There were rumors back in 2020 of a new Moonwatch. Leaked photos and specs were all over the internet, but nothing tangible ever materialised. Finally, as of this week in 2021 the new Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional Master Chronometer 42mm has arrived. And yes it happens to be released on a Tuesday.
This upgraded version combines the best of both worlds with some minor changes to the exterior while updating the 1861 movement with the in-house coaxial manual wind movement. A new model also implies a new price tag. The base hesalite model carries a 25% price increase compared to the outgoing model.
Omega launched the new moonwatches in eight different variations with the familiar hesalite model in stainless steel as the entry level model. Notable mentions are two different precious metal models, one in Sedna gold and one in Canopus gold. The latter is a white gold-platinum alloy that’s proprietary to Omega.
At first glance, this watch looks very similar if not identical to the outgoing model. So what exactly changed besides the obvious price increase?
To begin, there are some subtle differences on both the dial and the bezel. Starting with the obvious dot over 90 on the aluminum bezel, which stopped production after 1970. This will be a minor and insignificant cosmetic update to most people, but a welcome change for the watch enthusiasts.
The new chronograph second and minute hands bend downwards (teardrop), which is similar to some of the Speedmaster references that were used on the moon. This works particularly well with the new dial design. The now discontinued straight hand design has been in production (and remained unchanged) since 1968.
The dial looks the same at first glance but up close is quite a bit different. The “Speedmaster” and “Professional” print has received a subtle update. The “Professional” used to be slightly wider and now matches the width of “Speedmaster”. More noticeable is the new stepped dial. This makes the pie pan dial more prominent and creates a more pronounced visual depth. Note also that the seconds track is now different with a 3-hash design which is in line with the frequency of the movement. This means the chrono hand will nicely “tick” on the marks along the track. The applied Omega logo makes a welcome return. However take note that this is only available on the sapphire crystal Moonwatches. The base hesalite model does not feature this detail.
Finally, another visual change is the caseback engraving which has been updated. Most notable is that instead of reading “Flight qualified by NASA for all manned space missions” it now reads “flight qualified by NASA in 1965 for all manned space missions”. Note that it is unclear at the time of this writing if this new Moonwatch has in fact been tested or certified by NASA for manned space missions. We know the outgoing model has seen plenty of action in space of course. It would be reasonable to assume that the updated version will take over, but as said, this is yet to be confirmed.
Now, comes the biggest change some such as myself have been waiting for, an updated movement that is fit with modern technology. While there is nothing wrong with the robust 1861 movement, it has been around for quite some time. As a professional tool watch, I find it odd the movement does not hack for example. Even with the reverse winding trick to hack the seconds hand, I find that rather inconvenient.
The new 3861 solves it and more. The relatively new movement has been around and seen on the Apollo XI moonshine gold limited edition as well as the Silver Snoopy Award. The movement has updated silicon hairspring that is anti-magnetic up to 15,000 Gauss and also has the coaxial escapement. In addition, it has been METAS certified to between 0 and +5 seconds a day accuracy. The movement also slightly increased the power reserve to 50 hours now. And yes, the new caliber has hacking seconds.
Omega also made updates to the bracelet with a new striped clasp and polished omega logo. While the hesalite models come with a fully brushed bracelet, the sapphire sandwich has polished center links. Both versions can also be ordered without the bracelet, as the hesalite models are paired with fabric straps while the sapphire models are paired with calf straps.
Besides the four different stainless steel case models, there are also four precious metal models with the sedna gold version paired with a black dial and all the hands and markers in sedna gold, providing a nice contrast to the black dial. The 18K Canopus gold case is paired with a nice silver sunbrushed dial. Both precious metal versions come with sapphire crystals on the front and back.
The stainless steel Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional with hesalite crystal on steel bracelet has a suggested retail price of 6,200 EUR/$6,300 USD while the sapphire version has a price of 7,000 EUR/$7,150 USD. The sedna gold on bracelet will be 34,300 EUR/$34,800 USD and the Canopus gold priced at 44,700 EUR/$45,300 USD.
More info right here at www.omegawatches.com