Hooked on Teutonics - German Model Speedmasters
Written by Chuck Maddox USA! on 24 June 2000, certain rights reserved.
Last Revised: 1 February 2002, 17:41 GMT
 
Authors Note:
 
This document was originally created as a showcase of German Market (or Teutonic) Speedmasters. I created this document shortly after completing my set of German Market Speedmasters in June of 2000. I have since added and expanded much of the information contained within and intend to continue to do so as I learn more about these chronographs.

Top of Article
c.861's (1982):
SS/Black Dial, SS/Gray Dial
TT/Black Dial, TT/Two Tone Dial
c.1045 - Mark V (1984)
Teutonic Family Shot
Case Reference Discussion
c.861's, c.1045
Outside Caseback Discussion
Other Case Differences
Other Specific Market Speedys
Butchered Teutonic
Put-Together Teutonic
Summary
Permissions_Rights

 
I finally recieved the SS/Silver Dial (2nd watch below) from "down under" (Austrailia). I finally have a complete set of the German-Speaking market only Speedmasters.
   

I thought I would share...

c.861 Stainless Steel / Black Dial (1982)

c.861 Stainless Steel / Black Dial (1982)

1450040
3450803

Note: All c.861 German Speedmasters have the same Reference numbers...

c.861 Stainless Steel / Black Dial (1982)

c.861 Stainless Steel/Gray Dial (1982)

c.861 Stainless Steel/Gray Dial (1982)

1450040
3450803

Note: All c.861 German Speedmasters have the same Reference numbers...

c.861 Stainless Steel/Gray Dial (1982)

c.861 Two Tone/Black Dial (1982)

c.861 Two Tone/Black Dial (1982)

1450040
3450803

Note: All c.861 German Speedmasters have the same Reference numbers...

c.861 Two Tone/Black Dial (1982)

c.861 Two Tone/Two Tone Dial (1982)

c.861 Two Tone/Two Tone Dial (1982)

1450040
3450803

Note: All c.861 German Speedmasters have the same Reference numbers...

Speedmaster Mark V, c.1045 (1984)

Speedmaster Mark V, c.1045 (1984)

3760806

Note: Thicker case to accomodate c.1045 movement...

Speedmaster Mark V, c.1045 (1984)

  All together now!
   

Frank N. Posted to me: 

What are the ref. numbers of those siblings?
 
I'm sitting here scratching my head, because either there are only 3 of them (apparently not so), there are 6 instead of 5 of which half are pro's, or my info is incomplete. The ones I'm reasonably sure of are ST 345.0803, DL 345.0803 and ST 376.0806.
 
Can you provide more detail for the curious crowd, please?
 
I have personally popped off the caseback of each of my German Speedmasters and visually verified the information above and below...
 
c.861 German Speedmaster Case Reference Numbers:
 
Interestingly enough, all of the c.861 share the same caseback numbers. I don't know why this is, but I will speculate that since the only real difference between the c.861's are the dials, bezels, and bracelets. The case is the same with each variant.
 
On the c.861's the numbers on the caseback consist of 2-8 digit numbers above one another and are identical on each of my examples:
c.861 Case Back Interior
1450040
3450803
 
Speedmaster Mark V Case Reference Number:
However, in the case (no pun intended) of the Speedmaster Mark V, Omega reverted to a single case number for this model: 3760806, as pictured below:
 
Speedmaster Mark V (c.1045) Case Back Interior
3760806
 
If you ask why the c.861's have two case reference numbers and why are the same for each variant, I must answer, "I don't know!"... As I don't...
 
Outside case back markings:
 
However, inside the case back is not the only place where numbers are stamped on the German Speedmasters... On the back of the case back the calibre number of the watch is stamped as well, as shown below...
 
c.861 Case Back Exterior
861
 
Speedmaster Mark V (c.1045) Case Back exterior
1045
  
Additionally, the German Speedmasters also follow the precident of putting the "Seamaster" product name on Speedmasters. There has been much discussion on this point in the past.
 
The story on this is that the vast majority of Speedmasters have had Seamaster backs on them... The exceptions are Moonwatch case Speedmasters in general, The Speedmaster Mark II, and the 1987 moonwatch case c.1045 Speedmaster Day-Date automatic all have "Speedmaster" on the caseback. Other vintage Speedmasters: The Mark III, Mark IV, and Mark V's, in fact all of the German Speedmasters, the Speedmaster 125 and all of the other c.1045 Speedmaster Day-Date automatics have a "Seamaster" on the case back
 
In the course of writting my article on the Speedmaster 125, I sent the following question to John Deithelm of Omega Vintage Information (For more on how and when to contact Omega Vintage Information click here)...
 
13) Also, a non-Speedmaster 125 question that I am asked from time to time...
 
What is the background on the use of "Seamaster" cases on certain Speedmasters (most commonly Mark series, and c.1045 Speedmasters)? I assume it is because Omega considered these watches to be in water-resistant cases, but are these watches also considered part of the Seamaster line as well as the Speedmaster line?

