Why We Love it
Why We Love it–
3… 2… 1… Liftoff!
Take a poll amongst wristwatch collectors, and we'd bet the consensus would be that there might be nothing more important or iconic in a watch collection than an Omega Speedmaster.
Sure, chronographs such as the Rolex Daytona or the Heuer Carrera are classics - icons even, but neither can match the stature of the Speedy with regards to importance in history. In fact, arguably no watch can.
But this is not just any ordinary Speedmaster.
What we have here is a Reference 2915-1 - the first Speedy!
The Reference 2915-1 Speedmaster was the brainchild of designer Claude Baillod. The black, stepped "pie-pan" dial is reminiscent of Italian race cars of the period. In fact, it was a close association with auto racing, not space flight, that drove the Speedmaster's design.
One salient feature of the Speedmaster's design--what set it apart from chronographs of the period--is the bezel. While most of the chronographs at the time featured a tachymeter scale on a chapter ring on the dial, Baillod placed the tachymeter on the stainless-steel bezel (which Omega referred to as a "Tacho-Productometer Scale"). This made it easier for the wearer to measure speed with "no calculating, no paperwork," according to the advertisements.
We take this feature for granted, given the remarkable continuity of the Speedmaster's design throughout its nearly seven decades of production, but at the time it was nothing short of revolutionary. The Speedmaster, along with the Seamaster and Railmaster, was meant to be a tool watch: purpose-driven watches intended to make a job easier. Its this legibility that would prove invaluable in the Apollo 13 mission, for example, when the astronauts used their Speedmasters to make life-saving calculations that would permit them to return to Earth--and without the Reference 2915-1, the progenitor of the Speedmaster line, that could never have happened.
Another distinctive feature of the Reference 2915-1 are its 'broad arrow' handset. Later references of Speedmaster would bear 'alpha' - and from the 1960s on, 'pencil' hands. The Reference 2915 would feature broad arrow hands until the introduction of the Reference 2915-3 in 1959.
This outstanding early example dates to circa 1959 and features a clean matte black dial with a matching 'broad arrow' handset, a correct signed crown, a (correct!) flat-link expanding bracelet with (correct!) #6 end links and a signed blade clasp, and of course - Omega's Calibre .321 hand-cranking movement within.
Furthermore, this piece is accompanied by an incredible, collector-grade package.
It includes an amazing (correct!) presentation box, papers, period-correct booklet, an original advertisement, and an extract from Omega's Archives confirming production and delivery to Italy in 1959.
The Reference 2915 only saw three years of production. While exact production totals aren't known, estimates number between 3000 and 4000, with the 2915-1 in the 300-500 range. This scarcity, as well as the fact that so few examples have appeared intact on the vintage market, makes the Reference 2915-1 a very special breed.
We've used the word "iconic" before, but perhaps in no other instance is it so appropriate - the Speedmaster Reference 2915-1 is an icon among icons.
It's the alpha of Omega - Speedmasters, that is - and perhaps the Alpha Omega, period.
The case is in excellent, strong condition overall showing normal wear consistent with age and use with sleeve polish. Matte black Tritium dial with recessed subsidiary registers is in excellent condition showing even patination to luminous elements with minor loss. Correct matching ‘broad-arrow’ handset is in good condition with minor lume loss. Signed crown. Tachymeter steel bezel is in excellent condition showing light, even wear.
Founded in La-Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland as La Generale Watch Co, Omega was well ahead of the horological curve from the beginning, developing the first minute-repeating wristwatch in 1892 as well as the eponymous “Omega” caliber in 1894. This 19-ligne movement was revolutionary in that its parts could be replaced by any watchmaker in the world without modification, while its winding and time-setting via the crown provided an industry standard.
Omega became the timepiece supplier of choice for the British Royal Flying Corps in 1917, while the Americans followed suit in 1918, choosing their watches for the U.S. Army. Awards for precision chronometry became almost commonplace, while 1932 saw them become the first watch brand to time an entire Olympic Games. Their Marine, which debuted the same year, is regarded as the first commercially available diver’s watch.
During the Second World War, Omega supplied well over 100,000 timepieces to British forces, making it the largest watch supplier to the British and her allies. These watches, from the unique 6B/159 to the famed “Dirty Dozen” W.W.W, remain highly collectible today.
1948 saw the launch of the original Seamaster: Built upon the tool watch legacy of the brand’s timepieces from the War, it’s since become a byword for reliability and legibility, both as a dress watch and, more recently, as a serious diver’s tool. The Speedmaster, released in 1957 and originally marketed for the auto-racing market, first rocketed to space on the wrist of American astronaut Wally Schirra in 1962. However, it became a household name when, in 1969, it accompanied Buzz Aldrin on the Moon, and later helped save the space-stranded crew of Apollo 13 in 1970 by timing a critical rocket burn.
Today, Omega’s watches — all of which feature in-house movements — run the gamut from svelte dress pieces to the venerable Speedmaster in all its guises. Providing an unquestionable value proposition, Omega is a brand that deserves to be at the center of every serious watch lover’s collection.
Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.
We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Shipping & Returns
Shipping & Returns+
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.
Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.
We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.
We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
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