Tag Archives: Moonwatch

A Time Capsule

Omega Speedmaster Professional 3570.50.00 - 3573.50.00

Omega Speedmaster Professional 3570.50.00 – 3573.50.00

This article was originally published on July 4th, 2013. We have updated the links below but made no changes otherwise.

The Speedmaster Professional is an icon. A classic like few other watches. These two are undisputed facts. Period. Not up for discussion.

However, I’d like to add a third term to describe the Speedmaster Professional: a Time Capsule. For two reasons: the watch itself and the pricing. I’ll explain..

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Hands-On: the Speedmaster Professional Racing Japan versus the TinTin

Omega Speedmaster Professional TinTin 311. - Omega Speedmaster Professional Japan 3570.40.00

Omega Speedmaster Professional TinTin 311. – Omega Speedmaster Professional Japan 3570.40.00

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..

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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.

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 Professional on Leather NATO

Omega Speedmaster Professional on Leather NATO

Omega Speedmaster Professional on Leather NATO

The Speedmaster is one of the most versatile watches when it comes to straps – this thing looks good on just about anything. So how about a Speedmaster Professional on leather NATO? Pretty sweet right?

Omega’s NATO straps are available through our friends over at Ace Jewelers.

Omega Speedmaster Professional: four aficionado’s talk

Omega Speedmaster Professional 3650.50.00 Apollo XI 30th Anniversary

Omega Speedmaster Professional 3650.50.00 Apollo XI 30th Anniversary

This was written for the The Ace List by Ace Jewelers, in which it first appeared

The Omega Speedmaster Professional is a watch we just love to talk about, due to its interesting background. In 1957 Omega introduced this line of chronographs and since then, many different Speedmaster Chronographs have been produced. Rightly so the ‘Moonwatch’ was the first watch worn by an astronaut walking on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. We have asked four of our dear friends to tell something personal about their own Omega Speedmasters.

Tim Koppelman: Ref. 3560.50.00 ‘Apollo XI 30th Anniversary’, limited edition of 9999, 1999 [pictured above]

“When you grow up you notice that fictional heroes are great but actual heroes like the astronauts on the Apollo 11 moon mission in 1969, are even greater. Knowing that the Moonwatch was actually worn in space by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin was what made me want a Speedmaster Professional. When I found this special, not so limited (9999 were made), edition I just had to buy it. The inscription on the case back says: “Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed.” The exact words Armstrong used to announce the 1969 moon landing. The date and exact time of the moon landing are also engraved on the case-back. How cool is that?!”

Omega Speedmaster Professional 3595.52.00 Apollo XIII 25th Anniversaryv

Omega Speedmaster Professional 3595.52.00 Apollo XIII 25th Anniversaryv

Robert-Jan Broer: Ref. 3595.52.00 ‘Apollo XIII 25th Anniversary’, limited edition of 999, 1995

“The Speedmaster (Professional) has a magical appeal; not just because of its real history with links to the NASA Apollo program, but also because it is a timeless design with a perfectly readable dial. Whether you opt for a brand-new Moonwatch or one that is 50 years old, they are all interesting models and often there is a fascinating story behind the watch, explaining what made the owner choose the Speedmaster.”

Fun fact: Robert-Jan is the founder of leading watch blog FratelloWatches.com and every Tuesday they write about Speedmasters. They even named it #SpeedyTuesday.

Omega Speedmaster Professional 3578.51.00 Snoopy Award

Omega Speedmaster Professional 3578.51.00 Snoopy Award

Systke Hermans: Ref. 3578.51.00 ‘Snoopy Award’, limited edition of 5441, 2003

“Watches have only been a serious obsession with me for the past two years or so. When my husband bought his first Omega Speedmaster I was sold as well! My first ‘Speedy’ was the 57 Co-Axial with blue dial and red hands. But I already had my eye on the Moonwatch Snoopy Award, too. As a girl I was a fan of Snoopy, so I just had to have it. After a long search I found one, number 2125/5441. In all honesty, I think the case-back on this watch is even more beautiful than the front and I would prefer to wear the ‘Snoopy’ the wrong way round. I was ‘over the moon’ when Omega announced the Silver Snoopy Award at BaselWorld. Of course I ordered it right away, because you can never have enough ‘Snoopys’.”

Omega Speedmaster Professional 311. Racing / TinTin

Omega Speedmaster Professional 311. Racing / TinTin

Gerard Nijenbrinks: Ref. 311. ‘Racing / Tintin’, regular production, 2013-2015

“The design of a watch dial is very important for its attraction to me. It’s the interface with the human wearing and using it. For me the dial of the Omega Speedmaster Professional is simply perfect. There’s a lot of information available, however there’s nothing excessive (luckily not even a date) and the most important function, telling the time, is extremely easy to read in all light conditions. Almost equally important is the presence of the handwound Lemania-based chronograph movement. It’s right up there with the greatest chronograph movements in the world.”