Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

Impressions About The White Dial Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch

It might just be a dial colour... But it changes the watch drastically.

| By Brice Goulard | 12 min read |
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch White Dial review

“It’s just a new dial colour…” is probably the first thing you’ll assume when looking at this new watch, and you’re not a Speedmaster fan. In a way, I can’t really blame you for that, as it is exactly what we’re talking about here: there is a new white dial for the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional. And that could have been the end of the story. But since you’re here, it means that you might have a certain interest in watches, which means that there’s quite a chance that the iconic Moonwatch won’t leave you completely cold. And so, it is time for me to talk about the new Speedmaster Moonwatch White dial (a.k.a Speedy Albino) because, as I’ve said on multiple occasions, a new dial colour can change a watch drastically. 

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch White Dial review


A white dial Speedmaster isn’t really something new. If, like me, you’ve browsed the pages of the reference book Moonwatch Only or have enough knowledge about older versions of the Speedmaster, you have probably come across more than one “albino” Speedy. And yet, what we’re looking at here is actually new… Enough to have caused a stir in the Speedmaster community. The latest white dial Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch is the first ever of its kind to become part of the permanent collection, not limited in number or production. Which also makes it the one-and-only steel Moonwatch currently available (limited and special editions excluded) not to be equipped with a black dial. Gold versions are available with a silver dial, a brushed black dial, a green dial or a champagne panda dial. When it comes to stainless steel (the classic model), your choice has been limited to one colour only: black. Not anymore.

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The very hype around this white dial Speedmaster Moonwatch is the result of a clever strategy by Omega, which was (not so) discreetly teased at an event in November 2023. Daniel Craig, whom we are more accustomed to seeing wearing a Seamaster when portraying James Bond, was spotted wearing an unprecedented version of the classic Moonwatch with a light-coloured dial. And no, this wasn’t the silver dial of the Canopus Gold Moonwatch (the polished mid-links and the visible touches of red indicated that it was mostly likely steel). And the existence of this watch was confirmed in March this year, with its official presentation.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional Master Chronometer Co-Axial 2021
The classic look of the Moonwatch… with a matte black dial.

Having said that, what is this watch all about? There’s never been a white dial Speedmaster in the past. A full-white dial Speedmaster Moonwatch isn’t something that common. Look closely, and you won’t find anything of the sort, at least in the standard collection. There have been several examples of “panda” Speedies, such as this model found in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Collection, but it was limited to 2,020 pieces. There have been some white dial special, commemorative, regional or limited editions in the past, but nothing permanently available. Besides the chocolate version of the Moonwatch (circa 2007-2012), it’s always been a sea of black for the steel models. Even the current collection comprises only four steel references, and they are all black. 

Above: a Speedmaster 40th Anniversary Albino for the Italian market and a Speedmaster Alaska re-edition (both images from Fratello Watches shop)

White dial Speedmaster watches have existed, however, in special or limited editions. And some are highly coveted models. The most important white dial Speedmasters are, without a doubt, the Alaska Project models – original models from the late 1960s or the re-edition of 2008, a limited run of 1,970 watches. This is, without a doubt, the most commonly quoted model when referring to a white dial Speedy. We can also mention a watch known by the nickname of Albino Speedmaster, the Speedmaster 40th Anniversary made for the Italian market reference 3593.20, dating back to 1997 and produced in 500 pieces. According to RJ Broer of Fratello, it is “the last (non-panda) white-dial Speedmaster Professional without a comic character, moonphase display or special reference” produced by Omega, even though it’s more off-white than pure white. 

The sought-after 2015 Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award

Finally, in the context of white watches, we have to mention the highly collectable (and rather overpriced on the second-hand market) reference 311., a.k.a the 2015 Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award. A classic Moonwatch at heart, this limited edition of 1,970 pieces featured a fully white dial with blackened markers and hands, and mainly a dial featuring a series of elements referring to the Apollo 13 rescue mission and a lumed Snoopy in one of the sub-counters (and a silver Snoopy engraved on the back). As far as white-dial (non-panda) Speedmaster models go, that’s about it. Up until earlier this year.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch White Dial review

the new White Dial Speedmaster Moonwatch

I am fully aware that for many watch enthusiasts without a particular passion for the Speedmaster, this new dial will come as minor news. And I’m not even mentioning non-watch-aficionados, who really couldn’t care less. However, the Speedmaster community is large, faithful and also pretty critical when it comes to updating such an emblematic model. The simple fact that a new dial colour finds its way into the case of the steel Moonwatch can cause a virtual earthquake (OK, I’m deliberately exaggerating here…). This might explain why this new white dial only is available in a watch with a sapphire sandwich construction, and not the historical Hesalite version.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch White Dial review

