This year at Baselworld 2013, Omega blew away fans by introducing a new 44.25mm Speedmaster. They’ve given it the name “Dark Side of the Moon” to give tribute to its rich heritage as the original watch worn on the moon, and its slick black theme. The Speedmaster is the only watch to have withstood all of NASA’s tests; zero gravity, magnetic fields, extreme shocks, vibrations and temperatures. This watch was worn on the early astronauts who entered space, and was the watch worn when man first walked to Moon’s surface on the Apollo 11 mission on the 21st of July 1969. As a result, the Speedmaster is often referred to as the “Moonwatch”.
The Omega Speedmaster “Moonwatch”
There have been several versions in the past 50 years, with the “Dark Side of the Moon” being this years new release. The monobloc case is made ceramic and is slightly larger at 44.25mm than the current 42mm Moonwatch. The monobloc case means that there is no caseback, but simply a slightly domed sapphire glass on the back. The brushed and polished case is matched to a dial that is made of black zirconium. Markers on the dial are 18ct white gold and there are two slightly recessed-looking sub-dials. This new sub-dial layout differentiates it from the current Moonwatch lineup. So they’ve reduced it from three sub-dials to two while still maintaining legibility of the chronograph feature. Combined hours and minutes on the right, and seconds on the left. The date is positioned neatly at the 6pm marker.
Monobloc case with sapphire glass
All hands are made of 18ct white except for the central chronograph hand that is rhodium plated with a red tip. I’m liking the black and red combination, the red “Speedmaster” text on the dial being a particular stand out item. Superluminova coats the hands and hour markers. There is a small seconds sub-dial located at 9 o’clock and a date window at 6 o’clock. The hour and minute Moonwatch-style hands are fashioned from 18K white gold, as are the hands found on both sub-dials; the central chronograph hand is rhodium plated and features a red tip for increased visibility of recorded seconds. Super-LumiNova coats the two dots at 12 and the hour, minute and chronograph hands ensuring that the wearing can read the time in a variety of lighting conditions.
Everything here is ceramic. The case, bezel, dial, pushers, even the buckle. It is a true all-ceramic watch. Water resistant to 50m, the watch is powered by Omega’s in house Co-Axial caliber 9300 with a silicon balance spring. The self-winding movement itself is beautiful to look at featuring the renowned co-axial escapement. Power reserve comes in at an ample 60 hours and is decorated nicely with Geneva stripes. Unfortunately you can’t quick set the date with this movement. I don’t mind this too much as it does have a jumping hour hand for setting the date “quickly”. You’ll be able to move the hour hand quickly to advance the date rather than advance the date immediately.
The Omega 9300 self-winding caliber
Some may also say that the 44.25mm sized case is a little too large. I would have to agree. Previously the trend was to have larger sized watches. However I am noticing that this is trend (as with all trends) is fading and most manufactures are slowly reverting back to a more trim size. The proof will be in the pudding though, so I will revert back here once I get a chance to try this beauty on. I would have preferred the watch to come with another strap option as well. This one comes only with a black Cordura fabric strap. It actually matches the watch quite well but I always prefer to have an alternative to a fabric strap. Perhaps a matt black leather strap would have been a great addition.
Black Cordura strap with ceramic buckle
The official USD price for the Omega Speedmaster “Dark Side Of the Moon” when released is USD$12,000. This is certainly a premium among the other Speedmasters. However you are getting a new all-ceramic watch that is actually superbly executed with a great Omega movement. A 4 year warranty should also help give you some piece of mind on your purchase.
A round of applause for Omega please. I don’t tend to gravitate towards all black watches. As stunning as they are, adding one to the collection is a tough call. However, the “Dark Side of the Moon” is certainly one which would be an exception to the rule.
See Omega’s official press release here