Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Review
There may not be a more iconic watch in history than the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch. Made famous from the Apollo 11 moon mission, the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch was the first watch worn on the moon. This feat is what earned the Moonwatch a special place in horological history.
Throughout the years Omega has made modifications to the Moonwatch such as updating the movement, bracelet, and case but the original look and feel has stayed the same. The timeless tool watch design that has aged well is appreciated by many in the watch community. The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch is known for being ultra reliable, legible, and comfortable to wear.
In our expert analysis of this Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch review, we’ll discuss why NASA choose this watch, why the Moonwatch is the most popular Omega watch, specs, pricing, and unique references from over the years.
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Why The Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Was Chosen By NASA
In today’s technological world, a trusty wrist watch is not considered necessary. Back in the 1960’s though, a well built watch could be the difference between life and death and that was displayed in the Apollo 13 space mission.
Leading up to the United States moon missions, NASA was sourcing the best equipment that would be considered safe and reliable to accompany their astronauts to space. If you know anything about NASA, every system has a backup system. That is where the handy Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch plays a role. NASA made the decision to lean on a watch to provide accurate time, 12hr timing function, distance calculator, and speed calculator.
NASA had plenty of options to select from including the Rolex Daytona but only one could be victorious. Ultimately NASA trusted the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch and it was selected because it was the only watch to pass all the required tests. These trials included extreme temperatures exposure, simulated changes in gravity, shock resistance, acceleration, decompression, and high pressure tests.
The original reference of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch that was selected was fitted with a hesalite cover over the dial instead of the harder sapphire crystal. The logic behind this select was that if damaged the sapphire would shatter into many sharp pieces compared to the scratch, dented or punched hesalite (plastic) dial cover.
New 2021 Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Release
The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch has been left relatively untouched by Omega for years and when it’s updated, not much is changed. In 2021 Omega updated the Moonwatch with some actually big changes. They ushered this watch into the age of modern watchmaking with a co-axial master chronometer movement but brought back all the vintage appeals enthusiasts enjoy. The changes were almost universally accepted by the Omega community and Speedmaster lovers alike.
We’ll discuss each of the updates in our unbiased Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch review.
Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861 Movement
Housed in the new 2021 Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch is the Co-Axial Master Chronometer Omega Calibre 3861 movement. The Omega Calibre 3861 is a manual wound and 50 hour power reserve movement, which keeps it true to the original specifications to be flight certified by NASA.
It has been a long time since Omega gave the Moonwatch an upgraded movement. For many Omega enthusiasts, they looked around at the rest of the Omega collections and saw superior movements and were left confused as to why the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch was being left behind. Omega saw that universally accepted truth and took it as a challenge.
In our opinion, the upgrade from the 3861 Omega calibre is the most significant. The reason is because the Moonwatch’s movement is now METAS certified, which means that it’s extremely accurate, unfazed by harsh temperature and magnetic environments, and has a longer service interval. Considering the watchmaking capabilities of Omega and the iconic status of the Moonwatch, this upgrade made the most sense.
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The dial of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch is almost perfect. It’s not flashy and the design isn’t out of this world but for some reason many are drawn to it. It is a perfect example of what a legible chronograph tool watch should look like. At a quick glance, reading the dial on the Moonwatch will always be quick and easy. Partly for this reason the Moonwatch’s dial was trusted to lead our astronauts to space
Over the years there have been a couple variations of the dial on the Professional Moonwatch but they have all been very slight. Most of the changes had to do with the subdials and the Omega logo. For the new 2021 Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch, the “Stepped Dial” was reintroduced along with the additional of a hand applied Omega logo.
A stepped dial is simply the sub dials being caved in. This feature adds considerable depth to the dial and adds to legibility. Older references of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch had stepped dials and Omega decided to bring back the overwhelmingly popular design for the new 2021 reference.
Case & Materials
It’s hard to read a review of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch without it discussing how comfortable the watch and it’s dimensions are. The case plays a large part of that. Case dimensions for the Moonwatch are 42mm case size and 20mm lug width which provide a larger but very well fitting case. The lugs are also finely tapered in which provided comfort and aesthetics.
The varying references surrounding the original Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch are made of gold, platinum, and ceramic but the original is constructed of 316L stainless steel. Accompanied with the Moonwatch case is an aluminum tachymeter bezel and your choice of either a hesalite or sapphire crystal.
