The Omega Speedmaster ’57 collection has become a rather hot subset of the popular Speedmaster timepiece family since it was originally introduced in 2013. Sporting Omega’s modern in-house made caliber 9300 Co-Axial Chronograph movement in a 41.5mm wide case that is slightly smaller than the largest available Speedmaster at 44.25mm wide, the Omega Speedmaster ’57 also uses more “historic” hands as compared to the more modern “needle-style” of most contemporary Omega Speedmaster watches.
At Baselworld 2015, Omega introduced yet another version of the Speedmaster ’57 with a very cool looking retro design. In addition to the “vintage” style dial with a matte black face and aged-style luminant, Omega decided to use a slightly different handset which is more indicative of the original Omega Speedmaster from 1957 with the so called “broad arrow hands.”
In a sense, this Omega Speedmaster ’57 for 2015 is an aesthetic emulation of the original 1957 Omega Speedmaster for today’s Speedmaster fans. In that regard, it is unabashedly a “retro revival” watch, but it is done very well and offers a vintage look with a totally modern package. So yes, it is a fashion watch, but a fashion watch of the highest regard.
A few months ago, I was strolling on Sunset Boulevard here in Los Angeles and noticed an extremely tall and prominent billboard advertisement for Omega, which happened to feature this specific Omega Speedmaster ’57 watch… as well as George Clooney. On a classic motorcycle in the desert, Clooney is riding along wearing the Omega Speedmaster ’57 and the phrase “George Clooney’s Choice” is the selling point. For a mainstream audience, this message likely works well and the attractive design of the vintage looking dial on this particular version of the Omega Speedmaster ’57 is most certainly a crowd pleaser. Can you blame Omega for not going into additional detail about the watch and the history it leverages? I don’t think so – what I find most interesting are the layers of appreciation possible with a watch like this that can be marketed in a range of ways. You can enjoy the Omega Speedmaster ’57 as a watch nerd, or just as a guy looking for a nice looking luxury timepiece.
In the end of the Mercury program the next year, astronauts approached NASA Operations Director Deke Slayton and requested to be issued with watches for use during training and flight. Their timing was perfect, since NASA had just hired a bunch of engineers to appraise, test and certify equipment for use by astronauts. NASA finally analyzed watches provided by Omega, Rolex, and Longines-Wittnauer. The tests were barbarous, designed to examine sequences to destruction. However he was not wearing his watch. He left it on the Eagle, since the on-board clock was not working. A couple of minutes afterwards, Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the Moon’s surface, sporting his watch, and the Omega Speedmaster Professional became the first watch to be worn out on the Moon.Omega launched the Seamaster line in 1948 to celebrate the new 100th anniversary. This makes it the earliest line in the current group, which also includes the Speedmaster, Constellation and De Ville. The Seamaster was loosely based on the watches Omega made for the British army in the conclusion of World War II.In 1957, Omega launched the Professional Selection of Seamaster watches with the debut of the Omega Seamaster 300. Jacques Cousteau’s staff used the Seamaster 300 through its “Precontinent II” experiments in the Red Sea in the summer of 1963 to establish that divers could live in a underwater saturated gas surroundings for extended periods without adverse effects. Military units, including the British Special Boat Service, chose the Seamaster 300 as their official watch.
In 2013, aBlogtoWatch reviewed the original Omega Speedmaster ’57 Co-Axial Chronograph watch here. Offered in a range of styles, we gave the Omega Speedmaster ’57 high marks for its mixture of sporty and dressy elements. Omega surely offers more than enough Speedmaster watch variety, and the challenge for consumers is trying to find the right Speedmaster for them. Seriously, we have more conversations helping people to choose “the right Speedmaster for them” than anything else.
The Omega Speedmaster ’57 has a lot of unique traits and, in fact, can exist nicely alongside other Speedmasters in your collection. In fact, some people might like to have an original Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch with the 1861 manually wound movement as well as the more unique looking Omega Speedmaster ’57 with the in-house made movement. They are both Speedmasters but have enough distinct elements to both have a solid place in any watch collection.
While I am not always a fan of watches which are blatantly new but trying to look old, I really like the particular combination of colors and style in these 2015 Omega Speedmaster ’57 Co-Axial Chronograph 41.5mm reference 3184.108.40.206.01.002 (on the steel bracelet) and 3220.127.116.11.01.002 (on the leather strap) watches. The honey-brown Barenia leather strap on the latter is particularly nice. Speedmaster watches are not typically offered on a strap (well sometimes a strap is included along with a bracelet) but this is a really handsome model. I also find that the more historic combination of hands works really well, as this 2015 Omega Speedmaster ’57 most directly hearkens to the original Omega Speedmaster watch from 1957 – what a damn fine classic that has turned out to be, right?
At 41.5mm wide in steel, the Omega Watches Men Replica Speedmaster ’57 Co-Axial Chronograph fits on the larger side thanks to the broad lugs. Though, of course, it fits a bit smaller than the over-44mm-wide version (that is also fantastic and shares the same caliber 9300 movement). The case has a sapphire crystal over the dial as well as over the movement and is water resistant to 100 meters.
The dial legibility is still fantastic despite the cream colored indexes and hands. I have a feeling that the lume is also very good. The dial features two subdials, but thanks to the 9300 movement has a full 12-hour chronograph as the right subdial has a counter for chronograph minutes and hours. The movement also features the date. Unfortunately Omega still hasn’t imbued the 9300 family of movements with their “Master Co-Axial” technology which essentially adds the anti-magnetic properties. Though that will happen eventually, and the 9300 movement remains one of the best calibers that Omega produces.
With a Co-Axial escapement and COSC Chronometer certification, the caliber 9300 movement is among the most beautiful “mass production” Swiss in-house made movements around right now, in my opinion. The movement has 60 hours of power reserve and contains a silicon balance spring, operating at the abnormal 3.5Hz frequency that Co-Axial movements do.
The 2015 Omega Watches 5th Avenue Replica Speedmaster ’57 Co-Axial Chronograph watches clearly do fit into the larger Omega Speedmaster ’57 family but we call them the “Retro” or “Vintage” models given the unique handset in addition to the dial colors. It might have been a good idea for Omega to further differentiate the collection with slightly unique names, but at least we have the reference numbers which, again, are the 318.104.22.168.01.002 (bracelet) and 322.214.171.124.01.002 (strap). Price is 7,500 Swiss Francs and $9,000 in USD. omegawatches.com