Omega Speedmaster Watches
All About Omega Speedmaster Watches
The Omega Speedmaster is one of the most successful lines of Omega. Its journey started with the Omega Speedmaster CK2915 model and continues today. Some of the most successful lines of Omega Speedmaster include the model CK2915, and its successor Omega Speedmaster CK2998. These were the oldest Omega Speedmaster models. Later, Omega Speedmaster watches gained tremendous praise and popularity for successfully passing NASA's tests, which made it the first watch to go to the moon. It was also the first watch to go to space. Newer innovations led to the creation of Omega Speedmaster Reduced, which has an automatic self-winding movement. Omega Speedmaster is now known as Omega Speedmaster professional, and it continues to develop on its previous models.
The triple-register chronograph design, with the high-contrast index markers, and the domed Plexiglas crystal are the defining features of the Omega Speedmaster Collection. The Speedmaster collection is one of the most prolific and significant watch lines in the history of timekeeping. It was introduced to the market as a racing and sports chronograph. Omega was the official timekeeper for the Olympic Games, and the Speedmaster collection carries the spirit of it. These watches are strong, functional, and can withstand astounding conditions. Its legacy reached new heights when Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, and Michael Collins wore Speedmaster watches to the first-ever manned mission on Moon.
The Moon landing took the Speedmaster collection to new heights. It was the beginning of what would later become an extremely successful line: Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch. From 1957 to today, Omega Speedmaster has become a wildly successful watch. It was honored by NASA's Apollo 13 astronauts for "dedication, professionalism, and outstanding contributions in support of the First United States Manned Lunar Landing Project". It is one of these Speedmaster watches that played a pivotal role in bringing back the Apollo 13 astronauts safely back to Earth. The legacy of Omega Speedmaster is one of perfection, engineering genius, and timeless appeal.
Omega Speedmaster CK2915
The first watch in the Omega Speedmaster line took over 3 years for design and development. This model is distinguishable from later models for two apparent factors — the stainless steel bezel and the broad arrow hands. It is still known as the 'Omega Broad Arrow'. Speedmaster CK2915 is significant because it was the introduction of functional sports watches in an era of sophisticated dress watches. The 27 CHRO C12 caliber, designed in 1942, paved the way for the Speedmaster line.
The name 'Speedmaster' was given to this watch because of its tachymeter scale bezel. It was also in accordance with the nomenclature of other Omega lines - Seamaster, Railmaster. Claude Baillod was the designer behind the first 1957 Speedmaster CK2915 model. It made use of Caliber 321 and had straight lugs and broad arrow hands. Caliber 321 is widely held as one of the best models of a lateral clutch, column-wheel controlled chronograph. The watch's movement was greatly improved by adding resistance from magnetic fields and shocks in 1946. This development would go on to play an important role in Speedmaster's trip to the Moon.
Omega Speedmaster CK 2998
The second model of the Speedmaster line stood out from the previous models for its alpha hands and a black aluminum bezel. These features greatly improved the watch's readability. The case diameter also increased, from 39mm to 40mm. This was the first time the O-ring gasket around the push buttons was incorporated. It greatly improved water resistance of the watch. This is also the first commercial watch that made it to space. Astronaut Wally Schirra took his personal Omega CK2998 watch on his Mercury space mission in 1962. The CK 2998 line was very successful, and it paved the way for further innovations in the Omega Speedmaster series.
The subsequent reference ST 105.002 in 1962 and reference ST 105.003 in 1963 brought Speeedmaster's characteristic straight baton hands to the model. More important was the reference ST 105.012, which used the case which is still used in Omega Speedmaster manufacture today. Its 42mm asymmetrical case added protection to the chronograph pusher and crown. With minor changes, this case is still used in production lines today.
1962 and the fame of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch
Since 1962, NASA had started testing various chronographs for their ability to withstand extreme conditions of outer space. The chronographs were chosen randomly, and only three of them could pass the initial series of tests and checks. Out of these three, only Omega Speedmaster could endure the extremely rigorous eleven-step test of NASA. These tests were known as the “Qualification Test Procedures”, and they etched Omega Speedmaster's supremacy without any doubt. The test involved passing the watches through extreme temperature, fluctuations, pressure, shocks, vibrations, and acceleration. Finally the model reference 105.012 was chosen for astronauts in the historical Apollo 11 mission. This event popularized the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch on an unprecedented scale.
Though Speedmaster watches had already been to space at this time, the Apollo 11 mission took it to the moon for the first time. Buzz Aldrin famously said that he was wearing his Speedmaster when he stepped on the surface of the moon.
In the Apollo 13 Mission, astronaut Jack Swigert's Speedmaster was critical in bringing them back home after the spaceship's oxygen tanks exploded. Omega Speedmaster watches were subsequently used in the Apollo 15 and Apollo 17 missions.
In 1965, astronaut Ed White did America's first spacewalk in the Gemini 4 mission wearing an Omega Speedmaster. Since then Omega Speedmaster was renamed Omega Speedmaster Professional.
The Omega Speedmaster Reduced is also known as Speedmaster Automatic because it uses a self-winding automatic movement. It was introduced in 1988 and has a 39mm case diameter. It is smaller than the 42 mm case diameter of Speedmaster Professional watches. Omega Speedmaster is now known with the reference 3510.50.00. 2006 saw the introduction of the upgraded Omega Speedmaster Reduced which has a sapphire crystal instead of a Hesalite crystal and a modified dial.
Comeback of Caliber 321
Omega announced the return of Caliber 321 in their watches in September 2009. The new design developed on the efficiency and robustness of the earlier model, adding state-of-industry technology and new metals. It still used the same basic mechanism that powered the 1957 version.
In a series of latest innovation announcements, Omega had said that they will revamp the movement and design of the Speedmaster Professional line. The new Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional collection would use the caliber 3861 instead of the old calibre 1861 Speedy Pro. The new models are reminiscent of the classic Speedmaster aesthetic. The caliber 3861 also uses a new co-axial escapement and has Master Chronometer certification. Omega has even made the new 3861 Hesalite Speedmaster thinner than its older versions. The new generation has a width of 13.58mm, while caliber 1861's is 14.3mm.
Perpetual calendars, split-second versions, and moon phases are the distinguishing factors of the Omega Speedmaster Professional series. Omega has over 250 models in the collection, for both men and women. They are available in many variants and limited editions. With the Speedmaster Professional line, Omega has managed to continue its legacy of perfection in timekeeping. They have developed on their first models that made their way to Moon and continue to employ research and development to make watches capable of enduring harsher conditions. As per the latest updates, Omega watches might make their way to Mars in the future.