Omega broke the web with the discharge of the brand new Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Grasp Chronometer. The brand new Moonwatch is a sizzling matter, and I believed it will be attention-grabbing to make a “hands-on” comparability between the previous Moonwatch and the brand new one. Everybody can see and browse specs, however how do these Moonwatch updates and adjustments appear like in actual life? Let’s have a better look.
You don’t mess with a basic, that’s the unwritten rule. And when you achieve this, you have to be very — very! — cautious. And that’s precisely what Omega did with the long-overdue replace for his or her iconic Moonwatch mannequin. Our extremely in-depth introduction article on the brand new Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Grasp Chronometer can be found here. It isn’t essential to learn that article first, however when you’re searching for one thing that’s not lined on this comparability article, go there.
The brand new reference 310.30.42.50.01.zero01
Omega was sort sufficient to ship us a batch of the brand new Speedmaster Moonwatch Grasp Chronometer watches, together with the sapphire, Hesalite, and Canopus (white gold) mannequin. To be upfront right here, I by no means owned the final iteration of the Moonwatch, the reference 318.104.22.168.01.005. I’ve a 3570.50 from 2013, which is similar to the reference 322.214.171.124.01.005 that was in manufacturing from 2014 until 2020.
The principle distinction is within the bracelet (screws within the new one, as a substitute of the previous pin and tube set-up) and — after all — the massive Moonwatch field. So the images on this comparability article are of the brand new reference 310.30.42.50.01.zero01 and the previous 3570.50. Nonetheless, on the subject of pricing, packaging, and many others, I’ll seek advice from the Moonwatch with reference 3126.96.36.199.01.005 that’s now being phased out.
Speedmaster Moonwatch Grasp Chronometer
It wasn’t even a rumor that the Moonwatch can be outfitted with the brand new Grasp Chronometer caliber 3861. Omega already made this very clear over the last Speedy Tuesday occasion we had in December 2019 (looks like a very long time in the past now). However how would the model’s designers do it? Would they nonetheless respect the design of the Moonwatch?
Would the extremely clear dial be ruined by further printing on there to point there’s a Grasp Chronometer motion? Effectively, if you recognize a bit about Omega and the course the model’s been on for just a few years, it shouldn’t be a shock to listen to that Omega is aware of all about us collectors and lovers and would spend a number of power getting the main points proper. Omega did make some attention-grabbing decisions, which I’ll contact upon throughout this hands-on comparability of those two watches, although.
Dial Modifications — Printing
The very first thing I seen — when trying on the new Speedmaster Moonwatch Grasp Chronometer — is that one thing has been modified in regards to the printing. The printed Omega brand is now smaller sized, the wordmark OMEGA is extra spacious and due to this fact bigger and the wording “Speedmaster” and “Skilled” at the moment are equally broad on the dial. On the previous Moonwatch, as you may see, the emblem and phrases had been like a triangle. Slim on the prime and widest at “Skilled”. In all honesty, I just like the previous printing higher.
It doesn’t scream at you what it’s (everyone knows what it’s) and I preferred the build-up from small to broad. I do just like the “OMEGA” wording higher on the brand new one, as it’s extra spacious, however I wouldn’t have minded Omega making the font measurement a bit smaller. It isn’t very seen on the image, however the “Swiss Made” printing has been made a little bit bit smaller. Final however not least, the numerals of the sub-dials are much less daring on the brand new Moonwatch.
The luminous hour markers are green-ish, and never fake patina (as some folks assumed).
Dial Modifications — Studying Seconds
An attention-grabbing change on the dial that lots of you found already, is the second’s observe. There at the moment are three divisions, as you may see, as a substitute of the 5 within the former Moonwatch. The usage of three divisions has to do with the frequency of the motion, which is 21,600 vibrations per hour. This interprets to 3Hz, therefore the three divisions. It provides a neater readout while you cease the chronograph’s second hand.
The frequency of the brand new 3861 motion didn’t change compared to the caliber 1861 — that one additionally ticked at 21,600 vibrations per hour. I see this variation within the divisions as a correction greater than anything. Additionally, we’ve seen this correction of the chronograph observe on different Moonwatch variations earlier than (Speedy Tuesday fashions, Apollo XI 50th anniversary, and many others).
Dial Modifications — Step it up
The primary generations of Speedmaster (Skilled) watches had a step dial. Which means these dials weren’t flat, however that they’d a barely recessed minute observe. Omega’s Speedmasters had a step dial till 1974. In that 12 months, Omega launched the Speedmaster reference 145.022-74 and the step was gone. These dials are simply known as flat dials (whereas the sub-dials are after all nonetheless recessed). All Speedmaster Skilled “Moonwatch” fashions produced between the final quarter of 1974 and till 2021, have a flat dial. I’m joyful that the step dial is again, it brings a bit extra depth to proceedings.
