Here’s the word from Omega, who have upgraded their famous Speedmaster Moonwatch with a brand new movement.
We’re only in January, yet Omega is already making one of the biggest watchmaking announcements of 2021. This year, the Speedmaster Moonwatch collection will be updated with its next generation of models. For fans everywhere, it’s a chance to see the latest edition of a much-loved timepiece – including unique touches in design and a powerful Master Chronometer certified anti-magnetic movement.
Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of Omega says, “When updating a sacred timepiece like the Speedmaster Moonwatch, 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.”
For the exciting launch, the Swiss watchmaker has taken inspiration from the 4th generation Moonwatch style, commonly referenced as the ST 105.012, and worn by Apollo 11 astronauts on the moon in 1969.
These space-era tributes include the classic asymmetrical case, the step dial, the double bevel caseback, and the famous dot over 90 (DON) and a dot diagonal to 70 on the anodised aluminium bezel ring. You can choose between a solid caseback with the seahorse logo, a see-thru crystal caseback. Perhaps the most significant update comes with the arrival of the Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861. The new movement ensures that the Moonwatch will now be unaffected by even the most extreme magnetic fields reaching 15,000 gauss. In addition, it ensures that the entire watch is certified as a Master Chronometer – the highest standard of precision, performance and magnetic-resistance in the Swiss watch industry.
Verdict: The entry level hesalite crystal model, with Seahorse caseback and a nylon strap costs £5100, which is pretty expensive we think. A sapphire crystal on both sides, plus a steel bracelet costs £6120 but it’s worth paying extra because not only is the movement beautifully detailed and worth looking at, the top spec model is far more likely to hold a bigger percentage of its RRP in the long run.
Undeniably a classic design the Moonwatch is nevertheless a watch that’s stuck in that late 60s chronograph timewarp. It’s a timepiece from the era of black & white TV. In short, you can buy a 2021 model and apart from the 42mm case size, few but very keen enthusiasts would know the difference between the current model and pre-owned 1990s model for three grand or so. Special editions like the Dark Side of The Moon, with its skeleton movement and moon-rock details had a visual punch, as did the Hodinkee special with its bold primary colours on the dial.
Maybe Omega will release some Cal 3861 editions in black/silver, or a Space X Edition featuring the amazing landing ship on the caseback? There again 2021 is the 40th anniversary of the original Space Shuttle launch, so there’s an opportunity there to produce something unique, kinda retro and a celebration of NASA engineering.