It happened only two years ago, at Baselworld 2013, that Omega lunched the Omega Speedmaster ’57 Co-Axial, a tribute to the original, pre-Moon-Watch Speedmaster. Now, for 2015, we see a slightly updated version that brings the Omega Speedmaster ’57 tribute closer than it has ever been to the Daddy of all Speedmasters. Without further ado, let’s see just how close you can really get in the new millennium to owning the real deal from the mid 20th century.
The answer, in short, is: very. We covered the 2013 “re-release” here, and while that appeared to have ticked most of the boxes, Omega managed to inch even closer to the original this time around. First thing’s first, we created the collage that you see above, comparing the 2015 and the 1957 versions. We must note the obvious: the original’s tri-compax sub-dial layout has been replaced with a bi-compax design for the 21st century version, thanks to the 9300 in-house movement – visible through the sapphire caseback – that packs the chronograph function’s hour and minute indications into just one sub-dial at the 3 o’clock position. The highly impressive cal. 9300 in this year’s version still offers 60 hours of power reserve and features the Si14 silicon balance spring, although there is no word of it being upgraded to an anti-magnetic Master Co-Axial caliber just yet – it appears that we have to wait some more for that to happen.
Despite the notable change in the dial layout, the tribute piece is nonetheless true to the original in more than enough ways to justify the name, Omega Speedmaster ’57: the case shape of the original remains with the long, straight lugs, the brushed steel bezel and its tachymeter scale, as well as the traditional – and absolutely timeless – piston pushers. Unsurprisingly, while its beautiful proportions have remained the same, the Omega Speedmaster ’57 is somewhat larger, coming in at 41.5 millimeters wide and 16.17 millimeters thick, as opposed to the original’s 39-millimeter wide case.
One key design element where the 2013 release went down a different road was the hour hand: it featured a more conservative sword hand, omitting the original’s famous “Broad Arrow” hour hand. That, however, has now been corrected, as the “Broad Arrow” is back: matched with green-glowing, “vintage” Super-LumiNova that, with its khaki color, creates a high contrast with the black dial. The hour markers are now recessed as opposed to applied, once again, linking the 2015 release ever closer to the original’s design.
In essence, if you have been a fan of the original Omega Speedmaster but would prefer to enjoy the benefits of the more modern mechanics – and slightly beefed up size – the new-for-2015 Omega Speedmaster ’57 “Vintage” may very well be your absolute best option to date.
The Omega Speedmaster ’57 “Vintage” will be available either on a brown leather strap with a brushed steel fold-over clasp, or on Omega’s patented bracelet with a butterfly clasp. Price for the version on the bracelet (reference 3126.96.36.199.01.002) will be 7,500 CHF or around $7,450 – while the model on the leather strap should come in a few hundred dollars less than that (we will add the price as soon as that is available). omegawatches.com
Keep up with our pre-, post-, and live Baselworld 2015 coverage here.