Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition ‘First Omega In Space’ Watch Review

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition ‘First Omega In Space’ Watch Review

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition 'First Omega In Space' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Those looking for a fantastic-looking, classy Omega Speedmaster in Sedna gold just got a gift for 2015 with the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition 39.7mm ref. 311.32.40.30.01.001. Disregard the totally odd-sounding name that doesn't really help you understand the design inspiration for the watch and focus on just how beautiful this new Panda-dialed Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch looks. Slyly released at Baselworld 2015, this new Omega Speedmaster is going to be a hit for those collectors able to pony up the price for gold. Also, the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition 39.7mm watch is also often referred to as the "Speedmaster First Omega In Space," and because I like that name better I will also refer to the watch as that in this review.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition 'First Omega In Space' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

According to Omega, the aesthetic inspiration for this version of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch was a watch worn by astronaut Wally Shirra in 1962 during the NASA Sigma 7 mission where he orbited the earth. While this was not the first watch in space (that was a Russian timepiece), that 1962 mission marked the first time an Omega was in space. Thus, the Speedmaster "First Omega In Space" collection was born. Also interesting is that, according to information from Omega, Shirra purchased the Omega Speedmaster himself for the mission, and this was before there was any official relationship with NASA.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition 'First Omega In Space' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

This 2015 gold version of the "First Omega In Space" Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition watch isn't really the first of its type. That was the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition ref. 311.32.40.30.01.001 that came out in 2012, I believe. This was a good-looking, short-lived timepiece that I don't believe is still being made and, in my opinion, was a design study before Omega released the Speedmaster '57 Co-Axial Chronograph (aBlogtoWatch review here). What Omega did was interesting, actually. The most notable element is the "early" Speedmaster hands matched to Moonwatch style dial, but a closer inspection reveals a number of interesting qualities that should really excite some collectors. Each of those qualities have been carried over to this 18k Sedna gold version with the stunning dial.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition 'First Omega In Space' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition 'First Omega In Space' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Because the steel and gold versions are so similar, allow me to discuss some of the qualities that they both have. First is the case size which is a modest 39.7mm wide in a classic Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch style case. Omega opted to pair them with brown straps, in this case, a lovely matte alligator strap with white contrast stitching. At just under 40mm wide, this wears a lot like a dress watch, making it good for formal attire and long sleeves, but it still has that classic Omega Speedmaster look which is perpetually desirable.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition 'First Omega In Space' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Unlike the "classic" Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatches that are still produced today, the First Omega In Space models have domed sapphire crystals (versus acrylic) and ceramic bezel inserts. This adds a modern flair with a vintage look, meaning that these watches will age a lot better. You also get the traditional arrow-style hands versus the more simple (and arguably, more legible) baton-style hands people mostly associate with Speedmasters.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition 'First Omega In Space' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

While there isn't much of it, the luminant on the dial is very good (well, there really isn't much on the minute hand), and in our opinion (thanks, David), looks sort of Star Wars-esque in the dark. With that said, the flat, polished hands aren't as totally legible as you'd like in a Speedmaster. It isn't that they aren't legible, but they aren't as legible as some other models. Given the sexiness of this two-tone black and white dial, this is something I can easily forgive.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition 'First Omega In Space' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

What makes the panda-dial here a bit unique is the alternating rows of black and white rings that start with the black ceramic tachymetre bezel. The inner white dial with slightly recessed black subdials completes the panda dial look. There are a surprisingly small number of Omega Speedmaster watches with panda dials. Those that exist are collectors' favorites, and I very much welcome more panda dial-style Omega Speedmaster - especially classic-looking Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch models. A version of this model in steel... with a panda dial would be incredible and, in our opinion, sell out almost immediately.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition 'First Omega In Space' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition 'First Omega In Space' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch First Omega In Space is water resistant to 50 meters and has a specially engraved caseback with the Speedmaster seahorse and the "First Omega In Space Numbered Edition" text. The case size, of course, is on the petite side, given that the largest Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Co-Axial Chronograph is over 44mm wide. Those who want a great-looking Omega Speedmaster in a smaller size should certainly take a close look at one of these or the earlier steel model. I really like how this is both a dress watch and a sport watch, but with also a kick-ass dial.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition 'First Omega In Space' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition 'First Omega In Space' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Purists will love that the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition First Omega In Space contains the caliber 1861 manually wound chronograph movement. With just the time and 12-hour chronograph, the dial is wonderfully symmetrical. One of the first things you notice on the dial is the welcome lack of text. There is, of course, the "Omega Speedmaster" text, as well as the much smaller "Swiss Made" text, but otherwise, this dial feels exactly as clean as one could hope for.

