Buying Guide Ready for Moon Landing 50? The 5 Coolest New Omega Speedmaster You Can Get

July 1969 - July 2019. Let's celebrate 50 years of Moon Landing with the right watches!

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Brice Goulard | ic_query_builder_black_24px 5 minute read |
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch

On July 16th, 1969 started one of the most incredible journeys of mankind. Onboard the Apollo 11 spacecraft were 3 men – Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins. On July 21st, 1969, the Apollo Lunar Module landed on the Moon. A few hours later, 2 of these men will make history, as stepping onto the lunar surface. What was on the wrists of these astronauts? A black-dial sports chronograph made by Omega: the Speedmaster, a watch soon to be named the “Moonwatch” – see here how the Speedmaster has been selected by NASA, in the words of the guy who tested it, James Ragan. The legend was born and this watch became an icon.

As we’re about to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing, we’ve selected the 5 coolest Omega Speedmaster watches currently produced… Because you have to wear one on July 21st!

Note 1: we’ve selected 5 NEW (in opposition to vintage) watches, which can be ordered now at Omega boutiques. You can, of course, go for vintage watches too. Note 2: this selection is based on a consensus among the MONOCHROME team, based on our preferences. Feel free to comment if you have other favourite Speedmaster watches.

First and Foremost – The Omega Speedmaster Professional “Moonwatch”

If you have to have only one Omega Speedmaster, it has to be the classic Professional Moonwatch 311.30.42.30.01.005 – the one with hesalite crystal, not the sapphire crystal model. In short, this watch is the not-so-modified version of the Speedmaster worn by Astronauts in 1969 (only minimal evolutions on the movement and design). Clean, utilitarian, versatile, perfectly proportioned, historically relevant, legendary, equipped with almost the same movement as in 1969, almost the same dial and case… It is one of these watches that every collector should have. Best of all, it is also a great deal and is easily available! The one!

Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch

Quick facts: 42mm diameter stainless steel asymmetrical case – hesalite crystal – hand-wound calibre 1861 with chronograph – 50m water resistant – available on steel bracelet or leather strap (Velcro and NATO straps included in the box) – Reference 311.30.42.30.01.005 – EUR 4,700 (EUR 4,600 on leather) – also available with sapphire crystal top and caseback at EUR 5,500

Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Steel Limited Edition

As you would expect, Omega is celebrating the 50th-anniversary of the Moon Landing and Apollo 11 with dedicated watches. Part of the lot is first a steel Speedy based on the Moonwatch… But with more than a few modifications. Visually, we have a Moonshine gold bezel, a special dial with gold elements and patch in the small seconds and a vintage-inspired steel bracelet. Inside, it’s a brand new movement, the co-axial, Master Chronometer version of the hand-wound movement, the calibre 3861. A special caseback and a cool box with goodies complete this Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary, (not so) limited to 6,969 pieces. More details here.

OMEGA Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Steel 310.20.42.50.01.001

Quick facts: 42mm diameter stainless steel asymmetrical case, Moonshine gold bezel – sapphire crystal – Calibre Omega 3861, hand-wound chronograph, in-house, Master Chronometer certified, Co-axial – 50m water resistant – 3-link steel bracelet inspired by vintage Speedmaster watches – Reference 310.20.42.50.01.001 – Limited to 6,969 pieces – EUR 9,100

Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Moonshine Gold Limited Edition

In addition to the steel model above, Omega launched a second Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition, this time in full gold – and clearly, a stunning iteration. The case of this watch, which is inspired by the vintage ref. BA145.022, is made of 18k Moonshine gold, a specific alloy with paler hue than traditional 18K yellow gold, combined with equally coloured dial. The final touch is given by the burgundy ceramic bezel (another reference to the BA145.022). Behind a decorated sapphire caseback is the calibre 3861 (in-house, Master Chronometer certified, Co-axial) with specific Moonshine gold-plated treatment. The Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Moonshine Gold is worn on a full gold bracelet. Shiny and bold, but oh so beautiful. More details here.

Quick facts: 42mm diameter Moonshine gold asymmetrical case with burgundy ceramic bezel – sapphire crystal – Calibre Omega 3861, hand-wound chronograph, in-house, Master Chronometer certified, Co-axial – 50m water resistant – 3-link Moonshine gold bracelet – Reference 310.60.42.50.99.001 – Limited to 1,014 pieces – EUR 32,000

Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8

Another space-related watch, another Apollo-themed model, but this time not for Apollo 11… Still, if you’re looking for a bold, modern and different Speedmaster, the Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 has to be considered. This version launched last year is the first Moonwatch in a full ceramic case – the “Dark Side of the Moon” theme. The hand-wound calibre 1861 has been highly opened and decorated with Moon texture (front and back), while white and yellow accents give this piece a sporty, contemporary look. The boldest of the Speedmaster Moonwatch models currently in production. But still Moon-themed! More details here.

Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon Apollo 8 - 311.92.44.30.01.001

Quick facts: 44.25mm diameter black ceramic asymmetrical case – sapphire crystal – Calibre Omega 1869 hand-wound chronograph – 50m water resistant – black leather with yellow stitching – Reference 311.92.44.30.01.001 – non-limited special edition – EUR 9,200

Omega Speedmaster CK2998 Pulsometer Limited Edition

This fifth model is certainly not the most Moon-related of the lot (to say the least)… But, it is a Speedmaster, it is hand-wound, it features a straight lug case and it comes with one heck of a good-looking Panda dial and ceramic pulsometer bezel… So yes, this Speedmaster CK2998 Pulsometer is one of the best examples of the Speedy currently available, with its racing style and smaller case. And don’t be worried, we won’t blame you for wearing this not-so-accurate but greatly designed model on July 21st! More details here.

