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Finding a new mark

Michelle Zhu
Michelle Zhu • 3 min read
Finding a new mark
Omega celebrates 60 years of the Speedmaster — one of the world’s most recognisable and sought-after chronographs
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Omega celebrates 60 years of the Speedmaster — one of the world’s most recognisable and sought-after chronographs

Omega’s Speedmaster made its debut in 1957 as the world’s first chronograph wristwatch to feature a tachymeter scale on its bezel.

Originally designed for racing car drivers to better read the elapsed time, the ’57 was quickly dubbed “Broad Arrow”, owing to its slim yet highly legible hands. Its durability and functionality made it the first watch to have ever been worn on the moon, subsequently earning its place on the wrist of every astronaut in the Apollo programme’s manned space missions from 1965.

To commemorate Speedmaster’s 60th anniversary, Omega has introduced the chronograph in a refined 38mm collection and a new Racing Master Chronometer series — both of which made their debut at Baselworld 2017 with entirely new aesthetic touches to an otherwise enduring legacy.

Looks of love
From the addition of twisted lugs in late 1964 to create an asymmetric case, and a distinctive minute-track style that was introduced in the 1968 model, to a dual diamond-paved bezel design that has been introduced in Omega’s refined 38mm collection this year, the Speedmaster has been through a sea change over the last 60 years, but remains an instantly recognisable and universally admired collectible.

Several of the very first model’s classic features have been retained over the years: a clever box-shaped glass to give the impression of an overall thinner watch; a classic triple- register pure dial design with luminous markers and contrasting hands; and its hallmark tachymeter scale that was so unconventionally lifted off the dial to be placed on the bezel — six decades ago.

Sporting diamonds
Fourteen new models will make up the complete Speedmaster 38mm collection for men and women. All have been stamped with the brand’s hallmark Seahorse medallion, and are driven by the Omega Calibre 3330, complete with Co-Axial technology and a silicon balance spring.

Interestingly, select models under this range feature a dual bezel design with a diamond-paved bezel in conjunction with the Speedmaster’s famous tachymeter scale, resulting in unique combination of elegance with the original model’s sporty DNA.

One such model is aptly nicknamed “Cappuccino”. It is made from stainless steel and 18K Sedna gold, with a bi-coloured dial and taupe-brown leather strap. Another stainless steel variation’s white mother-of-pearl dial is set with oval subdials outlined with diamond trim, providing a shimmering complement to the chronograph function hands in 18K rose gold.

Back on track
The Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer collection returns to its roots with the distinctive alternating minute-track, a defining feature of the 1968 model designed to provide the wearer with better readability. The 44.25mm cases are thinner than previous versions, thanks to the work done on the sapphire crystal. Other notable features include bevelled arrowhead indexes filled with Super-LumiNova, and subdials that have been slightly expanded for improved readability.

Polished ceramic lends the bezel of one stainless steel model a cool sheen against the brushed Liquidmetal tachymeter scale, with orange wordings to match the colour of the varnished hands and tip of the second hand against a matt-black dial. A milling tool has been used to create micro perforations on its black leather strap to aerate the wearer’s skin. The second model, with a dark-blue dial and leather strap, has been crafted from 18K Sedena gold, its bezel ceramic with a Ceragold tachymeter scale.

This article appeared in Issue 785 (June 26) of The Edge Singapore.

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