OMEGA SPEEDMASTER Professional ref. 145.022-69 Dark Chocolate
Rare and attractive Omega Speedmaster Professional ref. 145.022-69 “pre-moon” from 1969. Watch dial is evenly oxidized to dark chocolate colour. Tritium dial markers and original tritium hands. Original DON bezel is in great shape. Omega cal. 321 manual wind chronograph movement is just fully serviced. Watch diameter is 42mm. Watch comes with hand-made Italian leather strap. There is a light engraving on the case back from 1971.
We also have its rare sibling Speedmaster “Chocolate” model from 1969.
Watch has 24-month service warranty.
Jean Singer & Cie manufactured nearly all dials for Omega in the 1960s. Base of the Speedmaster dials was made of brass, that was first stamped into shape, cleaned and primed before coating. The black color was a zinc/nickel alloy, that was attached to the brass back in an electrolyte bath. A protective varnish was applied to the black-coated dial to prevent the oxidation. Singer has later confirmed, that varnish used at that time was not of uniform quality and did not always protect the dial from oxidation.
Early dials made between 1957 to 1960 have almost always oxidized to a light brown color (milk chocolate). This is mainly due to the combined effect of temperature, UV light and sweat/moisture. Browning can be detected in a small number dials made in the early 1960s, but the brown color is rarely strong.
Due to a mistake in the varnishing process in 1969, a small number of dials underwent a strong change of color. Oxidation caused the dial to take on a strong dark brown color (dark chocolate). Sometimes the color is just black-brown, but in rare cases, the color may be lighter (milk chocolate), making brown the predominant shade of the dial. When the error was noticed, the process was altered and the nitrocellulose varnish was replaced with a synthetic varnish, stopping the oxidation. There are no known Omega Speedmaster models made after the 1970s that have a brown dial caused by oxidation.
In 2007, Omega introduced the Speedmaster ref. 3126.96.36.199.13.001 model that has a brown dial by design. The model was an homage to the original watches made in the 1960s.