Mr. Deithelm's reply:

* the case back of such watches are all showing the " seahorse " emblem, since all these watches were originally in the* SEAMASTER * line, although the official name of the Jubilee version is:
SEAMASTER - Speedmaster Professional 125 - chronograph
* it is only much later, when the " chronograph " vogue became so voluminous that we had to separate the sporty SEAMASTER watches from the " chronographs " and give them a separate line !

Hence, because the Speedmaster was considered part of the Seamaster line, they often sported Seamaster backs.
The 1970's were an interesting time in Bienne and the swiss watch industry. Omega had a lot of things going on: Olympic and other sporting event timing, development and production of LCD, LED, Quartz, Tuning Fork, as well as a large varieties of mechanical movements, and the production of a huge number of very different watches. The current product line is a pale shade of what the product line was in the 1970's. As a result you see a lot of really weird Omega's (and Heuer's, Seiko's, etc...). Thus you see a lot of things that look like pieces of the puzzle that don't really fit like one would think they should...

Other case differences
 
As I mentioned above, the cases used by the German Speedmasters vary according to the movement housed within:

A pair of German whales on the beach!!!
Thickness of c.1045 case

Note: The shape and size of the case near where the pin attaches to the bracelet is different between the c.1045 (left) and the c.861 Speedmaster (right). The c.1045 case is notably thicker than the c.861 to accomodate the movement of the automatic...

Thickness of c.861 case
Speedmaster Mark V (c.1045)

Speedmaster c.861


When I posted much of this document on WatchNet for a "Non-Rolex Friday" post, I was asked a couple of questions by James M. Dowling:

JMD> As the reigning Speedmaster king, can you answer a couple of questions for me.

Whell... I tend to doubt that I am the Speedmaster King... I know of at least one collector who has 9 distinctly different model moonwatch cased Speedmasters alone (I own three {with a fourth one purchased subsequently}), and I hear that there are some pretty impressive collections out there in the hands of Japanese and Italian collectors.

Maybe I'm a contender to the throne, though... =) Especially in the c.1045, Mark Series and German Market variants.

JMD> Were any other Speedmasters made for a specific market?

Yes, there have been...

JMD> Do you have any idea why Omega would have made these watches for the German/Swiss market only?

Speculation only, really...

Oh! you want me to go into details! =) OK!

There has been at least 1 model made in limited numbers for the Japanese Market. A full perpetual calendar model (BA175.0037) made in limited numbers in 1992 to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the Swiss confederation.

An example of this model was offered this week on the Antiquorum:

BA175.0037

There was a 20th anniversary edition of the Speedmaster that wasn't limited to a set number sold outside the US and Germany in 1989. Those are two examples I know of that have been documented. I've heard rumors of special "white dial" models made specifically for the Italian market, but I haven't seen this backed up by documentation. Then of course there are these German model Speedmasters.

Other Speedmasters do seem to have been manufacturered for different markets. It seems to me that none of the Speedmaster Automatic Day-Date c.1045's were initially sold in the USA. Most of the one's I've seen for sale have had non-English Day wheel's installed, and many of them seem to have bracelets stamped "Mexico". I really don't know why this is. I may ask Omega Vintage Information to elaborate some day.

As for why did Omega made these watches only for the German-Speaking market only? I only have speculation...

According to most literature the Mark V was only sold in the West German market. However, a Daniel Klooz emailed me that it was also marketed in Switzerland where he bought his Mark V in 1986. Which he paid 600 Swiss Francs (Regular Price was 1200 Swiss Francs).

My research has led me to believe that what I call the "Teutonic" Speedmasters were marketed only in central europe, possibly German speaking countries only, for a short amount of time, usually quoted as only one year in each instance. While the Time Capsule Book states it was marked only in Germany I find it difficult to believe that it was availeble in the DDR (East Germany) as I think it unlikely that many East Germans bought or had access to this model considering the condition of the DDR's economy at that time (1982~1984)... It was however apparently available for purchase in Switzerland, as per my email conversation with Mr. Klooz, and it is not too much of an intuitive leap to assume it was also probably available in Austria.

As for the why's or wherefores for this case, I and others have speculated that there was perhaps a shortage of cases for the traditional moonwatch at the time and it was decided to offer a special edition for these markets with this alternative case. Now remember that this is SPECULATION and certainly not factual, and might not even have the substance of rumor or inuendo! Please don't email Omega stating this as published fact, it's not. It's me formulating a theory that fits the scant available information.

Having said all of this, I've really enjoyed the hunt for these Speedmasters. When I first became aware of their existance, I doubted that I would ever own one. I managed to complete my set in less than one years time. They are out there but you really have to beat the bushes...

Addendum 1: They Butcher Teutonics, don't they?

Recently an interesting item has appeared on eBay, at first glance it appears to be a butchered Teutonic Speedmaster adapted to accept a leather strap...

Click to Enlarge...
As a matter of fact if you look at the area around the lugs it appears that there is a little crude finish on them... Also notice that the lugs on the Mark V with an integrated bracelet have a semi-circular bevel on them that I almost think I can detect on the questionable Speedmaster...
    
Click to Enlarge...

You can see that this semi-circular bevel is duplicated on the Gray Dial c.861 Teutonic...

