Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph Caliber 9300 Watch Hands-On

Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph Caliber 9300 Watch Hands-On

Wow, this is the Omega Speedmaster watch that I want... really want. For 2011 Omega has created the perfect Speedmaster for me. Did they have me in mind when making it? Not likely, but let me tell you what I personally like about it and why I think this is one of the most compelling new Omega sport watches to be released in a while. In short, you get size, function, and a great movement.

The Speedmaster range from Omega requires no introduction. If it does, how exactly did you manage to find this website? Starting with popularity gained from being the "Moon Watch," the Omega Speedmaster Professional has remained a mainstay of classic mechanical sport watches. While Omega still produces the original Moon Watch version, there have been dozens of variants of the Speedmaster over the years. Each shares the same basic look and chronograph functions - offering an entire family of options for those interested in the piece.

While the Moon Watch has a great history to it, I failed to have a great desire to own one for a few simple reasons. For my tastes the original is a bit small, I prefer automatic movements, and I want something with a sapphire crystal. I will probably end up owning a Moon Watch someday, but for now I know what type of Speedmaster I would want - and here it is.

For 2011 Omega offers a brand new version of the Speedmaster with their brand new in-house made caliber 9300 (and 9301) Co-Axial chronograph automatic movement. The watch has been bumped up to 44.25mm wide and comes initially in steel, platinum, and orange gold. The steel versions are going to be the big sellers, with a price of about 7,300 Swiss Francs. The platinum version has a slightly different dial, and is seen in this article on the alligator strap. It also retails for about $35,000. The case and hands are platinum, while the dial is actually black enamel.

Aside from the new dial layout and an upgrades bracelet, this is the Speedmaster people know and love. The dimensions of the case have been enlarged to fit the movement as well, but the profile of the watch proportionally remains the same. As for the upgraded bracelet, there is a new system that allows you to adjust the size a bit more easily when adding or removing links.

OK, so on to the movement. I am gonna get a bit technical, but not too technical. There are two reasons to build your own chronograph movement. First is to simply say that you have your own movement, and aside from looks and prestige it isn't really better than other movements from a performance standpoint. Second, is because you want a special movement that no one else has, that offers special features and functions. I am pleased to say that the caliber 9300 Co-Axial chronograph is a movement with a laundry list of features that you don't expect, but are really happy to have.

Omega has been building in-house movements for a few years now, starting with a simple automatic. The 9300 furthers their goal of having more and more in-house movements, and also moving to having a fully mechanical watch collection (no quartz movements). The large diameter movement fills the caseback of the Speedmaster. It actually has a cap style sapphire crystal (that is AR coated to help with viewing pleasure) over the movement to help keep the case thinner. The movement is thick because of the various complex chronograph features. As an automatic it has a large rotor, and some fantastic diamond polishing that gives it a very high-end feel. The similar caliber 9301 movement only varies in that it has a gold bridge over the escapement and a solid gold rotor.

The chronograph part of the integrated movement has a column wheel transfer and a vertical clutch. Really impressed by that... The column wheel isn't just any column wheel, but one that Omega developed specially for the movement and doesn't look like traditional ones - though it offers the same type of durability for the chrono. The vertical clutch does make the movement thicker, but also provides for a smoother chronograph operating experience. Really all about precision and durability in the movement. The movement also features a silicon (silicium) hair spring in the escapement. Silicon is anti-magnetic and should last much longer than metal. It is also frictionless and helps the movement be more accurate. And of course, the 9300 has a Co-Axial escapement as well for a more efficient transfer of power that leads to better accuracy. With about 60 hours of power reserve, Omega has the 9300 in the Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph COSC Chronometer certified as well. These are all very nice features and I think enough to make people admire and lust after this new movement.

Tech nerdiness aside, the 9300 has some great features. The 12 hour chronograph is laid-out into just two subdials. This is because the right chronograph subdial has two hands in it and is used for the chronograph minutes and hours. I love movement that do this. Brands from IWC to Patek Philippe utilize the double dial chronograph principle, and I think it works for the Omega Speedmaster dial as well. The 9300 also offers an easy-set hour hand for traveling. You can move just the hour hand back and forth when changing timezones to keep the minutes accurate. The movement also has the date. While Omega hasn't invented anything new with the 9300, the features it has are highly satisfying, useful, and a good thing to have in a watch at a Speedmaster price point.

I am not sure exact price or when this larger Speedmaster with the 9300 movement will be available, but it should be in the next few months and at a premium over the current models. Plus, for 2011 also offers the Caliber 9300 movement in a few Seamaster models that I can discuss another time.

