Restoration: Omega Speedmaster 2998-4

The Omega Speedmaster 2998-4 is a pre-moon Speedmaster which is highly prized amongst the watch collecting community. It isn’t as rare as the 2998-1 or perhaps the ‘Ultraman’, but incredibly rare nonetheless.

This particular example was in bad condition and needed extensive restoration. In this particular case the dial, hands, case, and bracelet were kept completely original as per the owner’s instructions.

The watch had worn upper and lower bearings for the barrel and the center wheel. These needed to be drilled out and new ones fitted. The posts for the minute wheel and intermediate hand setting pinion were also very worn and needed to be drilled out. On more modern watches these posts are pressed into the plate, however, on older watches such as the Omega 321 movement they are milled out of the mainplate. Due to this fact, great care must be taken when drilling them out. I then was able to turn new posts up on the lathe and friction-fit them into the watch.

I also re-ground and black polished the screws as they had been badly damaged by previous watchmaker’s. Black polishing is a special technique where screws are polished completely flat and with no imperfections. In certain lights, the head of the screw appears black. hence the name.

Follow along with the restoration in the photographs below.