Dial Modifications — Fingers
The primary Speedmaster references (CK2915 and CK2998) got here with broad arrow and alpha palms. It wasn’t till the third era of Speedmasters, the reference 105.003 or “Ed White” that the white baton palms had been launched. Because of this since 1963, the Speedmaster has been utilizing white baton palms. However, not all the time precisely the identical ones. Other than the completely different luminous supplies used over time, there’s additionally one design change. The chronograph second hand used to have a pointed (or “teardrop”) counterweight, from the 105.003 until the final 145.012. With the introduction of the caliber 861 (145.022) in 1968, the drop counterweight hand was changed with the flat counterweight chronograph hand. And it stayed this fashion, all the way in which till now.
Additionally attention-grabbing: with the introduction of the brand new Moonwatch Grasp Chronometer, the facilities of the small palms usually are not white anymore, however silver coloration (unpainted).
A special case — 4th era
Omega added the phrase “Skilled” to the Speedmaster in 1964, with the introduction of reference 105.012. This successor of the “Ed White” — or 105.003 — is the primary asymmetrical Speedmaster case. As you recognize, the phrase “Skilled” wasn’t added due to the NASA qualification (which was additionally one 12 months later, in 1965), however due to the introduction of the brand new case form (and thus additionally the usage of crown guards). It’s the case of this 4th era of Speedmasters, that Omega now additionally makes use of for the present Speedmaster Moonwatch Grasp Chronometer. As you may see within the image above, the form of the case modified not solely through the use of the flat prime lugs, additionally the profile modified.
What additionally modified is the form of the pushers, they now have a flat cap. Very like the unique 105.012 had. You will discover comparability footage additional down under.
A special case — DO90 bezel
One other attention-grabbing ingredient from the previous that Omega used for the brand new Speedmaster Moonwatch is the dot-over-ninety (DON or DO90) bezel. Omega used this initially on Speedmasters until 1970. In our article on Omega Speedmaster bezels, you will see that the completely different bezel variations. The bezel is fabricated from metal, with an aluminum inlay. Omega determined to not use ceramic bezels however in my view, a ceramic bezel may have been deployed on the sapphire model of the brand new Speedmaster Skilled Moonwatch. I don’t thoughts the aluminum bezel although, there’s only a greater threat of scratches and — maybe — the occasional fading to gray after an extended interval.
A special case — double bevel
One other characteristic of classic Speedmasters, up until 1967 (105.012-65) is the double bevel case again. As you may see within the image above, the brand new Speedmaster Moonwatch additionally has this double bevel case again, whereas the previous Moonwatch (3188.8.131.52.01.005) simply had a single bevel. Because it was the case since 1967. Within the image under, you will note the case backs from the brand new Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch and the previous one (or higher stated, the 3570.50) facet by facet.
A special case — new engraving
In addition to the double bevel case again, Omega additionally modified the engraving. After all, they added the Co-Axial Grasp Chronometer (Moonwatch Skilled) textual content to be sure you know what you’ve purchased. I may reside with out it, however I may also think about Omega is proud to point that its iconic chronograph now has a METAS licensed motion.
The largest change is the brand new round engraving. It now reads “Flight-Certified By NASA In 1965 For All Manned House Missions” as a substitute of “Flight-Certified By NASA For All Manned House Missions”. Now, Omega added “in 1965” for plenty of causes. One in every of them is that the qualification (not a certification, as NASA doesn’t certify watches) occurred in 1965 and was not precisely this Moonwatch model. NASA certified the 105.003 with caliber 321. The later submitted 105.012 and 145.012 weren’t certified both. Then, in 1978, NASA certified the Speedmaster once more for the House Shuttle program.
Qualifying a Speedmaster
The dialogue evolves across the qualification of the Speedmaster. As you may learn above, the earlier Speedmaster was additionally not certified. The final one was the 145.022 with caliber 861 in 1978. Now, you may debate whether or not the caliber 1861 is that completely different from the certified caliber 861. However typically, I might say that NASA certified the complete watch primarily based on the take a look at outcomes, not solely the motion.
Additionally it is essential to notice is that in 1978, the take a look at work with the intention to be certified was carried out by Omega, not by NASA (as they did in 1965). The assessments had been carried out primarily based on the framework by NASA, because it was additionally utilized in 1965. Absolutely, the brand new watch has not been flight-qualified by NASA in any respect (neither was another Moonwatch since 1978), however Omega tell us that they did carry out the identical assessments as had been executed in 1978 to see if it will move.
