Time is one of the fundamental ways we interact with the world around us. We all remember the high school equation that speed equals distance over time, which proves that time is an important aspect of motion and measurement. But wouldn’t it be great if there was a type of watch that could let you calculate all three parts of that equation at once? Well, there is and it’s called the Speedmaster Chronoscope, which is making a return to Omega’s Speedmaster range in four new versions.
At a basic level the Chronoscope is a bicompax chronograph with a small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock and a combination 60-minute and 12-hour timer at 3. It then features a tachymeter bezel for measuring your speed, a telemeter scale tucked inside the hour scale for measuring distance and a pulsometer inside the telemeter for measuring heartrate. So, the Chronoscope can easily let you measure time, speed and distance, with heartrate thrown in as a bonus.
If you want the more poetic sounding explanation, it is designed to ‘accurately determine the duration of a phenomenon’, which is the definition Omega give for the word chronoscope. It’s derived from the Greek word ‘chrono’ meaning time and ‘scope’ meaning observe. And with the versatility of the Chronoscope, you can measure virtually any phenomenon you come across.
As mentioned, there are four versions available, three in stainless steel and one in Omega’s exclusive Bronze Gold. Regardless of which material you opt for, they all measure 43mm in diameter, which is a touch larger than the classic Speedmaster Moonwatch, but that’s what you’d expect considering the dial has a lot more scales to fit onto it. However, that size is also slimmer than the 44.25mm Speedmaster Racing and Moonphase, which are similar bicompax chronographs.
Stylistically, the dial is inspired by heritage Omega chronographs from the 1940s, with intricate snail finishing, leaf shaped hands and spiral track patterns. On the three steel versions the choices are a blue dial with silvery subdials, a silvery dial with blue scales and hands, and a classic panda with a silvery dial and black subdials. All three of which are available on a choice of stainless steel bracelets or leather straps.
The Bronze Gold version is slightly different. Instead of an anodised aluminium bezel ring in blue or black (depending on the model) it has a brown ceramic insert bezel with a ‘vintage’ enamel tachymeter, a first for Omega. The dial itself is oxidised bronze with a special patina finish with the hands and Arabic numerals coated in Bronze Gold PVD. It comes on a brown leather strap with a polished and sandblasted Bronze Gold buckle.
All four variations of the new Speedmaster Chronoscope house the same movement, the Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 9908. It looks stunning through the sapphire display caseback, finished with Geneva waves in arabesque fanning out from the balance wheel, another design first for Omega. It also has twin barrels for an improved power reserve of 60-hours to keep everything running smoothly between windings, since it’s manual.
All the steel options cost £7,140 regardless of strap or bracelet and the Bronze Gold edition is £12,050. Both of which are somewhere in the middle of Omega’s price range and by no means unreasonable for a watch where my only complaint is the legibility of the overlapping scales and subdials, which is a very minor issue. I’d love to try one out in the metal because they’re great watches and I’d definitely use all those scales to measure things around me for no other reason than I could.
Price & Specs:
Model: Omega Speedmaster Chronoscope Co-Axial Master Chronometer Chronograph
Reference: 318.104.22.168.03.001 / 322.214.171.124.03.001 (blue dial with silver subdials, steel strap / blue dial with silver subdials, leather strap)
3126.96.36.199.02.001 / 3188.8.131.52.02.001 (silver dial, steel strap / silver dial, leather strap)
3184.108.40.206.02.002 / 3220.127.116.11.02.001 (silver dial with black subdials, steel strap / silver dial with black subdials, leather strap)
318.104.22.168.10.001 (bronze gold, leather strap)
Case/Dial: 43mm diameter, steel or bronze gold case, blue, silver or brown dial
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 9908, manual winding, 44 jewels, Certified Master Chronometer approved by METAS
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 60h
Functions: Hour, minute, chronograph seconds hands, small seconds counter, 12-hour and 60-minute counter
Strap: Steel bracelet or leather
Price/availability: £7,410 (steel versions) and £12,050 (bronze gold version)
More details at Omega.