December 2, 2015
by David Bredan
It happened earlier this year, at Baselworld 2015, that Omega added not one or two, but four new colorways to their Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon watch (reviewed here), that they originally released in 2013. The “DSotM,” as it is sometimes referred to, has been a resounding success – perhaps apart from the rather long waiting lists customers in some parts of the world had to endure as they anticipated the delivery of their Dark or Grey Side Of The Moon (hands-on here) watches. The four new color variants have been hitting the stores around the globe lately, so it’s more than timely to go hands-on with all four of them, as they add some more alternatives for those who had been seeking some new, arguably a bit more niche, color variations of the sci-fi spec Speedmaster theme.
In case you have just recently developed your interest for watches, or had been living in a cave with no WiFi for the last few years, we will quickly wrap up what you need to know about the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon. Released in 2013, it was the first Omega watch with an all ceramic case – that meant all case components, pushers, crown, and even the dial itself was crafted from this old-new material. Zirconium dioxide was used for these parts because of its extremely high scratch resistance (it is also pretty good at withstanding exposure to UV radiation and acids, the latter certainly not something you would want to test, though).
What made it really special, however, is that Omega did not stop halfway through and compromise when developing this new range of Speedies, but instead put the necessary efforts into refining the material to a level where it accurately mimics the finishing seen on the original, steel Omega Speedmaster. The sloping curves running through the side of the case and onto the lugs, as well as the pushers and crown, have all been shaped and finished in a way that they remain true to the original Omega Speedmaster aesthetics – while also being a modern, high-tech iteration of that.
The movement inside the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon is the in-house Omega 9300 Co-Axial, a column wheel chronograph caliber with an automatic winding two-register dial layout – this fact holds true for the four new versions as well, as we still have to wait a bit before Omega extended its range of Master Co-Axial, highly anti-magnetic calibers. Co-Axial movements by Omega have been around for the better part of 15 years now, and the 9300 really showcases a level of finishing and quality of execution that matches the ingenuity of the late George Daniels‘ co-axial escapement.
The Omega 9300 movement also packs Omega’s more recent developments: a free-sprung balance with a silicon balance spring, a series-coupled double barrel configuration that provides 60 hours or 2.5 days of power reserve, and some rather extensive and beautiful finishing on all plates and bridges. These details together render the 9300 a genuinely modern caliber – and also help better justify the considerable premium paid over other the Omega Speedmaster Professional “Moonwatch,” for example.
Now, before we take a closer look at each of them, let us get the administrative side of the business out of the way and take a quick a look at all four new versions, as you see them in the image above from left to right:
– Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon Sedna Black (Ref 3188.8.131.52.06.001),
– Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon Vintage Black (Ref 3184.108.40.206.01.006),
– Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon Pitch Black (Ref 3220.127.116.11.01.004),
– Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon Black Black (Ref 318.104.22.168.01.005).
In short, they are the Sedna Black, Vintage Black, Pitch Black and… Black Black versions, each of them bringing out a unique take on the design of the bold ZrO2 ceramic dials and 44.25mm-wide cases of the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon.
The Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon Black Black, perfectly in line with its rather straight-forward name, is indeed very black, and for that simple reason, it really stands out from the rest of the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon offerings. Apart from the muted sheen of the hands and the index frames, everything from the case, dial, indices, numerals, logos, texts, even the date disc and numerals… everything is in matte black. True, we have been seeing black-black watches pop up increasingly often in recent years, but if there ever was a short-lived trend among luxury timepieces, then this arguably was it. Come to think of it, through 2015, we have seen far fewer black-black higher-end pieces debut than in previous years.
Still, the darkest of all Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon watches, the Black Black looks space-age cool, and given the quick fade of the trend that arguably inspired its creators, it may very well become a collector’s item a few decades down the road – as, at that point, we will reminisce on the time when the Swiss luxury watch industry was booming, and anything was possible.