On the eve of the 50th anniversary of mankind landing on the Moon, Omega introduces its Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 in platinum, with a ceramic and enamel bezel, powered by the recently re-launched Calibre 321. Here’s all you need to know.
As any hardcore Moonwatch nerd will immediately recognize, the 42mm wide case design is inspired by the asymmetrical 4th generation Speedmaster case, complete with the twisted lugs of reference ST 105.012. What could not possibly be spotted is the special platinum alloy the case of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 is made of: it is platinum mixed with white gold, aptly called Pt950Au20. Omega is yet to release further details on this material — although it has used it for a set of highly limited Speedmaster Moonwatch pieces with rubies and emeralds, launched also earlier this year. Needless to say, Omega reserves the use of platinum for its most valuable and most limited pieces, with only a few different references a year being launched in this precious metal.
The step-dial — again, a connoisseur-pleasing detail — follows suit by incorporating slices of real moon meteorite. First discovered in 1979 and 1982 in the Antarctica, and later found in select deserts as well, all lunar meteorites were ejected from the Moon in the past 20 million years. Their origin is established by comparing their chemical composition, mineralogy, and the isotopic composition between meteorites and samples from the Moon, as collected by Apollo missions. As such, Lunar meteorites are one’s best chance to own a piece of the Moon, as the only legally available lunar samples collected by probes and delivered back to Earth just sold for $855,000. So yeah, lunar meteorites — in the shape of Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 sub-dials — are your best chance to own a slice of the Moon.
Although at first sight the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 looks very close to a bog standard Moonwatch, we have already established that it, in fact, is full of subtle, yet highly Moonwatch-fan-enticing details. And the list goes on. The bezel is crafted from black ceramic, with the Tachymètre scale rendered in enamel. Eagle-eyed Moonwatch fanatics will spot the “Dot Over 90” graduation, a minute detail that not only allowed a select few vintage Moonwatches to stand out from the rest, but that also hints at the attention to detail with which Omega approached this special edition. The step dial is formed from onyx and features 18kt white gold indices and hands — Omega commendably adds “with the exception of the central chronograph seconds hand.” The picture is rendered complete by a period-correct, applied Omega logo under the 12 o’clock marker.
Powering the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 is the recently relaunched Omega Calibre 321 that we debuted back in January. You may read all about it in our dedicated article. In essence, the Omega Calibre 321 is made to be as close to the Calibre 321 that powered the Speedmaster — those that have been to the Moon — as possible. When we broke the news on this new caliber, we said that we said that this special movement will likely be reserved for highly special pieces, given the fact that each modern Omega Calibre 321 is manufactured in a dedicated segment of Omega’s facilities, rendering their production limited and, when combined with the engineering and design work related to re-introducing it, also very costly.
All that said, we couldn’t possibly think of a movement more suited to power the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 than Calibre 321. It just looks and sounds all kinds of right and renders this 50th anniversary piece, in a way at least, the be all and end all of Moonwatch special editions ever launched. The caseback is of course sapphire, which isn’t something NASA would have tolerated — but getting hung up on that would be missing the point entirely.
Factoring in the platinum case, onyx and lunar meteorite dial, Calibre 321 movement, and historical significance within the lineup of Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch watches, it should come as little surprise that the new 321 Platinum Moonwatch has an asking price of 55,000 CHF, making it the ultimate addition for well-heeled Moonwatch collectors across the planet. Availability is slated for winter 2019, and you may scout the official Omega website for more details — and more affordable, but just as desirable, Moonwatches.