  • http://www.wyden.org wydi

    That’s the only Speedmaster I’d buy in a heartbeat! Fantastic timepiece.

    Thank you very much for showing us!

  • Dean Grant Baker

    the older models will be going for a song on the grey market

  • http://amateureconblog.blogspot.com/ Speedmaster

    While I think it looks great, and I love the movement, I have trouble warming up to an automatic Speedmaster, or really any changes to the Speedy Pro.

  • Dan B

    Agreed. I’ve been jonesing to add a Speedy to go next to my SMP but have yet to find one that really speaks to me (although that ’74 you were giving away would have sufficed). This is a gorgeous watch and a natural evolution to the Speedy line.

  • kris c

    Very nice, but I still prefer the 2010 broad arrow co-ax we talked about a while ago. Aesthetically, at least.

  • kris c

    Orange gold? I didn’t digest that fully in the first read. I’m looking at my gold chart, and don’t see “orange” in the spectrum – is this just Omega’s interpretation of the ‘red-yellow’ variant? Or something new? Don’t know if I’ve heard that term yet. Still waiting for someone to drop indium into the mix and make a blue-gold case. That shade actually has gold showing as the lowest % in the alloy, but it would still be pretty cool.

  • IS3515

    Beautiful watch. I’ll take the stainless.

  • sportscenterisnext

    I’m not a chrono or a diver watch fan, with this timepiece I will make an exception.

  • BIG CHRONO

    With Omega’s legendary watches, & moon connections, why hasn’t it created a variant called “Moonmaster”?

  • LBJ

    Yes! Okay, Omega, we’re back in business. This watch is absolutely fantastic!

  • http://mattters.com Mike

    (I try not to look too closely at the photos – I think they may be hazardous to the size of my wallet… LOL)

    It is a great personal pleasure to let you know that the several million visitors to Mattters over the last year have selected your blog as one of their favorite blogs of 2010 (ranked 1st on the Watches channel).

    You can see your blog, along with the other contenders, on the Watches News channel at http://watches.mattters.com.

    P.S. We made a cute little ‘2010 Blogs that Mattter’ award that you can pin up on your website if you like those sort of things (you can see it at http://watches.mattters.com/awards).

    Oh, and if for some reason or another you ever think your blog should be on a different channel, or even multiple channels, or perhaps none at all, (or you just want to chat!) just send me a quick email at michael@mattters.com.

    All the best,
    -Mike
    Social Guy in Chief
    Mattters – Follow Your Interests!

  • TomHandy

    Looks very nice, but I just can’t fathom $35k for a watch.

    • http://ablogtowatch.com admin

      $35,000 is for the platinum version. The steel version will be about $8,000

      • TomHandy

        Oh, ok.

        • Dean Grant Baker

          And last year’s model was 5 300?
          BIG jump in cost.

  • Crispin

    I need, need to see more pics of the ‘orange’ gold. Beautiful movement to boot. Size 44? – has the lug-to-lug increase been kept to a minimum?

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  • Steve

    To the OP, Omega has had a Speedy with this case size (44.25mm) for some time now. Also includes sapphire crystal, date and an automatic co-axial movement:

    http://www.omegawatches.com/gents/speedmaster/co-axial-chronometer/31130445001002

  • Till

    Thanks for what I think is the first review of this piece. Could you please give the height spec of the watch? And possibly your wrists circumference, if it’s not too personal? πŸ˜‰ This is an important spec because it allows one to gauge how it will wear. All the more important since Omega failed to provide lugs that extend down to the level of the case bottom. One can see that on your photo. There is quite a large gap between arm, case and bracelet. And there’s a reason why Omega is holding back on that spec.

    Otherwise I love the new Speedmaster and the PO Chrono with 9300 is equally interesting if it wasn’t for it’s huge diameter of 45.5 combined with an extraordinary height of more than 19mm. Why not strap a mantle clock to one’s arm?

  • http://www.time-tours.com Kukulcan

    On the last wristshot it looks as strange as I expected it with the extra bump…doesnt it feel strange?

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  • Dean Grant Baker

    It doesn’t fit properly; the case-back is so thick it sits “up” off the wrist; the lugs are suspended mid-air; It’s too big, not just aesthetically but ergonomically. Even on a large wrist the case will still rest upon the caseback and not the rest of the case and lugs.

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  • http://www.omegaseamaster.co.uk OmegaSeamaster

    Would love a speedy, to go with my Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean.

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