The Omega Speedmaster
A watch as elegant as a race car
1957 saw the origin of three Omega models that would later become classic timepieces among the Omega brand: Omega Seamaster, Omega Railmaster, and Omega Speedmaster. The Omega goal was to enrich the range of practical chronographs for a diverse and multifaceted target audience in terms of the Speedmaster (Ref. CK2915).
In 1957, the fitting of Italian race cars served as the inspiration for the well-balanced design of the Speedmaster. In order to provide a clean dial, the tachymeter scale was shifted to the bezel of the watch, increasing the legibility of the dial as well as the readability of smaller time interval measurements and the average speed per hour. Much like the Seamaster, the Omega race watch also earned a meaningful name: Speedmaster.
Currently, the Omega Speedmaster, which is primarily known for being the first watch on the moon, is one of the most famous watch models in history. From hand-wound to quartz and from steel to gold: throughout the long history of the Speedmaster, over 260 watch models and new editions have been designed and produced.
The legendary status of the Omega Speedmaster is evident considering how many influential and prominent individuals can be spotted wearing this watch. Brand ambassadors, including George Clooney and Daniel Craig, gladly choose the Speedmaster, also known as the Speedy, as a reliable watch for everyday use. Additionally noteworthy: Reinhold Messner was able to rely on the stability and high precision of the Speedmaster Professional during his South Pole expedition in 1989.
The First watch to walk the moon
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
When the Omega Speedmaster was introduced in 1957, no one could have anticipated the grand fate that awaited the Speedy.
During the early 1960s, NASA began to search for a suitable watch fit for astronauts that could be worn during space missions. NASA then procured several chronographs, including the Omega Speedmaster among timepieces from other brands. The timepieces then underwent a series of rigorous tests to determine whether or not they would be fit for NASA spaceflights. There was ample competition but in the end, it was only the Speedmaster that could pass the stringent testing of the space agency. The watch was then approved as the exclusive timepiece for astronauts onboard NASA spaceflights.
The Speedmaster (Ref. 105003) accompanied astronaut Ed White in 1965 during the first US spacewalk to ever take place in history. Following the exploration of the universe, the Speedmaster’s name was fastened with the word “Professional”.
The Speedmaster (Ref. 105 012) took a big leap forward with mankind in 1969 when Buzz Aldrin wore the exceptional timepiece on the surface of the moon. As a result, Buzz Aldrin’s Speedmaster was the first watch to ever be worn on the moon. Since then, in order to commemorate the extraordinary achievement, the Speedmaster incorporates an engraving on the bottom of the case that states: "The First Watch Worn on the Moon".
The Speedmaster has gone down in history as the "Moonwatch" and continues to fascinate watch lovers worldwide with its celebrated and memorable history.
A chronograph that saves lives
Not every watch manufacturer can claim that their timepieces have saved lives. It is important to note, however, that the Omega Speedmaster has rescued the lives of three astronauts and has prevented a fatal spacecraft collision.
The capabilities of the Speedmaster were fearfully tested during the 1970 emergency landing of the Apollo 13 mission.
Following the launch of the mission, an oxygen tank exploded and compromised the spacecraft. The pilot of the shuttle (The Command/Service Module) John L. Swigert, was then able to utilise his Speedmaster in order to calculate the exact moment in which to ignite the throwback engine and angle the space shuttle for re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere.
The Speedmaster had once again successfully demonstrated the absolute strength of mechanical watches and thanks to the precision of the timepiece; the crew was able to land safely on Earth.
The Speedmaster has been bestowed the Snoopy Award, which is awarded by NASA for outstanding achievements related to human flight safety and mission success. In recognition of the exceptional performance of the Speedmaster, Omega has launched special editions of the timepiece, including the Speedmaster Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award (Ref. 318.104.22.168.04.003).
The cooperation between Omega and NASA remains strong today and the Omega Speedmaster Professional consistently belongs to the standard equipment for astronauts.
From hand wound to Co-Axial chronometer
Omega Speedmaster – reliable and innovative
The Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch has remained relatively unchanged throughout the years and the timepiece has prevailed as the flagship model of the collection for decades. Reminiscent of the first moon landing in 1969, the watch is still equipped with a hand-wound movement and a Hesalite crystal. Clients of the brand strongly approve of the value that Omega places on history and tradition.
