Well, this was fast. A few minutes after the exclusive launch on the Omega website and social media channels we rushed to share the news of this hot new Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday 2 “Ultraman” on our @aBlogtoWatch Instagram channel… But just a couple minutes more, and all 2,012 limited edition numbered pieces have been reserved on the brand’s micro-site. It all went down in no more than 35 minutes. Scrambling over, here we are with the key details of this latest LE run of the Speedmaster so that you’ll know what you’ll be getting – or, more likely, what you have missed out on.
In January last year, Omega launched a similar 2,012-piece limited run that was the first Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday, produced in collaboration with Robert-Jan Broer, founder of FratelloWatches, a watch blog largely specialized in Omega and especially its many Speedmaster iterations that saw the light of day over the many decades of its existence.
That inaugural launch of just-over-2,000 watches got reserved down to the last one in under 4 hours – it was the first time that Omega had launched a watch in such a way. Now, apparently that the market and eager collectors and Speedmaster enthusiasts had been prepared, the Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday 2 “Ultraman” took much less than that – just over half an hour according to my timing.
A tribute to the Omega Speedmaster Ultraman Orange Hand of 1968 (reference ST 145.012-67), named after a Japanese series by Eiji Tsubaraya, “one of the most famous examples of the Kaiju ‘giant monster’ genre,” according to Omega… Since I’m no expert on the “giant monster” genre, I’ll have to take Omega’s word for that – but I’ll duly catch up on my weird ’70s Japanese TV series, rest assured…
…In fact, I’ve looked it up and indeed, an orange hand Speedmaster was featured in The Return of Ultraman episode 8, from 22:29 – but I’d suggest watching at least a few seconds of it all, just, you know, so that you can take it all in.
Tsuburaya-san must have chosen to include the “Speedy” for a reason: first, he was reportedly a watch collector himself, but more importantly, this particular series was filmed a few years after the Moon landing, definitely a lifetime’s moment for everyone in the civilized world, and especially for the growing number of fans of science-fiction. With that achievement, one watch’s strong association has been well documented – and that would, as you all know so well at this point, be the Omega Speedmaster.
This new release strikes a chord not only because it pays a tribute to a funky Japanese sci-fi series, but because it extends that orange and faded lume theme to the rest of the watch, creating a new-from-the-shop Speedmaster that is dripping with vintage elements. Add to it the black and orange NATO strap that, for some reason, reminds me of Adidas Originals tracksuits from the ’80s, and you really have a blast from the past edition of a well-known collection… And, as we’ve seen, that’s what the market has been wanting so desperately lately.
Since I am much more often than not appalled by vintage re-releases and faded lume, it did strike me with surprise how much I dug this new release. That’s probably because I like watches with popping colors on them, and although the faded yellow lume I’d normally consider an unwelcome addition, here it neatly pulls together the black and orange theme and adds another layer to it.
One final neat little detail that we have come to see from limited edition Speedmasters resides once again in the 9 o’clock sub-dial: it’s a hidden silhouette of an Ultraman profile that can be revealed by UV light – and, wouldn’t you know, Omega has just included one fitted to the strap changing tool that’s in the box. And while the quirky box along with the Ultraman Beta Capsule inspired strap changing + UV lamp tool just deepen the association with the Ultraman series, the watch itself is in fact a totally wearable and rather neat-looking iteration on the Speedmaster.
Maybe it’s too much of a good thing, as it turns out for those who have missed their chance to reserve one of these unexpected re-releases. As I’ve said, the 2,012 pieces of the Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday 2 “Ultraman,” priced at 6,350 CHF or $7,100 sold out super fast. Omega just sent out an email saying it took 1 hour and 53 minutes – but reservations couldn’t really be made only about half an hour after the launch. omegawatches.com