March 29, 2014
by James Stacey
While the black dial version will be the safest bet, the grey and orange version is easily the most fun and offers a really entertaining wrist presence. The Rio LE is pretty cool and confirms that Omega has learned to make modern Olympic special edition pieces with a design that doesn’t compromise their ability to actually sell the watch outside of the context of the Games. There is no direct dial text or design in reference to the Rio Games and the use of the Olympic medal colors is a novel enough idea for a limited edition piece.
All three versions come fitted to an excellent steel bracelet with Omega’s extendable foldover rack-and-pusher clasp. The fit and finish across the dial, case and bracelet is great and all three versions are a treat to wear in terms of comfort and overall presence. Being an Omega sport watch, water resistance is a weekend-friendly 330 feet.
The Omega Speedmaster Mark II receives it’s most significant update via Omega’s 3330 Co-Axial automatic chronograph movement, complete with an Si14 balance spring and column wheel. The 3330 is not an Omega in-house movement, but rather one designed by ETA that incorporates Omega’s Co-Axial escapement. The three register layout offers a maximum measure of 12 hours and includes a nicely balanced date display at six o’clock.
Easily one of my favorite watches of the show thus far, the Omega Speedmaster Mark II is going to make a great choice for anyone who finds the standard Moonwatch is a bit too common and feels the need for something just a bit more strange.
I love the grey-and-orange dial and ultimately it’s just hard to argue with the modernization of a successful vintage Speedmaster reference. The non-limited versions will carry a list price of $6,250 USD while the Rio 2016 LE will retail for $6,500 USD. With an attractive price point, solid technology and a distinctive look and feel, the new Omega Speedmaster Mark II will likely be a very popular watch for Omega when it is released later this year. omegawatches.com