Next, I look at the back of the case on the questionable watch (at right above) and it seems that it looks subtily different than Teutonics in my collection (at right below)...

At this point I am not certain what to make of this watch. If it has been modified it was done by a watchmaker who is skilled and talented enough to make it look very professional, professional enough to have me on the fence.

Here is a listing of the descriptive text from the eBay auction:

This is an Early 80's manual wind OMEGA SPEEDMASTER with the same movement that is found in the late 60's Omega Speedmasters. This is the caliber 861 manual wind movement and one of Omega's most reliable movements which can also be found in many Seamaster chronographs and The Speedmaster and the Speedmaster Mark II. This Omega Speedmaster is a very rare one and I never seen so many of these. There is also a variant of this model that is the Mark V but this one is not which I think is amazing. This watch has a very beautifull design and is matte steel. The leather band is non original but the original leather band is still available trough Omega. This Speedmaster keeps very good time and all chrono functions are 100%. the watch shows normal use and is still in nice condition. This is a very nice Omega collectible.
   

Questionable Teutonic Variant...
 
Teutonic Speedmaster c.861
 

It is my opinion that for some reason at some time, an owner decided to convert this Speedmaster to be able to use a strap, in other words to transform the watch into something with a simulation of lugs. I suspect this was probably done due to a broken bracelet or a lack of available links to lengthen the bracelet. It's value as far as collecting purposes I would think would be greatly reduced from an intact version of this mode.

 

Here are links to all of the pictures the seller provided...
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.

Let the buyer beware!

Addendum 2: They put 'em together too, don't they?

Back in August 2001 a colleague forwarded me an eBay auction and asked me to comment...

Here is the original auction description:

Rare Omega Seamaster
Speedmaster Profesional
Model 1450040 c. 861
Serial Number 31319340
Stainless Steel Case/ Band
year manufacture 1972-74
Brand New

The special History with this one of a kind Omega Seamaster - Speedmaster Profesional.

We are selling this watch on behalf of a retired New Zealand Omega Agent. This gentleman was the Distrubutor of Omega Watches in New Zealand.

The Watch was specially brought into New Zealand as a 1 only model, but unfortunatly the band got marked, (see photo) and was never offered for sale until now.

  

I emailed John Diethelm of Omega Vintage Information with my suspicions:

Hello John,

Recently a colleague forwarded me an eBay auction and asked me to comment...

I suspect that it is most likely that someone mated the pieces of three watches or pieces of watches to make one "one of a kind" Speedmaster. The dial from a 105.012/145.012, the hands of a Orange/Red Mark II, and the case / bezel / crystal / bracelet of a German Market 1450040/3450803. I suspect this is a put-together piece. But a very interesting put-together piece.
 
John, would you be so kind as to run the serial number if you get the chance. I'd be real interested to hear the story of this watch...
 
Once again and as always, Thank you in advance for your interest and efforts!
 
Cheers!
 
Chuck

From: omega vintage information @omega.ch
Sender: John Diethelm
To: cmaddox@xnet.com
Subject: Chuck MADDOX / yr enquiry dtd August 17, 2001 / An interesting Speedmaster German Market c.861
Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2001 18:38:35 +0200

Dear Chuck,

back from my holidays... have found your above enquiry on top of the pile ( over 200 enquiries...)

About your enquiry:

* mvt N° 31'319'340
* SEAMASTER chronograph with case in stainless steel, black hard metal cap and steel bracelet of ref. ST 1166/171
* manual winding chronograph movement of caliber 861
* watch reference : ST 145.0023 -
* International Collection early 70's
* production and delivery of above item to our agents in New Zealand on May 11, 1971

it feels indeed strange that you have the above movement in a case showing the ref. ST 345.0803 - not ST 376.0803 which is a day-date version !

which takes also the mvt of cal. 861 watch head ref only = ST 145.0040 ) and is of the early 80's , therefore .... probably a case switch during a possible maintenance service ! ? we shall never know !

have a nice day

John 

I'm never sure if John thinks I own all of these watches I ask him questions about or not... So anyway, I finally have the information I was looking for to confirm my suspicions from 3 weeks ago. And all of you looking for direct responses from John, he is working his way through the pile in his in box...

It looks to me that as I suspected, this teutonic is a put-together. It looks like the movement was gleened from a 145.0023, a watch most regulars in the Omega Forum know as the "Darth Vader" Seamaster... The hands I suspect were donated from either a Mark II Red/Orange dial or from replacement parts from of said same Mark II Red/Orange Mark II, and these components were unitified in a 1450040/3450803 Teutonic case. So this watch is a put-together. A facinating put-together, a put-together with an interesting background, but in the end, still a put together.


While I can't say I've recorded everything I know about these Speedmasters, I don't believe there is much else that I know about them. Of course I will add and refine this document as I learn more about them. After all, it seems that just about the time things start to get quiet something new shows up!

Enjoy!

-- Chuck



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Permission is granted for Damon, Derek, and RJ to include within the FAQ's they are writing as long as I'm given credit for this work. Permission for personal, educational or non-commercial use is granted. The author retains all other rights not specifically mentioned here... For all other use please contact the author.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and knowing me should be taken with a grain or two of salt...