To go along with the recently introduced Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 45th Anniversary wristwatch unveiled at Baselworld is another new version of the Speedmaster for 2014. Its an updated re-issue of the the iconic 1969 Speedmaster Mark II. It features a modern movement but a design that is very faithful to the original.
The first Omega chronograph with the name “Speedmaster” appeared in 1957, its name originated from the model’s unique tachymeter scale bezel. Much has been written about the history of the Speedmaster and in particular its involvement in space travel and selection as the official NASA space watch, so I wont go into that here but if you would like to read about this please check out an article I wrote about the Speedmasters history
Omega Speedmaster Mark II – Case
Essentially there have been very few changes to this updated Speedmaster Mark II, the main ones being inside. The 42.40 mm stainless steel case retains the tonneau-style of the original giving it a retro appearance. The case is water resistant to 100 meters and is constructed from polished and brushed stainless with a polished crown and pushers and a date corrector located at the 10 o’clock position. Its presented on a bracelet that matches the brushed finish of the case.
Omega Speedmaster Mark II – Movement
The original 1969 Speedmaster Mark II was fitted with the highly sought after Omega hand-wound movement the calibre 861. However this is where the new Speedmaster Mark II model differs most significantly from the original one, in the use of a modern movement; the co-axial calibre 3330. This movement uses the column-wheel chronograph mechanism unlike the original and is fitted with contemporary technical advancements such as a silicon balance spring to improve durability and precision, and of course co-axial escapement.
Omega Speedmaster Mark II – Dial
Two versions of this model will be issued, one with a more traditional Speedmaster black dial and one with a grey dial with red/orange accents. The black dial version is mostly monochromatic except for some accents from the green lume and has white hour markers contrasted against a dark grey background.
People who prefer a bit of colour will be drawn more to the second version which recalls the vintage ref. 145.014 Speedmaster Professional Mark II. It features a bright orange central chronograph seconds hand and a matching minute track with bright hour markers- a detail that differentiates it from its predecessor.
The dial layout for the most part mirrors the original Mark II with the three recognisable sub-dials popularized by the original Speedmaster chronograph: a 30-minute recorder at 3 o’clock, 12-hour recorder at 6 o’clock and small seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock, the only exception is that this one has the date located at 6 o’clock (the original didnt have a date indicator).
Another slight change for the 2014 models compared to the 1969 Mark II is the omission of the “Professional” and “Mark II” inscriptions on the dial, these have been replaced by “Co-Axial Chronometer”. A standout feature of the original was the tachymeter scale printed on the inside of the crystal, this new version stays faithful to this idea but has updated it to feature a transparent tachymeter scale printed on the sapphire crystal that is illuminated from beneath by an aluminium ring filled with Super-LumiNova. The white and black hour and minute hands are also coated with Super-LumiNova as is the central chronograph hand.
Overall the dial has a nice vintage feel and follows on from other vintage inspired models Omega have recently released succh as the Speedmaster ’57 and Bullhead model from the 70’s they released last year.
Omega Speedmaster Mark II – Conclusion and Pricing
So another interesting release from Omega who seem to have an endless source of inspiration for vintage Speedmaster inspired models, and following in the footsteps of the Omega Speedmaster ’57 from last year. The Omega Speedmaster Mark II should appeal to those looking for an attractive retro inspired model that comes with the iconic Speedmaster DNA.
The Omega Speedmaster Mark II is issued with either a black dial or a grey dial with red/orange accents and retails for $6,250.