Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional
The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional is worthy of the term ‘legend’. Its historical significance was assured in 1969 when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon’s surface with an example of the Moonwatch affixed to his wrist. Omega has now unveiled an updated version of its famous chronograph which still upholds much of the styling of its forebears, ensuring its legendary status will remain undiminished.
Many watch companies issue journalists with press releases laced with superlatives, sometimes with little justification. Furthermore, several brands freely use the terms ‘iconic’ and ‘legendary’ for comparatively unknown products. However, no such criticisms can be levelled at Omega and its famous Speedmaster model.
The Omega Speedmaster was first released in 1957, the now famous reference CK2915. The dial featured three registers, broad arrow hands and a metal bezel marked with a tachymeter scale. In the early 1960s, NASA procured a number of chronographs and subjected them to an array of tests. Only the Omega met the NASA’s stringent criteria with flying colours.
Interestingly, Omega’s HQ only learned that the Speedmaster had seen service in space when it spotted images of astronaut Edward White wearing an example of the chronograph whilst performing America’s first spacewalk (1965). However, the Speedmaster’s legendary status was set in perpetuity when Neil Armstrong, the first man to step on the moon, uttered the immortal words, ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’. As he seemingly floated across the moon’s surface, he wore the now famous Omega chronograph, the reference ST. 105.012.
These days, most horophiles refer to the Speedmaster as the ‘Moonwatch’ and today there is a large and growing number of Moonwatch devotees. Many of them possess an encyclopaedic knowledge of reference numbers, subtle specification changes and resale values.
Now the Swiss brand has unveiled a new Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional. It is offered in six versions. Two models are presented in steel with Hesalite glass and a solid caseback, embossed with a Seahorse emblem. A further two models are presented in steel with sapphire crystals front and back. The final two models are über-luxurious versions of the Moonwatch, one has a Sedna gold case and the other is housed in Canopus gold.
Some changes are difficult to spot for non-Moonwatch obsessives. For example, the dial text ‘Speedmaster’ and ‘Professional’ are now of equal length. The minute track features ⅓-second integers, not the ⅕-second integers found on previous models.
The bracelet has been subjected to a radical update and now includes a ‘five-arched-links-per-row-design’. The clasp has been reworked and now pairs a polished Omega logo set against a satin-finished cover.
Perhaps, the biggest change relates to the new Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861. It is unaffected by magnetic fields up to 15,000 gauss. Furthermore, the entire watch, including the hand-wound movement, ‘is certified as a Master Chronometer – the highest standard of precision, performance and magnetic resistance in the Swiss watch industry’.
Omega has refined the Moonwatch, making subtle changes which are likely to heighten wearer delight, however, it has also respected the legacy of the historical chronograph worn by Armstrong. Quite simply, the legend is alive and well.
Prices start at £5,100 (RRP as at 7.1.2021)
The brand’s press release (January 2021)
We’re only in January, yet OMEGA is already making one of the biggest watchmaking announcements of 2021. This year, the Speedmaster Moonwatch collection will be updated with its next generation of models. For fans everywhere, it’s a chance to see the latest edition of a much- loved timepiece – including unique touches in design and a powerful Master Chronometer certified anti-magnetic movement.
Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of OMEGA says, “When updating a sacred timepiece like the Speedmaster Moonwatch, every detail must be true to its original spirit. This chronograph is recognised the world over, so we’ve approached its design with the most sincere respect, while taking its movement to the next level.”
For the exciting launch, the Swiss watchmaker has taken inspiration from the 4th generation Moonwatch style, commonly referenced as the ST 105.012, and worn by Apollo 11 astronauts on the moon in 1969.
These space-era tributes include the classic asymmetrical case, the step dial, the double bevel caseback, and the famous dot over 90 (DON) and a dot diagonal to 70 on the anodised aluminium bezel ring. Small but important details in the telling of the Speedmaster story.
Perhaps the most significant update comes with the arrival of the Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861. The new movement ensures that the Moonwatch will now be unaffected by even the most extreme magnetic fields reaching 15,000 gauss. In addition, it ensures that the entire watch is certified as a Master Chronometer – the highest standard of precision, performance and magnetic- resistance in the Swiss watch industry.
Around the wrist, OMEGA has made yet more changes. An integrated, fully-brushed bracelet offers a five–arched-links-per-row design. Similar to Moonwatch styles of the past, it includes a new clasp with a polished OMEGA logo on a satin-finished cover.
Even the dial shows the attention-to-detail that OMEGA has committed to this updated collection. In accordance with the Calibre 3861’s frequency, the minute track is now split by 3 divisions, as opposed to the 5 divisions on previous models. Another example of the brand’s exacting standards when it comes to precision.
With so much to explore, it’s now over to eager Moonwatch fans to select their Master Chronometer model from eight special choices, including versions in stainless steel, 18K SednaTM gold or 18K Canopus gold™. All come with OMEGA’s full 5-year warranty.