A detail can make all the difference. The 2000s black series CLK AMG has just ever-so slightly anabolic wheel arches and multi-spoke alloys which allow the educated observer to mark it apart from some dime-a-dozen Germanic grocery getter. Similarly, a Japanese whisky with an age statement hidden on the corner of the label, these days, makes it quite the rarity to stumble across in some LA watering hole. Discretion of detail seems lost on our generation. I digress. If you are a disciple of the moon watch, consider a fat plot of radium at the end of a chronograph hand. While one normally sees alpha hands paired with the traditional squared teardrop, a rare few were sold from Omega with the ultra-desirable lollipop we see here. A slight difference, sure. But one which entices those who appreciate the slightest detail: IE watch people.
The 2998 took over just after the initial 2915 and was one of the last hold outs of alpha hands, a straight lugged case, and 321. One could fairly call the 2998 is a sweet spot in pre-moon references for its handset, chunky steel case, and historic significance. Latter iterations added straight hands and twisted the lugs to the more traditional shape we love. Wally Schirra even wore a 2998 on the Mercury Atlas 8 in 1962 and that exact watch was the inspiration for the recent-ish FOIS release. Both are a bit of a niche within the genre of Speedmaster as a whole, but an undeniably attractive one. Any Speedmaster before the professional signature made an appearance is just something to be cherished.
Here’s a bit of a retailer secret though: Omega’s production was something of a parts-bin in the pre-moon era. Lollipop hands have been observed on multiple reference dashes by Omega (ie 2998-1 or -2 definitely, even some latter ones). Therefore, there is no way to know what is original and what isn’t. This is why an original, well-preseved lollipop hand will often sell for as much as a well-preserved 2998—yes, the entire watch. One is on offer for 11K USD today (okay a little less than a 2998). Sure, one could say that’s ridiculous. It is. But isn’t that half the fun?
This example has what collectors seek in spades. The radium lume has aged to a deep pumpkin tone, far further than most tritium examples. Is black dial is even with only a slight fade toward the center. DON bezel too. Its case shows full proportions, one should note that these straight lug cases did not have sharp edges with bevels to start, the cases were finished in this manner from factory. Most of its fullness remains. It comes recently serviced with a two year warranty from a well-regarded French retailer.
Find this 2998-3 here available here by DM from @antoine.de.macedo on Instagram for 65000 EUR.