Omega Speedmaster X-33 Skywalker Watch Hands-On

Omega Speedmaster X-33 Skywalker Watch Hands-On

Omega Speedmaster X-33 Skywalker Watch Hands-On Hands-On

This is the new Omega X-33 that we have been waiting for. Our hands-on time with the 2014 Omega Speedmaster X-33 Skywalker ref. 318.90.45.79.01.001 proves that this is the real heir to the cult favorite Omega X-33 aviation/aerospace watch of the 1990s. What about the Omega Speedmaster Z-33 (hands-on review here)? That is a good question...

When Omega released the Speedmaster Z-33 in 2012, it was to be the follow-up to the acclaimed X-33 watch, which took the Speedmaster to a new futuristic place in the 1990s. Developed with support and specifications from astronauts, the Speedmaster X-33 was to be the next generation aviation and aerospace watch. In an all-titanium case, it combined traditional analog hands with an LCD display on the face to offer a range of features useful for those in space. It was Omega's way of keeping the Speedmaster relevant for modern space exploration, as the original Speedmaster "Moonwatch" contains a manually wound mechanical chronograph movement.

Omega Speedmaster X-33 Skywalker Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Omega Speedmaster X-33 Skywalker Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The Z-33 took a modern approach to the X-33 in regard to design, but kept much of what people liked about the original. A new black LCD screen used red numerals, and the overall functionality and dial design was very elegant. Omega decided to revive the classic Flightmaster case for the Z-33, which proved an unwise decision in hindsight. Omega admitted that it was not the best way to bring back the Flightmaster case because the resulting Z-33 was much too thick and controversially designed.

Just one year after the Z-33 came out with a bracelet option in 2013, Omega released the Speedmaster X-33 Skywalker watch in 2014. The X-33 Skywalker offers an evolved original X-33 case design and is a much truer modern interpretation. It also feels much more like a "Speedmaster." So was the Z-33 a serious mistake?

Omega Speedmaster X-33 Skywalker Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Omega Speedmaster X-33 Skywalker Watch Hands-On Hands-On

That is a really good question, and since I actually enjoyed elements of the Z-33, I would not call it a mistake because it was not a bad watch - despite being very tall on the wrist. The problem with the Z-33, I think, is that it is not what Omega watch lovers wanted. Combine a historic flight watch with a modern aerospace watch for an even more modern tool watch? It just didn't work with the resulting case design that was too avant garde. Like Breitling with their Aerospace collection of watches, Omega's success with the X-33 was that actual aviators and astronauts were choosing to wear them.

The strange design of the Z-33 prevented too many serious professionals from choosing one. So the poor adoption among this important demographic allowed Omega to revisit the idea of a new high-function ana-digi quartz watch from the brand otherwise so dedicated to mechanical watches. It probably didn't take much decision-making to consider simply building a modern X-33, which became what we now have in the Speedmaster X-33 Skywalker.

Omega Speedmaster X-33 Skywalker Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Omega Speedmaster X-33 Skywalker Watch Hands-On Hands-On

At 45mm wide in grade 2 titanium, the X-33 Skywalker is the third generation X-33 and is almost the same size and dimensions as the second generation model from over a decade ago. Why grade 2 titanium? That is a good question. The tone of grade 2 titanium is darker and more gray than grade 5 - which is often the default on more high-end watches. I am not enough of a materials expert to comment on all the differences, but I know that grade 5 can hold a polish much better. In fact, a little bit of grade 5 titanium is used on the X-33 Skywalker bracelet as the polished sides of the center-link.

The titanium case is cut very well, and I like the matte brushed finishing a lot. Other than being in titanium, the bracelet is more or less identical to that classic Speedmaster bracelet that people love. The case of the X-33 Skywalkers has a range of interesting design elements but is a Speedmaster at heart. In fact, in many ways, it is very similar to the last generation X-33. Omega simply didn't want to make too many changes in order to preserve the interest from aviation professionals and collectors.

Omega Speedmaster X-33 Skywalker Watch Hands-On Hands-On

What do you think?
  • Thumbs up (3)
  • Interesting (2)
  • Classy (0)
  • I love it! (0)
  • I want it! (0)
  • MisterDeal

    “More than one mechanical watch lovers has admitted that this is the only quartz watch out there that they currently covet.”
    That is me – oh, hell yes! Incredible watch. I tried it on at the last ABTW Omega event and was blown away. Unbelievable wrist presence, futuristic and classic at the same time, yet above all very much a tool watch. Wowzers.

  • JosephW

    Excellent, just excellent. Everything about this looks harmonious and well-proportioned. Nothing garish, superb legibility, and it looks like it might actually be worth the money in terms of fit and finish. My one nitpick is, at 45mm it’s a tad big, but I’ll ha e to try it on to be sure. 😉
    And with the name of Skywalker, does that mean Omega has to pay Disney a fee for every one of these they sell?

