facebook pixel

100% CERTIFIED AUTHENTIC • LOW PRICE GUARANTEE

Bob's Watches - The Pre-Owned Rolex Exchange
(800) 494-3708
1900 Quail St, Newport Beach, CA 92660
  • (800) 494-3708
  • SIGN IN
  • CART  

    Empty Cart?

    Find Your Rolex

BOB’S WATCHES

ROLEX BLOG

Omega’s Living Legend: Speedmaster 145.0022

February 23, 2018

BY Paul Altieri

SHARE

Every single year, the watch buying market is introduced to a bevy of new chronographs, each touting the ability to fill a void in the horological aficionado’s stable. In that the designs and technology backing these watches are highly influenced by industry trends, their chances of becoming time-tested classics are often slim to none. This is why so many collectors choose to invest in heralded icons like Omega’s legendary Speedmaster, or other models by Omega, that have no chance of going out of flavor anytime soon. Throughout the space-faring chronograph’s history, we’ve seen many stunning references, though none with a production run as long as the famed Ref. 145.022. Let’s now take a closer look at what affords this reference its reverence, and the various incarnations that have made it the watch collecting mainstay that it is today.

Speedmaster 145.0022

The Speedmaster 145.0022 is a watch that has stood the test of time.

Subscribe for the latest Rolex news.

Looking at the Speedmaster 145.0022

In the lineage of Speedmaster references, the 145.022 enters the picture at a truly exciting time in both the history of Omega, and the world itself. As its name would suggest, the transitional 145.022-68 was first introduced in 1968, approximately one year prior to NASA’s famed Apollo 11 moon mission. With this in mind, the absence of NASA flight qualification engravings on the caseback is understandable. This was also the very first Speedmaster to incorporate the Cal. 861 movement, which the current production Speedmaster calibers are still based off of to this day. These are without question the most desirable of the 145.022’s, since they can often be found with applied metal logo’s on their dials, and the coveted “Dot Over 90” bezel inserts that now command handsome sums on their own.

Speedmaster 145.0022

The Speedmaster 145.0022 is a great watch to start your collection into vintage pieces.

The Small Differences

Following this sub-reference is 1969s 145.022-69, which would coincide with the occurrence of one giant leap for mankind. To the untrained eye, this watch might appear no different from the 145.022-68, but after taking a closer look, scholars and trained collectors will note a more squarely ended chronograph hand, shorter plots on the dial, and the Omega logo painted right on the dial. The reference’s 1969 variant can now be found with three different casebacks, each reflecting the period in which they were manufactured. Some received the NASA caseback engraving now found on all Speedmaster’s, promoting its status as the first watch worn on the moon, though increasingly rare “Pre-Moon” examples can still be found with plain casebacks, engraved with only the word “Speedmaster,” the Omega logo, and the brand’s hippocampus emblem. A variant with text engraved in straight lines exists as well, which collectors now tirelessly pursue.

Subsequently, Omega would release the references, 145.022-71, 145.022-74, along with the 145.022-76 and 78. These are characterized by the loss of a dial step, and the addition of stamped casebacks. It’s worth noting that as the 78 would indicate, the reference as a whole had a decade-long run, making it the longest-running Speedmaster reference in the history of the model’s production, and arguably one of the most significant references in Omega’s back catalog. It’s not only the watch that celebrated the brand’s momentous achievement of getting one of their own watches on the moon itself, but the watch that endured the “Quartz Crisis” as well.

Speedmaster 145.0022

A vintage Speedmaster 145.0022 still retains their ability to track time accurately.

Concluding thoughts on the Speedmaster 145.0022

So why is the 145.022 such an important and popular reference? For one, certain variants represent one of the most accessible entry points into the world of important vintage chronographs, given the length of their production run, and plentiful nature of available examples. Secondly, they’re extremely reliable, as a result of the less delicate, cam-actuated Lemania-based Cal. 861 movements. These are known to be rather tough, and have certainly aged with grace. Combine all of this with the Speedy’s celebrated NASA history, and you’ve got a wonderful combination of tremendous value, good looks, historical significance, and mechanical prowess, which at the right price simply can’t be refused.

WATCHES YOU MIGHT LIKE

SHARE

YOU MIGHT ALSO BE INTERESTED IN

Error: Access Token is not valid or has expired. Feed will not update.
This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

There's an issue with the Instagram Access Token that you are using. Please obtain a new Access Token on the plugin's Settings page.
If you continue to have an issue with your Access Token then please see this FAQ for more information.

  • WATCHES YOU MIGHT LIKE

    Get The Best Deals - Buy A Rolex
    Sell A Rolex

    Bob's Watches is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex, S.A. Bob's Watches only sells pre-owned Rolex watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. Rolex, www.rolex.com, is under no obligation to warranty-service watches sold by Bob's Watches. Rolex Datejust, Rolex Day Date President, Submariner, Presidential, Explorer, Sea Dweller, Super President, GMT Master, GMT, YachtMaster, Prince, Milgauss, MasterPiece, Air King, Cosmograph Daytona, and PearlMaster are all registered trademarks of the Rolex Corporation ( Rolex USA, Rolex S.A.) To buy a new Rolex watch, please visit rolex.com for a list of authorized Rolex dealers near you.
    * Sales tax on Internet transactions is only collected on orders shipped to addresses in California or as otherwise required by law.