This unassuming Speedmaster seems an unlikely candidate for the title holy grail. Nonetheless, Speedmaster collecting legend Chuck Maddox settled on the title after tirelessly seeking one out with “the same fervor as King Arthur sought the Grail”. In the era during which Maddox wrote his articles for print, much less was known about this 376.0822. Today, collectors have catalogued authentic examples with 3 bezel variations, 3 bracelets (1 strap), 2 case types, 2 crystal types, 5 differing dials, 3 chrono hands, and more. Thankfully, they all share a workhorse cal 1045 (Lemania 5100 base). The reference is a headache and a bit of a minefield. This is as hardcore as niche watch collecting comes. Thankfully, today, we know what to look for: we look for examples like this.
Somewhat ironically, the holy grail Speedmaster isn’t actually the rarest Speedmaster at an estimated 2000 examples. It’s not even in the top 10. But it is one of the—if not the—most nuanced. That is why the reference does truly deserve its moniker. Wearing a 376.0822 is a kind of statement. It says that you are confident in your own abilities within the vintage market. You have done your studies (spend hours verifying details on forums), you have searched tirelessly, and you are proud of it. For all these reasons, I quite like the 376.0822. I don’t even think the ‘Mark’ style dial and moonwatch case combination is particularly attractive. But it ‘mark’s you as a proud and confident WIS.
This example is strong. The case is lightly marked but does not appear polished. Edges are strong. The crystal is quite clear of dents. The bezel, the case, hands, and pushers/crown are correct. Its strap is obviously a modern job. Do your own research, but, even cross-referencing three guides, I cannot find a fault. This is just what it is advertised to be: a mark 1 dial in exceptional condition. The only missing quantities are the strap/bracelet and full set, but I wouldn’t let that deter you. If you are a metaphorical King Arthur, this 376.0822 is quest over.
Find this Holy Grail Speedmaster here from The Keystone at 24500 USD.