With the massive increase of watch-afflicted addicts in the last decade, it is rarer and rarer for eBay to throw up obscure, extremely attractive wristwatches. Private collectors, retailers, and auction houses are all keeping a hawk’s eye. That is why I was so surprised to stumble across this Monday morning—a (possible) original Ultraman. For those who aren’t aware, the Speedy Tuesday movement has sparked Omega to create two watches thus far. The first was a Project Alaska hommage. The second, a nod to this: the original orange-handed 145.012 Ultraman.
In 1968 the rare orange hand Speedmaster made an appearance in the Japanese TV series Ultraman. We still don’t know in 2021 why Omega chose to produce just a few 145.012s within a specific serial range with orange hands. We know only that some are genuine, delivered from Bienne. Only a few genuine examples of these are known. 50 is an estimate at best; all that is known is that the genuine article is not common. TOHO studios created the TV series and its creator, Eiji Tsuburaya is likely to have been a watch collector. Many of his TV series featured quite nuanced watches for their characters, so this orange-hand was likely not a coincidence.
There is one known way to determine a genuine Ultraman: that is to measure the orange precisely. I defer here to Roy & Sacha Davidoff, who I remember stating somwhere a specific measurement. Whatever it is, the end needs to extend beyond the outer seconds track, which this one seems to. Please, do your own research. The serial range these oddities emerged from is around 26.076.xxx and 26.079.xxx, a 3000 example run. The rest is period Speedmaster: a 321, DON bezel, and 1039 bracelet. This one has all of that and an extract.
This is a possible true rarity. There is also room for heartbreak. If you’re looking to acquire an extremely limited and desirable Speedmaster, this may be your opportunity. Just talk to the Davidoff brothers, get other second opinions, and for the love of god get a measurement on that orange hand. Condition is almost not worth noting on a watch this rare. It’s about average. You need to determine the authenticity, an extract is not a guarantee (though the fact that this has one is a step in the right direction). If you can establish that, this Speedmaster stands to be the catch of an Omega collector’s lifetime.
Find this 145.012 Ultraman here on eBay in Texas for 46000 USD.