March 20, 2016
For 2016, Omega has released a collection of Speedmaster moon phase watches, a complication that pays homage to the watch’s unique history as the watch NASA took to the moon. Last year, Omega unveiled a Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon collection, but this year they want to show off the storied space history and also show off their new METAS-certified in-house caliber 9904/9905 movement housed in the Omega Speedmaster Master Chronometer Chronograph Moonphase watches.
To satisfy Speedmaster fans, and as the the brand tends to do with its new releases, Omega is offering several versions of the new Omega Speedmaster Master Chronometer Chronograph Moonphase watch. First, in stainless steel with a cool blue liquid metal dial and blue alligator strap or on a steel bracelet. Second is the version in Sedna gold with black alligator strap. Third is a rare yellow gold one but with green liquid metal bezel. And finally, there is a limited edition platinum version with a super-cool red liquid metal bezel. Additionally, the platinum version also includes a tiny magnifying glass on the date hand semicircle which helps to see the date more clearly. Omega says that this little addition is not so easy to achieve and, at least for now, it is only on the platinum version.
The Omega Speedmaster Master Chronometer Chronograph Moonphase watches all share the new caliber 9904/9905 movement which is a METAS-certified (learn more about that here) Master Chronometer, meaning there are rigorous anti-magnetic and performance standards that exceed the industry-standard COSC Certification. This follows Omega’s promise to make all their watches pass the METAS certification and at the same time move all of their collection to become anti-magnetic. This is primarily achieved by using a proprietary nonmagnetic alloy for all parts of the watch and movement as well as using a silicon escapement.
The movement is made of 368 parts as well as 54 jewels. The automatic movement operates at a frequency of 28,800vph (4Hz) helping provide the Omega Speedmaster Master Chronometer Chronograph Moonphase watch with a 60-hour power reserve. As we mentioned earlier, it is antimagnetic to the tune of 15,000 gauss. This movement also features Omega’s silicon Si14 balance spring and free-sprung balance. By the way, when you see a 9905 movement, that just means the rotor and bridge on the balance wheel is made of Sedna gold. In the 9904, these are Rhodium-plated. Both feature Geneva waves in arabesque and blackened screws, barrels, and balance wheels.
The two additions to the Omega Speedmaster Master Chronometer Chronograph Moonphase dial are the moon phase above the 6 o’clock marker and date markers on the seconds dial which has a “lollipop” hand that accurately creates a semicircle on the current date. The date subdial remains also an indicator of the current seconds since, like the chronograph counters at 3 o’clock, there are two hands. There’s a very cool look to the magnified date hand on the platinum version, and I really hope it’s a feature that extends to the future versions. While we’re on the topic, just take a look at the closeup of the platinum dial below. This is one beautiful watch, and the attention to details like the guilloche on the inner seconds sub-dial is top-notch.
Perhaps the main notable difference in the new movement (besides the nonmagnetic characteristic) is the moon phase complication at 6 o’clock. It follows various similar moon phase subdials done as a semicircle with the phase of the moon on top that goes from 0 to 29.5 days. Omega claims that the accuracy is about a day every 10 years, which while sounding impressive, and maybe decent in real life use (though who keeps their watches always wound and running for 10 years?), but that is about one tenth of similar moon phases added to typical in-house movements; many tend to instead deviate one day for every 122 years!
Nevertheless, the best aspect of the moon phase subdial in this Omega Speedmaster Master Chronometer Chronograph Moonphase watch is the photorealistic representation of our nearest neighbor and a cool but whimsical and poetic tiny addition of the footprint of Buzz Aldrin on the actual location where man first landed on the moon. Sure, it requires a loupe to make out the footprint, but if you are into watches, you are likely to own one of the many branded loupes readily available, including from Omega, or more advanced ones such as from Loupe System.
The Omega Speedmaster Master Chronometer Chronograph Moonphase watches are 44.25mm wide and 16.85mm high on the wrist, and the have a water resistance of 100M. The size is definitely on the large side, but a smaller case with this much going on would look cramped and busy. Looking at the dials on these models, there is enough breathing room between everything for it to look complex and nuanced without looking packed in.
The Omega Speedmaster Master Chronometer Chronograph Moonphase in steel is priced at $11,400, steel with Sedna gold or steel with yellow gold is $14,300, the Sedna gold and yellow gold case models are $29,000 each, and the platinum version is $54,000 with a limited edition run of 57 pieces. omegawatches.com