Hands-On: Omega Speedmaster Caliber 9300: Moonwatch versus ’57

Omega Speedmaster 9300 311.30.44.51.01.002 - 9300 '57 331.10.42.51.01.001

Omega Speedmaster 9300 – 9300 ’57 331.10.42.51.01.001

 

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.

Omega Speedmaster 9300 311.30.44.51.01.002 - 9300 '57 331.10.42.51.01.001

Omega Speedmaster 9300 311.30.44.51.01.002 – 9300 ’57 331.10.42.51.01.001

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.

Omega Speedmaster 9300 311.30.44.51.01.002 - 9300 '57 331.10.42.51.01.001

Omega Speedmaster 9300 311.30.44.51.01.002 – 9300 ’57 331.10.42.51.01.001

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.

Omega Speedmaster 9300 311.30.44.51.01.002 - 9300 '57 331.10.42.51.01.001

Omega Speedmaster 9300 311.30.44.51.01.002 – 9300 ’57 331.10.42.51.01.001

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:

Hands-On: Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph Caliber 9300 ref. 311.30.44.51.01.002

Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph Caliber 9300 ref. 311.30.44.51.01.002

Omega Speedmaster 9300 311.30.44.51.01.002

Omega Speedmaster 9300 311.30.44.51.01.002

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?

Omega Speedmaster 9300 311.30.44.51.01.002

Omega Speedmaster 9300 311.30.44.51.01.002

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
Omega Speedmaster 9300 311.30.44.51.01.002

Omega Speedmaster 9300 311.30.44.51.01.002

Recently we had the opportunity to play with the 311.30.44.51.01.002 (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.
Omega Speedmaster 9300 311.30.44.51.01.002

Omega Speedmaster 9300 311.30.44.51.01.002

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!

Omega Speedmaster 9300 311.30.44.51.01.002

Omega Speedmaster 9300 311.30.44.51.01.002

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.

Omega Speedmaster 9300 311.30.44.51.01.002

Omega Speedmaster 9300 311.30.44.51.01.002

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]

Hands-On: the Omega Speedmaster Apollo XVII 40th Anniversary

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 311.30.42.30.99.001.

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;

  • 42mm
  • 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

Speedmaster Literature

This article was first published on June 26th, 2013 and is now outdated.

We all love the internet. But there is a special kind of magic to books. Sure, nearly everything can be found on the web, but the old skool charm of a nicely filled shelve is hard to beat.  Luckily for us, there are quite a few nice ones out there featuring our favorite watch – the Omega Speedmaster.  In time we will update this page with info on how to acquire these books, but for now Google is your friend.

Moonwatch Only

Moonwatch Only (English)

Moonwatch Only (English)

The Number 1 Speedmaster Resource. A superb book that goes into detail on everything Moonwatch. Available in our shop.

The Moon Watch

The Moon Watch

The Moon Watch

There were BaselWorld years in which Omega handed out these for free.. But we’re positive you’ll still be able to find them online. Paperback, but a nice -though not comprehensive- overview of the Speedmaster models and history.

Omega Sportswatches

Omega Sportswatches

Omega Sportswatches

Nearly all-picture, but a nice overview of the various sportswatches Omega made throughout the years. Written by the highly-respected John Goldberger.

http://www.johngoldbergerwatches.com/books.html

Omega Designs

Omega Designs

Omega Designs

In our humble opinion a mediocre attempt at a book about Omega. It might look nice on the shelve, but that’s about it.

Omega Speedmaster Master Book

Omega Speedmaster Master Book

Omega Speedmaster Master Book

All-Japanese and we don’t read Japanese… But it sure looks interesting! One of the original Speedmaster reference books.

Omega Watches

Omega Watches

Omega Watches

Another one by John Goldberger, now covering the entire Omega brand. Must have.

http://www.johngoldbergerwatches.com/books.html

Omega – A Journey Through Time

Omega - a journey through time

Omega – a journey through time

We’d be surprised if there’d be a better book published by Omega EVER. Big money, but worth every penny of it if you’re anywhere near interested in this brand.

http://www.omegawatches.com/spirit/literature/omega-a-journey-through-time/summary

Omega Saga

Omega Saga

Omega Saga

Written by the recently-retired curator of the Omega Museum – need we say more?

http://www.omegawatches.com/spirit/literature/the-book-omega-saga

The Master of Omega

The Master of Omega - Book

The Master of Omega – Book

The Mondani’s are renowned around the world for publishing first-class books about watches. This one is no exception. It is written by Alberto Isnardi and dedicated to the Omega Speedmaster and Flightmaster.

http://www.collectingwatches.com/en/our-editions/category/view/3-books-about-omega.html

 

Introducing the Omega Speedmaster Grey Side of the Moon Porsche Club of America 311.92.44.51.99.001

Earlier today Omega and the Porsche Club of America introduced the Speedmaster Club of America (a.k.a. Speedy PCA). A limited edition of 99 pieces based on the Speedmaster Grey Side of the Moon, the Speedy PCA features a number of interesting changes to the original.

I sometimes like to look at limited editions across brands and see which parts are actually different compared to the base models. With the Speedy PCA, the first thing that you’ll notice are the bright yellow accents, which are inspired by the yellow brake calipers found on high performance Porsche cars. But Omega didn’t just add a few dashes of paint and call it a day. In fact, the dial, the hands, the bezel, the case back and the packaging are all different compared to the original Grey Side of the Moon.

 

The biggest change is found in the dial, which is now crafted from ceramised titanium rather than sand-blasted platinum, as indicated by the Ti engraving just above the center. Yellow accents are abundant but not overwhelming; the color is found on the timekeeping hands, the tip of the chronograph seconds hand, the dial, the bezel, and the case back with the PCA logo. A strap similar to the one found on the 2017 304.32.44.51.01.001, though done in grey & yellow, and a special presentation box complete the package.

The Omega Speedmaster Grey Side of the Moon Porsche Club of America  is available through PCA Time.