The Speedmaster can be traced back to 1957. It was introduced during the Olympic Games as a sports chronograph to complement Omega’s position as the official timekeeper of the competition. The name was inspired by the tachymeter scale bezel, and the timepieces were part of the Seamaster line. The very first Speedmaster was a ref. CK 2915, dubbed the “Broad Arrow,” courtesy of Swiss designer Claude Baillod. The watch marked the beginning of a legendary array of features, including the domed Plexiglas crystal, the high contrast index markers, and the triple register chronograph layout. The dial exhibited perfect balance and proportions.
The lugs were straight, the arrow hands broad, and the bezel crafted from steel with inscribed black print. Over the years, the watches have progressed in terms of quality and relative achievement, even going as far as being shipped into space! From this end, we have decided to reflect back on the lineup and compile some of the greatest timepieces Omega has produced. Here is our selection of the top five Omega Speedmaster models of all time.
1. Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Automatic Master Chronometer Watch
When the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Automatic Master Chronometer timepiece was released, it was received enthusiastically. The star feature of the watch was noticeably the “racing dial.” The timepiece came with sporty orange accents and the characteristic design of minute track synonymous with popular historical models. The vintage style was complemented by a modern movement, giving the piece a Moonwatch appearance, but with an auto-racing twist. The minute track’s alternating pattern was inspired by a 1968 speedmaster model, making it all the more appealing to collectors.
The steel case is 44.25mm in diameter with a thinner profile, while the subdials are enlarged for improved legibility. The watch also boasts 18K-white gold arrowhead indexes and white Super LumiNova on the hands for better readability. The orange accents on the dial overflow to the orange inscriptions on the refined ceramic bezel, on the way to the holes in the leather strap with an orange rubber underneath.
2. Omega Speedmaster ‘Speedy Tuesday’ Limited Edition Watch
Everything about this watch is interesting, including how it was being sold. Instead of being stocked in stores, the “Speed Tuesday” Limited Edition timepiece was only availed on Omega’s website where you could pre-order directly. The watch features a striking “reverse panda dial,” which entails a black dial with white sub-dials, as well as rare “radial” numerals on the sub-dials. In many ways, it is a modern black and white version of the Speedmaster Professional. The watch is contained in a 42-mm wide steel case featuring an aluminum bezel insert and a Hesalite crystal.
Inside the case, there is a manually wound mechanical movement, dubbed caliber 1861. But perhaps the most interesting thing about this watch is the spectacular luminant, which allows you to read the time in the dark. Other notable features include the special engravings at the back of the watch, as well as the two- toned black and white NATO-style strap. In addition, the watch came with a brown leather strap and a standard steel metal bracelet.
3. Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Alaska Project Watch
Introduced at the 2008 Baselworld, the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Alaska Project watch has a very interesting history. The timepiece was produced as a “reissue” of a 1969/70 Omega Speedmaster Alaska Project and a later Speedmaster Alaska Project II. This particular timepiece combines features from both of these watches. Originally, the watches were produced in 5 prototypes at NASA’s request for use in space. At the same time, NASA was planning a mission to the much cooler dark side of the moon, but this was never realized. This was the basis of the “Alaska Project” title, because most of Alaska is extremely cold.
The timepiece came with optional red aluminum housing for providing additional protection from fluctuating weather conditions. This case could resist temperatures as high as 260-degrees C and as low as -148 degrees C. This is primarily attributed to the high thermal retention of aluminum, meaning that it does not heat up quickly or cool down easily. In addition, the color red helped to protect against sunlight or ambient radiation.
4. Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch ‘CK2998’ Limited Edition Watch
This sporty chronograph pays tribute to the ref. CK 2998 Speedmaster worn by Walter Schirra in 1962 on his orbital mission in the Mercury Program. Scghirra made six successful orbits around the earth, each time wearing an Omega Speedmaster he had purchased for personal use. The CK 2998 would go on to become the first Omega timepiece in space, making it one of the most iconic watches in the company’s history. The modern version of the CK 2998 features a 39.7 mm steel case and a silvery white dial based on a gorgeous blue coloring. It also boasts a panda-style dial that gives the timepiece a distinct appearance.
In addition, the new CK 2998 was equipped with a lollipop seconds-hand and a lumed tachymeter scale on the bezel. The solid case-back is engraved with the original Seahorse medallion synonymous with Omega Speedmaster timepieces. The watch has a water resistance of up to 50 meters, and is powered by a vintage caliber 1861 – a manually wound twelve-hour chronograph with a power reserve of up to 48 hours. The 39.7mm case looks a bit too traditional, but is very appealing for collectors who are looking for something relatively smaller.
5. Omega Speedmaster ’57 ‘Vintage’ Watch
Also known as George Clooney’s favorite watch, the Omega Speedmaster is a part of the popular Omega Speedmaster ’57 collection that was launched in 2013. The watch sports a modern movement – a certain caliber 9300 Co-Axial Chronograph – made in-house and contained in a 41.5mm case. The hands and the dial are more vintage-looking with a matte black face and bright luminant. The wide 41.5mm steel case is complemented by broad lugs, and features a sapphire crystal over the movement as well as over the dial. The timepiece itself has a water resistance of up to 100m. The caliber 9300 movement boasts a COSC Chronometer certification and a Co-Axial escapement, and is one of the most beautiful Swiss in-house movements released in mass production. The movement has a power reserve of up to sixty hours and comes with a silicon balance spring. As of this writing, the watch is priced at $9,000.
Written by Garrett Parker
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