The case again
Anyway, Omega made a concession with the engraving within the case again. It would by no means please everybody. Some say that they like the previous engraving as that was the way it was, others somewhat would see “First Watch Worn On The Moon” solely. Me personally, I don’t care that a lot. I like the truth that it refers back to the historical past of this watch and the Moon program, that’s what it’s all about, after all. The textual content on the case again is post-Moon touchdown anyway.
A special case — Tender Iron Inside Case
Those that have opened their Moonwatch (with a stable case again) know that there’s one other case inside. This can be a smooth iron protecting case that goes on prime of the motion. It retains the watch protected from magnetic fields, because it capabilities as a sort of Faraday cage. A reasonably easy resolution that has its limitations, after all. Additionally it is how the Milgauss and different anti-magnetic watches had been protected (and a few nonetheless are), as much as round 1,000 gauss.
As you recognize, the Omega Grasp Chronometer licensed watches are anti-magnetic to not less than 15,000 gauss (the “not less than” is expressed as “>”). The Omega Grasp Chronometer caliber 3861 is anti-magnetic as a result of the usage of sure alloys for its parts, so there’s truly no want anymore for a soft-iron interior case. Omega did add a further gasket or seal, to make it an ideal match, although.
New vs. previous bracelet
One of many issues I don’t like in regards to the former Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 3184.108.40.206.01.005 and 3570.50 references is the bracelet. It was launched in 1996, as a successor of the extra lovely reference 1479 bracelet. That reference 1479 bracelet was in use since 1988 and has a number of similarities with the brand new bracelet, which is, in my view, an enormous improve.
The brand new bracelet is just beautiful. It appears similar to the one used for the Speedmaster Apollo XI in Moonshine gold, however the inside is barely completely different (extra oval/rounded form of the hyperlinks) and the clasp is 1mm wider, including as much as 15mm in whole. The bracelet wears amazingly snug, as I’ve been sporting my Moonshine since early 2019, I can attest to it.
New Bracelet — It Has Micro-Adjustment
What I didn’t like in regards to the former bracelet, is the type. The hyperlinks had been fairly massive and it made the watch put on fairly giant on the wrist. How come? Effectively, the tip items had an extended heart half, that stands out fairly a bit. The brand new bracelet doesn’t have that, the tip piece is definitely somewhat brief. The previous bracelet was snug, so long as the size would suit you. What I additionally didn’t notably fancy, was the clasp. Though it had micro-adjustment, first by small holes within the clasp and in a while with a push-button contained in the clasp, it was fairly giant and clunky.
The brand new clasp
The brand new clasp relies on the gold Moonshine model from 2019, which in its personal flip relies on the 1969 gold Speedmaster BA145.022-69 watch. It had a skinny clasp, with a groove motif. As written above, the brand new Moonwatch bracelet has a clasp that’s barely wider (15mm) however has the identical options.
It’s a brief and comfy clasp, with two launch buttons. It doesn’t have a push-button inside, to increase or shorten the bracelet, however that doesn’t imply it doesn’t have micro-adjustment. It’s essential to use a toothpick or a little bit software to regulate the bracelet through the use of the spring bar and the holes within the clasp. It isn’t as snug or simple as utilizing a push-button, however it does save a number of house and retains the clasp measurement very modest.
Above, the 2 clasps from the within. As written, the later bracelets used on the earlier Moonwatch (2014–2020) have a pusher to increase the bracelet a bit, however my 3570.50 had two holes within the clasp for adjustment. There has additionally been a query relating to the origin of the bracelet. We will inform you that the brand new bracelet can also be Swiss made, regardless that it doesn’t say “Swiss Made” on the bracelet.
New Bracelet — Two Variations
The brand new Omega Speedmaster Skilled Moonwatch has a fantastic bracelet, and when you paid a little bit consideration, you most likely seen that the one on the Hesalite model of the watch is totally brushed and the one on the sapphire model has polished in-between hyperlinks. I favor the all brushed bracelet of the Speedmaster Moonwatch with Hesalite crystal. Fascinating to notice is that the white gold “Canopus” Speedmaster additionally comes with a completely brushed bracelet.
New Bracelet — It Suits The Outdated Moonwatch
As you may see above, the brand new Speedmaster bracelet will match the previous Moonwatch mannequin. There’s a little bit ‘lip’ or ‘notch’ on the tip hyperlink, which could want a little bit of submitting to get a 100% tight match (I didn’t achieve this, after all, so that you see a little bit hole between the tip piece and the case). However, it does match anyway, with out making any modification. So long as you don’t undergo from OCD, there’s no submitting obligatory.
In case you simply bought the previous mannequin Speedmaster Skilled Moonwatch, buying the brand new bracelet is perhaps a pleasant thought. Some folks requested us whether or not they need to promote or swap their previous Moonwatch mannequin for a brand new one. I can’t reply that query for you, but when the bracelet is the principle purpose, remember that it will match.
