March 16, 2022
by Bilal Khan
I love what Omega offers for the “balanced diet” watch consumer. There’s really no shortage of excellent and really practical pieces in Omega’s catalog, but last week at Omega Days 2022 in Miami, the brand released a trio of solid-gold Speedmaster Moonwatch Professionals that are wonderfully excessive in the best possible way. While the green dial will most immediately grab one’s attention, the more laid-back “Gold Panda” dial Speedy with the new rubber strap emerged as a low-key standout for me. In a way, these can be seen as almost accessible alternatives if the solid Canopus Gold Speedmaster (that’s Omega for white gold) Speedy Calibre 321 is a bit too rich for your blood, or if you just want a more in-your-face solid-gold Speedy. While they weren’t billed as the most significant launch at Omega Days, there’s a reason these Speedmaster Moonwatches in Moonshine gold had just about everyone talking about them.
Moonshine Gold is Omega’s proprietary alloy that was debuted back in 2019 for the 50th Anniversary Apollo 11 Speedy. It’s an 18k yellow gold that is a bit paler than the typical yellow gold and is said to be more resistant to fading over time. For any alloy nerds out there, Moonshine gold is roughly >75% gold, 14.5% silver, <9% copper, and >1% palladium. While I’m not an expert on the matter, the more typical 18k yellow gold would have 75% gold, the rest largely comprised of copper. So, Moonshine being paler and less, well, yellow than typical 18k yellow gold is ostensibly explained by the higher amount of silver, less copper, and the addition of palladium. (Brief aside here: Omega’s commitment to investing in proprietary metals and alloys continues as they debuted their own O-MEGASTEEL with the new Ultra Deep collection alongside these Speedmasters. It’s both a savvy play on their part and really does put the pressure on other brands.)
Back to this trio of Moonshine Speedmasters. There is the PVD-coated green dial in solid-gold case and bracelet and the gold and black-accented (I call it Gold Panda) coming in either solid-gold bracelet or that rubber strap that really goes above and beyond the standard fare. It does what any great rubber strap should do, which is wear so comfortably that one feels like George Costanza draped in velvet. But of course, comfort isn’t everything at this price point, and it has a Moonshine gold clasp with a 2.3mm extension, naturally. But the coolest part is the inner side of the strap, which has a positive relief of the moon’s surface that is *chef’s kiss* perfect.
The cases for each of these measure the typical 42mm-wide, 13.18mm-thick, with a lug-to-lug height of 47.5mm. The bezels are done in green or black ceramic with Omega’s Ceragold (gold and ceramic composite) tachymeter scale. And from behind the sapphire crystal caseback, you can see the manual-wind METAS-certified 3861 Co-axial Master Chronometer movement, which operates at 21,600 vph and has a 50-hour power reserve, in addition to 15,000 gauss magnetic resistance, free-sprung balance, a Silicon balance spring, and, naturally, a Co-Axial escapement. It’s also finished very nicely with Geneva stripes, circular graining, gold-plated engraving, rhodium plating throughout, and satin finishing and polished beveling on the chronograph mechanism.
I do have to say that Omega did a solid job on the dial color achieved by the green PVD coating. A lovely green sunray finish with stepped dial, the end product is actually not quite as in-your-face as the photos you’ve seen here and in other media may suggest — it’s quite subtle in a way that’s difficult to convey via photos. There were several instances in which I or one of the other watch bon vivants in attendance noted that it actually looks dark, almost black, when not under direct light. But when it is under direct light, or sunlight, the green comes alive without a hint of subtlety. I personally found it to be a bit richer and less obvious than the green bezel/dial combo found on something like the Hulk. But that’s just me.
These Speedmaster Moonwatch Professionals in Moonshine gold exude pure drip and excess. Does anybody need a solid-gold Moonwatch? Obviously not, and to think so would be missing the fairly self-evident point that much of the time watches are worn as jewelry. Yeah, it has the DNA and bones of one of history’s three most famous chronographs, but you can get that for something like a fifth of the price. I look at the current watch market out there, and so much of it is dominated by either those chasing/swooning after the usual hype pieces or the speculators looking for the “next big thing,” and let me tell you, it’s gotten old. So, when I see the prices for these Moonshine Speedmasters, I don’t flinch or feel the need to criticize because… it’s not unreasonable. It’s a solid-gold Omega Speedmaster, what do you expect? The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Moonshine Gold with “Panda Gold” dial is priced at $26,400 on the rubber strap and $36,500 on solid-gold bracelet, and the green-dial model is priced at $24,600 on a matching green leather strap and $34,800 on solid gold. You can learn more at omega-watches.com.