April 26, 2013
by James Stacey
Today we had the opportunity to view the entirety of Omega’s 2013 lineup, including the new Speedmaster ’57 Automatic Co-axial chronograph, and it’s a complete stunner. We first noticed this watch a couple days ago when it briefly showed up on Omega’s website before quickly being pulled offline. For inspiration, Omega reached 56 years into their past, choosing the original 1957 Speedmaster model as a starting point for this new ’57 Co-axial. The ’57 comes in a wide range of metal and dial combinations, offering what is arguably one of the best updates to the Speedmaster line that I’ve ever seen. Taking cues from the pre-Moonwatch years of the Speedmaster means that we’re getting to see a 50+ year old design that has been updated for a more modern wrist.
The new Speedmaster ’57 Co-axial measures 41.5 mm across and on wrist it feels just about perfect. The straight lugs are a design that is borrowed from the legacy 1957 models and their strong profile looks excellent matched with either the bracelet or one of the many available strap options. With metal choices spanning 18k yellow or red gold, stainless, bi-color (stainless and 18k gold) and even titanium, the Speedmaster ’57 likely has a version that will be begging for your attention.
Timekeeping and chronograph duties are dispatched by the caliber 9300/9301 automatic co-axial chronograph movements. Just like the current Speedmaster Moonwatch Co-axial (see ref 3220.127.116.11.01.002), the ’57 Co-axial uses a bi-compax sub dial layout, with running seconds at 9, and the 12 hour and 60 minute readings combined on the three o’clock sub dial. Chronograph seconds are displayed by the main seconds hand and there is a nicely subtle date display at six o’clock.
While there is a range of versions that you can see in the photos, my favorite is likely the titanium model which has a bright white dial and blued hands and dial markers (see the title photo or gallery below). Fitted to the brown leather strap, this iteration offered an effortless charm, distinctive wrist-presence and excellent legibility. Also noteworthy is the steel model with the metallic blue dial and red accents (show above and below), offering excellent contrast and a welcome pop of color that is shared between the all of the hands in the chronograph display and the Speedmaster text on the dial. Sporty but stylish, just what we’ve come to expect from Omega.
In-hand or on-wrist, it is hard to deny the charm of this new Speedmaster edition. The 41.5mm sizing is modern without being too big and provides an excellent alternative to those wanting a bi-compax Co-axial Speedmaster that is smaller than the 44.25mm Moonwatch Co-axial. Dial design is a mix of old and new, featuring hands that are similar to those used on the Moonwatch “First Omega in Space” model (ref 318.104.22.168.01.001) and the bezel is done in a matched metal brushed finish.
I really like this new spin on the Speedmaster platform and while much of the attention may (deservedly) be going to the stunning new Speedmaster Dark Side of The Moon, these new ’57 Co-axial models are not to be missed and they join the very strong and wide-reaching appeal of the Speedmaster family. For those interested in pricing and availability information, check back soon as we will update with those details as soon as they are available.
UPDATE: Pricing for the Speedmaster ’57 Co-axial Chronograph will range from 7400 CHF (steel) to 8900 CHF for the titanium with the gold models topping out at 30, 000 CHF once they are available later this summer.