Omega unveils new Speedmaster Moonwatch Automatic Master Chronometer ahead of Baselworld 2017
The storied Speedmaster is already available in several different flavours - and Omega has now unveiled another
Omega has announced a new edition to its iconic Speedmaster line ahead of Baselworld 2017: the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Automatic Master Chronometer.
The Speedmaster is unquestionably one of the world's most recognisable watches, largely due to its long association with space exploration. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Nasa supplied all its Apollo astronauts with "Speedies" and in 1969, it became the first timepiece to be worn on the surface of the Moon.
Unsurprisingly, Omega has spun this milestone into marketing gold, releasing numerous limited editions and variations of the watch.
However, the latest edition looks back to a time before the Speedmaster became synonymous with astronautics, taking instead its inspiration from the watch's original incarnation as a precision motorsports timepiece.
So what is new (and old) about the Speedmaster Moonwatch Automatic Master Chronometer?
First, the styling of the minute markers from the 1968 models of Speedmaster has been incorporated on to a matte-black dial with bright orange markings. Further reinforcing its racing credentials, the design is reminiscent of some of the brand's special edition Michael Schumacher Speedmasters, A Blog to Watch says.
The Speedmaster Moonwatch Automatic Master Chronometer also has bevelled 18K white gold arrowhead indexes filled with white Super-Luminova, while its sub-dials are slightly larger for improved legibility.
The watch has a 44.25mm (1.7ins) case, which is not huge by modern standards, and it is thinner than previous Speedmasters thanks to the work done on the sapphire crystal in particular.
Speedmasters have traditionally come with either hesalite (read: plastic) or sapphire crystals, with the latter often criticised for being too boxy, so it appears Omega may have finally listened to enthusiasts' feedback.
Just like the Speedmaster Professional, the Speedmaster Moonwatch Automatic Master Chronometer features a tachymeter, but uses a polished ceramic bezel, with a harder wearing scale made with Omega's licensed Liquidmetal technology which the brand claims is three times as hard as stainless steel.
The new Speedmaster Automatic is powered by a calibre 9900 which was introduced at last year's Baselworld in the Seamaster Planet Ocean.
It comes on black leather strap with orange rubber sections and micro perforations. The result is a strap that again references Speedmaster's racing past.
Omega hasn't released a price for the Speedmaster Moonwatch Automatic Master Chronometer yet, but Frattello Watches says it will probably cost around 7,800 Swiss Francs (£6,215).
Given 2017 marks the Speedmaster's 60th birthday, experts agree the Speedmaster Automatic Racing Dial is unlikely to be the last Speedy we see released this year.