One of the rarest Speedies out there: the “Holy Grail”
The Omega Speedmaster Professional in its basic guise is not a particularly rare watch. We love it for many reasons, but rarity is not one of them...
By Thomas van Straaten on 21 July 2020
At AWCo, we are avid Speedmaster fans. You will find a range of examples in our store at any time. And if you look closely, you might spot some on our wrists as well. Today, we are proud to share with you a very, very special Speedy. The so-called “Holy grail”.
The Omega Speedmaster Professional in its basic guise is not a particularly rare watch. We love it for many reasons, but rarity is not one of them. A good pre-moon Speedy is already much less common. But if it is scarcity you are after, this is one of the rarest you will find!
So what’s different about this Speedy? Well, for starters it is automatic. The Omega caliber 1045 is based on the famous Lemania 5100 with its characteristic central chronograph minute counter. Tucked away under the familiar chronograph seconds hand is the minute counter with airplane-style wings. It allows for better legibility as compared to a sub-dial minute counter.
It is not the first time this movement was used by Omega. In 1974, a range of watches, among which the Professional Mark 4.5, housed the same caliber. In fact, this Holy grail was the very last watch Omega made with the fabled movement.
"Tucked away under the familiar chronograph seconds hand is the minute counter with airplane-style wings."
The Ref. 376.0822 was nicknamed “Holy grail” by the single-most renowned Speedmaster collector in the world, Chuck Maddox. He coined the term when he tried to buy one in 1999. He passed on the opportunity to purchase one for $600,- but later regretted his choice. He started looking for others but found them to be in the thousands of dollars. It became an obsession to find one and hence he named it the “Holy grail”. Being a prominent collector, his nick-name was adopted by the community.
Interestingly, at that time very little was known about the really early Speedmasters. Nowadays, we realize that a CK-2915 is the far more exclusive Speedmaster, so perhaps it should have been coined the “Holy grail”. But still, at only 1.500 pieces, many of which altered through the years, this is one of the rarest Speedmasters around.