Listen, I love the Omega Speedmaster as much as the next watch enthusiast. But that doesn’t mean I need Omega to release a new Speedmaster edition seemingly every other week. After weeks of teasing us on social media, Omega finally dropped its latest Speedmaster. When I initially saw the headline announcing that ‘news’, I was left feeling about as thrilled as a cat at a dog show. Yet here we are today.
Briefly a word about the watch for good measure. If you’re in the market for a new timepiece that won’t go unnoticed, this is the watch for you. If however you value comfort and subtlety, you may want to look elsewhere. The Speedmaster Super Racing is no small watch indeed.
Like the other editions, this one has a 44.25 diameter, a thickness of 14.9mm and a 21mm lug width. No word on weight just yet, but one can assume it won’t be light as a feather. Being a Moonwatch, Omega also decided to price this like an actual ticket to the moon at 12.600€.
Visual standout for me is certainly the dial. It’s so nice, it’s almost criminal. A black sandwich dial. Yes, a sandwich dial, with honeycomb pattern, featuring the racing style minute-track which gives the watch its name. Framing the dial is a black ceramic bezel ring with tachymeterTachymeter A tachymeter is a feature found on some chronograph watches, it is a scale that is usually printed on the bezel, sometimes on the dial. It allows the wearer to measure the speed of an object over a known distance by timing the object's movement with the chronograph's second hand. The wearer can read the speed of the object on the tachymeter scale. [Learn More] scale in yellow “grand feu” enamel. There is plenty going on here to keep you entertained for years to come.
Powering the watch is OMEGA’s Co-AxialCo-Axial Escapement The co-axial escapement is a type of escapement mechanism invented by George Daniels, a British watchmaker, in the 1970s, and is characterized by the use of a co-axial wheel, which is a three-level wheel that replaces the traditional pallets used in other escapements. It uses a unique design that allows the gears to run with less friction, which means that it requires less maintenance and will have a longer lifespan than traditional escapements. Additionally, it is said to be more precise than traditional escapements, this is mainly because of the decreased friction which allows the balance wheel to oscillate more consistently. [Learn More] Master ChronometerChronometer A chronometer watch movement is a high-precision movement that has been certified by an official organization, such as the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) or other similar bodies, as meeting certain standards of accuracy and performance. These standards include requirements for the rate of the watch, its resistance to temperature and other environmental factors, and its power reserve. Chronometer watches are tested for several days, in different positions, and at different temperatures to ensure their precision. [Learn More] 9920, certified by METAS at the industry’s highest standard. The 9920 is essentially the same as the 9900 with the one big exception being the real news here: the Spirate™ System, which includes a new patent-pending spiral that allows for ultra-fine rate adjustments.
The Spirate System essentially gives us a regulation system for the silicon balance springHairspring The hairspring is a thin spring in a mechanical watch movement that is connected to the balance wheel. The balance wheel oscillates back and forth at a consistent rate, and the hairspring helps regulate these oscillations. The hairspring works by applying a restoring force to the balance wheel, which helps to keep the balance wheel oscillating at a consistent rate. The hairspring is also known as a balance spring. [Learn More]. To date there was no regulator to be found on an Omega movement with a silicon balance spring. Thanks to this one-of-a-kind mechanism, it is now possible for OMEGA to achieve certified precision of only 0/+2 seconds a day. Mighty impressive for a mass produced mechanical watch.
Typically a mechanical watch’s balance is regulated by use of a regulator and using adjustable inertia weights on the balance wheelBalance Wheel The balance wheel is a component of a mechanical watch movement that oscillates at a consistent rate. It receives a small impulse from the pallet fork, which is part of the escapement mechanism. The balance wheel is connected to a hairspring that controls the rate of oscillation of the balance wheel. The balance wheel and hairspring work together to keep accurate time. The oscillations of the balance wheel drive the timekeeping functions of the watch. The balance wheel is a crucial component of a mechanical watch movement. [Learn More] itself.
A regulator works by adjusting the effective length of the balance spring, which affects its stiffness, which impacts the oscillations of the spring (note: the stiffer the spring the higher the rate). A regulator is generally a small lever with two adjustable arms, which can be used to finely tune the timing of the watch.
As mentioned, next to that the watchmaker can typically also work with inertia weights which are used to regulate the balance by adding or removing weight from the outer rim of the balance wheel. This affects its oscillation rate, and by adjusting the weights, the watchmaker can fine-tune the balance to keep accurate time. The weights can be moved closer to or farther away from the center of the balance wheel, which changes the moment of inertia and, therefore, the oscillation rate.
But, that is how it is traditionally done. And the Spirate System breaks with tradition. The Spirate System includes a new silicon (Si14) balance spring (made from a silicon wafer, thanks to an internal manufacturing process called DRIE “Deep Reactive Ion Etching”).
This new system allows the watchmaker to act on the stiffness of the hairspringHairspring The hairspring is a thin spring in a mechanical watch movement that is connected to the balance wheel. The balance wheel oscillates back and forth at a consistent rate, and the hairspring helps regulate these oscillations. The hairspring works by applying a restoring force to the balance wheel, which helps to keep the balance wheel oscillating at a consistent rate. The hairspring is also known as a balance spring. [Learn More]’s attachment point through an eccentric adjustment mechanism located on the balance bridgeBalance Bridge The balance bridge holds the balance wheel in place and connects it to the main plate of the movement. It serves as a key support for the balance wheel. [Learn More]. If you look carefully at the pictures above, you can see the adjustment mechanism on the bridgeBridges The bridges of a watch movement are the metal plates that hold the wheels and other components of the movement in place. They are attached to the main plate of the movement with screws. Bridges are used to support the balance wheel, the escapement, the mainspring barrel and other elements. Combined with the main plate they are the foundation of any watch movement. [Learn More] quite easily through the crystal case-back.
In addition, for those of you thinking the system will remain linked to this edition only, I would think otherwise. The brand’s long-term plan is to introduce the new Spirate System step-by step into many other calibres. And that, to me, is the real news here!
More information on this particular release right here