2915-2 Broad Arrow Omega Speedmaster
The first of everything is not necessarily best. The first Beatles album, Please Please Me, comes nowhere close to Abbey Road. The Porsche 911 began as a VW Beetle. Mead comes nowhere close to an 18 year old sherry-casked Yamazaki. But Omega’s Speedmaster is one of the exceptional cases where everything was perfect from the very start, perhaps even never to be bested. Yes, this 2915 was the very first Speedmaster reference and genesis for all tachymeter bezel chronographs. And if a tool could ever be described as arresting, this is it.
Many collectors forget that, despite the hundreds of launches and first moon landing, the Speedmaster was designed as an Italian racing driver’s chronograph. In the 1957 2915, Omega created the very first chronograph to have its tachymeter scale on its bezel, rather than dial, for increased legibility. This innovation was complimented with a bewitching broad arrow handset, which defined the Speedy’s infant years. The 2915 was often called the Broad Arrow as shorthand, but that nickname got a little murky with Omega’s recent reissues. The bezel was steel for just these first few years of production, a defining hallmark of the early iterations. That bezel proved a bit tricky to see and was quickly after changed to the black aluminum affair we’re used to. The storied Lemania-based 321 which debuted here remained until just after the watch had touched down on the lunar surface. The 2915-1 through -3 were produced from 1957 to 1959, just three years, at an estimated production volume of 3000-4000 examples.
The details of the 2915 differ also, in a wider oval shaped O of ‘OMEGA’, and long tail on the R of ‘SPEEDMASTER’. The casebacks were totally blank on the -1 and this -2, no hippocampus. Occasionally a seahorse can be present, that and blank are correct on the earliest examples. The -3 got tricky as it was transitional, bezels and handsets changed. But the -1 and -2 all look like this and are near-identical, in other words perfect.
The 2915 has been on a very slow but constant upward trajectory in value, slow relative to historic importance and rest of market. Phillips sold a lovely -1 example in 2018 for 408K CHF. A -2 went in their NY auction in 2021 for 135K CHF. Then, the watch world was floored last year when a tropical -1 sold by Phillips for 3.1M CHF, a record many times over. Since then, the broader watch world outside of Speedheads (can we call them that? …probably unwise) has seen the 2915 taken more seriously, justly so. I can think of few more important firsts or significant chronographs, even fewer so damn well executed.
The condition on this example is a standout. The lugs are very full, caseback clear. One should note that these lugs never had sharp edges like a professional case when new, the slightly rounded over edge shown here is just how straight lug Speedmaster cases are. Its dial displays no damage and has beautiful gold original radium applications. It comes on a 7077/6 with extract confirming deliver to the Belgian Congo from the best name in Speedmasters.
Find this 2915-2 here from Roy & Sacha Davidoff for 125000 CHF.
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