Back in January 2017, Omega teamed up with our good friends and fellow watch journalist FratelloWatches to create the Speedy Tuesday limited edition – a watch that was intended for true Speedmaster collectors who gather under the #SpeedyTuesday community. This first edition was based on the Alaska Project watch with a radial/panda dial. Now, it is time for the Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday 2 and this time, the “Ultraman” Speedmaster is back. Again a 2,012 piece limited edition sold online (but it is now sold-out).
The Omega Speedmaster Ultraman Orange Hand (1968, ref. ST 145.012-67)
In the collecting world, there are the icons and there are the unicorns. The first category refers to the model themselves (think Omega Speedmaster in general). The second category refers to some exceptionally rare editions that some collectors could spend a lifetime searching for. The Omega Speedmaster “Ultraman” Orange Hand is one of them.
What is it about with this watch? The name “Ultraman” is a reference to Japanese series “The Return of Ultraman”, a tokusatsu science fiction TV series – the fourth in the Ultra Series – created by Eiji Tsubaraya and produced in 1971. What is important for us here isn’t the show itself but the appearance of a watch in episode 8 of the series: a close-up of an Omega Speedmaster featuring a surprising orange central seconds hand (see image above). This explains the nickname given to this extremely rare version of the Speedmaster. Apparently, Eiji Tsubaraya was a watch collector himself and the fact that this series was produced only two years after the Moon landing probably explains why a Speedmaster appears in a sci-fi series.
For some years, many collectors believed these watches were mods. However, after extensive research, it appears that a small batch of Speedmaster watches was produced by Omega – according to Moonwatch Only, the number of official “Ultraman” watches is still unknown. What is known is that all these watches were produced in 1968 and with serial numbers ranging from 26.076.xxx and 26.079.xxx (approximately 3,000 watches, even though most of them aren’t equipped with an orange hand). All of them are also known as Ref. ST 145.012-67, meaning pre-moon versions with an asymmetric case and the 321 calibre.
What defines the Speedmaster “Ultraman” is its orange central seconds hand, which isn’t specific to this model but was widely used at the end of the 1960s by Omega – on the Flightmaster, the Chronostop, the Seamaster Radial or the Speedmaster Mark II Racing, however not with the same dimensions. Also, these watches were not reserved to the Japanese market and Extracts of the Archives record some deliveries to various countries.
Recently, Moonwatch Only (in this dedicated article) and the Omega Museum have noted that the Speedmaster Ultraman watches featured a different dial than the normal Speedmaster ST 145.012 watches “the Ultraman’s dial is pure black and has a satin varnish, while it is dark grey (anthracite) and the varnish is matte on standard ST 145.012”, which appears to be the case in the example we had the chance to photograph here.
The Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday 2 “Ultraman”
This Speedy Tuesday 2 Limited Edition marks the return of the Ultraman watch, with several features found on this vintage watch. However, as with the first Speedy Tuesday Edition, there are several new things to note too. The Speedy Tuesday 2 “Ultraman” isn’t just a replica of the past model.
This watch was created with Robert-Jan and his team at FratelloWatches and again pays tribute to the hyper-active collecting community #SpeedyTuesday. As such, the Speedy Tuesday 2 “Ultraman” is again a limited edition, again with 2,012 pieces produced (the inception date of Speedy Tuesday) and again, it will be offered online.
So what is new and what isn’t in this Ref. 318.104.22.168.01.001? The new Ultraman is based on the classic Moonwatch 42mm steel case, with the exact same finishing (polished and brushed surfaces). Also, it has the historically relevant hesalite (Plexiglas) domed crystal on top. Inside ticks the same movement, meaning the iconic hand-wound calibre 1861. The movement is wound by a slightly different crown with fine teeth and vintage Omega logo – an ode to the 1960s models.
Now moving to the new features of this Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday 2 “Ultraman”. First is the obvious orange seconds hand for the chronograph – the signature element of the Ultraman watch. But that’s not all. The dial, even though close to the original Moonwatch, has been reworked to offer a unique design. It has more orange accents than the original: the small squares above the hour markers, the ‘Speedmaster’ wording and the first three minute markers on the chronograph’s minute recorder (because Ultraman could only stay in superhero-mode for 3 minutes.)
The dial also features an applied vintage Omega logo. Finally, it is a so-called “step dial” which shows a recessed area on the periphery (and isn’t flat like modern Moonwatches), just like vintage Speedmaster watches from 1957 to 1968. Last detail that is different: the small seconds hand. The bezel is also slightly different, and even though made of aluminium, it is a so-called DON (dot over ninety) and the Tachymètre inscription is painted in orange.
The “icing on the cake” comes at night, as an orange silhouette of Ultraman is actually painted in black Super-LumiNova inside the small seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock. A cool feature that sets this watch apart – a UV lamp is delivered with the watch so you can play with it… The Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday 2 “Ultraman” is delivered with a NATO strap and a leather strap, both black with orange accents matching the dial. Finally, it is delivered in a retro-futuristic hexagonal box – a tribute to the futuristic table used by the Monster Attack Team. Inside, there is a spare black leather strap and the “Beta Capsule” strap changer with its UV light.
The caseback is the same as a standard Moonwatch with “Flight Qualified By NASA” and “The First Watch Worn On The Moon” engravings, but with #SpeedyTuesday and the limited edition number engravings.
Availability / Price
The Omega Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday 2 “Ultraman” will be produced in 2,012 pieces, which are available directly via the Omega website, where you can reserve your own number – via this link. The retail price will EUR 5,910 (taxes included).
Update: all watches have already been reserved – in exactly 1 hour, 53 minutes and 17 seconds – as stated by Omega in an official press release. There is still the option to be on the waiting list, yet chances to get your hands on one of these new Speedy Tuesday 2 “Ultraman” are slim…