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Omega Releases First New Calibre 321 Speedmaster Model In Steel, Referencing The Legendary ‘Ed White’

Omega Releases First New Calibre 321 Speedmaster Model In Steel, Referencing The Legendary 'Ed White' Watch Releases

Among the Omega faithful, few Speedmaster models carry the caché of the legendary “Ed White.” The original model, predating the signature Omega twisted-lug design, became immortal on the wrist of the astronaut of the same name during America’s first spacewalk in 1965. As its first release of 2020, the brand has reintroduced the “Ed White” as part of its regular lineup with the new Speedmaster Moonwatch Chronograph 39.7 MM reference 311.30.40.30.01.001, powered by the same Calibre 321 movement as its 1965 predecessor.

Omega Releases First New Calibre 321 Speedmaster Model In Steel, Referencing The Legendary 'Ed White' Watch Releases

While the Calibre 321 was reintroduced to production after decades of hiatus in January 2019, this new model is the first steel Speedmaster to be powered by the movement in over 50 years. The new Calibre 321 “Ed White” is an incredibly faithful reproduction of the classic model, updated with modern Omega quality. The case is substantially smaller than the traditional Speedmaster Professional, measuring in at 39.7mm, thanks to the simpler straight-lug design. Other hallmarks of the original — the stepped dial with applied Omega emblem, the dot over 90 and accented “Tachymètre” on the bezel, and the flat-link oyster-style bracelet are all present here.

Omega Releases First New Calibre 321 Speedmaster Model In Steel, Referencing The Legendary 'Ed White' Watch Releases

Upon close inspection, however, the benefits of 50 years of advancement in production become apparent. The bezel insert is polished black ceramic with enamel markings, the crystal is anti-reflective sapphire, and while the lume on the dial is faux patina, it’s one of the lightest, most subtle and best-executed patina treatments of the past few years. Around back, however, is where the new “Ed White” truly sets itself apart. The column wheel marvel of the reborn Calibre 321 is visible through the sapphire display window.

Omega Releases First New Calibre 321 Speedmaster Model In Steel, Referencing The Legendary 'Ed White' Watch Releases

While retaining the original specifications, this new Calibre 321 hand-wound movement is tweaked for modern performance including a 55-hour power reserve.

Omega Releases First New Calibre 321 Speedmaster Model In Steel, Referencing The Legendary 'Ed White' Watch Releases

While the Speedmaster Moonwatch Chronograph 37 MM is a surprising revival of a legendary reference, perhaps the most surprising aspect of the new watch is the price. The watch is slated to retail for $14,100 when it debuts at Omega authorized dealers in early 2020. While there’s no doubt that the first stainless steel revival of the Calibre 321 and a reissue of a legendary reference is special, it’s undoubtedly steep for a non-precious metal Speedmaster. For more information on the new model, please visit Omega’s website.

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Comments

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  • Ed Yu

    I like the bracelet which looks the same as the 50 year anniversary one. If I were to get a speedmaster this is potentially the one. Personally like it better than the platinum one.
    From a daily wear perspective I normally don’t like manual wind but that’s the whole point of this caliber so can’t complain about that. Great watch with a high price but reasonable considering how much all steel watches of premium brands go nowadays.

  • Joe

    I thought I disliked chronographs but I must admit I love really like this Speedmaster.

    I’m sitting with a friend, drinking coffee, telling him that I like a woman with intelligence, a sense of humour, we should have things in common, it’s not about the looks…
    …and then a pretty girl walks past.

    Very nice. I would consider it, even at that price…

    P.S. For the women on this site and to the female editors – I apologise. I am not trying to objectify women. I have great respect for the opposite sex. Nature just has its ways and I am trying to describe that feeling.

  • SuperStrapper

    Well, i was wrong. The price is still ridiculous but not as bad as I assumed back when they announced the new 321 manufacture. I guess they could still produce a more expensive steel speedy so i might be right yet. Here’s hoping!

  • Independent_George

    Quite like this one. A little pricey, especially considering that the Speedy Pro with the new 3861 caliber (per the Omega Forum) is expected to retail around 6,500 CHF, but it sure is nice to look at, especially from the back side. And I really like this bracelet.

  • TheChuphta

    Quite nice, but that price is BONKERS.

  • IanE

    Very cool – very tempted …… but, HOW MUCH???

    • Fourteen thousand and one-hundred American dollars 😉

      • IanE

        Yes – not actually asking, just expressing amazement at Omega’s audacity!

  • Raymond Wilkie

    So what, Omega went into space. Big whoop, wanna fight about it. Stop banging on about it. Lovely watch, shame about the size.

  • Steve_Macklevore

    I really like this watch, especially the smaller diameter and the clear back to admire the movement.

    Sadly the price is insane.

  • WINKS

    Taking a page out of Rolex Daytona pricing manual…

  • Joe

    Thanks.

    I’m aware that this is a predominantly male-heavy discussion forum but we do have the privilege to hear some great contributions from women, so I want to try to stay as neutral as I can in order to continue to make them feel welcome.

    I guess I’m also saying “if anyone has an issue with it, let me know either privately or in public”. I’m willing to be held to account.

    • egznyc

      “I’m willing to be held.” ;-). Let’s just say that objectification isn’t all negative: there are times when I wanted to be objectified by women. But of course, we also want to be treated with respect and have our intelligence recognized, too, regardless of sex.

      Oh and to comment on the watch: it’s a real stunner (putting aside price).

  • NaJo

    Not after this release! That would easily double.

    • Ugo

      ?
      insider trading?

  • NaJo

    And better than a simple 3 hander age old apro or calatrava!

  • BNABOD

    Problem with this is that at 4K any day of the week one can get a regular non 321 speedy for essentially the same watch so why buy this ?

  • $14K?! Seriously?

  • That’s one small step for Megan, 0ne Giant leap for Fox’s collection but I can’t afford it. Anyways, Omega Malaysia is offering me the Ed White 321 for US $12474 based on the latest currency exchange rate

  • Joe

    I know…sometimes it’s taken too far.
    Ultimately nobody chooses to be born into a particular race, skin or sex and I guess it’s nice if we try not to discriminate based on that (or on looks).

    Even with watches we form biases based on brand or aesthetics, so to a great extent it’s just simply built-in to our nature and it’s tough to override that.

  • I agree with reader @Agnar Sidhu
    The price is justifiable IMHO
    > Each and every component was created by reverse engineering
    > There is something extra special about this particular calibre 321.It was copied from the exact calibre worn by the last man on the moon, Commander Eugene Gene Cernan. Apparently Cernan’s watch was never serviced, repaired or cleaned up for more than 50 years from the time he received it and after winding, his watch still kept good time. I guess Bienne finally cleaned up Gene’s 321 for free ?
    > Serious Heirloom watch
    >Expect a long waiting list at the boutique I’ve been told although not limited, the initial production capacity is 1000 units annually
    > Bragging Rights on Social Media.Post your 321 on IG and expect nothing less than ten thousand Likes!!!

  • otaking241

    Attended one of last year’s Speedy Tuesday events where Omega previewed this–there was no doubt in my mind they were going to price this to compete with the Daytona and Royal Oak. Hope they don’t emulate those makers in their supply shenanigans…

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