Caliber 3861 vs. Caliber 1861
The Speedmaster Moonwatch has used plenty of completely different actions. With out diving into each iteration, we will say that the primary Speedmaster watches between 1957 and 1968 used the Lémania primarily based caliber 321 motion. It was succeeded by the Lémania primarily based caliber 861 in 1968 which was used all the way in which as much as 1997. Caliber 861 is a shuttle-cam chronograph as a substitute of a column-wheel chronograph just like the 321.
It additionally makes use of the next beat fee than the 321, which is 21,600vph versus 18,000vph. The 861 was extra correct, and likewise cheaper to supply. In 1997, Omega up to date the Speedmaster Skilled Moonwatch reference 3570.50 with a brand new motion, caliber 1861. This motion is identical because the final iteration of the 861 (as stated, there are just a few) however with a rhodium-plated end. Older caliber 861 iterations had one jewel much less, and even older ones had a copper-plated end.
You possibly can say that an important change to the Speedmaster Moonwatch is the caliber 3861, therefore the “Grasp Chronometer” addition to the official identify of the watch. This motion isn’t new however was launched in 2019 to the Speedmaster Apollo XI in Moonshine gold and in metal. Then, final October, it was once more used for the Silver Snoopy Award 50th Anniversary, modified to have a little bit “automaton” on the bottom.
Caliber 3861 has the identical platform because the 1861, however Omega signifies that 50% of the components have been changed with non-interchangeable components. Which means, you may’t make a 1861 a 3861 by simply changing components. The brand new caliber 3861 has the identical working frequency (21,600vph/3Hz), however there’s a rise in variety of jewels (26). It’s attention-grabbing which you could’t see the extra eight jewels when evaluating the actions side-by-side.
After all, the brand new motion makes use of anti-magnetic alloys ( > 15,000 gauss) and the Co-axial escapement (much less friction), which weren’t there in caliber 1861. The METAS group certifies the brand new Speedmaster Moonwatch as “Grasp Chronometer”, by testing the watch as mentioned in this podcast. The accuracy improved from +10/-1 seconds per day on common for a non-chronometer chronograph motion like caliber 1861 to +5/zero seconds per day on common. So there’s no sluggish operating watch anymore.
Caliber 3861 — Nicer End
What turns into instantly clear when evaluating the caliber 1861 and the caliber 3861, is the extent of end. Beveled angles, striping, and round graining. All of it appears wonderful. Additionally, it doesn’t use the (ugly) Delrin brake anymore, which was principally a bit of nylon. All new Speedmaster Moonwatch fashions use the identical caliber 3861 model (solely the Moonshine mannequin makes use of a Sedna-plated end).
There’s no “3863” as there was an 1863, which was principally a 1861 with nicer ornament. The end of the caliber 3861 is so good, there’s no want for a particular model for the Speedmaster Skilled with a clear case again.
Just a few extra ideas on the Speedmaster Moonwatch
Right here it’s, all the foremost variations between the brand new Moonwatch and the previous mannequin. After all, I omitted the field however mentioned that in our preliminary article. The brand new Speedmaster Moonwatch is available in a smaller model of the earlier Moonwatch field, with out the goodies (extra straps, loupe, and many others). The Speedmaster “Ed White” and platinum Speedmaster Calibre 321 will include the bigger field, although.
The brand new Speedmaster Moonwatch Grasp Chronometer is my decide on the subject of buying one. I just like the previous one, I’ve it and cherish it, however I’ll add a brand new model as properly sooner or later. The brand new Moonwatch Grasp Chronometer has a number of fashionable options that I like, however the brand new bracelet is likely one of the finest issues that occurred to this basic chronograph.
What Omega didn’t deal with is the water resistance. It’s now waterproof to 50 meters. I don’t assume it will have been tremendous troublesome to get it rated 100 meters, as a few of the Speedmaster variations had been rated 100 meters. That stated, Omega tell us that 50 meters is okay to go swimming. Simply don’t dive, and don’t use the pushers and crown within the water.
A particular proposition
I additionally favor the brand new motion, the step dial, and the drop counterweight on the chronograph second hand. The issues that I don’t notably fancy are minor issues, marginal even. There are absolutely no dealbreakers on the subject of the brand new Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 310.30.42.50.01.zero01. Even the retail worth of €6,100 (300 Euro much less if you’d like the model on a strap) is justified in my view. The previous one was under the €5,000 mark, however the distinction will get you extra attention-grabbing particulars, a brand new case form, a brand new bracelet, and, after all, the brand new Grasp Chronometer motion.
When you’ve got any questions or feedback, be happy to go away them under within the feedback under.
Extra data might be discovered on Omega on-line. Additionally be sure that to observe our hands-on video overview of the brand new Speedmaster Moonwatch, click on right here.