This December, Phillips Watches will be auctioning a 1968 Omega Speedmaster Ref. 145.012 previously owned by Ralph Ellison.

Ralph Ellison was an American novelist, literary critic, and scholar, best known for his novel Invisible Man, which won the National Book Award in 1953 — adding significant provenance to a watch that’s already highly appealing on its own.

Ralph Ellison wearing Omega Speedmaster Professional

This rare vintage Omega Speedmaster Professional comes in a 40 mm stainless steel case with twisted lugs (Ref. 145.012-67 SP) that was manufactured in 1968 marked with movement number 25’008’312 and stamped “OXG.” This is one of the most coveted Speedmaster references and was the last reference powered by a gold-plated version of Omega’s desirable 17-jewel manually wound caliber 321 chronograph movement (originally designed by Lemania, which Omega owns).

Omega Speedmaster-145.012 owned by Ralph Ellison with caliber 321

Comes with the original stainless steel Omega bracelet with endlinks stamped 516 (max length 210 mm) and deployant clasp, reference 1039, no. 13, stamped 4.67. The case, dial, movement, and bracelet are all signed “Omega.”

Omega Speedmaster 145.012 owned by Ralph Ellison circa 1968 angled

Interestingly, Omega has confirmed with Professional Watches that they will be bidding on this piece to add to their museum. Many company’s do bid on timepieces privately, and it’s often to put the piece in their respective museum, however, it’s typically done anonymously — so this is different in that Omega is explicitly confirming their purchase intent.

Omega Speedmaster 145.012 owned by Ralph Ellison circa 1968 caseback

Phillips will host the auction from December 11th to the 12th in New York. The presale estimate for Lot 138 is $10,000 to $20,000 — however being that Omega is bidding, we expect it to fetch a far higher sum than the estimate suggests. Making the offer a bit sweeter — the watch is accompanied by Omega Extract from the Archives confirming production of this watch on March 15th, 1968 with subsequent delivery to the United States.

Learn more at Phillips.


Photos by Phillips.

Posted by:Jason Pitsch

Jason is the founder of Professional Watches and specializes in writing, product photography, and digital marketing.