As is typical of Omega, they have released a limited edition Speedmaster to mark an anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. This is not an average anniversary, however, as it is the 50th anniversary. Omega didn’t just release some Speedmaster with a different dial, they released a genuinely great watch. This is a re-edition of the original Speedmaster BA145.0220 with some big upgrades. The original BA145.0220 marked the success of the Apollo 11 mission, not an anniversary; being first presented in November of 1969. It was limited to 1,014 pieces, as is this 50th anniversary edition.
The new Speedy is 42mm with a burgundy ceramic bezel and a new 18k gold alloy created by Omega dubbed “Moonshine Gold.” This new gold alloy is supposed to retain its original characteristics longer than a traditional 18k yellow gold through use of additional palladium. The dial is solid gold with a vertical brushed finish, onyx markers in a gold setting, and black chronograph hands. It has an applied Omega symbol as a throwback to the original Speedmasters, and “Au750” engraved just above the hand stack to show all of the common Speedmaster peasants that you have a solid gold dial.
The watch has a Cal. 3861, and this movement is undoubtedly one of my favorites from Omega. It is a cam-actuated chronograph that is plated with Moonshine Gold at a glance; not much different from an 1861, but it’s so much more. It’s a METAS certified Master Chronometer with a Co-Axial Escapement and a silicon balance spring, making it resistant to magnetic fields reaching 15,000 Gauss. The bridges are finished in straight Geneva stripes.
The back itself has some common anniversary LE features such as the time period (1969-2019), number of the watch, and the event that the anniversary is for (Apollo 11). There’s also a cut of the Earth and the moon on opposing sides of the case-back. The moon is supposed to be in correct proportion to the Earth, but I doubt anyone will actually measure it to find out.
As a whole: It’s a very cool watch with a good movement. Between the re-release of the Cal. 321 and the advent of the Cal. 3861, 2019 is a good year for Omega calibers. I do hope that the Co-Axial Escapement makes it to steel Moonwatches that aren’t necessarily limited editions. I guess we’ll just have to see.
Retail Price: $34,600
Release: July 2019
Learn more about the new Omega Speedmaster here.