Originally launched back in 2013, the Speedmaster ’57 nonetheless has a pedigree that dates far further back, as the name suggests, to the first speedy model of 1957. That said, it’s not the most faithful to the formula, even if it feels the most retro in the wider collection.
It’s bi-compax layout is at odds with the tri-compax of the original and, while it does have the occasional heritage touch – the straight lugs and the bracelet mainly – it’s very much its own entity. Which is why it’s exciting to see Omega giving the Speedmaster ’57 some breathing room with four new colours.
First, we have a trio of dials in green, red and blue, all relatively subdued but perfectly suited to the practical chronograph feel of the Speedmaster. Each of the subdials at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock is ringed in black, matched by the dial’s minute track. The green and blue dials are in PVD for a nice, light-catching shimmer. The red on the other hand is lacquered for a more matte look. I’m not sure which I prefer, honestly. I want to say the red, but I like the shimmer of the PVD so I’d probably opt for the green.
The black might at first glance seem like the least interesting of the quartet. But it’s not. It’s actually a revamp of the 2015 version of the Speedy ’57, complete with sandwich dial and beige lume-filled indexes. The result is an incredibly bright low-light timepiece that keeps the retro looks of the earlier ’57 models.
All models come on either a colour-matched fume leather strap or a bracelet which, for me, is the obvious choice. It’s inspired by the one built for the Apollo 11 tribute back in the halcyon days of 2019, and that was a stunner. I’m very happy to see it (or at least something very similar) returning. It also has a comfort release adjustment system, which lets you make it a little larger or smaller without adjusting the links. It’s something that Swatch Group seem to be keen on across the board, if Longines is anything to go by. As we head into the hot weather (and expanding wrists) it’ll make a world of difference.
If you’re split between dials, it’s worth noting that all four use the same 40.5mm stainless steel case, which has been slimmed down for a more elegant profile, 12.99mm compared to the Moonwatch Professional’s 13.58. It’s not the world’s biggest difference but it is a solid, quality-of-life change and one that makes a lot of sense for the new releases. If you want your Speedmaster bigger, chunkier and spacefaring, go for the aforementioned Moonwatch; these are its style-savvy new cousins.
As expected, the movements have also been improved. Inside each of the pieces is the Calibre 9906, a manual-wind number with a co-axial escapement and Master Chronometer certification. After Tudor released their Master Chronometer timepiece, we’ve still not seen much adoption of the certification, which goes some way to showing just how intensive it is.
If you want the numbers, it shows that these watches are tested to 0/+5 seconds per day – substantially better than COSC standard of -4/+6 and even Rolex’s Superlative Chronometer standard of -2/+2.
While the new Speedmasters are a big change from the 50+ year formula for the Moonwatch, this year’s all about colour from the watchmaker and, if you were going to bring colour to the collection, the bi-compax ’57 is the perfect choice. It’s already an odd duck; it deserves some new plumage.
Price & Specs:
Model: Omega Speedmaster ‘57 Calibre 9906
Reference: 318.104.22.168.01.001 (steel on steel, sandblasted black dial)
322.214.171.124.10.001 (steel on steel, green sun-brushed dial)
3126.96.36.199.03.001 (steel with blue leather strap, blue sun-brushed dial)
3188.8.131.52.11.001 (steel with burgundy leather strap, burgundy dial)
Case/Dial: 40.5mm diameter x 12.99mm height, stainless steel case, black, green blue or burgundy dial
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Omega Co-Axial Calibre 9906, manual winding, 44 jewels, Master Chronometer Certified, approved by METAS
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 60h
Functions: Hours, minutes, central chronograph seconds, small seconds at 9 o’clock, co-axial counter for hours and minutes at 3 o’clock, date
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet or leather strap
Price/availability: £7,450 (leather strap), £7,740 (stainless steel bracelet)
More details at Omega.