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Omega - A Stellar Attraction

Omega A Stellar Attraction

Omega brings the Speedmaster ’57 back into focus

You could make the argument that the Omega Speedmaster has been in the spotlight quite a lot lately. That would be a false argument, however. The Omega Speedmaster has not been in the spotlight lately, because that implies there was a time before that it wasn’t in the spotlight. To be accurate (because we love accuracy here in the watch world), the Omega Speedmaster never left the spotlight. It’s always been there. The more relevant question is: which Omega Speedmaster is in the spotlight right now?

When a watch is known worldwide as the first watch on the moon, it can be very hard for audiences to look beyond that one colossal achievement. There have been innumerable members of the Speedmaster family over the years, but it’s probably only hardcore Omega enthusiasts who can name any other Speedmaster than the legendary Moonwatch. Being a non-Moonwatch Speedmaster must be like being Solange Knowles — on the one hand, plenty of individual success and critical acclaim, and on the other hand, your sister is Beyoncé. 

A Stellar Attraction

Hyun Bin Wearing The Speedmaster '57 © Omega

That’s why we’re particularly excited to see the Omega Speedmaster ‘57 make it back into the global horological conversation. As much as we love the Moonwatch chapter of the Speedmaster story, as educated and responsible members of the watch community, we should acknowledge the foundational role that the Speedmaster ’57 represents. Although the year of the moon landing, 1969, is clearly the most commemorated date in Omega history, it’s important to remember that the Speedmaster model existed at least a decade before it ever left earth’s atmosphere.

It was in 1957 that Omega introduced its by-now famous trilogy of watch collections, the “Professional” line. They consisted of the Speedmaster, the Seamaster and the Railmaster. The first Speedmaster from 1957 incorporated straight lugs with a very subtle chamfer, rather than the shapelier bevelled lugs we are accustomed to see on later models. The hour hand also had a distinctive arrow form, which in collector parlance is often called “Broad Arrow”, although that term more accurately refers to a symbol used on the dials and casebacks of watches issued by the British Ministry of Defence. Omega released a tribute to the original Speedmaster in 2013, appropriately called the Speedmaster ’57. 

A Stellar Attraction

George Clooney Wearing The Speedmaster 57' © Omega

This horological homage cleaved closely to the design of the first Speedmaster, incorporating those unmistakable straight lugs and “Broad Arrow” hour hand, although other aspects (notably its movement) made this a thoroughly modern timepiece. Instead of the three-counter dial layout of the original, the 2013 Speedmaster ’57 used a two-counter configuration. The chronograph hours and minutes indications were combined on a single counter at 3 o’clock and the running seconds remained at 9 o’clock, comfortably accommodating the date window at 6 o’clock while also allowing the chronograph hours and minutes to be read quickly, in a more intuitive way. Naturally, Omega fitted the Speedmaster ’57 with one of their newest Co-Axial chronograph movements at the time, the cal. 9300 from 2011.

Attraction Stellaire

Speemaster 57' © Omega

Throughout the years, Omega has added to the Speedmaster ’57 collection in measured, strategic ways, putting the strongest focus on the popular Moonwatch and more contemporary models, but still recognising the tremendous affection that their most dedicated admirers had for the original Speedmaster blueprint.

Omega’s latest campaign puts the Speedmaster ’57, now powered by the cal. 9906 Co-Axial Master Chronometer movement, on silver-screen titans George Clooney and Hyun Bin, underlining the enduring appeal and relevance of this defining model. After all, the Moonwatch will always have its lunar appeal, but the Speedmaster ’57 is now among the stars. 

 

 

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A company of the Swatch Group, OMEGA has been behind major revolutions in watchmaking technology and the timekeeping of numerous Olympic Games. Its watches are worn by world-famous celebrities and have travelled to the moon, the depths of the ocean and everywhere in between.

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