Believe me when saying that many Speedy fans have been waiting for a white dial Speedmaster, readily available when they want, without the need to rush to an AD to get a limited edition model allocated (or paying a serious premium on the second-hand market). The only problem is that Omega had to do it right. Has it nailed it? Let me give you my impressions.

In short, we’re talking about a new dial. Surely, it goes a bit deeper than just the colour of the base plate, but still, this is what we’re looking at now. The rest of the watch, in its entirety, is identical to the black dial “sapphire sandwich” version that was fully revamped in 2021. First important takeaway here: there will be no white dial for the Hesalite model with a closed back and fully-brushed bracelet. This all-time classic remains faithful to the original black dial that has been the signature of the watch since its launch in 1957. You want white? You’ll get a watch with a box-shaped sapphire crystal on top, an open caseback revealing the movement and polished mid-links on your bracelet (straps also available). And I think this is a wise choice, in order to respect the original Hesalite model.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch White Dial review

Let’s talk about what really matters here, the new white dial; if you want all the details about the latest generation Speedmaster Moonwatch, you can read this extensive article here. The dial of this Albino Speedmaster is fairly different from anything we’ve seen in the past in the standard collection. Back to basics. Since 2021, the normal Moonwatch comes with a stepped black dial, made from embossed brass with a matte, finely grained black finishing on top. The hour markers are painted, flat, luminous and white-ish. The hands are also traditional Professional models, meaning matte white (painted) with a thin band of Super-LumiNova. Finally, all printings are white, including the scales within the lightly snailed and recessed sub-counters. The sapphire version features an applied Ω logo at 12 o’clock (the Hesalite version has a printed one).

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch White Dial review

In this regard, the new white dial offered by Omega is a rather different beast. While it retains the embossed stepped profile of the black version (the brushed silver-white Canopus version doesn’t), the brass base has been coated in white lacquer. The result is a semi-glossy surface with depth and a milky effect – meaning that in this respect it is very different from the matte white dials of Snoopy, Albino and Alaska Project references. It’s not shiny or particularly reflective, but it has a completely different vibe from the instrument-like feeling of the black version.

Other differences are visible, such as the applied and semi-floating hour markers. Due to the step on the dial, only their extremities touch the dial, while the middle section floats above the dial. While these indexes retain the classic Speedy codes, including the baton with two dots at 12 o’clock, these are polished, angled, blackened by PVD coating and filled with a thin band of white Super-LumiNova. And, like all Speedies with applied markers, these are elongated markers, not the short ones of the black versions. All the hands undergo the same treatment, with a polished surface, a black PVD colour and white SLN. Overall, this combination of white and black retains the hallmark contrast of the Speedmaster.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch White Dial review

There’s something to be said about the scales, tracks and logos. While these are mostly black (obviously), two red details have been added to this edition, namely the Speedmaster logo and the tip of the seconds hand. Some will like it (I do), some won’t. But what matters is that, due to the thick lacquer on the dial, with a transparent top coat, all the printings seem to float above the dial. And in real life, it’s pretty cool and adds a lot of depth to the dial.

The Specs and bracelet/strap

For the rest, no surprises. The watch has the same specifications as its black dial counterpart. The classic Professional case is made of brushed and polished steel, with the signature twisted “lyre” lugs and asymmetrical design with protection for the crown and pushers. Dimensions are the same: 42mm in diameter, 13.2mm in height and 47.5mm in length. As mentioned, this version is only available with the box-shaped sapphire crystal and its equivalent on the back, and the bezel with DON is black, and still made of anodized aluminium (no ceramic here). Under the hood is the recent calibre 3861, a hand-wound chronograph movement with Master Chronometer certification, strong resistance to magnetic fields and co-axial escapement.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch White Dial review

