It’s a rule of life; Japan gets some amazing watches that the rest of the world never lays eyes on. This is more common than one might think, and not just in Japanese manufactures like GS. One of the stranger early watchmaker ‘collabs’, was between Omega and Japan’s oldest department store chain, Mitsukoshi, in 2003. Their flagship store in Tokyo covers two city blocks and seven stories with a restaurant for context. If this sounds like a ‘thank-you’ made in a boardroom, it likely was. Despite the overtly commercial affiliation, what resulted was one of the coolest and most-hunted Speedmasters of all time.
The 3570.31 is so hunted, in fact, that it is far more common to see a ‘faked’ or to be politically-correct ‘modded’ 3570.50 bases. Just 300 of these were ever produced, and it is one of very few panda-dial Speedmaster releases. In fact, this panda is arguable the cleanest, most minimalist panda Speedmaster ever. Sprinkle in true rarity and something of a legend was borne some twenty years ago. There isn’t a long history here, it’s just a damn good looking 1861 Speedmaster from a forgotten time, but in this case those looks alone are enough.
I should note that this is probably not territory for the casual collector. While one can mitigate risk in many ways the franken-frequency risk here is strong. One must put in a lot of effort and time to buy with any confidence. You cannot tell these by dial alone. Movement serial numbers are important here. Interestingly, the Mitsukoshi has all steel hands with no white chronograph hand. A extract is a start, but those can frequently be . . .shall we say tampered with. Just please be careful.
This example appears to be what we’re after. The extract calls out the Japanese market origin and the seller states explicitly that the movement serial number is confirmed by the extract. Visually, I see nothing out of place. The dial is clear, case is full, and box is right (though I don’t see cards/certs). It comes from a private collector.
Find this Mitsukoshi Speedmaster here on Omega Forums for 25950 USD.