The much-anticipated launch of the latest OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch has excited devotees of this revered timepiece worldwide. The original timepiece is one of history’s most iconic chronographs, now the legacy continues with a new addition to the collection, inspired by the 4th generation Moonwatch.
With new features and qualities that respect the original design and a powerful Master Chronometer certified anti-magnetic movement, the distinguished quality of this exciting new launch marks a new chapter in its notable history.
We spoke to our Senior Buyer, Lisa Broun about her thoughts on the latest release.
The OMEGA Speedmaster Collection first launched back in 1957. In your opinion, what continues to make this collection so popular over 60 years on?
It is a remarkable collection that has a fantastic history that not only pushes boundaries but transcends through time and space – literally! A timeless edition for any collector or a great starting point for a first luxury timepiece.
The OMEGA Speedmaster is perhaps most famously known as the first watch worn on the moon. This is an impressive accolade! Can you tell me more about why NASA chose the OMEGA Speedmaster as the watch best suited to endure a space mission? They must have had a rigorous testing procedure?
10 different watch manufacturers were requested to send a standard chronograph for all NASA astronauts in 1964. The request came with a long statement of specifications NASA required from the chronograph – and this was just to get in the door! After OMEGA submitted their timepiece – along with 3 other brands – NASA conducted numerous further tests. The Speedmaster was the only timepiece to pass all additional requirements NASA needed and in 1965, the OMEGA Speedmaster Professional received the official NASA approval for use during all further manned space missions. A rigorous testing procedure indeed!
The original Speedmaster Moonwatch is an iconic chronograph, loved by fans and collectors worldwide. What do you think about the bold move to reinvent such a classic timepiece?
A bold move by OMEGA to update the majority of parts on such an iconic timepiece – taking a slight vintage approach to take us back to the original- it still is instantly recognisable as the famous Speedmaster.
Let’s talk about the design; what makes the Speedmaster Moonwatch so special?
A touch that has been introduced on this model – that eager Speedmaster fans have been asking for – is the ‘dot over 90’ and a ‘dot diagonal to 70’ that refers to pre-1970 models.
OMEGA still offer the choice between sapphire and Hesalite models, the later having an additional message on the back than previous editions that reads ‘FLIGHT-QUALIFIED BY NASA IN 1965 FOR ALL MANNED SPACE MISSIONS’. In addition, the new Speedmaster comes with a redesigned bracelet and clasp. A new five-arched-link-per-row design that includes a new clasp with a polished OMEGA logo on the cover that will enhance comfort, add flexibility, and adds to the vintage style of this new timepiece.
We could talk for ages about the little touches and updates OMEGA have added to these new editions but the main update everyone is talking about is the new Calibre 3861. Of course, consistently in line with the rest of the collection, the movement meets the demands of the Master Chronometer standards. Previously seen in the Apollo 11 50th anniversary and the latest Snoopy editions, the new movement has all the modern technologies but is virtually the same hand-wound movement trusted by the NASA astronauts on the Moon.
In your opinion, what would you say was the most important feature to retain to preserve the original design, whilst appealing to both past and future clients?
A real nod to the original design, the Speedmaster still has the option to come with a Hesalite dial. A material that would not shatter under the pressure of outer space, this gives anyone the chance to hold a small piece of historical brilliance.
Which is your favourite piece from the collection and why?
Although the Hesalite version will always be a firm favourite, I have to say this new Sapphire version is a true work of art. The sapphire case back treats you to a full view of the 1861 calibre and this alone may be the biggest selling factor of this model. The bracelet may tip you over the edge as this model has a combination of brushed and polished accents, whereas the Hesalite bracelet is fully brushed.
What sets this collection apart from other pieces from OMEGA?
OMEGA has a fantastic heritage and are known across the globe for their superior precision. There are many exquisite collections to choose from that are all symbols of excellence, and this collection is no different. The Speedmaster is a great symbol of strength and endurance and of course will survive the most unpredictable conditions – who wouldn’t want an exceptional companion?
If someone was looking to buy an OMEGA Speedmaster, which piece would you recommend as an introduction to the collection?
If the classic Speedmaster is not your style the Apollo 8 is a great alternative. Another historical piece of brilliance and is sure to spark your dark side, this timepiece even has a lunar-inspired dial – a nod to the Apollo 8 mission. The back of the timepiece has an exhibition caseback that allows you to see the 1861 calibre in all of its glory, surrounded by the famous radio transmission ‘We’ll see you on the other side’ from Jim Lovell before the astronaut’s communication was blocked by their path to the moon.
If you were to recommend the OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch to a particular audience, what type of audience would you say it is most suited to?
Whether a sports watch or a dress watch is in your sights, the Speedmaster has the ability to fall into both categories and makes a fantastic and reliable companion for any occasion. A timeless design means that any of these timepieces have a broad appeal for any age. Whether starting your collection or adding to your timepiece family, the Speedmaster Moonwatch will fit right in and make you think why it took you so long to get your hands on a true icon.