Omega offers the White Dial Speedmaster Moonwatch with three different strap options. First is the classic, retro-styled stainless steel 20/15mm bracelet with polished mid-links (sapphire sandwich hallmark), as well as the thin and rather compact ribbed folding clasp, which now incorporates an on-the-fly micro-adjustment system. The price for this steel-on-steel edition is EUR 8,900 or CHF 7,700. In addition, it can be ordered with a black perforated leather racing strap with white stitching, also perforated on the back and with red stitching (in the same style as the CK2998 Pulsometer). A black rubber strap is also available (identical to the Moonshine versions), with a lunar-surface pattern in relief inside. Both are closed by a folding clasp and are priced at EUR 8,500 or CHF 7,400. In all cases, the price difference with a black dial version with sapphire crystal is EUR 100… really negligible considering the white lacquered dial and applied markers have a certain cost.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch White Dial review

Thoughts and Impressions

I’m being totally subjective here… I’ve always been a great fan of the Speedmaster, not only for what it means as a collection but also for its almost utilitarian and timeless design. This white dial version partially loses some of the instrument-like feeling that has long been part of the black dial models, and yet, I still think it looks fantastic. It’s a different watch, which wears differently too.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch White Dial review

First, the glossy white dial has more depth and a less tool-ish look, meaning that this Speedmaster feels altogether a bit more precious. Second, and inherent to all bright-dial watches, this Albino Speedy appears larger on the wrist than the black model. It wears identically, but just appears a bit larger.

Should you get one? Well, I’ve often said that if you want to enter the Speedmaster community, the best and safest way to start would be with a black dial, steel version. Now, I also know some people who never felt for it and this new white model could change some minds. If you already have a black one, then I do think this white one will be a very nice complement to a collection and won’t double with a classic black. They might both be Speedies, but they are pretty different.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional Co-Axial Master Chronometer Canopus Gold Silver dial 310.
Above: the Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional Canopus Gold with its Silver dial – Below: comparison between the white lacquered dial of the new steel Moonwatch and the brushed silvery-white dial of the Canopus gold model

Now, if we compare this new white dial steel Speedmaster to the other light dial models in the collection, the Canopus gold model, there are some differences. The latter has a silvery-white dial, with a sunray-brushed surface, and excludes the stepped profile. Also, all printings are black and the hands/markers are silver-coloured. Finally, the bracelet is entirely brushed. Funnily enough, I had a discussion with Frank, the founder of this magazine, before writing this article… And we have completely different opinions when it comes to comparing the steel/white Speedmaster and the Canopus version.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch White Dial review

What he likes about the Canopus model is the subdued, monochromatic (there’s a reason why this magazine is named MONOCHROME) effect of the tone-on-tone markers/hands and the matte textures found on both the dial and bracelet. For me, this is the opposite. I think the Canopus version lacks contrast and punch, and this is why I prefer this new steel white dial Speedmaster, for it comes with red accents, a dial full of depth and the polished mid-links on the bracelet… De gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum, or in matters of taste and colours, there can be no disputes. Except that they come at very different prices. To each his own.

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6 responses

  1. Sadly, this watch is not for me. I have several Speedies and I was very excited to be offered this when it first came out some months ago. However, when I saw it in the metal it just didn’t speak to me at all. The dial is way too glossy, so much that it has an almost plasticky feel to it. I’m afraid I saw no depth at all on the dial. And as nice as the rest of the watch is, nice bracelet etc…it is always about the dial, and the dial just does not work for me, which is a real shame as I went with the intention of buying it. That being said I love Omega and I just bought their new Ed White 321 to sit alongside my original, so they do get a lot right, just unfortunately not this time for me.

  2. @Stephen – exactly as I said at the end of the article, “to each his own” and there’s nothing wrong with that. Also, congrats on the new Ed White 321! Stunning watch!

  3. I’ve had a couple of the 1861 speedies and you’re right, this white one does offer a very different look and appeal. I really like it, although I’ve not seen it in person.
    I’ve been hankering for the Snoopy for years: resigned to not being able to get one, but I think I’d be perfectly happy with this one…. On the bracelet.

  4. This watch is beautiful but it’s not watchfoof for scuba diving and it doesn’t not have a calendar day/date.

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