Like Cher, Bono, or Rihanna, when a watch goes by a single name, you know it’s an icon. Case in point is the Speedmaster. First launched as a watch for race car drivers in 1957, and later linked to mankind’s greatest leap in 1969, few watches come close to the cachet of Omega’s signature chronograph. However, because the Speedmaster is Omega’s most famous watch model, there are so many variations (Speedmaster Reduced, Speedmaster ’57, Mark II, Racing, etc.) that it can be challenging to understand what the differences are.
Contrary to popular belief, not all Omega Speedmaster watches are “Moonwatches” – those are specific versions that are either direct descents of the Apollo 11 Speedmaster Professional watches or versions that Omega created in honor of the lunar landing. For instance, while at first glance the Omega Speedmaster Reduced may look like a Speedmaster Professional “Moonwatch” it is a different watch altogether.
Introduced in 1988, the Speedmaster Reduced was sold as the smaller and cheaper version of the Speedy among the various watches in the Omega Speedmaster collection. Consequently, the first thing you’ll notice if you have a Speedmaster Reduced in your hands is its size. Sporting a case that is 39mm in diameter, the aptly named ‘Reduced’ is noticeably smaller than the 42mm size of the Speedmaster Professional watches. It is also more compact than the 41.5mm size of the Co-Axial Speedmaster ’57 model and the 44.25mm size of the Speedmaster Racing edition.
There were a few versions of the Speedmaster Reduced chronograph during its two-decade production run. Omega offered the Speedmaster Reduced in stainless steel, solid yellow gold, and two-tone steel and gold. There were also bracelet versions and leather strap versions, in addition to different dial colors. Omega even made date, perpetual calendar, day-date, and moonphase versions of the Speedy Reduced chronograph.
The most common Speedmaster Reduced models are the no-date stainless steel ones with black dials and black bezels. The first generation included the references ST.175.0032 (leather strap) and ST.375.0032 (steel bracelet). Because Omega changed their coding system in the late 1980s, this version of the Speedmaster Reduced is also known as the ref. 3510.50.00.
In 2006, Omega introduced the upgraded Speedmaster Reduced (ref. 3539.50.00) with a sapphire crystal instead of a Hesalite crystal and a slightly redesign dial. However by 2009, Omega had stopped producing the Speedmaster Reduced collection altogether.
The Automatic Speedmaster
The Speedmaster Reduced is also sometimes referred to as the Speedmaster Automatic because it runs on a self-winding automatic movement! This is in contrast to the classic Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch, which is famous for its traditional manually-wound caliber.
The movements of the no-date Speedmaster Reduced watches went by different names over the years. First Caliber 1140 (1988), followed by Caliber 1141 (1996), then Caliber 1143 (1996), and finally Caliber 3220 (2000). Regardless of the name, the movement is virtually the same – a time-only ETA 2892-A2 base fitted with a Dubois Dépraz 2020 chronograph module. The Omega Caliber 3220 offers users a 40-hour power reserve.
Due to the movement, the layout of the Speedmaster Reduced dial has the trio of registers spread out quite significantly where they are almost touching the outer minute track. Compare that to the Speedmaster Professional models where the three sub-dials are positioned much closer to the center. Also take note of the “AUTOMATIC” label on the dial, just under the Omega Speedmaster logo. This takes the place of the “PROFESSIONAL” branding seen on the classic full-size model and denotes that the Speedmaster Reduced is powered by a self-winding movement.
Omega Speedmaster Reduced Discontinued
As Omega initially promised, the Speedmaster Reduced is a smaller and less expensive version of its more famous Speedy Pro brother. Some may also argue it is a more practical version thanks to its self-winding movement. A great looking chronograph at a reasonable price point, the Speedmaster Reduced continues to be a popular option in the secondary market – even if Omega no longer manufactures it.
Although the Omega Speedmaster Reduced was discontinued in 2009, smaller Speedmaster watches still exits within the Omega catalog today in the form of the Omega Speedmaster Racing and Speedmaster 38 collections. The standard Omega Speedmaster Racing has a 44.25mm case diameter; however, a 40mm version also exists (both with self-winding movements). Additionally, the Speedmaster 38 is another smaller Speedmaster, with a 38mm case diameter, and offering a number of different colors and configurations aimed at women.
Lastly, the various vintage-inspired Speedmaster watches like the First Omega in Space (FOiS) have vintage-inspired cases that do not have crown guards like the standard Speedmaster Professional models. Consequently, the case diameter of these vintage-inspired Speedmaster references measures 39.7mm, although the size difference is less noticeable among these when on the wrist.
Omega Speedmaster Reduced Common Questions
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Omega Speedmaster Reduced. With that in mind, should you have a different question that isn’t covered here, just ask it in the comments and we will be sure to address it!
Does the Omega Speedmaster Reduced have a screw-down crown?
Just like all other watches in the Speedmaster family, the Omega Speedmaster Reduced does not have a screw-down crown. As the watch was not specifically designed for underwater use and only offers 30 meters of water resistance, a screw-down crown is not necessary for this particular model.
How to spot a fake Omega Speedmaster Reduced?
Just like spotting any fake luxury watch, identifying a fake Omega Speedmaster Reduced comes down to a matter of looking at the fine details. The watch should feature a self-winding chronograph movement with a running seconds indicator at the 3 o’clock location. Additionally, despite originally being created as a more affordable alternative, the Omega Speedmaster Reduced still upholds the fine finishing for which Omega watches are known.
How do you wind Omega Speedmaster Reduced?
The Omega Speedmaster Reduced is powered by a self-winding movement, so it will actually wind itself with regular wear and use. However, you are also able to manually wind it through the crown. To do so, simply rotate the winding crown clockwise while it remains in its natural position (pushed all the way into the side of the case).
What movement does the Omega Speedmaster Reduced use?
Although the movement used inside the Omega Speedmaster Reduced has gone by a few different names throughout history, it is commonly known as the Omega Caliber 3220. Offering users a 40-hour power reserve, the Cal. 3220 is a time-only ETA 2892-A2 that is fitted with a Dubois Dépraz 2020 chronograph module.
What other bezel inserts fit the Speedmaster Reduced?
Both versions of the Omega Speedmaster Reduced were only ever offered with black tachymeter bezels. While certain other Speedmaster watches can be found with a variety of different bezels, a black tachymeter bezel with an anodized aluminum insert was the only option available for both versions of the Reduced Speedmaster.
Why did Omega make the Speedmaster Reduced?
Omega made the Speedmaster Reduced as a way to offer the classic purpose-built design of the full-size Speedmaster Professional to a wider range of buyers. With a more compact case and a convenient self-winding movement, the Omega Speedmaster Reduced was designed more for everyday wear and use, rather than professional timing activities.
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