Originally we had planned to write about the Omega Speedmaster with the much-desired Caliber 321 movement (worn by astronauts in the 1960s) and ceramic bezel priced at $14,100 and how it can compete with the ceramic Rolex Daytona.
But on (Speedy) Tuesday, Omega announced a significant update to its core Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch with a new Co-Axial caliber 3861 Master Chronometer movement (replacing the 1861), a new case, dial, and case back and priced at $6,300 on a bracelet with a Hesalite crystal. It’s the first significant update since 1996 when Omega introduced the Speedmaster Moonwatch reference 3570.50.
Photo by @hodinkee
1996 was a long time ago, so Moonwatch fans have been longing for a movement update and the biggest news to us is the new brushed bracelet (with smaller links) that tapers from 20mm to 15mm at the clasp. It changes the whole look of the Speedy Pro on the wrist. As die-hard Rolex fans, we appreciate the comfort and beauty of a tapered bracelet. We’d often say amongst our crew the one thing we don’t like about most Omega sport watches is the lack of taper on the bracelet. (We’re looking at you, Planet Ocean.)
Why the new Speedmaster Pro means so much
Originally we were examining an entirely different price bracket in comparing the $14K Caliber 321 Speedmaster with the ceramic Daytona, which is, for all intents and purposes, impossible to get at retail. Secondary market prices are around $30K.
With the introduction of the standard Speedy Pro with hacking seconds hand, upgraded movement and a really fantastic looking bracelet, it really places a fierce competitor in the sub-$10K watch market. The Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 38mm comes in at $6,700 with a beautiful alligator strap. TheTAG Heuer Carrera 160th Silver retails for $6,450.
That’s just a comparison within the chronograph category. The Speedmaster Professional is a true icon and perhaps only second the Rolex Submariner is the best known watch department. The Speedmaster is the one watch that Hodinkee founder Ben Clymer named the watch that every watch collector should own at one point in the watch collecting journey.
Could it be your main watch?
Photo by @monochromewatches
For a lot of watch collectors their main “daily wearer” has to be at least water resistant to 100 meters. The Speedmaster Professional is only rated to 50 meters. The Hesalite crystal (that purists deem necessary) is prone to scratching. It’s also 42mm in case diameter, so for some it may be too big.
That said, the new Speedmaster is absolutely capable of being your new main watch. Unless you regularly dip into the ocean or pool with your watch on, the water resistance isn’t an issue. The sapphire version (which has a see-through caseback) will alleviate fears of scratches, and, did we mention the new bracelet?
Cover photo by @hodinkee