News: The New And Improved Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
2021’s first big release in 5…4…3…2…1: introducing the new Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch—the watch we have come to love, now with a face-lift and a shiny new movement, the Co-Axial Caliber 3861.
The changes to the new Speedmaster cosmetically are not very big—as you would expect. So, much like the Submariner launched in 2020, the new Speedmaster has a new movement, bracelet, and slight alterations to the dial; but where they differ is that unlike the Rolex, the changes to the Speedmaster are somewhat easier to spot.
The changes in material and colourway—again, like the Submariner—are still the easiest way to tell the old and new Speedmaster models apart—especially on the precious metal variants. At the time of release, there are currently two precious metal Speedmaster 3861s available. One in 18k Canopus gold with a white dial, and an 18k Sedna gold model with a black dial. But don’t worry, you can still get the black dial/steel combo; in fact, you can get three of them. There is a Hesalite version, one with sapphire, and one that comes on just a fabric strap if you want to save some pennies.
The Omega Speedmaster was first introduced in 1957
“But didn’t you say the changes were somewhat easier to spot than the Submariner?” I hear you say. I did, yes. You might need to put your glasses on and bring the Submariner models closer to your face to tell the difference—if you are talking about anything other than its colour—but that isn’t the case with the new Speedmaster—just look at that bracelet. A noticeably smaller, five linked bracelet fitted with a stripped satin-finished clasp embossed with a polished Omega logo—a pretty smart-looking addition to the watch if you ask me.
Upon further inspection, you might also notice the stepped dial as well as the dot over 90 on the bezel—these are both nods to classic Speedmaster designs. All these subtle aesthetic changes are very nice, don’t get me wrong, but now that the old Caliber 1861 is discontinued, what is the movement replacing it like?
Well, better, to put it bluntly. The Co-Axial Caliber 3861—seen powering the Apollo 11 and Snoopy 2020 anniversary watches—is a welcome evolution to the Caliber 1861 that worked away all those years. The 3861 has a 50-hour power reserve—two more hours than the previous version—features silicon parts—which means service intervals are longer—and introduces hacking seconds, a first ever for the entire Speedmaster series, would you believe.
The Omega Speedmaster is still the only watch rated for EVA (extravehicular activities)
I know these changes don't sound all that substantial, but they will benefit the user—who wouldn’t want their watch to last longer and to spend less on servicing?—and besides, that isn't the most substantial difference; that would be the addition of the Co-Axial escapement. Adding the Co-Axial escapement with its silicon balance spring means that the 3861 is not only incredibly accurate—achieving Master Chronometer specification—but is also more resistant to shock, temperature changes, and magnetic fields. Those are the big changes to the new Speedmaster’s Caliber 3861. Changes that, oh, I don’t know, might be of huge significance to somebody on a space mission?
Because at the end of the day, that’s what this watch is: a watch to be worn by those in space. But if for some reason you didn’t already know that, this Speedmaster—like others before it—features the engraving: “Flight Qualified By NASA in 1965 For All Manned Space Missions” on its caseback.
So, there you have it, the new Omega Speedmaster. It’s still every bit the Speedmaster we knew, but now it’s even better. Longer lasting, more durable, even more accurate—what’s there not to like?
The new Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Master Chronometer With Co-Axial Caliber 3861 starts at £5,370 in steel on a bracelet
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