From blockbuster movies to moon landings and brand ambassadors that include Nicole Kidman and George Clooney, Omega is one of the most high-profile watchmakers in the world. While all of their offerings merit consideration, a few stand-out collections shine in the eyes of collectors and watch lovers of all shades. We look at the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch, Speedmaster ‘57 and Speedmaster Mark II.
Speedmaster Professional Makes it to the Moon
An iconic timepiece that has occupied a premier place in the Omega pantheon for decades, the “Moonwatch” has been on board for six missions to the moon. Astronauts used the precise chronograph functions to gauge the tricky (and possibly deadly!) reentry into Earth’s atmosphere. An Omega Speedmaster was along for the first-ever lunar landing when Neil Armstrong famously made “one small step for man [and] one giant leap for mankind.”
Armstrong was wearing a Speedmaster ST105.012 when he became the first man to step foot on the moon. Neil later gave the watch to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
Omega’s role in America’s Space Race recently made it to the big screen. Playing Armstrong, Ryan Gosling has an Omega Speedmaster on his wrist in the 2018 film First Man. In the movie fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin, played by House of Cards star Corey Stoll, also wears a Speedmaster just as the real Aldrin did on the famous lunar mission.
Off the Big Screen
The watch has serious star power off the big screen as well. Omega ambassador George Clooney has been spotted sporting an Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional. Tom Hanks, who wore a Moonwatch in the movie Apollo 13, is also a fan in real life. Daniel Craig, who has donned a host of Omega Seamasters as James Bond, favors a Moonwatch when he’s not playing a super spy. The Moonwatch is also one of the most-popular Omega models for non-stars as well. Last year the Moonwatch accounted for 41 percent of all the Omega postings on Instagram!
The Moonwatch hasn’t seen sweeping design changes since its introduction in 1957. The dial and case proportions have remained the same and the overall changes in look and movement have been minimal. Its history of reliability and precision, as well as a timeless design, has made it one of the world’s most-popular chronographs.
1: Speedmaster ‘57 from Retro Motorsports
Years before most had serious thoughts about putting a man on the moon, Omega was all about road racing. As its name suggests, the Omega Speedmaster was a high-end tool designed to help elite racecar drivers gauge their speed, distance and fuel consumption. While the watch’s name may be a nod to the Speedmaster from 1957 and the motorsport history it represents, the new editions to the line add design elements and technology that surpasses the first incarnations.
On the retro side, the Speedmaster ‘57 honors the original with the iconic black dial and dramatic arrow hands that make vintage Speedmasters instantly recognizable. The straight lugs, tachymeter scale and beige dial indications are other familiar elements that Omega Speedmaster aficionados know and love.
2: Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch
Updates include a change from three sub-dials to two, eliminating the need for a third by combining the 60-minute and 12-hour counters on the same sub-dial. The movement has been improved with the addition of Omega’s proprietary Co-Axial calibers with a silicon balance spring, the first of its kind in Omega chronographs.
There are a range of color and material options across the collection. Wear one in classic stainless steel, yellow-and-gold steel, titanium or your choice of 18-carat red or yellow gold. All options come with a luxurious leather strap or matching metal bracelet.
3: Mark II Streamlines a Classic Design
In 1969 Omega was making history with its part in the Space Race. But that same year they turned their attention to earthbound priorities. It was then that Omega took their classic Speedmaster and streamlined the case. It became a tonneau-shaped design that gives it a sleeker look. Gone is the original hand-wound calibre, but today’s Speedmaster Mark II’s still retains that minimalist design that have made the timepieces beloved by collectors. Another distinct trait that’s been passed on is the iconic flaming orange main chronograph hand.
While the originals were hand-wound, today’s Mark IIs are powered by self-winding movements. They work with a column-wheel mechanism and silicon balance spring. Today’s models also shine brighter — literally! Transparent tachymeter scales are illuminated by an aluminum ring. Minute and hour hands are coated with the same afterglow material.
Omega Speedmaster lover’s geek out over the extendable bracelet. It features Omega’s signature rack-and-pusher fold over clasp. It has the ability to adjust to five different positions. Embracing a refined side more than its sportier cousins, the Mark II comes in stainless steel that offers understated elegance. It comes with the option to get elements including the crown, pushers and sub-dial rings in 18-carat gold.
Omega Speedmaster Conclusion
Shared across the Omega Speedmaster world is a commitment to precision chronographs that exude sophisticated style with a sporty edge. Whichever Speedmaster you choose, the world will know that you really know your watches.