Omega Speedmaster CK2998 Pulsometer Panda 311.32.40.30.02.001 - Baselworld 2018

Quick facts: 39.70mm diameter stainless steel symmetrical case – sapphire crystal – calibre Omega 1861 hand-wound chronograph – 50m water resistant – black perforated leather strap with white stitching – reference 311.32.40.30.02.001 – limited to 2,998 models – EUR 5,500


Extra – Moonwatch Only

The definitive guide to the Omega Speedmaster Professional. All the references explained, all the components explored (dials, cases, bezels, movements, hands, bracelets…), the history, the background… With over 500 pages and more than 1,000 illustrations, “Moonwatch Only” is the book to get if you want to start collecting the Omega Speedmaster. A must-have.

Quick facts: ISBN 978-2-940506-03-3 (English Edition) – authors: Grégoire Rossier and Anthony Marquié – 500 Pages – over 1,000 illustrations – Format: 25cm x 30.7cm – Price: USD 200 – CHF 175 – EUR 175

14 responses

  1. I’ll take No. 1, 2 & 5 please. 😉

    When we look at The All-Time Classics, they share a similar philosophy: restraint, legibility and solid engineering. If you look up “Wristwatch” in The Big Picture Dictionary, you get an image of a Datejust.
    Speedmaster, Submariner, Calatrava, Eichi II, Royal Oak, Max Bill, Saxonia, Reverso: They are all, on the face of it, extremely simple watches; male counterpoints to The Little Black Dress, single string of pearls or Diamond Solitaire.

    It really is all you need, but the trick is realising that fact. One night, a friend and I were at an extremely tiresome nightclub and she looked across at some people who thought they’d “made it” and said, “It takes a lot of money to look that cheap.”

    I think every person who has ever posted on this site would respect any person whose only watch was a Speedmaster.

  2. The First Omega in Space (FOIS) is still the most elegant and perfectly proportioned of them all in my opinion.

  3. @JAGOTW – Well to me, if there’s only one, it has to be the Regular Moonwatch (but I’m biased the one you see here is mine…)

  4. Brice, I totally understand your feelings. I was surprised by the Pulsometer version; don’t think I’ve seen it before and to me it looks fresh and modern. And the reduced size is a big plus.

  5. @Gil – Well, none of the Speedmasters are really thin… The combo chronograph/highly domed plexy or sapphire doesn’t really help. So, in this instance, the thinnest should be the Standard Moonwatch. It is around 14mm in height, yet considering the shape of the case, it feels slightly less when worn.

  6. @JAGOTW – Well, you know my top-1 Speedmaster (Moonwatch) but you’ve guessed my second modern favourite model: the CK2998 Pulsometer. Very nice on the wrist, compact, well proportioned, more modern, with a cool racing design, nice materials all around, great hand-wound movement, and that panda look is a killer.

  7. The best derivative for EARTH-MAN is model # 311.30.42.30.01.006 (aka Sapphire Sandwich).

    It is my go-to piece when I have to do site-work, on some of the roughest/toughest places on EARTH, eg mines. It will endure to remain pristine enough, to wear to the boardroom (afterwards), where things often get even rougher and tougher than the aforementioned site-work…

    This then is the one I recommend you buy here on earth.

  8. There is no excuse to continue using acrylic. Hasilite or sapphire sandwich ?
    Absurd.
    Very easy to duplicate the compound curves of the original acrylic crystal.

    Omega if you are listening give us the original watch with the 321 engine, solid case back, applied logo, and duplicate the Hasilite in sapphire !

  9. @ Brice
    Thanks! 14mm is fine, and it’s great that it’s the standard Moonwatch as that’s my favourite. I might get one at some point to replace my Tag Autavia (which is ~15.5mm), and give that to my brother as he loves Heuer.

  10. I don’t own a mechanical chronograph but for a while now I have had the feeling that I should have one in my modest collection. Size and thickness have stopped me from buying one, not to mention a considerable price increase for a function I very rarely use. I tried on the Longines Big Eye and it seemed slab-sided and overlarge. I have to learn NOT to wear a slim 36mm watch when trying on a mechanical chrono. I should wear one of my larger pieces to acclimatise myself first. 🙂
    I think that is another aspect in favour of the Speedy. Assymetrical case and twisted lugs adds more visual interest and breaks up the shape.

    Anyway, happy watching to you all.

  11. The references shown above are indeed great timepieces. However 3 out of 5 are L.E!! One has been sold out for 6 months (ck2998) and the Apollo 50th Anniversary are both sold out! Just saying…

  12. @JAGOTW – Well, a mechanical chronograph implies a larger case. Even older chronographs used to be larger than an automatic 3-hander. Movements are larger and thicker. An old Daytona is 37mm (with a hand-wound valjoux) and a vintage Speedy was already 42mm diameter and 14mm height (they didn’t change the shape since 1965…) But for the records, the Speedy is very compact on the wrist (lug to lug is shorter than expected) so making it feels like 40mm. But then again, it’s all about preferences.

Leave a Reply