Omega designed the 9300 movement to contain a lot of modern technology. A big part of that is the movement’s use of their Co-Axial escapement technology. Acquired by them from the late, great British watchmaker George Daniels, Co-Axial escapements offer more timing consistency over time and are generally thought of as a modern innovation over more traditional escapement technology. The 9300 movement also features a silicon balance spring which means the movement is more resistant to temperature fluctuations, magnetism, and helps the 9300 be among the most accurate mechanical movements Omega has ever produced (it is also COSC Chronometer certified).
Functionally the Caliber 9300 offers the time, date, and 12 hour chronograph, all in a way that is still fresh but true to the spirit of the Speedmaster. I’ve always loved the legibility of Speedmaster dials and that remains true in the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon. What few people know is that the hands and hour markers are actually in 18k white gold. That is mainly because white gold will look better much longer than other metals. The hour markers are applied and filled with SuperLumiNova. Note that the luminant shot in this review is the same as from our previous Speedmaster review as the results will be rather similar. It is worth pointing out that despite what looks like a small amount of lume on the dial, it does perform quite admirably in terms of brightness. Unfortunately the sub dial hands do not have lume, but the chronograph seconds hand does.
One of the most controversial features of the new Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph collection is the size of the case at 44.25mm wide. These watches aren’t huge, but are larger than most of the previous generation Speedmasters which are 40mm wide. I have to say that on a strap and in black, the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon wears smaller than its size would imply – though it is still a well-dimensioned timepiece. I guess black is a bit slimming. One downside of the ceramic versus steel-cased version of the Speedmaster is water resistance. The Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon is only water resistant to 50 meters versus the standard Speedmaster’s water resistance of 100 meters.
Comfort is very much a part of the wearing experience, both in legibility and in wearability. I should also point out that while most of the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon is black, Omega did not intend it as a “stealth” black on black watch. Nothing is difficult to read, and even the numerals on the tachymeter scale on the bezel have been filled in with a silver color so that you can read them. In fact, silver is the main color used on the dial versus white. This little detail is another of the watch’s secrets of success.
Wearing the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon is a pleasant experience. It is a cool watch but certainly not flashy. Most Speedmasters aren’t flashy, but with a mostly polished case you might think that the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon would attract more visual attention. It offers the look many people enjoy from an all black timepiece, but is perfectly legible. I’ve never worn anything like it and to my knowledge the is the first all-black Speedmaster watch made by Omega.
Many collector’s are drawn to black colored watches, especially with popular timepieces from brands such as Rolex or Omega with classic sport watch. Many even go so far as to have aftermarket work done on their timepieces in order to get them coated in black. Brands are more and more responding and the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon is part of that larger push to offer more options that consumers seem to be demanding. So whether you enjoy the benefits of a ceramic watch or just like the look of a black watch, there is a lot to enjoy about the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon. While I am thoroughly enthusiastic about it, one drawback is the price. It packs a noticeable premium over the comparable steel models. You get some special parts for sure, but the price difference is apparent. For instance, the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph in steel on a steel bracelet retails for $8,700, while the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon version retails for $12,000. That is quite a bit more but Omega doesn’t seem to have much trouble with demand. If anything they have trouble keeping up with it. omegawatches.com
>Model: Speedmaster Moonwatch Co-Axial Chronograph Dark Side Of The Moon ref. 3188.8.131.52.01.003
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Oh Yes
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Any Omega or Speedmaster fan who likes the look of an all-black watch.
>Best characteristic of watch: Incredibly satisfying mixture of Speedmaster DNA and a cool black ceramic case. This is one difficult watch to pass up if it is in your budget.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Expensive premium over steel model.