  • Aytunc

    That is an absolutely beautiful watch and reading that its been executed flawlessly makes me very excited. This will definitely be a future classic and can’t wait to get my hand on one. Should start saving for this soon.

  • Do not want. I’m not a diehard mechanical watch guy, I have a very strong collection of digital watches, but I don;t have any room for this one. I love the case and bracelet appearance, but the hands/dial leave way too much to be desired. I’m sure it is very functional and seamless in it’s use, but it looks like crap. 

    Throw all the stones you like, fanbois.

  • Lkcons

    SuperStrapper Do want. And I am sort of a diehard mechanical watch guy… 🙂

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  • BIGCHRONO

    I’m not feeling the love or the price/value ratio. Get it on the grey market to math its color scheme. The money saved can be applied for future watch batteries & other maintenance. Breitling recently developed the first in house quartz caliber, & some SuperQuartz batteries last 8+ years. Can Omega offer that longevity, or is its quartz EOL still in the dark ages?

  • Spaceguitar

    Aha, once again our caseback is adorned with Omega’s curious mascot, Speedmaster the seahorse! Uhhh.

  • Ulysses31

    Gorgeous bracelet, case and case-back with that lovely “classic” matte titanium finish.  Excellent build quality.  The ugly uninspired Casio-esque cheap-looking LCD display ruins it.  Nothing says “we couldn’t be arsed” like having four unharmonious corners in the circular cut-out for the dial.  It’s as though they thought “shit!  We made the hole too small!  Quick, chop it up and make it fit!”  At least they made an effort with the integration of the display into the Z-33.

  • DG Cayse

    Spaceguitar Needs lasers mounted on its head.

  • DG Cayse

    Lovely photos.

  • nateb123

    DG Cayse Spaceguitar “All I want is frickin sharks with frickin laser beams attached to their frickin heads! Is that too much to ask?!”

    Couldn’t help myself

  • nateb123

    If it came out years ago it would have kicked the Breitling Rescue and Emergency watches’ collective butts.  Just overall a much nicer package.  It’s lost a lot of the relevance it would have had then just due to changing tastes.

  • somethingnottaken

    I prefer the Z-33 styling, though both seem a bit too thick for me.

  • Henryus

    Very nice. Please do a video review of this watch.

  • Fraser Petrick

    A digital read-out on an Omega? I don’t know. Kinda like putting a glass pyramid outside The Louvre.

  • Spaceguitar

    nateb123 DG Cayse Spaceguitar YUSSSSS!!!!

  • antjay

    Look , I’m a big Omega fan , but Casio does this sort of thing much better at a fraction of the price AND offers solar power ..Give me a classic speedy any day!

  • htklun

    I’ve had a Tag Heuer Kirium F1 Analog/Digital watch for 12 years as my everyday watch. To me it represents the best possible form for a high end A/D watch – a movement where the digital features fade away and be completely invisible when they are not needed, and give it a classically design case, bracelet, and bezel, all exquisitely made out of stainless steel. Tag Heuer did a masterful job at it. I love everything about its function and design, but after 12 years of heavy wear and tear I had to retire it from my starting lineup. I’ve been looking at many recent high end A/D quartz watches and found most of them lacking in simplicity and elegance (Breitling, Casio, Tissot T-Touch… the list of horror goes on…).
    The design of this X-33 is almost exactly what I’ve been looking for: a larger case (the Kirium is so small people sometimes asked me if I’m wearing a women’s watch), a clean, black LCD display that allows the digits to completely disappear, and nice, classical bezel and bracelet to give it character. It’s an almost worthy replacement for my dearly beloved Kirium. I was reading Ariel’s review and I was falling in love with the x-33 Skywalker with every picture and every paragraph. Sure I understand titanium will scratch more easily than stainless steel, but it wasn’t going to stop me getting one…. Until I read the last line about the price. And here, in my opinion, is where Omega got it wrong.
    I am not going to wear a $6000 watch on a daily basis if only because I’ll be too afraid to put a scratch on it. And with an A/D quartz watch, what’s the point of buying one if you’re not putting it on your wrist everyday? They could have used stainless steel and I would have been in my local Omega store putting down a deposit for one. Now? I guess the search continues…

  • JasonNguyen

    For those guys that “get it” or have one of the previous models, are the group to appreciate the unique features for what the X-33 represents. It’s a niche watch that I adore. Can not wait to see the latest edition in the flesh and I hope Omega will continue to present these watches in the space suit material watch cases.

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  • John Zito

    Just got the X-33 Skywalker today. Beautiful build quality and is very light. It’s also not as large as I feared (46mm). Seems to wear like a 42mm. My wrist size is about 7.25″.

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