We previously explored the effect of celebrity provenance on watches and the prices they fetch, but this past weekend at Phillips we once again saw a clear indicator of how luxury replica watches tied to famous figures can drive up demand. Up for auction was the UK Swiss fake Omega Speedmaster ref. 105.012 of Ralph Ellison, the renowned author of Invisible Man.
This perfect replica Omega Speedmaster was, in fact, the very same reference that went to the moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Yet buoyed by Ellison’s literary celebrity, the super clone watch attracted sufficient interest for it to achieve the highest hammer price any ref. 145.012 has ever achieved – $667,800 USD to be exact.
For those unfamiliar with Ellison, the American novelist, literary critic, and scholar won the National Book Award for Invisible Man in 1953. In their catalogue essay, Phillips noted the horological threads of his seminal work: “Reading Invisible Man with the added lens of a watch enthusiast, high quality fake watches, clocks, and time are clear motifs appearing throughout the novel. Used as props during key narratives, they are detailed with such nuanced understanding that it’s clear that Ellison was familiar with and perhaps even intrigued by timekeeping and timekeepers.”
While it is unclear if Ellison purchased the watch for himself, or received it as a gift, the extract from the AAA replica Omega UK archives reveals the watch was delivered to the United States of America via 1:1 copy Omega’s then agent Norman M. Morris Corp. in New York on April 30, 1968.
The watch is a ref. ST145.012-67, powered by the famed calibre 321 recently revived by Omega for their cheap fake Omega Speedmaster 321 – a tribute to the Ed White Speedmaster ref. 105.003. While Ralph Ellison was known to wear the watch very frequently, it has remained in phenomenal condition. The cheap copy Omega appears to have some minor corrosion to the white hands at its centre and on its registers, with an intriguingly uneven patina to the tritium hands and indices. The DON (dot over ninety) bezel appears to be in great condition, which, like the case and dial, is not in too perfect condition that it would raise suspicions over its originality.
As a top super clone watch that belongs to a culturally significant individual, the Speedmaster definitely attracted many bidders around the world who wanted to score the timepiece for their collection. But the bidder who actually won the auction was Swiss movement fake Omega themselves who wanted to add the lot to their very own museum. Does a manufacturer bidding on their own timepiece stand to raise a final hammer price? Of course.
But remember it also takes two to tango, and clearly, while Omega replica for sale UK has the budget to win, others were giving them a run for their money by attempting to snatch it from under their noses. Competitive bidding always stems from intrigue, and, whether it’s two or ten people, as long as there are multiple bidders who feel a strong connection to a lot you can be sure that the price will soar.