The best fake Omega Speedmaster Professional 145.012-67SP that once belonged to Ralph Ellison was offered as Lot 138 on the Phillips auction on December 12th. Interestingly, it had an estimate of just $10,000 to $20,000. Now, I never understand these estimates or the purpose of them. A regular 145.012 in good condition would already fetch that amount.
But this Swiss made replica Omega both belonged to and sat on the wrist of a renowned and influential American writer. Not only that, but it also had provenance to back it up. Before the watch went to auction, and even before the former owner had certainty about the previous life of this particular Omega Speedmaster fake for sale, it was serviced and received new (period-correct) pushers.
Why did it sell for such a high price?
For me, it is difficult to grasp why this best quality replica Omega fetched the amount of $667,800. I do get that the author was very famous and that his novel was one of great literary importance. But it is still difficult to comprehend how far someone is willing to go to actually own such a timepiece. I completely blame myself for not fully understanding this, as I’m also unaware of the effect of this novel on people, or just how much praise Ellison received for it. So, who better to ask than Petros Protopapas, the Head of Brand Heritage at luxury copy Omega in Switzerland?
Completing the puzzle
The sale of this special AAA replica Omega Speedmaster Pro 145.012-67 that was worn by Ralph Ellison shows once more that heritage and storytelling are very valuable. Real stories, that is. I can imagine how satisfying it must have been to complete the story around this watch and its previous ownership. It’s a puzzle that was completed with the help of other 1:1 fake Omega watch enthusiasts and collectors. In this case, the definitive answer came from insurance papers that were stored in a box filled with documents and photos at the Library of Congress (LOC) Photo Archives.