STYLE Edit: Omega’s Speedmaster Moonwatch gets some smart technical upgrades for 2021, but looks just as classy as it did when Nasa’s Apollo 11 astronauts wore it to the moon
In the pantheon of watches, there are few that have attained the legendary status of Omega’s Speedmaster Moonwatch. Although the Speedmaster was initially introduced in 1957, it truly rocketed to fame in 1969, when it made a trip to the moon on the wrists of astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong on board Apollo 11. It was then that it became the Moonwatch, and it has remained in the league of horological legends ever since.
Omega has released careful, periodic updates over the years to the watch to ensure that it remains up to date with modern technical specifications. After all, technical excellence is what enabled the Moonwatch to venture into space in the first place. But how exactly do you update an icon? With the latest version of the Speedmaster Moonwatch just launched, we put that question to the president and CEO of Omega, Raynald Aeschlimann.
“When updating a sacred timepiece like the Speedmaster Moonwatch,” Aeschlimann says, “every detail must be true to its original spirit. This chronograph is recognised the world over, so we’ve approached its design with the most sincere respect, while taking its movement to the next level.”
The most significant part of this update is technical – the new Speedmaster Moonwatch comes equipped with the Co Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861, a new movement created just for the watch. The significance of the movement is that it is finally certified as a Master Chronometer, which indicates a high level of precision, accuracy and reliability. All such movements are first certified by the COSC (the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute) – already a high bar to reach – before being subject to a second stringent round of eight tests by METAS (the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology). The result is a movement that is incredibly precise and reliable. In addition, the new Calibre 3861 can withstand extreme magnetic fields of up to 15,000 gauss.
When it comes to the Moonwatch’s aesthetics, however, Omega is much more circumspect with its updates. It draws inspiration from the fourth generation of Moonwatches (the ST 105.012, to be exact, which was worn by Apollo 11 astronauts on their journey to the moon). It has the classic step dial, double bevel caseback, and the famous dot over 90 prized by collectors (as opposed to next to 90) at 8 o’clock on the tachymeter scale. There are, however, a few differences. For instance, each minute on the dial’s minute track is now split into three instead of five, and the bracelet now has a new clasp with a satin-finished cover.
The watch comes in eight models in different materials, including stainless steel as well as Omega’s proprietary 18k Sedna™ gold and 18k Canopus™ gold. Whichever you select, you can be assured that you’re buying a piece of horological history.
- Worn by Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong into space, Omega’s most historic timepiece now attains Master Chronometer precision with the new Calibre 3861 movement
- A new clasp is one of the few aesthetic changes, with all the models – in stainless steel, Sedna™ gold or Canopus™ gold – retaining the famous dot over 90