Omega Speedmaster 145.012 – The Last Cal. 321
In 1967, the reference 105.012 has been replaced with the 145.012.
Nearly identical to its predecessor, it was in production for two years, from 1967 to 1968.
The Omega Speedmaster 145.012 was the last one that was equipped with the column wheel cal. 321 (Lemania CH27 C12), before the introduction of the cal. 861, a cam-switching movement built on the same baseplate.
Differences between the 105.012 and the 145.012
The case remains identical.
As in the previous references, Huguenin Freres and Centrale Boites supplied the cases, and they have the same differences in finishing between cases from both suppliers.
The only difference appears to be the pushers – slightly taller at 5 x 3.5mm, as seen on all Speedmaster Professional models until this day, instead of the previous 5 x 3mm.
Also, unlike the 105.012, all 145.012 cases had a single-step case back. The 105.012-65 had a double-step, marking a substantial difference in cases within one reference.
The dial remained mostly unchanged.
It’s still a “step” one with the “Professional” marking, long hour markers, applied Omega logo (with one exception – more on that later).
This might be a bit confusing, as the 145.012 was equipped with two different chrono hand styles. Namely, the lumed spear hand, and the square-end spear (used until this day). That said, if the aging of the lume is consistent throughout the watch, and there’s no reason to suspect a service replacement, you needn’t care about the “experts” claiming it to be a frankenwatch.
The DON. And only the DON. Except for an oddball or two, on which I’ll elaborate later.
145.012-67 and -68
The 145.012-67 is a common model.
The -68 is far less common. It needs to be remembered that it was produced in the very same year that the 145.022 was being introduced. Because it’s not that common, it’s also poorly documented.
Buying a -68 is safer with an extract of the archives (if the seller offers it with that). You don’t want to overpay for what’s a -67 with a service replacement back. Yup, the Omega service center’s affinity for swapping parts includes case backs.
The 145.012 had a few “oddball” models, which are rare.
Named after a Japanese sci-fi television series, the “Ultraman” is mostly identical to other 145.012s, except for the chrono seconds hand. In this version, it’s a square-end orange one, without a lume plot typical for the “spear” hands. Always make sure it’s accompanied by the archives extract confirming, that Omega indeed used that hand on this particular watch.
Since that hand was used on some chronographs from the Seamaster collection, it’s terrifyingly easy for a faker to do a swap, and sell a frankenwatch for a lot – a lot – of money. An “Ultraman” sells for way more than any standard 145.012.
That’s likely one of the rarest Speedmasters of the period. Only a few specimens have ever surfaced.
The dial of this version is similar to the “racing dial” found on the Mark II.
The lumed markers are short, with red rectangular markers from the edge of the dial’s “step” to the outer edge of the minute track.
This particular version doesn’t have an applied Omega logo, but a printed one, like the 145.022-69.
The “racing” 145.012 has red hands for minutes, hours, and a small second at 9 o’clock. White “spear” chrono hand, and white batons for the minute and hour counters.
Some pre-Moon Speedmasters were equipped with either a telemeter or pulsometer bezel. If you’re buying one of these, the seller better has some proof of the bezel belonging on this particular watch. I’ve seen both pulsometer and telemeter bezel inserts up for sale on eBay. They’re easy to find, especially the pulsometer.
Since some years ago, a “modding set” for the Speedmaster Pro was released, called the “Paramedic” set (white dial, red chrono hand, pulsometer bezel).
The 145.012 is the cheapest cal. 321 Speedmaster out there, both the -67 and -68. They range from $8000 for a decent one to over $10,000 for the best specimens. If you’re looking for a Speedmaster with that movement, look no further.
The oddballs, namely the “Ultraman” and “Racing” are unlikely to surface anywhere but auctions, where they fetch wild prices of tens of thousands of dollars.
Beware of frankens, and check if the watch you want to buy fits all the narrow criteria for what it’s supposed to be.
Extracts of the archives should accompany non-tachy bezel versions.