Back in 1964, this model priced in 1969 at the equivalent of around $1,100 today, adjusted for inflation. Now, the reference 105.012 sells for up to $13,500.
In a news release today, Chrono24 highlights a number of vintage Speedmasters that are seeing strong demand and rising prices. They include:
Omega Speedmaster Professional (105.012), 1964: The Legend. It was the first watch worn on the Moon, houses the robust manual caliber 321, and uses plexiglass that’s shatterproof under low pressure. Chrono24’s estimated price: approx. $13,500 (depending on its condition).
Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo-Soyuz (ST 145.0022), 1976: This special edition was created in honor of the mission that saw an American Apollo capsule dock with a Soviet Soyuz capsule. It bears the red and blue mission logo on its dial and an engraving of a Saturn rocket above the earth on the case back. Chrono24’s estimated price: approx. $44,500 (depending on its condition).
Omega Speedmaster Professional Japan Racing (ST 145.0022), 2004: This limited edition was produced for the Japanese market. Its orange stop seconds hand and the dial’s other orange elements make it easier to determine how much time has elapsed and are a nod to the Speedmaster’s origins in motorsport. Chrono24’s estimated price: approx. $12,500 (depending on its condition).
Omega Speedmaster Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award (3126.96.36.199.04.003), 2015: Charlie Brown’s dog, Snoopy, was the mascot and good luck charm of the Apollo missions. This model pays tribute to the Apollo 13 mission and its near-catastrophic failure. The Speedmaster played an integral role while timing the controlled fuel burn used to get the damaged capsule back on track. What’s more, this watch features the quote that best summarizes the crew and mission control’s unshakeable spirit: “Failure is not an option!” Chrono24’s estimated price: approx. $22,500 (depending on its condition).
Omega Speedmaster Professional (3188.8.131.52.01.005), today: This is the closest Omega has ever come to recreating the original Moonwatch. It comes with plexiglass and a manual movement, albeit the more advanced caliber 1861. This watch exudes the pioneering spirit of the 1960s. Chrono24’s estimated price: approx. $3,300 (depending on its condition).