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Omega Updates Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 with Saturn V Hand

Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 310.92.44.50.01

In an age when humanity is once again obsessed with space travel, reignited by the billionaire space race, Omega have released the new Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 Ref. 310.92.44.50.01.001. It’s an aesthetic and technical update to the Ref. 311.92.44.30.01.001. The watch pays tribute to the original space race and the legendary excursion of Apollo 8 to the dark side of the moon with a lunar inspired dial and caseback.

Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 310.92.44.50.01
Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 310.92.44.50.01

Technically the Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 is a skeleton watch because the lunar decoration seen on the dial side is directly engraved into the movement. The incredible detail and almost photo-realistic detail has been achieved through laser ablation relief on the black main plate and bridges, enhanced even further by laser engraving to add even more definition. The same techniques have been used on the rear of the movement, visible through the exhibition caseback, to create the image of the dark side of the moon. Compared to the previous edition, the new version simply brings more precision and greater detail.

Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 310.92.44.50.01
Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 310.92.44.50.01

Another cool feature of the new Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 is the addition of a special small seconds hand in the shape of a Saturn V rocket. It’s made from titanium shaped by laser turning and coloured using a combination of white varnish, ablation and laser blackening. The attention to detail is once again second to none. Varnish has also been used for the yellow chronograph hands that add a dash of colour to the piece. Zooming out slightly to the tachymeter bezel, the white numerals have been added using Grand Feu enamel.

Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 310.92.44.50
Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 310.92.44.50.01

As for the case, the new edition is virtually identical to its predecessor. Measuring 44.25mm in diameter and made from ceramic. The lugs also lead into the same perforated leather strap with yellow accents. However, the movement that’s housed inside the ceramic case has been updated. It’s the manual-wind Co-Axial Calibre 3869 with 50-hour power reserve, an upgraded version of the old 1869 that has now achieved Master Chronometer certification.

Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 310.92.44.50.01

It’s been six years since the Dark of the Moon first graced Omega’s collections so it was probably due an update. However, while the new version is cool to a certain degree, it also feels like a concept you’d expect to see from a Swatch collaboration. When the MoonSwatch was going through its phase of having a different hand every month there could very easily have been a Saturn V version and no one would have batted an eye.

Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 310.92.44.50.01

It brings new attention to the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 for sure but I don’t really know who this watch is for. If you already own an Apollo 8, not enough has changed that you’d feel like you need to get the new one and if you didn’t like the Apollo 8 to begin with, I doubt this will change your mind. The only people I can see it appealing to are collectors who for some reason never hit the Dark Side of the Moon tab on Omega’s website and didn’t know it exists or collectors who were on the fence about buying one and this might tip them over the edge. Although the new version is slightly pricier at £13,500, in line with its improved movement and updated display.

Price and Specs:

Model: Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8
Ref: 310.92.44.50.01.001
Case: 44.25mm diameter x 13mm thickness, black ceramic
Dial: Black
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Omega calibre 3869, automatic
Frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 50h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph
Strap: Rubber
Price: £13,500

More details at Omega.

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.