Prefer your Speedmasters to be rare? You’ve come to the right place. The Omega Speedmaster Professional RAID was introduced in 2018 as a limited edition of just 250 pieces for the French elite police unit RAID. It was created with the help of Parisian authorized dealer Antoine de Macedo.
The Omega Speedmaster Professional RAID features a distinct set of sub dial hands in the colors of the French flag, plus a tricolor seconds hand for the chronograph. It also has a unique case back – though I don’t have a picture of that for now. It was delivered in the ‘Big Box’ though with a customized medaillon.
Just a few minutes ago Omega introduced the Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 310.60.42.50.99.001 – and it’s a stunner!
The Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 310.60.42.50.99.001 is inspired by the BA145.022 of 1969-1973. It has a case, bracelet and dial made of ‘Moonshine’ gold, which is a proprietary 18k alloy which is said to be slightly less yellow than regular yellow gold. The (DON) bezel is made of burdundy ceramic. It is powered by the new caliber 3861 – a METAS-certified version of the (1)861 with co-axial escapement and Si14 hairspring. It is limited to 1014 pieces.
Source of inspiration: the BA145.022. This watch was introduced in 1969 and made for approximately four years. A number of these were offered to astronauts and other VIP’s, while the bulk of the 1014 pieces were sold to the general public.
January 8th, 2019
3… 2… 1…
WE HAVE LIFT-OFF!
OMEGA reintroduces the iconic Calibre 321
If you ask most watch fans to name a famous movement they’d like to see reborn, you’re bound to hear them mention the OMEGA Calibre 321. This robust and elegant chronograph movement has been a favourite since the 1940s and is still highly sought-after by watch collectors around the world. Now, more than 50 years after the last Calibre 321 was produced, OMEGA is bringing the iconic movement back.
Known for its beautifully intricate design, the original Calibre 321 was the first movement ever used in the OMEGA Speedmaster in 1957. It had, in fact, been previously used in some of OMEGA’s other chronographs, namely those in the Seamaster collection. It stands out for its use of a monobloc column-wheel, a feature that is machined from a single piece and which adds technical value. Generally, column-wheel movements require very careful precision in design and build, making them popular with watch collectors.
In addition to its construction, the original Calibre 321 also earned a very notable place in history. It was used in a variety of models including the Speedmaster ST 105.003 (the model first tested and qualified by NASA and worn by astronaut Ed White during the first American spacewalk) and the Speedmaster ST 105.012 (the first watch worn on the moon).
Reintroducing a movement with such an important reputation must therefore be done with the utmost exactness. For the Calibre 321 project, OMEGA utilised a dedicated team of experts who worked efficiently over two years and in total secrecy to bring the movement to life. The small group was composed of researchers, developers and historians, as well as the finest craftsmen and experienced watchmakers. To protect the project’s exclusive details, the team even worked under the codename “Alaska 11”, in line with the names that OMEGA used for its secret Speedmaster designs for NASA in the 1960s and 70s.
Using the 2nd generation Calibre 321 as a reference, the OMEGA team compiled extensive historical research and original plans to reconstruct the movement as accurately as possible. Going even further, they also used “tomography” technology (digital scanning method) to see inside the true Speedmaster ST 105.003 timepiece that astronaut Eugene “Gene” Cernan wore on the moon during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. Cernan was the last man to walk on the lunar surface and his Speedmaster is now housed at the OMEGA Museum in Bienne. Its Calibre 321 provided the perfect design criteria for OMEGA to follow.
As a result, even the most unique and iconic parts of the Calibre 321 have been reborn in respect to their authentic specifications. The movement wonderfully corresponds to the “moon period” of OMEGA’s history, with a construction that completely respects the designs from the past.
Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of OMEGA, said, “It’s amazing that so many people are passionate about the Calibre 321. We produced the last one in 1968 and fans have never stopped talking about it. That shows how special it is. We’re very excited to finally meet their wishes and have gone to great efforts to bring the movement back.”
The new movements will now go into production at OMEGA’s HQ site in Bienne. Uniquely, all aspects of creation will be undertaken within a dedicated Calibre 321 workshop. For each movement, the assembly, as well as the watch head and bracelet assembly will be performed by the same watchmaker. Watch fans can expect more developments and news in the coming months.
Twelve live pictures of the Omega Speedmaster Professional Speedy Tuesday 2 Ultraman 3188.8.131.52.01.001!
As you’ve probably seen in our two earlier posts, yesterday we took delivery of a Speedmaster Professional Speedy Tuesday 2 Ultraman 3184.108.40.206.01.001. So cool that quite a few of you chose to have them delivered through Ace! Anyway, although I’m a bit strapped for time and already in holiday mode (leaving in a few days), I did take a few pics of this stunner this morning. I tried to capture the watch from a few different angles as to give you a proper idea of how it looks in real life. I kept the editing to the bare minimum, so there might be a spec of dust here or there.
I’ll let the pics do the talking: