SPEEDMASTER REF 2915-1 'BROAD ARROW'
A STAINLESS STEEL CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH BRACELET, MADE IN 1958
Caliber: cal. 321 manual winding movement, 17 jewels
Movement number: 15'996'671
Case: stainless steel
Closure: stainless steel Omega bracelet with folding clasp, endlinks stamped 6
Dimensions: 38 mm diameter, bracelet circumference approximately 185 mm
Signed: case, dial and movement
Accessories: Accompanied by an Extract from the Archives confirming date of manufacture on December 24, 1958 and subsequent delivery to Mexico.
The case is in good overall condition, and in our view, has seen a polishing in its past. The lugs have started to lose some of their definition, and bevels are rounded from a prior polishing. The bezel has been worn over time, with some scratching and nicks, most notably with a dent between the 1 and 2 o'clock positions. The caseback retains the original seahorse inscription, and is engraved 'SPEEDMASTER' along the outer rim, signs of polish. The bracelet has scratching and stretching from wear.
The dial is in good overall condition, with some loss to the luminous hour markers from age. The hands are original and intact. Small scratch to the 12 hour subdial.
The chronograph function is operating properly, and dustcap is still present. The movement is running at time of cataloguing, however it was not tested for the accuracy of time or duration of the power reserve and may need service at the buyer's discretion. Please note that Sotheby's does not guarantee the future working of the movement.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. All dimensions in catalogue descriptions are approximate. Condition reports may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome. Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. Please note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and leather bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species.NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE.
**Please be advised that bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping.
The Omega Speedmaster was introduced in 1957 as an additional purpose built watch sport watch featuring a chronograph to time events. It shared the Broad Arrow hands, case shape and screw down back with its counterparts, the Seamaster and Railmaster, and complemented the lineup alongside the other tool watches made for the divers’ and the engineers’. This was the trend of the era: making robust tool watches for actual applications during work or sport. The 2915 thus lived alongside the 2913 (Seamaster) and 2914 (Railmaster) in DNA and utility.
If viewed next to similar watches from other brands, several aspects of the Speedmasters’ design set it apart from the rest. The fixed exterior bezel with tachometer, as opposed to printing on the dial, making reading the scale far easier and clearer to the user. While the 1940s featured many chronographs with snap backs and square pushers, the Speedmaster had a screw down back (complemented by a dust cap) and round pushers, providing resistance to water and dust and allowing the user to activate the chronograph with more ease and definition. The distinct large Broad Arrow hands with luminous materials eased legibility in the dark and at brief glances.
Examples of the 2915 also vary in small details. The steel bezel, on the 2915-1 and -2 in particular, were phased to a black aluminum insert in the 2915-3 and later references. The Broad Arrow hands were eventually replaced with Alpha hands and later references adopted the baton hands that are still used today.
In all, the evolution of the 2915 created a groundwork for a line of chronographs which has remained lightly changed over its 60 year lifespan. The watch that was worn for Walter Shirra’s first venture to space in 1962, a reference 2998, and eventually adopted by NASA for official use in 1965, a reference 105.003, remained almost identical in components and aesthetics to the 2915-1 and the modern lyre lug asymmetric Speedmaster.