A tachymeter bezels function is to measure distance and time. It’s hard to think of a better place to measure space and time than outside of earths orbit. The black tachymeter aluminum bezel of the Moonwatch is one of the eye catching iconic features of the watch. Even with years of wear, older Omega Speedmaster Moonwatches have tachymeter bezels that have fared well and maintained their scale.
The new updated 2021 Moonwatch has brought back a small design feature that made many older references collectable. This design feature is moving the the dot over the 90 indicator on the tachymeter scale. This adds nothing to the functionality of the watch but provides what many Speedmaster enthusiasts have loved in the past.
My professional criticism of Omega hasn’t been the quality of their bracelets but their designs. In the past Omega bracelets either don’t taper or they taper slightly. Having a tapered bracelet is not only a design feature but adds to the comfort of the watch. It’s one of the reasons why I traded in my Omega Seasmaster 300m.
With the Moonwatch, Omega hit a home run. The bracelet is now more comfortable and has a much more unique design. This new design includes a slimmer 5 link bracelet that tapers quite nicely down to a smaller clasp, which was a very welcomed upgrade.
Specs of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch bracelet is a lug width of 20mm lug width that tapers down to 16mm, 5 link system, stainless steel construction, and a smaller updated deployment clasp.
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch References
The Omega Speedmasters that are considered the Moonwatch are part of the Professional references. These references include both the hesalite version, which is NASA flight certified, and the sapphire crystal.
Special editions of the Moonwatch have been created and are released periodically. The Omega Snoopy watches closely resemble the Moonwatch but sometimes vary in color but always include the famous Peanuts character Snoopy.
Snoopy watches are considered collectors items and are rare. Most often the Omega Snoopy is reserved for a dealers best customers and command a significant premium in the pre-owned marketplace.
Dark Side Of The Moon
The Omega Dark Side Of The Moon watches were the first real step to upgrading part of the Moonwatch collection into modern Omega technology. These references were housed first with the co-axial escapement technology. Stand out features of these watches are that the case is made entirely of ceramic.
From time to time, Omega will launch Apollo moon mission limited edition of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch. These are ultra popular references that have featured special moments or images from each mission.
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Specs
|Movement||Mechanical Manual Wind|
|Accuracy||0/+5 seconds per day|
|Power Reserve||50 hours|
|Crystal||Domed Sapphire or Hesalite|
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Pricing & Availability
The modern Moonwatch that was introduced in 2021 price ranges from $5,950 to $7,150. The pricing is determined by the crystal options (hesalite or sapphire) and the choice between a steel bracelet or a nylon/leather strap. Don’t expect to get much of a discount on the Moonwatch. We’ve spoke to a trusted Omega authorized dealer and the demand for the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch is extremely high. They informed us that there is no reason to discount this watch, similar to how most Rolex watches are sold.
Want to know what each Omega reference costs? Check out our full 2022 Omega Pricing Guide.
Is The Omega Moonwatch Better Than The Rolex Daytona
Often the Omega Moonwatch is compared to the Rolex Daytona. It’s an easy comparison because they are both iconic chronographs from very similar brands. When comparing both watches on paper there is no doubt that the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch is the better of the two. Although most people accept the Omega Moonwatch to be the better watch, there are many that would rather purchase the Rolex Daytona instead because of the monetary value.
For a more in-depth comparison between these two watches and brands, view our Omega vs. Rolex Comparison Guide.
Is An Omega Speedmaster A Good Investment
The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch is not going to be considered a good investment because buyers aren’t going to net a return. What the Moonwatch will do though is hold its value and last a lifetime though.
Which Omega Speedmaster Is The Moonwatch
There are many Omega Speedmaster references. The references that are considered to be the Moonwatch are the Omega Speedmaster Professional ones. These references are available with both hesalite and sapphire crystal. It is worth noting that only the hesalite references are considered “Flight Certified” by NASA.
Do Omega Speedmasters Hold Their Value
Omega Speedmasters, most notably the Moonwatch, do an excellent job at holding and retaining their value. Although you wont net a profit while owning this watch (unless it’s the Snoopy), you can expect for your Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch to hold its value over the years and for it to accompany you on many journeys throughout your life.
Video Review For The Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
For a full unbiased hands on video review of the new 2021 Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch, visit our YouTube channel. Check out the Moonwatch Review.