The original Moonwatch has been practically untouched since it was launched into the stratosphere of horological iconography in 1969. Omega’s Speedmaster ST 105.012 equipped the Apollo 11 astronauts and has been a part of spacefaring history ever since.
You can see why they’ve not changed it much. In fact, aside from an updated movement, the Calibre 1861 when that was shiny and new, the modern Speedy is almost identical to its archival counterparts.
Still, that movement update is important because, while many a watchmaker is still recovering from the Christmas break, Omega is making another mechanical update to the classic Moonwatch: the Calibre 3861.
The new calibre was initially launched in 2019 but only in the gold and steel Apollo 11 50th anniversary pieces. Now, the new movement – the first real update of the Speedmaster calibre since 1996 – is being installed across the base Moonwatch collection.
Not only is the new movement equipped with the George Daniels Co-Axial escapement, but it’s Master Chronometer Certified, ensuring accuracy of +0/-5 seconds a day and incredible magnetic resistance, in large part thanks to silicon balance spring. In short, it’s an improvement in almost every conceivable way.
Well, that’s all for the inside. On the out, the core design elements – the 42mm asymmetrical case, the tachymeter et al – have been retained but given a slight historical twist. These include the dot over the 90 and one diagonal to 70 on the tachymeter, two little touches that’ll make collectors’ twitch with delight.
The lume on the dials has been given a cream tint rather than bright white, and the lettering on the front has been redesigned a little. The minute track has also been split into divisions of 3 rather than 5 to match the frequency of the update movement. The changes are nothing major, but an overall shift towards a softer, vintage look.
The collection now comprises eight different versions. There’s the classic steel version, available on either a steel bracelet or canvas strap, complete with a choice of sapphire crystal (front and back) or the original hesalite crystal, complete with a slightly redesigned caseback.
If you’re after something a little glitzier, the watch also comes in Omega’s own Sedna (rose) gold or Canopus (white) gold, both on matching bracelets. The former comes with a black dial with matching indexes, the latter with a silver dial. For my money though, it’s all about that hesalite life.
As the first big watch announcement of 2021, Omega could have gotten away with a nice, under-the-radar little release. This is not that. Whatever New Year’s resolution Omega made, this is an impressive start to the year.
Price & Specs:
Model: Omega Moonwatch Professional Master Chronometer
Ref: 310.30.42.50.01.001 (black dial, steel bracelet)
310.32.42.50.01.001 (black dial, nylon fabric strap)
310.30.42.50.01.002 (black dial, steel bracelet)
310.32.42.50.01.002 (black dial, leather strap)
310.60.42.50.01.001 (Sedna™ gold on Sedna™ gold bracelet)
310.63.42.50.01.001 (Sedna™ gold on leather strap)
310.60.42.50.02.001 (Canopus Gold™ on Canopus Gold™ bracelet)
310.63.42.50.02.001 (Canopus Gold™ on leather strap)
Case/Dial: 42mm diameter, stainless steel, 18k Sedna gold or 18k Canopus gold
Water Resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: In-house Calibre 3861, hand-wound chronograph, Master Chronometer certified, 26 jewels
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Power Reserve: 50h
Functions: Hours, minutes, tri-counter chronograph
Strap: Steel, Sedna™ gold or Canopus Gold™ bracelet, leather or nylon fabric
Price/Availability: £5,100 (black dial, nylon fabric strap)
£5,370 (black dial, steel bracelet)
£5,840 (black dial, leather strap)
£6,120 (black dial, steel bracelet)
£21,130 (Sedna™ gold on leather strap)
£26,040 (Canopus Gold™ on leather strap)
£29,840 (Sedna™ gold on Sedna™ gold bracelet)
£38,380 (Canopus Gold™ on Canopus Gold™ bracelet)
More details at Omega.