A feature you’ll love about the movement, is that by pressing one of the pushers, it moves the analog hands totally out of the way for an unobstructed view of the two LCD displays. This means that you’ll never be in a situation where the hands are blocking the screens. Despite the function, the hands are also skeletonized to further assist in viewing the screen information. As is the case on most movements like this, you can turn off the screens and simply read the dial using the analog hands.
To scroll through the various features you turn the crown up or down. The watch emits a noticeable sound when new mode screens are activated. The Z-33 features two time zones, UTC (GMT) time, an alarm (quite loud), chronograph, flight timer, log function for timing various flight legs, and a full calendar. The calendar function also features a week and day counter for what week as well as what day it is in the year. The default setting for the calendar display can show either those two pieces of information, or the more standard readout for the date, month, and year.
If you are at all confused or curious about how the Omega Spacemaster Z-33 watch works, Omega has a fully functional digital version of the Z-33 watch on their site. You simply use your mouse to operate the pushers and crown to explore all of the timepiece’s features. That makes it very easy to test out the functions before buying the watch to see if you enjoy how it works. It is also great for marketing, and something that I would love to see some of the Japanese companies like Casio or Citizen do with their high-function quartz watches that can be quite confusing to use.
Few people are going to need the functionality of the Z-33, but a lot are going to appreciate it. If you want a very cool high-end quartz watch in your collection then a Breitling Aerospace or Omega Z-33 is an excellent choice. Both offer the same basic functionality, though with its more modern approach and unique case, the Z-33 has the slight edge between the two. Having said that, the Breitling is much more conservatively styled for mainstream appeal. There really isn’t a poor choice between the two.
There is a very big place in my heart for high-end quartz watches, and for me, they must have a great case, fluid design, solid ergonomics, and ideally a thermo-compensated movement. While it would be great if the Z-33 had a thinner case, it feels like a small price to pay and an innocent quirk of the functional design. Overall, it is a great timepiece for professionals, watch lovers, or high-end gadget aficionados who want something solid and unique for daily wear. Price for the Omega Speedmaster Spacemaster Z-33 watch is $6,600. omegawatches.com
>Model: Speedmaster Spacemaster Z-33
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Equal gadget and watch lover who appreciates historic sport watches and utility in a modern watch.
>Best characteristic of watch: Wonderfully quirky vintage-style design that nevertheless succeeds in being effortlessly functional for what it was designed to do.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Case is very thick (though light) and the price is certainly on the higher-end of what people are wiling to spend on quartz movements.