As part of the Speedmaster line’s 65th-anniversary commemoration, Omega has added eight new models to its Speedmaster ’57 collection as a tribute to the original watch to bear the name. The new models have slimmer construction than the previous 57s, and are available in four dial colours, each with a leather strap or steel bracelet. It is powered by the outstanding Co-Axial Master Chronometer 9906 movement.
For most, the words ‘Omega Speedmaster’ translates to the Moonwatch range of models, the direct descendants of the watches that made it to the moon. However, the origin of the Speedmaster name dates back to 1957, when the first Omega Speedmaster went on sale, as a watch designed for racing car drivers and their engineers.
The new generation of Speedmaster ’57 models were first introduced in 2013. Instead of a faithful recreation of the original, Omega chose to present an upgraded watch that had the overall look of the watch but with some new design details and a modern and reliable movement, the calibre 9300.
Just like the original CK2915 from 1957, the 2013 model has a 41.5mm case, with its straight lugs, and bracelet featuring polished and brushed surfaces. The bezel is brushed metallic with black tachymeter indicators. The CK2915 was the first watch ever to feature a tachymetric scale. However, it has ‘Alpha’ hands that are similar to the 1959 Speedmaster CK2998 and applied indexes in white metal, filled with luminous paint.
These historical inaccuracies were addressed in the 2015 model. It has an “arrow head” hours hand and a “sword hand” for the minutes, as in CK2915, and both are coated with vintage Super-LumiNova. Similarly, the dial has recessed hour markers, partially filled with vintage Super-LumiNova.
Earlier this year, Omega unveiled a revamped Speedmaster 57, with several subtle and not-so-subtle changes to be found in nearly every aspect of the watch. Despite these changes, the latest 57 model stays true to its overall ethos of paying tribute to the 1957 CK 2915. The biggest change is to be found inside the watch, and because of it, several other changes became possible.
The 2022 Speedmaster 57 is powered by Omega’s in-house Calibre 9906. Based on the automatic 9900, this hand-wound movement shares its architecture with another recently-launched model, the Speedmaster Chronoscope, but with the additional date complication.
This Certified Master Chronometer, running at 4Hz, is resistant to magnetic fields up to an impressive 15,000 gauss. It has a column-wheel and vertical clutch chronograph system with a silicon balance spring, and two barrels mounted in series to provide stable torque for 60-hours of power reserve. The large plate, covering three-fourths of the back, features arabesque Geneva waves.
The absence of an automatic module makes the movement noticeably slimmer, which in turn enables the new 57 to have a slimmer, more dressier aesthetic than its predecessors. The case is smaller, at 40.5mm in diameter, and is thinner, at 12.99 mm. The new case design retains several core design elements from previous models.
The symmetrical case has straight, long-ish lugs with a lateral bevel. The unprotected crown and pushers retain their prominence. The brushed steel bezel has a tachymeter scale that is laser engraved onto the bezel, and is then laser-coloured using new technology. The scale has the watchmaker’s signature “dot-over-ninety” as an ode to the past.
This thinner, smaller case will appeal to those who prefer a slightly more formal option than some of the brand’s other professional watches, such as the Moonwatch. With water resistance up to 50 metres, the case features a sapphire crystal on top and a screwed caseback with a sapphire window.
The dial also gets a revision, but ever so slightly. The “broad-arrow” hands are now on all four models. The classic black dial is joined by sunray-brushed dials in dark blue, dark green and burgundy. However, the sand-blasted matte-black dial still enjoys privileged status as it is the only one of the four to feature the “sandwich” construction.
The black dial is created using two plates, a black dial on top with a beige Super-LumiNova layer beneath, and visible through the recessed hour markers. This was done to enhance the old-radium-coloured Super-LumiNova illumination in the dark. As with the original, at the 9 o’clock position we have the running seconds sub-dial, and at 3 o’clock we have the dual-hand 12-hour and 60-minute chronograph recorders. The elapsed seconds hand is central and the date window is at 6 o’clock.
All four dial colours are available either with a steel bracelet or leather strap. The new bracelet, based on the flat-link bracelets of the 1950s and 60s, has a thinner profile that matches the slimmer case, and features a mix of brushed and polished finish. It also has the new folding clasp that debuted earlier this year with the new Moonwatch model. Its release mechanism allows an extension of 2.3mm, for more comfort during hotter days. Alternatively, there are four gradient-coloured leather straps for the four dial colours. The black dial model comes with a brown strap, complementing the beige indicators, while the other three strap colours march that of the dial.
To promote the new collection, Omega has chosen long-time brand ambassador and veteran actor George Clooney along with South Korean actor Hyun Bin. In the promotional shoot, George Clooney is wearing the blue dial model with a steel bracelet, while Hyun Bin is wearing the black dial model with the brown leather strap.