Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch celebrates the Moon landing with historic calibre
In January, Swiss watchmaker Omega announced that it was bringing back its famous Calibre 321 that flew to the Moon inside the Omega Speedmaster wrist watches worn by the Apollo astronauts. Now, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong setting foot on the Moon, the company is releasing its Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Platinum that features the revived mechanical movement.
Though it was first introduced in 1946, the Calibre 321 gained its reputation in horological circles when Omega used the movement to power its Omega Speedmaster chronograph in 1957, which was then boosted to world fame when NASA selected the Speedmaster as the watch to be worn by its astronauts on the Gemini and Apollo missions.
The 321 was discontinued decades ago, but when Omega decided to revive the 17-jewel, 2.5-Hz (18,000-vph), manually-wound, lateral clutch chronograph movement, the company not only had to pull out the original plans from the archives, but also had to undertake a lot of reverse engineering that included using a digital scan of the Speedmaster watch worn by Commander Eugene "Gene" Cernan on the Moon during the 1972 Apollo 17 mission.
On the anniversary of the Moon landing, Omega officially announced that the new Calibre 321 would power its new Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Platinum. Not surprisingly, the movement is set in a 42-mm case made of Pt950Au20 platinum/gold alloy that boasts the asymmetrical 4th generation Speedmaster lugs found on the ST 105.012 Speedmaster, as well as a black leather strap with a platinum buckle.
The Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Platinum has a black ceramic bezel carrying a tachymeter scale in white enamel and the step dial is in black onyx for contrast with the 18K white gold indexes and hands. In keeping with the Space Age design, the subdials for the chronograph function are made out of actual slices of lunar meteorites.
No price has been released yet but the watch will be released in the Northern Hemisphere winter.