Chuck Maddox’s Watch Blog

This page is a journal of my journey in the field of Horology, which is timekeeping. In other words, watch collecting. Which in my case is the collecting of chronograph watches. To contact me, email me at: .

Location: Chicagoland, United States

The Extremely wordy version of my Resumé is located here:

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

News (to me anyway) about Ed White's Speedmaster...

Back on the 5th of September I received the following email message from Blake Bartosh... It was information new to me and I've received permission from Blake to post and host the information on my site...

From: "Blake Bartosh"
Date: September 05, 2006 8:47:02 AM CDT
To: Chuck Maddox
Subject: Ed White's Speedmaster information

My father [Roger Bartosh] is in the habit of subscribing to all kinds of interesting things, and one of them was Superior Galleries' Space Memorabilia Auction catalogs. 

[click on the pictures to open a full size scan in a new window]

Of particular interest is the Spring 1999 catalog which lists as one of the auctions Ed White's Speedmaster. 

The description identifies the NASA numbers engraved on the watch side and reverse. 

Evidently the watch realized a value of $34,500 at auction. 

I am saddened by the tragic event that took Ed White's life, and at the same time I am intrigued that the Hesalite crystal survived the intense heat and flames inside the Apollo 1 capsule.

See the attached scans of the catalog cover, the page depicting the watch with description, and the final price realized for the watch (auction item 398).  Sorry about the quality of the auction page scan, the catalog is about an inch thick and hard to lay down on the scanner bed.

Were you aware of this auction occurring?

Best regards,


Indeed I was not aware of this auction and am a bit surprised that this watch was put up for auction. I'm not going to guess the White's rationale for selling the watch, but rather I'd suspect that either the GAO, NASA or the Smithsonian would likely have something of a claim on this watch as US property, unless it was a watch purchased by the late Mr. White.

Of course if anyone has further information, I'd love to hear it.

Thanks to both Roger and Blake for their efforts in sharing this information with us in the greater Omega Community. It is greatly appreciated!

-- Chuck

P.S. I'll post any follow-up email's I get relating to this story as comments in my blog.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

2nd multiple Omega Chrono failure report in 3 days.

Stumeister Posts: Broad Arrow movement problems [Sep 10, 2006 - 10:59 AM]

Just wanted to check with any of you experts out there what would be considered normal for problems with a auto chronograph.

Sadly I bought a Broad Arrow in 2004 and it looks like I will be packing it up once more (the 5th time now) to send to Bienne with a problem associated with the minute chronograph hand not turning over.

The watch does keep great time, but the chronograph cannot be guaranteed to work 20/20 when engaged (fails 3 to 4 times out of 20, usually in a row before if gets back on track).

I have read a few lines of discussion on this forum regarding this movement line-> is there any current news from Omega that they may change this movement due to its unreliability?

Or am I the lucky one that may have bought quite an expensive lemon?

I replied to Stumeister's post over in TZOF.

Some Thoughts...

This will make the second report of multiple failures in chronographs in the past three days. The first report was made in reply to my post in this blog about Time Flies c.3303 issue by Nick Henson on Thursday, September 07, 2006 12:20:00 PM.

I haven't heard back from Nick about my follow up post to Nick in the blog, so I do not know if his Seamaster Pro Chronograph sports a Valjoux 7750 or a c.33xx. I am not going to assume it's one model or another.

I'm not going to count Nick's example either way until I hear from him. Unfortunately, he didn't leave me an email address to contact him directly (Blogger recorded "" as Nick's address), I will have to hope that Nick either posts another comment or contacts me directly to clearify things.

Stumeister's example was bought in 2004, fairly likely to have been produced after the remedial parts introduced in 2002 that certain people claim have elimidated or at least caused the ,,significant decline,, of problem reports.

Even discounting Nick Henson's report, the c.33xx failure's sadly continue to be reported with regularity.

-- Chuck