The Omega SpeedMaster Timeline Over 60 Years
I was reading a richly textured article from Brice Goulard of monochrome watches about the evolution of the Omega SpeedMaster, I wanted to share his love of this amazing brand and add the discount watch store slant to it. Brice’s article was such a fine piece taking the reader through the introduction of the Speedmaster back in 1957 to its modern-day incarnation, and its journey to get here. Over the last 60 years, the Speedmaster has come a long way and the history and the people involved make it a truly unique timepiece.
The Iconic 1957 Omega Speedmaster Broad Arrow
What’s The Idea?
At discount watch stores we live for genuine top quality timepieces at great prices and the Omega brand has been a firm favorite of ours from the very beginning. I’ve written a number of pieces in the past looking at the Omega collection from the rich and famous favoring the brand from George Clooney, Prince William, to Daniel Graig, all wearing the SeaMaster models, but it’s the SpeedMaster that really sets the bar high. All I’d like to do is take you on a trip through the life and times of the Omega SpeedMaster, then give you some really excellent news to brighten your day.
Birth of The SpeedMaster Legend
Let’s start at the beginning with the 1957 release of the SpeedMaster. At the time the SpeedMaster was one-third of the trilogy of professional timepieces made up of the not so well known Railmaster, and the SeaMaster. For those of you who know a little about the Speedmaster you’re no doubt aware that it’s also known as the ‘MoonWatch’ and probably understand why. It bears the name Speedmaster because it was originally designed as a racing Chrono but nobody could have guessed what the future held for this piece.
Of course, the modern incarnation has taken the name ‘Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch’ and why not? The pedigree is clear to see as we look down the years, so let’s look at the history of the MoonWatch, or dare I say its place in history, starting with the 1957 release.
Speedmaster CK2915 “Broad Arrow” Release 1957
Introduced in 1957 and built until 1959 this was originally design as a racing Chrono and the first offer a tachymeter scale positioned on the external bezel. It was known as the ‘Broad Arrow’ due to its broad hands and the steel bezel engraved with ‘Base 1000’
Speedmaster CK2998 “Alpha Hands” Released 1959
Replacing the ‘Broad Arrow’ this new release in 1959 was know as the ‘Alpha Hands’. The bezel is now black anodized aluminum with a printed tachymeter scale, the hands are narrower giving a more refined appearance, but this is not the major talking point here. Astronaut Walter Schirra wore this very model, his personal timepiece, on the Sigma 7 mission of the Mercury Programme in 1962 making this the first Omega in space.
Speedmaster 105.003 Third Generation Released 1963
The 3rd generation SpeedMaster known as the ‘Ed White’ in deference to the first American astronaut to complete a spacewalk, this piece offers some new refinements. The dial is slightly stepped rather than perfectly flat, the dangerous radium paint is replaced with Swiss Made luminous tritium paint and the hands are now white batons with diamond-shaped second’s hand. Notice the bezel no longer reads ‘base 1000’ but ‘base 500’. By now NASA had taken an interest and this watch was tested by NASA and James H. Ragan to become ‘Flight Qualified By NASA For All Manned Space Missions’.
James H. Ragan
Speedmaster 105.012 Professional Released 1964
The release of the Speedmaster 105.012 Professional in 1964 saw the introduction of the SpeedMaster signature design cues in the shape of the asymmetrical case and protected crown and pushers. It was at this point the SpeedMaster had become ‘Professional’ due to its association with astronauts and the space program. It is this model that became the true ‘MoonWatch’ worn by Aldrin and Armstrong on the Moon landing of July 1969.
Speedmaster 145.022 with 861 Calibre Released 1968
This release in 1968 introduced the mechanical calibre 861 which was an updated cam operated evolution of the previous movement, but less complicated and more reliable. The look and feel is similar, the dials are all still tritium although some small refinements can be seen such as an engraving on the back referring to NASA and the moon landing from 1969 on. The bezel looks slightly different with smaller front and a dot next to the 90 mark, and the Omega logo is now printed on the dial.
Speedmaster 3570.50 From 1997
The 1997 release is what you might call a stable version with no modification after the replacement of the luminous hands and markers to non-radioactive Luminova, rather than tritium, and an update to the movement. The new Calibre 1861 is an updated version of the 861 movements with 18 jewels instead of 17 jewels and is either rhodium or yellow-gold plated rather than copper.
Case: 42mm Steel case, asymmetrical design
Black aluminum bezel, printed with scale
“Tachymeter 500” bezel, dot next to 90
Flat and Black luminous dial, luminova painted
White baton hour and minute hands
White baton sub-counter hands
White, diamond-shaped chronograph hand
Painted Omega logo
Speedmaster Professional signature
Calibre 1861, cam-operated, 18 jewels
So What Now?
By now you know how iconic and important the Omega SpeedMaster ‘MoonWatch’ is and you’re probably well aware that they are pretty pricey. But here’s the thing, the Omega brand is very special in more than one way, yes they produce some of the best and most desirable timepieces around, but they also have some sensible price points to allow the wider population to afford them.
If you don’t believe me then feel free to visit Omega’s online showroom and you can see their entry-level watches are pricey but affordable. Alternatively, I may have some interesting news…..
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Men’s Watch
This genuine SpeedMaster Professional MoonWatch is the real deal but it’s not from the expensive boutiques of Paris, New York, London, or Milan. This is the product of the grey market that buys in bulk at lower prices than the authorized dealers are able to do and passes on the saving to sell at discounted prices.
This means right now you can get hold of this beauty with the discount of 34%. But it does stop there because there are always bargains to be had regardless of what you are looking for, so it’s always worthwhile checking out the latest deals
* Silver-tone stainless steel case with a silver-tone stainless steel bracelet.
* Fixed silver-tone stainless steel with black PVD with tachymet bezel.
* Black dial with silver-tone hands and index hour markers.
* Minute markers around the outer rim.
* Dial Type: Analog.
* Luminescent hands and markers.
* Chronograph – sub-dials displaying: three – 60 second, 30 minute and 12 hour.
* Omega Calibre 1861 hand wind movement with a 48-hour power reserve.
* Scratch resistant hesalite crystal.
* Pull / push crown.
* Solid case back.
* Case size: 42 mm.
* Deployment clasp.
* Water resistant at 50 meters / 165 feet.
* Functions: chronograph, hour, minute, second, tachymeter.
* Watch label: Swiss Made.
* Item Variations:
311 30 42 30 01 005
* Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Mens Watch
At the moment this particular piece is available at $3,475.00 with the 34% discount so if you’d like to find out more just follow this link.
$3,475.00 (34% off)
If you’re looking for the perfect Watch at the perfect price, from a trusted source, you know it can be a stressful experience, with the right help and advice, you too can find your dream timepiece. As I’m considered an expert in my field and I write for other publications like Wrist Review I know you’ll benefit from my experience and avoid the pitfalls.
If you are considering buying online you may be interested in reading the “How to choose a watch for your wrist size” article here.
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