I had always made excuses on why the Omega Speedmaster Professional, despite being an icon, would not make it into my collection.
Photo by The Electicum
What drove me to finally purchase one was the combination of the lack of availability of Rolex steel sport watches and the fact that the 2021 Speedy Pro’s new features finally addressed my previous perceived issues with the watch. Previously generations of the Moonwatch lacked a chronometer-certified movement, which didn’t hack, and the bracelet was always too bulky looking and had no taper. Plus, I am not that into the history of the moon landings as some people.
When I got delivery of my Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional Co-Axial Master Chronometer Chronograph with the Calibre 3861 movement earlier this year,I have to say I was over the moon (pun intended) with the watch. The look and feel on the wrist with the new bracelet, which has an extreme taper, has made it one of my favorites in a small collection. The Hesalite crystal does offer that so-called warmth so many devotees talk about and is a lot more durable in my time spent wearing the watch.
For Rolex fans, the Speedmaster may seem like a consolation prize for not being able to get a Daytona at retail. I will admit the modern ceramic Daytona is a stunner. I would argue that the two watches are really different types of watches and really shouldn’t be compared. They are both chronographs but each has a distinct history and look.
Photo by Worn & Wound
Ownership of the Speedmaster Pro has revealed to me it has a quiet elegance that isn’t immediately revealed in its utilitarian package. The thin bezel (made more pronounced with my ownership of a Submariner) makes the watch appear to have a very large dial, which now makes sense to me to allow for more room to fit the three subdials. The thin hands and matching indices are perfectly proportional. As a fan of watches without date complications, the balanced elements of the design offer a soothing harmony when viewing the watch.
And the star of the show is the Hesalite crystal, which offers a very clear view of the dial. Operating the chronograph functions is also a pleasure and I’m glad it does not have screw-down pushers and a higher water resistance. I have enough highly water-resistant watches in my collection so to have one land-locked watch is more than fine to me.
The handwinding was at first a bit stiff, but the action broke in nicely. I really enjoy handwinders and having the Speedmaster, along with my Panerai PAM112, gives me two really great mechanical watches that aren’t dependent on my movements to charge them.
Having tried on the previous modern stock Moonwatch, I did not like the look or feel of the non-tapered bracelet. The new all-brushed bracelet with oval links provides that less constrictive feeling I get with my five-digit Submariner.
I’ve done a complete 180 on my feelings towards the Speedmaster Pro. With a METAS-certified co-axial movement that hacks, the 3861 Speedmaster has earned a place as one of the top dogs in my collection. I never imagined I’d say that with my first love being Rolex.