The Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 3593.20.00 is a 1997 limited edition of 500 pieces created for the Italian market in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Speedmaster. WatchWorks Haarlem sent me a few pics of a NOS example they had in their collection not too long ago, which provided the perfect opportunity for a post on this beautiful Speedmaster specimen.
This article was first published on December 11th, 2014
Courtesy of our friends at Ace Jewelers and their Ace Photo Studio, today we managed to get the rare (2004 pieces) Speedmaster Racing Japan and Speedmaster Racing TinTin together. We recon this is a rather rare occasion, although there are probably a few of you out there who own the both of them..
This article was originally published on August 12th, 2013.
With pictures by our friends over at AceJewelers.com, we thought it time for a small comparison between the two versions of the Speedmasters powered by Caliber 9300 that are available thus far: the Moonwatch 9300 and the ’57 9300.
You might have read in many reviews that the difference in size is quite big: 44.25mm for the Moonwatch versus 41.5 for the ’57. While to us it did appear that the ’57 is smaller at first glance, ‘less bulky’ might actually be a better term. Slimmed down perhaps. Or even trimmed down.
The bigger 3:00 and 9:00 subdials create somewhat of a trompe l’oeil. In full-frontal the ’57 appears more refined, carrying less heft – the lugs appear to be considerably thinner and the lack of crown protectors plays a major role as well. But to cut a long story short – the bezel width is near identical, as is the dial opening. Most of the mm’s we think are shaved off the case-band. That is – said protectors and the famous Omega curve that the Moonwatch 9300 does possess.
The bracelets couldn’t be more different, although both are based on the well-known three-bits-per-link design. The 9300 has the bracelet that we’ve come to know very well in the last two decades – with the subtle polished ridges on the mid links. The ’57 bracelet harks back to early bracelet used in the CK-2915, CK-2998 and other early Speedmasters. It seems rather elegant. It does feature huge polished areas, which we suspect are prone to desk diving marks.
As seen in this 3:00 profile shot, there is little to no difference in height. The ’57 measures in at 16.5mm, similar to that of the Moonwatch 9300.
This shot in particular displays the more refined and slim nature of the new bracelet. It suits a watch that is an homage to watches from days gone by rather well we think.
For prices, check out preferred Authorized Omega Dealer Ace Jewelers:
Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph Caliber 9300 ref. 3188.8.131.52.01.002
This article was first published on June 29th, 2013.
Omega introduced its first automatic Speedmaster in 1971, over 40 years ago. Since then, a lot of Speedmasters powered by automatic movements have been introduced, but very few of them have proven to be of satisfaction to true Speedmaster aficionados. How about the 9300?
The Speedmaster Co-Axial 9300 was introduced at BaselWorld 2011. Without any doubt, this is Omega’s flagship Speedmaster. While it retains most of the classic Moonwatch look (Omega ranks it amongst the Moonwatches), there are also a few key differences;
- The case size was updated to 44.25mm
- It is powered by an automatic manufacture movement: caliber 9300. Click the link for details on this movement.
- The minute and hour totalizers are combined in one single subdial at 3 o’clock.
- It is fitted with a date window at 6 o’clock
Recently we had the opportunity to play with the 3184.108.40.206.01.002 (stainless steel on bracelet) for a few days, thanks to AceJewelers.com. So what are our experiences?
- The case size of 44.25mm may sound large, but it sits very well on even our slender wrists and doesn’t look that much bigger than a regular Speedmaster Professional. Due to the high sapphire case back, the mid-case hovers above the wrist and the crown and pushers never dig into the wrist. The weight with full length bracelet is 183gr.
- The movement, caliber 9300, is a joy to behold. Somewhat unusual is the quick set of the date, which has to be performed through the ‘timezone-function’ – by moving the hour hand forward in 1 hour increments.
- The chronograph action is very smooth. The pushers require the right amount of force, and the seconds starts without ANY jump. Why? Read this.
- It just looks smashing. The classic Moonwatch-look is such an evergreen that you just can’t go wrong.
The column wheel and silicon balance spring visible through the sapphire case back. Omega did a great job on the caliber 9300 – it seems to have been designed with much thought. There’s a glimpse of the two barrels, the column wheel, the free-sprung balance et cetera – no cutting corners going on here!
