We knew Omega would launch something big on the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing – after all, Apollo 11’s astronauts were all issued Speedmaster Professionals by NASA for their historic spaceflight. And the Swiss watchmaker did not disappoint! Not only is this a Speedmaster in platinum, but it also comes equipped with the legendary Caliber 321 movement. Let’s take a closer look at the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Platinum introduced to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing.
Omega Caliber 321
To the delight of Omega fans everywhere, the brand announced earlier this year that the Caliber 321 movement would soon return. In the watch world, the Lémania-based Caliber 321 is known as one of the most beautifully designed and important mechanical chronograph movements ever made.
It was the movement selected to power the very first Speedmaster in 1957 and Omega continued to use it in Speedmaster models throughout the 1950s and most of the 1960s. In fact, the Speedmaster Professional ST 105.012 that Buzz Aldrin wore around his spacesuit when he took his first steps on the lunar surface ran on a Caliber 321 movement.
In 1968/1969, Omega ultimately discontinued making the manually-wound Caliber 321 and replaced it with the easier (and less costly) to manufacture Caliber 861 (also manually-wound). For the last five decades, Omega enthusiasts spoke wistfully about the Caliber 321 and could only get their hands on one if they opted for a vintage Speedmaster.
But now, after careful research and reconstruction, the Caliber 321 movement is back in regular production, and Omega selected the brand new platinum Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 to debut it.
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Platinum
The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Platinum stays faithful to its 42mm size, but as the name of the watch declares, the case is fashioned from a platinum alloy mixed with gold. Vintage Speedy fans will recognize that the case design is based on the ST 105.012, characterized by an asymmetric case and twisted lugs. Other retro-inspired touches include the applied vintage Omega logo on the dial, in addition to the “Dot over 90” on the bezel.
While the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Platinum has a case design and a movement that have histories that stretch back 50 years, there are modern details on the watch too. For instance, the black bezel has been crafted from high-tech ceramic, complete with the famed tachymeter scale (the 1957 Speedmaster was the first chronograph to feature the tachymeter scale on the exterior bezel) in white enamel.
To emphasize the watch’s history with moon exploration, the black onyx dial of the Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Platinum is home to a trio of sub-dials made from real slices of moon meteorite. 18k white gold was used for the hour and minute hands, as well as the hour markers. To top it all off, the watch is fitted with a black leather strap and platinum buckle. Of course, the beauty of Caliber 321 is on display thanks to the sapphire caseback – rosy hues and all.
No word yet on the price of the Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Platinum, or if it will be a limited edition piece; but for now, let’s just take a moment to enjoy this handsome watch and what it represents for Omega’s history and the future of the Speedmaster collection.
*All images courtesy of OMEGA