Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
By Fabio Dal Colletto
The Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch requires no introduction, it is perhaps the most well-known watch Omega has created, it may even be one of the most recognizable watches from any manufacturer. A cult classic in eyes of many, the Speedmaster lineup has expanded vastly in the 60 years from it’s original inception, spawning hundreds of variants in multiple case sizes, with different materials and movements used, from manual winds, to automatics and even a few Speedmasters utilizing a quartz movement. But that the Speedmaster which I have had the opportunity to review is a Speedmaster that one of the most similar to that worn by Buzz Aldrin when he descended the Apollo XI Capsule and walked on the moon, but unlike that watch which was equipped with a hesalite crystal this Speedmaster contains a sapphire crystal and sapphire caseback and is affectionally known as the Sapphire Sandwich.
The Speedmaster along with the Seamaster have been pillars of the Omega lineup, as Omega added more offering and updated models there was always one constant, the Omega Speedmaster Professional. The Sapphire Sandwich is in my opinion a more useable everyday watch compared to it’s hesalite brother. In terms of style, it is clear to see where many of Omega’s style cues have come from over the years, the Speedmaster Professional which introduced in the 60’s is more or less the same as what we see today when wearing this 2020 model. The design is classic, a true icon in the world of horology. The craftsmanship is well represented in this Sapphire Sandwich as we are treated to the sapphire exhibition caseback, the caliber 1863 is beautifully decorated and having the ability to view this manual wind movement is a genuine pleasure. The craftmanship does not stop at the movement, every line sharp, the polishing is meticulous, and although the bracelet is missing the quick micro-adjustment clasp from the Seamaster, the bracelet remains very well made and exceptionally comfortable. The watch having a 42mm case diameter would scare off a few people who may feel that is too big but what has to be remembered here is that the Speedmaster Professional has a lug to lug length of only 47mm which is 3mm shorter than a Rolex Submariner 116610 and we all know the Submariner has a case diameter of 40mm, so what you get from the Speedmaster is a larger more legible dial that occupies less real estate on your wrist than what you may expect. For me the size is absolutely perfect as I typically do not wear watches under 40mm.
In the absolutely massive box that the Speedmaster is now delivered with you will find a NATO strap, a Velcro strap, a Speedmaster inspired loupe which is equipped a tachymeter
bezel around it’s lense, a springbar tool, and all the other accoutrements you would expect from any modern Omega. The presentation one experiences when opening the box for the first time is certainly every bit as special as the watch itself. What Omega has managed to do in recent years is really emphasize the connection between the Speedy pro and its space going missions, for a history buff like myself that connection really appeals to me, it is easy to purchase something if you enjoy it’s aesthetic appearance but if you also enjoy the story behind it then you develop this emotional connection to the watch. The marketing department at Omega has done an excellent job with this.
I have been wearing the Sapphire Sandwich on several different watch straps, and it is true what they say, the Speedy is a “strap monster”. I have enjoyed wearing the watch on a NATO, in either the all black NATO which is shipped with the Speedmaster or also on a black and grey Bond NATO, the NATO strap in general gives the Speedy a true tool watch appearance, and suits the watch quite well. In contrast on the bracelet gives the Speedy a more upscale appearance and adds a heft which I really enjoy, you are reminded by that heft that you are wearing something special. But for me, the Speedmaster belongs on a leather strap, and preferably on a racing strap, in dark brown, or black because let’s not forget prior to the Speedmaster going to space it was designed as a watch for motorists and auto enthusiasts, the racing strap plays very well into that, and in my opinions creates a look which is classic. Ultimately you cannot go wrong however you choose to wear your Speedy it looks excellent on everything.
Everything about the Speedmaster Professional Sapphire Sandwich is perfect to me, there is absolutely nothing I would change about the watch, I love how it is a piece of history, the Speedmaster assisted in navigating Apollo XIII safely to earth in 1970. I enjoy how versatile the watch is as well, in can be dressed up or down always looking at home whilst wearing casual attire or a suit and tie to the office. It is within that versatility that you begin to appreciate the Speedmaster, for me the Speedmaster is suited for every occasion, as long as that occasion isn’t anywhere near water as the 50M water resistance is only enough to allow the wearer to wash their hands in confidence. The Speedmaser Professional will forever be a watch in my collection and I feel every collector should at least have one variant in their collection as well. The Omega Speedmaster will never go out of style.