To lead off 2021, Omega has unveiled the Speedmaster Professional Master Chronometer, a brand new addition to the line. While there are several minor cosmetic updates, the primary emphasis is on the launch of the Calibre 3861, a significant new movement for the line.
Beyond its lunar relation, the Speedmaster became famous for its style, which features twisted lugs, a tachymeter scale, domed glass, and baton paws, all of which combine to create something distinctive yet timeless. From the first Speedmaster in 1957 to a current race-inspired model last 2017, here are some of Speedy’s greatest hits.
The Omega Speedmaster won a place in the pantheon of Greatest Watches Ever after a spectacular journey. In 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon’s surface, becoming the first men.
The only watch NASA accepted for the historic trip was a Speedmaster, which they wore on their wrists. Since that time, the timepiece has been associated with lunar voyages, having been the standard worn on many other moon missions and beyond.
The Speedy celebrates his 64th birthday this year. That’s six decades of exploration marked by rare editions, prototypes, and tribute models. The majority of them riffed on the moon theme. In contrast, others were excellent examples of insane good architecture and creativity, which is all that matters to you, a guy who will not be traveling to space anytime soon.
1957 Broad Arrow
The big arrows on the first Speedmaster gave it a distinct appearance. This is also the first chronograph wristwatch with a tachymeter scale on the bezel, allowing racing drivers to record time more efficiently. Keeping time is important for drivers so the accuracy of the 1957’s tachymeter was a definite must.
1959 First Omega in Space
Walter Schirra wore the second Speedmaster variant on the Mercury program’s Sigma 7 mission in 1962, well before the moon landing. See how the hand pattern shifts from broad arrows to Alpha and lollipop.
This is the first watch to be worn on the moon and the model that has been used on most moon missions. It’s also the first Speedmaster to feature an asymmetrical case design that takes design cues from various revolutionary eras of watchmaking. Many early watch enthusiasts rave about the rarity of the 1965 Moonwatch and are coveted by many up to this day.
1969 Commemorative Edition
It’s only fitting that the watch honoring Omega’s space achievements be the first to be crafted from 18K gold. The burgundy bezel is another exclusive feature that gives it an exquisite look that can be likened to that of royalty. Lucky owners of the 1969 edition will surely catch the attention of any crowd if they wear their prized possession.
The first two-tone watch had a steel case with a golden dial, silvered subdials, and a steel and 14K gold bracelet. Although the precise amount generated is unclear, only a handful are known to exist today. If you’re lucky enough to own one of these pieces of art then its value should be quite steep compared to other limited edition units.
1987 Speedmaster Automatic
This was the first Speedmaster with a Moonwatch case and an automatic movement. Collectors of watches refer to this exceptionally unusual style as the Holy Grail. Any fan, enthusiast, or an avid follower of the brand will recognize this watch anywhere as it was one of the pieces that sparked the start of a new era.
The X-33, also known as the Mars Watch, was created to land on Mars. This was worn on NASA’s space shuttles and Russia’s Mir Space Station, though it has yet to reach its destination. The X-33 along with a number of other souvenirs are kept until the Mars expedition finally pushes through.
2017 Speedmaster Automatic
With a minute track theme that first appeared on a 1968 edition, the Speedmaster celebrates its 60th anniversary by highlighting its motor racing legacy. The Speedmaster Automatic from 2017 takes special inspiration from the prestige and honor of being a race track machine built for the extreme.
Omega has taken a step back and examined the Professional line’s best features, with the Apollo 11th 50th Anniversary version of the Speedmaster serving as a direct inspiration.
The revised, polish-brushed steel bracelet has been redesigned to include five ties per row and comes with a polished clasp with a satin-finished cover and added logo as the primary exterior alteration.
The recent movement can now endure magnetic fields of up to 15,000 gausses, and its certification shows new standards of accuracy and efficiency. The movement took four years to develop to meet those requirements while maintaining the previous caliber dimensions. It was approved for use on all NASA space flights.