June 16, 2014
by James Stacey
As an interesting take on a sandwich luminous application, the luminous element below the scale shines through the transparent numbering making for a rather bright and very legible scale. While I have exactly no use for a tachymetre scale, the Speedmaster Mark II’s design is just so cool.
The bracelet is a sturdy three-piece design with screwed links and tube-style end links that fit effortlessly into the hooded lugs of the Mark II’s case. The clasp is also noteworthy, a brushed and signed push button fold-over clasp with Omega’s rack-and-pusher extension system. Within the clasp there is a small button that allows the wearer to access a ratcheting extension that provides an additional 9.6 mm in length.
While this is neither a watch nor an extension length that is dive-applicable, the extension would likely make it possible to wear the Omega Speedmaster Mark II over the sleeve of a race suit or simply as an adjustment for those with fluctuating wrist sizes. Both the bracelet and the clasp are beautifully made and look excellent when matched with the vintage vibe of the Mark II.
With the Omega Speedmaster Mark II on wrist, you’re either smiling or you’re dead inside. All three versions have a distinctive yet recognizable appeal and look great. The racing dial simply expands that appeal in the same way that a bright red Ferrari seems faster than a black one. With a fitted weight of 185 g and a thickness of 15 mm, the Mark II is not a watch that is going to disappear on your wrist or slide under most cuffs. It has tall flanks and, as I’ve mentioned, a rather sporty presence.
With a flat profile and that extending clasp, finding the right fit was a piece of cake and makes the Omega Speedmaster Mark II a very comfortable and wearable watch. The wrist-friendly and reasonable 42.4 x 46.2 mm sizing means that the Omega Speedmaster Mark II should appeal to a wide range of wrists and tastes. Ultimately, I think the design is effortlessly cool and that the Mark II is an excellent alternative to the more classic and common Moonwatch design. With a brushed steel construction, sturdy bracelet, and 100 m (330 ft) worth of water resistance, the Mark II is also undoubtedly ready for everyday wear.
As Omega has endeavoured to bring us better movements and an increasing array of technological advancements, their prices have been on the rise and the Speedmaster Mark II boasts a $6250 USD price tag. That being said, for an automatic column wheel chronograph that also happens to say “Speedmaster” on the dial, that is a rather competitive price and I can think of few watches at that price-point that are as cool and as distinctive as the Mark II. For me, even among its Speedmaster brethren, the Mark II stands out for offering a special mix of legacy Moonwatch design with vintage Omega appeal and a presence that is simply all its own. omegawatches.com
>Model: Speedmaster Mark II (ref. 3184.108.40.206.06.001 as tested. Ref. 3220.127.116.11.01.001 in black).
>Price: $6,250 USD
>Size: 42.4 x 15 mm
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes!
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Anyone looking for a fun chronograph with solid specs and a seriously cool look.
>Best characteristic of watch: The racing dial and the lumed tachymetre scale.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Date is controlled via pusher on case side.