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The Omega Speedmaster Professional 145.022 is a reference that has a lot to offer. It’s a vintage reference that remains relatively affordable. The 145.022 had a production run of 13 years, from 1968 to 1981, making it the longest-running Speedy Pro to date. The long production run has a lot to do with the value proposition, as the watch it replaced, the 145.012, was only produced from 1967-1968.
In 1981, the 145.022 transitioned to the 145.0022 reference (but still retained the same case number) and remained in the catalog until 1988. Although the 145.022 never went to the moon, it did see some space travel on the wrist of astronaut Bob Evans on the Apollo 17 mission.
The most notable change made with the 145.022 was the movement. The ref. 145.012 was the last Speedmaster to have a Caliber 321 while ref. 145.022 was the first to come equipped with Caliber 861. The beloved Calibre 321 used a column-wheel chronograph system with a horizontal clutch. Although superior to the cam activated clutch, introduced in the Calibre 861, the column wheel movement was very expensive and complicated to make.
Omega anticpated very high demand following the moon landing mission, and so decided to design a movement that was much simpler and quicker to manufacture at scale. Additionally, the Speedmaster Professional 145.022 introduced a printed logo for the first time. Prior to that, Omega had used an applied logo.
Finally, the Omega Hippocampus caseback was now accompanied by “The First Watch Worn On The Moon” text. There were subtle variations that occurred over the years culminating in the medallion case back with the Hippocampus at center encircled by text.
Circling back to the first point we made about this reference, the prices on the 145.022 have gone up over the last few years but still remain affordable, especially when compared to anything with a Calibre 321.
As of this writing, the range of prices is $5,000-$10,000 USD depending on condition and the presence of paperwork.
Consider that the new Omega Speedmaster 310.30.42.50.01.001 is $6,300. Yes, it’s not fair to compare a new reference to an older one, but you can get a vintage timepiece with room for appreciation, at prices below what it costs to get into a new piece.