Omega Speedmaster Watches
All About Omega Speedmaster Watches
Since introduced in 1957, Omega Speedmaster has always been the centerpiece of the Omega watches. It is the first racing chronograph watch with tachymeter scale bezel. In 1969, Omega Speedmaster Professional became the first watch worn on the moon with the astronaut Buzz Aldrin. The Speedmaster watch made itself one of the most influential watches under such a significant history to the world.
With some cherished nicknames for example “Omega Moon watch” and “Omega Speedy'', the Speedmaster Moonwatch is highly admired by the collectors. Among all its models, the one that has been able to gain the most popular is the Omega Dark Side of the Moon model. It fascinates many watch lovers with its refined matt black look.
The Speedmaster was originally designed as a professional timekeeper to measure elapsed times and speed with its chronograph and tachymeter. It was one of three professional watches launched by Omega – along with its older brothers Seamaster and the Railmaster. It offers a collection of high-quality watches that are reliable and practical.
The First Speedmaster CK2915
The journey of Omega Speedmaster began with its first model reference CK2915. Known as the "Omega Broad Arrow" it is an ultimate grail for many watch collectors. It was released as a big and sporty racing watch as a timekeeper during the period of time when delicate dress watches were more popular.
The Omega Speedmaster (ref. CK2915) was named from its tachymeter scale bezel. It is the first chronograph watch that moved the tachymeter from the dial to the bezel outside the crystal. It was launched as a convention set of the iconic 1957’s trilogy together with the Omega Seamaster reference CK2913 and Omega Railmaster reference CK2914.
Just like what it is known for, the Omega 2915 has the same broad arrow hour hand with the original Omega Seamaster and Omega Railmasters. The rest of the design is very similar to its later famous model “Omega Moon watch” that contains 3-register dial and luminous baton indexes.
The Omega Speedmaster 2915 runs on a Calibre 321 movement that was introduced by Omega and Lemania in 1942. The chronograph functions of this movement were controlled with a lateral clutch and a column-wheel. The movement also offered anti-shock and anti-magnetic features with a triple-sealed steel case that was water resistant to 60 metres (200 feet). These functions were proved to be some important elements to pass NASA tests later. The Omega CK2915 lasted for a time period of 2 years from 1957 to 1959 and later was replaced by the reference CK2998.
Later Omega Speedmasters and The Space
The second Omega Speedy version, CK2998 was released in 1959 with various improvements and aesthetic changes. It was actually the very first Omega Speedmaster that was sent to space. The astronaut Wally Schirra wore his personal Omega CK2998 watch on his Mercury flight in 1962.
For the next models on ref. 105.002 released in 1962 and 105.003 released in 1963, they featured the Speedmaster iconic baton hands for the first time. Other than that these models possess very similar designs with just minor technical differences.
Since 1962, NASA had started a series of tests on finding the best watch for their astronauts to wear in space. The tests include exposing the watches to massive oscillations in temperature, from 93ºC to -18ºC, high and low pressure, violent shocks, corrosive oxygen environment, etc. As a result, only the Omega Speedmaster 105.003 was able to endure all of the tortures. It passed the test and was selected as a part of astronauts’ equipment by NASA in 1965.
In June 1965, astronaut Ed White wore the watch during America's first spacewalk in the Gemini 4 mission. Since then Omega decided to add the word "Professional" to the collection name, thus becoming Omega Speedmaster Professional. The first Speedmaster featured the new collection name marking on the dial was reference number 105.012.
Actually the Omega Speedmaster Professional is not only the watch that has been worn to space but there is a reason that it is the only ‘Moonwatch’.
Omega 105.012 is regarded as the first watch that went to the moon. In the Apollo 11 mission, all three astronauts in the crew were equipped with an Omega Speedmaster watch. Reference 105.012 was the model of the watch that went on the moon with Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. When they landed the moon on July 20th, 1969, Buzz Aldrin was spotted with his Speedmaster. Since that epic day, Omega Speedmaster has become known as the “Moonwatch”.
Given the legacy this Omega watch occupies in history, the Omega Moon watch justifies its name. There is absolutely no need to doubt the quality and reliability of the watch. The NASA test already revealed that no other watches were able to beat the Omega Speedmaster in terms of endurance. This Omega chronograph watch also stands out in terms of the readability and robustness of this watch. Worn by the astronauts and being trusted are undoubtful proof of how good it can be.
The model 105.012 depicted the transformation between the older Speedmasters and the modern ones. The Omega Speedy featured a 42mm case and housed the magnificent Caliber 321. It is the movement with better mechanisms on anti-shock, anti-magnetic features with improved water resistance. Later Omega started to use a cam-operated movement, the 861, on the newer reference 145.022.
Recent Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch models
Over the decades, Omega released variations of updated Speedmaster models such as automatic models known as the Speedmaster Reduced, and also other options of different dial colours and materials.
Omega Speedmaster offers a wide range of choices of more than 250 models, not only Omega men's watches but also watches for women. It is equipped with comprehensive features from perpetual calendars, split-second versions to moon phases. This legendary collection provides you with a diverse selection to suit every occasion.
In September 2019, Omega introduced the comeback of the calibre 321. The original calibre 321 was housed in the very first Speedmaster in 1957. The new calibre 321 was designed to replicate the same mechanism and design as the original one. It was manufactured with modern metals with the latest technology.
Furthermore, in January 2021, Omega announced it would update the design and the movement for Speedmaster Professional collection. The new Calibre 3861 is housed on the new models. It features a co-axial escapement and Master Chronometer certification.
Omega never forgets its relationship with space. The brand is currently designing a Speedmaster capable of accompanying astronauts in the future for a mission to Mars where temperatures range from -133°C to 27°C.
The Omega Speedmaster played one part of a significant chapter in 20th-century history.
For over 60 years, the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch has remained one of the most iconic watches ever.