As indicated above, the design of the sapphire case back is quite unusual. It pops out from the stainless steel part, making way for the rotor to make it’s swings. In the meanwhile, we get first row seats to the action.
Would we buy one? YES. It seems Omega finally created a Speedmaster with automatic winding that is a great addition to the collection of a true Speedmaster afficionado. It looks smashing and has a killer movement – what else could we wish for?
Buy at an Authorized Dealer: www.Ace.am/31130445101002 [discontinued]
Omega Speedmaster “Apollo XVII” 40th anniversary Limited Edition
This article was first published on June 25, 2013.
A closer look
Omega surprised both friend and foe when they presented their latest limited edition (1972 pieces) Speedmaster Professional at the 2012 BaselWorld show. While we have seen many Speedmasters adorned with the famous NASA-patches, their latest offering seemed to outdo them all in grand fashion, sporting a dial in 925 silver engraved with the Apollo XVII patch.
BaselWorld 2012 has long passed and we have since had the chance to spend some time with this unusual Speedmaster specimen. A closer look thus seemed in order. Please keep in mind that this is by no means a review, but rather a personal observation.
To the best of our knowledge, the Apollo XVII 40th anniversary is the third Speedmaster paying tribute to this final Apollo mission, preceded by the ref. 3574.51 and the Mission Patch ref. 3597.20 (145.0022). The former was fitted with a standard dial but featured a caseband engraving and special caseback, while the latter lacked the caseband engraving but had a dial which featured a printed version of the Apollo XVII patch in the nine o’clock subdial.
So the Apollo XVII patch was nothing new to Omega. Even an engraved patch was a thing the famous brand used before – on the 2009 Apollo XI 40th anniversary watch, which featured a patch in either silver or gold on the 9 o’clock subdial. But for the Apollo XVII, Omega decided to shake things up and do things differently.
The Apollo XVII is not fitted with the standard black dial, but rather with an example in 925 silver, 100%, fully, COMPLETELY dedicated to the Apollo XVII patch – except for the chapter ring. The engraved dial is patina’d by hand, giving the image more depth and life. Quite a departure from the original toolwatch concept!
The original Apollo XVII patch was designed by the late Robert McCall, a artist renowned for his space-influenced art and work for NASA. It was based on the statue ‘Apollo Belvedere’, which depicts the Greek God Apollo just after shooting an arrow at the serpent Python. In Mr. McCalls patch, Apollo is pictured in front of stylized image of an Eagle. The eagle is adorned with stripes resembling the American flag, and three stars depicting the crew members. On the background we can see the Moon, Saturn and a galaxy.
But does something like this ‘work’ on a toolwatch like the Speedy Pro? An icon, a horological classic like very few others? In a strange way, we think it does – even more so in person than it does in pictures. It takes the Speedmaster to another level, it changes the watch from a functional instrument to a piece of art, just like Omega did on the 1994 Armin Strom-skeletonized Speedmaster 145.0063 and, arguably to a lower extend, on the Meteorite dialed 3220.127.116.11.99.001.
The dial is reminds us, at least in spirit, of the wonderful enamel cloisonné dials from years gone by, of which we see stunning examples pop up and fetch killer prices at auctions every once in a while. Only this time the vivid colors of the enamel are exchanged for the monochrome look of the patina’d silver – and stunning it is!
Even more so, it hints of coin watches as made famous by makes such as Corum, Vacheron Constantin and Piaget, often using the Liberty Head Double Eagle. While the combination of this type of dial with the Speedmaster Professional is by no means obvious, it creates a stark contrast that is interesting on many levels – visual, intellectual and horological.
Sure, the Speedmaster Professional “Apollo XVII” 40th anniversary is not for the faint of heart. It might send shivers down the spine of purists Speedmaster collectors. But those looking for something different, something thought provoking, something defiant and out-of-the-ordinary: this might just be your watch!
Quick tech specs;
- Stainless steel on stainless steel bracelet
- Cal. 1861
- Special box with full color Apollo XVII patch – as shown below by Captain Eugene Cernan
- Special caseback ‘Last man on the Moon’
- Limited edition 1972 pcs