The 1861 movement isn't an automatic, of course, and while I wish it was, it is a classic and what makes a Speedmaster Moonwatch... well, a Speedmaster Moonwatch. What is important is that you get the purist experience but with the sapphire crystal and the ceramic bezel with this very traditional-looking package.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition 'First Omega In Space' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition 'First Omega In Space' Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Most people already have familiarity with the Omega Speedmaster family as well as the various options included therein. This review is on the shorter side because so much has been said (by us and others) about the world of Omega Speedmasters. This is just yet another flavor in the larger world of Omega Speedmasters, and a particularly nice one - but for a price.

The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch "First Omega In Space" Numbered Edition (meaning that it is not limited but each piece will have a unique number in the series) 37.9mm in 18k Sedna gold reference 311.32.40.30.01.001 is priced at $18,000. omegawatches.com

Necessary Data
>Brand: Omega
>Model: Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition 39.7mm "First Omega in Space" ref. 311.32.40.30.01.001
>Price: $18,000
>Size: 39.7mm
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we'd recommend it to first: Speedmaster watch lover looking for a gold dress watch with a historic, sporty flair.
>Best characteristic of watch: Simply beautiful-looking Omega with a combination of modern materials and classic charm.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Expensive premium for gold and really needs to have a sister watch in steel. Hour and minute hands could be slightly more "three-dimensional" for a more legible look.

What do you think?
  • Thumbs up (2)
  • I want it! (1)
  • Classy (1)
  • I love it! (1)
  • Interesting (0)
  • Perhaps a bit on the petite side for my tastes (and wrist) these days, but not really a bad size I guess. I do love panda dial Speedmasters, so this gets a thumbs up from me. Like Ariel, I’d like it more if it was an automatic.

    • I_G

      Real men wear hand-wound watches.

      • Don’t tell that to Arnold Schwarzenegger who owns a lot of automatic and even produces some. Or are you inferring instead that quartz is for girly-men?

    • Winding my watch is one of the only things I enjoy doing before 7 am.

  • outremer

    This reference would have deserved a cal. 321.

    • smoothsweeper

      The 1861 is essentially an “improved” version of the 321. To re-introduce the 321 for this watch (decades after Omega obsoleted it) would not make any sense.

      • outremer

        On the contrary, the 1861 is a simplified version compared to the column-wheel 321, the former is a low-budget movement.

        • It’s a push. The 1861 is a more reliable, more economical and less attractive. Omega doesn’t seem to have any desire to return to the traditional column wheel movement. After 50 years, I’d probably stop hoping for one. 🙂

          • outremer

            I wouldn’t be sure about that:D

  • cheerss

    Another Omega ‘inspired’ by a Rolex. This time a Newman Daytona.

    • Hmmm, seems like Omega was inspired by an Omega watch from 1962 which pre-dates all Rolex Daytonas. From what I read Paul Newman began wearing his Daytona Rolex in 1972. So give Omega a little credit on this one.

  • BIG CHRONO

    This watch needs more gold to somewhat justify its price. A matching gold bracelet as standard equipment is one possible option. As Mr. Carson stated, an automatic should be included, in this instance the Co-Axial would be appropriate. Using the stud card to promote the heritage stable is overdone with the inclusion of that serial #, & should have been left @ the starting gate with limited edition status.

    • Gold bracelet is not a bad idea. I wonder if a gold one with black accents might look good (or not).

