8,1 / 10
The very first Speedmaster,
a piece of history
#15.997.xxx is a first version, 2915-1, delivered to the USA in August 1958.
Its condition is good for such a vintage model and its parts are period conform.
The movement with serial number 15.997.xxx is part of an identified batch of 2’000 chronographs equipped with the 321 caliber, including Speedmasters CK 2915, and produced in 1958-1859, thus perfectly matching the production period of the present watch.
The dial is the first known to equip the Speedmaster, from 1957 to 1958/59. The MOONWATCH ONLY book dubbed it “Oval O – Sharp m”, where “Oval O” refers to OMEGA’s slightly flattened O, which is found on early dial versions, unlike the later versions that have a rounded O. “Sharp m” stands for another identification criterion: the m in Speedmaster has a pointed first arch, while on the other dials that are original to the reference CK 2915, this arch is rounded. This dial was principally fitted to 2915-1, but is also found on 2915-2.
There are two versions of the steel bezel and the present one is of the first version, characterized by a 3 of 300 with a flat top. This bezel type was installed on Speedmasters CK 2915 from 1957 to 1959 only. It is in reasonably good condition from a structural point of view, considering its age and fragility.
The configuration of the hands is as follows:
- unpainted broad arrow hour hand, with a groove containing luminous paint,
- unpainted dauphine minute hand, with a triangular groove containing luminous paint,
- white alpha small hands,
the white chronograph seconds hand has the shape of a very long and very thin triangle and is therefore pointed at the outer end.
The case is the first generation, called symmetrical, because the profiles at 3 and 9 o’clock are identical, which is a common feature of the pre-professional Speedmasters. Its diameter, including the bezel, is 39.7 mm and the distance between the lugs is 19 mm.
The first Speedmaster caseback is different from the later models because its central surface has no engravings: neither the classic Seahorse, nor the Ω logo. The inscription SPEEDMASTER usually on the central surface of the caseback for all other Speedmaster references, is engraved on the bevel in this early version.
The crown is a second generation, with the old Ω logo and a diameter of 6.75 mm. This crown is not the original part for the sub-reference 2915-1. Indeed, the first generation was characterised by a three-pointed star logo and called “Naiad”. Note however that the vast majority of CK 2915 models are today updated with this second generation of crowns, which was installed on Speedmasters from 1960 and was an improved version in terms of water resistance. For this reason, it can be considered as conform.
About the model
The Omega Speedmaster, born in 1957, is one of the most iconic wristwatches ever produced. Since 1965, it has been the choice of space programs for over half a century and has been associated with some of mankind’s greatest space adventures, earning it the name The Moonwatch.
Naturally, beyond its professional use for more than sixty years, the Speedmaster, with its incredible history and its timeless design, has appealed to a much wider public throughout the world.
The first Speedmaster, reference CK 2915, was manufactured for less than three years at an estimated production figure of between 3’000 and 4’000. There are 3 sub-references, 2915-1 to 2915-3. The distinctive features of this model are the “broad arrow” hands and a steel “base 1000” bezel. At the end of its production, the reference 2915-3 was fitted with a new black “base 1000” bezel and “alpha” hands, a transition to the new CK 2998 reference.