Along with unveiling the new generation fake Omega Speedmaster, there was a bit of housekeeping on Omega’s website. Previously many Speedmasters that did not bear any resemblance to the watches worn on the Moon were labeled as “Moonwatch.” This misaligned categorization was always confusing as the Speedmaster did not start as a space-faring timepiece. Five years into its life, a Speedmaster got a taste of being beyond the stratosphere with the CK2998 in 1962. But from 1957, the Speedy was still a driver’s chronograph.
Let’s begin with a bit of housekeeping
Omega made the right choice in splitting out the Speedmaster into categories such as Heritage, Dark Side of the Moon, and so on. Separating the styles leaves the top quality copy Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch to stand prominently as a distinct collection. I mention this as my First Omega in Space that pays homage to the CK2998 also found itself in the Moonwatch category. While the CK2998 paved the way for the Professional series to receive NASA flight qualification, it never once brushed against moon dust particles.
Even so, the FOiS was a watch I was proud to own for six years. It paid a special fifty-year tribute to Walter Schirra’s Mercury-Atlas 8 mission and distinguished itself as a thinking-fan’s Speedmaster. It was a successful model with an eight-year run and around 16,000 individually numbered pieces. But it was around December; rumors began swirling that the Speedmaster First Omega in Space was to discontinue. Ceasing the production of the FOiS had me questioning what we had in store on the first Tuesday of January.
The next generation Speedmaster Moonwatch
I appreciated many features about the FOiS such as the applied logo, deep sub-dials, and pared-back dial. But it let me down on a few occasions. I found myself walking home late one night after an office party. It was late enough that disturbing my wife’s slumber was a life or death situation. So it was imperative that I knew the exact time and how much trouble I would be in with the wife. My phone battery was dead, so my watch was my only time-telling device. Under a street lamp and articulating my wrist, I could not read the time on the FOiS. The polished alpha hands against the black backdrop under dim lighting did not offer the legibility for my slightly inebriated vision.
When the announcement came that the steel bracelet copy Omega Speedmaster was getting a makeover, I was all ears. As with the Calibre 321 revival in 2019, and the Ed White in 2020, the Moonwatch news broke on the first Tuesday of 2021. RJ brilliantly covered all the updates to the new Moonwatch. But I already knew it was the sapphire model that I was setting my sights on.
What made the new Moonwatch so compelling?
The new generation Speedy seemingly oozed attention to detail only seen in special and limited edition models. It was based on the fourth-generation Speedmaster case, namely the reference 145.012 “Michael Collins” with bolder pushers, stepped dial, DON bezel, and applied logo. The stepped dial allows for more recessed sub-dials, a bit like moon craters, that reminded me of the First Omega in Space.
The sapphire model also had the applied logo in the modern typeface similar to the 2012 First Omega in Space. Combining my favorite features of the FOiS with the far more legible white baton hands and upgraded Calibre 3861 movement led me to a difficult decision. Should I sell my First Omega in Space, the first luxury copy Omega Speedmaster I ever owned, to fund this new watch? With the discontinuation rumor mill spinning, the FOiS prices were already creeping up, making it even more tempting. Keeping both was not an option as I had other expensive transactions on the go in my personal life.