      • BIG CHRONO

        Thank you. Black gold accents could be suitable, but should be evaluated during CAD’s, & possibly with test audiences, like with movies.

      • egznyc

        I’m going to vote no to black accents. I guess it’d be preferable to diamond accents though.

    • If you look at Omega’s other offerings, you’ll notice the watches this is closest to would be the Constellation 1952 LE, and maybe the DeVille Trésor. The Constellation is a time-only watch on leather and is roughly $21k, the Trésor is about $13k.

      This watch has a more complicated movement and doesn’t have quite as much gold as the Constellation, and more than the Trésor.

      A gold bracelet would put this piece over $28k, as that much Sedna would be very expensive.

      • BIG CHRONO

        Why should it be in Sedna (aka Everose) gold, or standard gold? Couldn’t stainless steel or titanium suffice as durable goods? Since this piece simulates what once was in the 60’s/70’s, that would put it closer. If Omega were truly going for authenticity it could roll back to the exact price charged back then. Thank you for providing these insights. Are these watches you mention available only from boutiques, or all Omega authorized dealerships?

  • Isaac Marx

    Pretty sure the original FOiS is still being made…at the very least it’s still on Omega’s website. Also the bezel ring of the original FOiS is most certainly not ceramic.

    Agree with you though about a FOiS panda dial in steel…that would be awesome.

  • SuperStrapper

    39.7mm?? Can’t we just say 40mm. Seriously.

  • IanE

    And, if anyone is wondering about Sedna and Sedna Gold, here is a U-tube explication! Personally (and someone had to say it) I prefer my classic Moonwatch (though I would swap, sell and pocket the change if offered!).

    • egznyc

      I have to agree if you’re going the homage route it makes sense to stick to the original steel. And sure, I’d never turn down a golden gift that is easily converted into money.

  • BrJean

    Coloring of the dial is great. Milk & chocolate FTW.

  • iamcalledryan

    Very handsome, the materials and colors are warm and elegant. I prefer the pricing of a non-limited edition variant, but look forward to seeing this on the occasional wrist.

    • egznyc

      Ah, but Ariel notes this isn’t a limited edition. It’s just individually numbered. Still too dear.

      • iamcalledryan

        whoops, yes, just a number!

  • Chaz

    Sorry…I skipped the article and got excited and worked up the second I saw “Omega” and “limited/numbered/special Edition”.

    They really don’t do enough of those…

  • Richard Baptist

    Ariel, I’m no speedmaster expert but these are the only panda dial speedmaster in steel that I know of:

    http://www.fratellowatches.com/speedy-tuesday-omega-speedmaster-legend/

    and

    http://www.fratellowatches.com/omega-speedmaster-professional-356931/

    Thanks

  • Very nice. The Sedna gold is really warm.

    I must disagree with the preference for automatic movements, particularly when there’s no complications. Without a date, you’re looking at less than 30 seconds to wind and set the watch. That’s 30 seconds of tactile pleasure, not wasted time. People with OCD who have a large watch collection get a pass though.

    • iamcalledryan

      I absolutely agree about the tactile pleasure – wouldn’t dream of investing in an auto winder unless I had a perpetual with a small power reserve. But the chrono on that Omega is a complication – with a little wine in me I would even have a go at arguing that the co-axial is too!

  • egznyc

    Handsome watch and with that great heritage, too. I’ve never had a panda dial but it looks sharp. Never mind what I’ve heard from some folks about it just looking too “cute,” as though we were talking about an actual panda.

  • Skeletor

    Nice looking watch

  • Andrew Hughes

    Beautiful… but I am so confused with how many Speed Master versions exist. Apaarenly quite a lot. Maybe one day…

  • Skeletor

    They should have left it in space. It’s not full gold, it’s gold plated or 18k. Pure gold is too soft and warps. Overpriced for a manual mechanical. No one in their right mind would buy this over a Rolex. Especially knowing it’s tainted by Swatch group. Yukhhh…

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  • wallydog2

    I have a ranch to sell for $18,000 + sales tax.

  • Hydra

    very very beautiful!

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