Although Omega prefers not to make substantial changes to the core of the Speedmaster design, the manufacturer has complemented the collection with additional models, considerably diversifying the Speedmaster watch family. Many Speedmaster models have been created with allegiance to historical space travel events in which the Speedmaster had been present, such as the Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 45th Anniversary Limited Edition (Ref. 322.214.171.124.06.001). Other models unite a legendary and traditional design with the advanced technologies of Omega.
A very popular model that can now only be found on the second-hand market is the Omega Speedmaster Reduced (Ref. 3510.50.00) that comes equipped with a smaller 39-millimeter case diameter as opposed to the traditional 42-millimeter case diameter. The Speedmaster Reduced has an automatic movement and impresses with simple usability.
In 2011, the Speedmaster Moonwatch Co-Axial Chronograph (Ref. 3126.96.36.199.01.002 etc.) was presented as a reinterpretation of the Speedy. The timepiece impresses with elements that Omega stands for — the world-famous design of the Moonwatch, the in-house automatic caliber, and the sophisticated Co-Axial mechanism. With an increased diameter of 44.25 mm, the model calls out to lovers of large timepieces.
Tradition and innovation are wonderfully brought together in the Speedmaster Moonwatch Co-Axial Chronograph, which is reflected in the high cost of the timepiece. However, the watch is highly regarded as it is a reminder of the ground-breaking events of the past. Furthermore, the steady value of the timepiece proves that it is an optimal investment.
For the nostalgic
Omega Mark II, Omega Broad Arrow and Speedmaster ‘57
The Speedmaster is one of the most popular and widely celebrated timepieces by Omega. As a result, several derivative Speedmaster models have been developed with new and distinct features compared to the original design, such as the Mark and the Speedmaster Broad Arrow. These Speedmaster lines have become so favoured among Omega fans that the watch manufacturer has continued to extend their models further with new and improved features.
One of the most popular models when it comes to the Speedmaster line is the Mark series. The first generation of the Mark line, Mark II, was introduced in 1969 and stood out thanks to its distinctive case and brushed stainless steel bracelet that is complete with Omega's patented extendable fold-over rack-and-pusher clasp.
The succeeding model, Mark III, followed in 1971 and was the first Speedmaster to be equipped with an automatic movement. In 2014, Omega introduced a new version of the Mark II (e.g. Ref. 3188.8.131.52.01.001) that combines the vintage-inspired design of the watch with the sophisticated mechanics of a Co-Axial caliber.
A model that relies on a design from the Omega archives is the Speedmaster Broad Arrow (Ref. 3184.108.40.206.01.001 others), which seeks inspiration in the 1957 Omega Speedmaster Ref. CK2915. Honouring the design inclinations of the fifties, the watch is equipped with broad hour hands in black.
Internally, however, the Omega Speedmaster Broad Arrow is implemented with an automatic movement, Co-Axial escapement, and watch back comprised of sapphire crystal. The timepieces with a case diameter of 44.5mm enjoy long-standing popularity among the Omega clientele.
In addition to the Speedmaster Broad Arrow, Omega has launched several, often limited edition, models that celebrate the original Speedy from 1957. A prime example is the Speedmaster '57 (Ref. 3220.127.116.11.03.001 etc.), which was launched in 2013 and is characterised by an understated watch dial and two subdials.
Watch collectors and loyal brand enthusiasts can look toward the many unique models of the Speedmaster collection for inspiring timepieces that sleekly combine a vintage design with revolutionary technologies.
The many sides of the moon
From dark to white: The new Omega Speedmaster models
The Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon (Ref. 318.104.22.168.01.003) pays tribute to the Apollo 8 astronauts, as they were the first individuals to witness the dark side of the moon with their own eyes. Dressed entirely in black, the Co-Axial Speedmaster honours the pioneering spirits of the brave astronauts and simultaneously reinterprets the legendary design of the moon watch.
"The moon is essentially grey," declared NASA astronaut Jim Lovell during the lunar orbit.
The Omega Speedmaster Grey Side of the Moon (Ref. 322.214.171.124.99.001) not only recalls the words of the courageous astronaut but is inspired by the metallic shade that lunar dust is composed of. Furthermore, the sand blasted 950 platinum dial provides the Omega timepiece with a classic look while underlining the innovative and technical sophistication of the watch.
Omega further introduced the Speedmaster White Side of the Moon. Evidently, the spectacular design of the timepiece is inspired by the brilliance of the moon. The Speedmaster White Side of the Moon is characterised in particular by its brushed and polished white ceramic case body and bezel.
All three models of the Speedmaster collection have a solid diameter of 44.25-millimeters and feature the characteristic design element of the Speedmaster: the tachymeter scale.
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