As any niche grows, its more obscure and dark corners begin to illuminate. Since the advent of our church, Hodinkee, Speedmasters have become a genre onto themselves. Collectors used to just refer to any 321 as pre-moon, casually. An original Mitsukoshi wasn’t pretending to be any special until the mid-2000s. Good luck finding one under 20K today. One of the areas that remains still ‘grey’, that is to say on the border of complete knowledge, is this racing 145.022. This is not a Japan racing 3570.40. This is the original. There are three known variants of ‘true vintage’ racing-dialed Speedmasters from the late 60s. To my eye, this is the most gorgeous variant. It is also one of the rarest at an estimated production run of 100-150 pieces across 3 variants.
This watch is not territory for Speedmaster amateurs. This is a hardcore collector’s dream. In this period, there are three known variations of racing dial. First, there’s a black dial, red & white markers, applied logo 145.012. Secondly, there’s a black dial, orange & white markers, white logo 145.012-67/8. Last, we have this. The ‘Grey’ dial, orange & white markers, orange logo 145.022-68/9. It’s an exceptionally rare Speedy that usually is only glimpsed at auction. I don’t remember one ever being offered through a retailer. Revolution are getting serious with their offerings lately, I smell venture funding (that’s a different discussion). The Davidoff brothers, well known experts in Speedmasters, have estimated around 50 of these Grey Racing dial variants. Others have estimated more. That’s the grey corner of Speedmasters, a limit of our current knowledge. No matter the figure, this is pure dream material for an Omega hardcore.
This is the type of watch which is rare enough that condition honestly doesn’t matter as much, but I’ll go ahead and comment on it anyway. The last example I can remember selling went through Christie’s at 32.5K. That was 6 years ago and the market has developed, let’s call it ‘significantly’, since then. This dial is a little more sun-exposed by comparison. That could be a bonus or detraction depending on the interested party. The rest is quite strong. Everything is original, let’s get that out of the way. The case is sharp with light wear. Its bracelet is tight and, as an aside, one of my favorite styles. It comes with a full set and extract from well-known magazine Revolution. This is a rare opportunity to acquire a serious Speedmaster outside of Phillips, Sotheby’s, or Christie’s. You’re skipping the auction premium, but if you’re the kind of buyer that is actually after this rare bird, I suspect that doesn’t mean much to you.
Find this ‘Grey Racing’ Speedmaster here from Revolution on offer at 90000 USD.