Welcome to Dialed In, where we introduce the best, most interesting, and coolest new watches in the world.
The clock: Omega’s legendary Speedmaster … revised
The best thing about this watch: It’s what they wear in space. In 2024, NASA will send another pair of astronauts to the moon as part of the Artemis program – including the first woman to land on that large piece of cheese. The teams are being sorted out, plans for a base camp on the lunar surface have been revealed, and a partnership with Booking.com is likely in sight. If these astronauts take those little steps on the lunar surface, they will almost certainly be wearing this latest evolution from the Omega Speedmaster, the piece that Buzz Aldrin and Neal Armstrong had on their wrists for that first lunar walk 52 years ago. And this new piece optimizes small aesthetic details and redesigns the inner workings at the same time. The watch takes over the baton of the so-called Speedmaster 1861, which Omega had produced for decades. Today the Moonwatch 3861 era begins.
The background story: Whenever Omega touches its legendary Moonwatch, the brand risks everything and plays it safe. Each iteration of the watch has to evolve in some way while staying true to the icon that obsessive fans across the galaxy have earned. “When updating a sacred watch like the Speedmaster Moonwatch, every detail has to match its original spirit,” said Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of Omega, in a press release. “This chronograph is recognized around the world, so we approached its design with sincere respect while taking its movement to the next level.” So Omega steps lightly. The most obvious aesthetic improvement is a new bracelet, and even the change there is minor: the center link is now roughly the same size as the two that flank it on either side. This is how symbols are recreated: slowly and precisely. Check out Rolex’s update of the Submariner from last year, which featured stripped-down tabs as a bold new aesthetic achievement.
In any case, the important updates for the Speedmaster take place under the hood. The new movement in the watch – called caliber 3861 – is watch super fuel. The Speedmaster is now Master Chronometer certified along with the other watches in the Omega catalog. This means the watch has passed a series of timing tests by the Federal Institute of Metrology. In layman’s terms, it’s super-duper accurate.
This watch is important in the watch world because: Whenever a symbol gets an update, it’s a huge deal. There are half a dozen timepieces that are fundamental to the watch community – these timepieces inspire collectors to focus on only picking up variations on this model. The Speedmaster is one such watch, and as such, it is understandable that Omega should be adding this valuable piece of updating. Details that are normally overlooked are viewed as sacrosanct by speedy obsessives. For example, the little dot above the number 90 is so important that it has its own acronym “DON” (Dot Over Ninety). “The icing on the cake is the coveted ‘Dot-over-Ninety’ (DON) aluminum tachymeter bezel – just like God and Ed White [the first American astronaut to walk in space] would have intended “, writes a blog for viewing.
Is this watch a good investment? You bet. With this new edition of the Speedmaster you can future-proof your watch collection. As the case back says, this is the “flight qualified” watch by NASA for all manned space missions. In the not too distant future, imagine that all of your friends hop on the latest Virgin Galactic flight to the moon and you don’t have a watch that can withstand this cruel intergalactic environment. You will be moving around the Club Crater as you soar through the atmosphere asking people if they have the time. Tsk-tsk-tsk.
Where and when to buy it: Half of the new watches are now available for pre-order on the Omega website. The other half requires a phone call or a visit to your local Omega boutique.