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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 42mm Black No numerals India, Mumbai
Omega Speedmaster Professional 'Moonwatch' Calibre N3861
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 39.7mm Silver No numerals India, 400059
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Gold/Steel 42mm Black
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 11 Co-Axial Stahl / Gold ...
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Ceramic 44.25mm Black No numerals
Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 (New Full Set)
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 42mm Black No numerals
Omega Speedmaster Professional Ref. 145.022 Ref. 861
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 42mm Black No numerals
Omega Speedmaster 145.022 Professional Moonwatch by MEISTER...
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 42mm Black No numerals
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Full Set #409
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 42mm Black No numerals
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Co-Axial - Full set New Unworn...
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 42mm Black No numerals
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 39.7mm Black No numerals
Omega Speedmaster Calibre 321 "Ed White"
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 38mm Black
Omega Speedmaster ‘Ed White’ – 1967
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 42mm Black
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Chronograph Handaufzug 3577.50.00 ...
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 42mm Silver No numerals
Omega Speedmaster Professional
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 42mm Black No numerals
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Master Chronometer NEW STICKEE...
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 42mm Black No numerals
Omega Speedmaster 35705000 Professional Moonwatch Full Set 2007’s
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 42mm Black
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 35705000 with Box and...
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 42mm Black No numerals
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 39.7mm Black No numerals
Omega NEW FOIS First Omega in Space Speedmaster Moonwatch
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 42mm Black
Omega Speedmaster Chrono Watch Ref. 145.022
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 42mm Black
Omega Speedmaster Sapphire – 2018 – Full Set
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 42mm Black
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Chronograph Handaufzug Stahl...
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Ceramic 44,25mm Black No numerals
Omega Dark Side Of The Moon Speedmaster
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 40mm Red No numerals
Omega Vintage Speedmaster Professional MILITARY IDF Pilot...
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 42mm Black No numerals
Omega Speedmaster Speedmaster 145.0022 Professional Moonwatch...
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 42mm Black No numerals
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch – Neu – 08/21 – Box &...
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 42mm White
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Albino Limited Edition
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 42mm Black No numerals
Omega Speedmaster
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Ceramic Black No numerals
Omega Dark Side Of The Moon Speedmaster Ref 31192445101003
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 42mm White No numerals
Omega Speedmaster Alaska Project Limited Edition Full set
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Steel 42mm Black
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Chronograph Handaufzug Ref....
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The Legendary Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch

The Omega Speedmaster Professional was the first watch on the Moon and, therefore, enjoys iconic status as the Moonwatch. NASA still uses the world-famous chronograph for their manned space missions to this day.

From the Racetrack to the Moon

"That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." It's a quote known the world over. Neil Armstrong spoke these famous words on July 20, 1969, as he became the first person to ever set foot on the Moon. He was soon joined by Buzz Aldrin, who stepped onto the lunar surface with an Omega Speedmaster Professional on his wrist. Originally designed for motorsports, this chronograph was transformed into the legendary Moonwatch.

Omega still offers a version of the Speedmaster Professional that is nearly identical to the original Moonwatch from 1969. Its case size, crystal, and even the manual caliber all remain largely unchanged. However, there are also models with automatic movements and moon phase displays available. The Speedmaster Automatic Holy Grail ref. 376.0822 is a coveted and very rare example of a vintage Speedmaster.

The Swiss manufacturer releases special-edition versions of the Speedmaster every year. They often have limited production runs of only a few thousand pieces and are perfect for watch collectors and fans. Some of these models also make good investments such as the Omega Snoopy. Prices for these uncommon and desirable timepieces have risen considerably in the last few years. For example, the Snoopy had a list price of "only" 6,100 USD at release in 2015. Just five years later, the same watch was demanding more than 36,000 USD.

In 2019, Omega announced a remake of the legendary caliber 321. You can find this movement in the platinum Moonwatch from the same year, as well as the 2020 stainless steel model with a 39.7-mm case. News of this caliber delighted many Moonwatch fans, seeing as astronaut Ed White had a Speedmaster powered by this movement on his wrist as he became the first American to perform a spacewalk in 1965.

Reasons to Buy an Omega Speedmaster Professional

  • Famous chronograph with a cult following
  • Limited editions coveted by collectors
  • Official wristwatch chronograph of NASA
  • Rare vintage watches with substantial price appreciation
  • Also available with modern Co-Axial calibers and ceramic cases

Prices at a Glance: Speedmaster Professional

Model, reference number Price (approx.) Features
Caliber 321, 311. 77,500 USD Platinum case, subdials made of moon rock
Silver Snoopy Award, 311. 39,000 USD Limited to 1,970 pieces
Silver Snoopy Award, 3578.51 12,500 USD Limited to 5,441 pieces
Holy Grail, 376.0822 19,500 USD Vintage, automatic caliber 1045
Speedy Tuesday, 311. 11,500 USD Limited to 2,012 pieces
Speedy Tuesday 2 "Ultraman," 311. 9,900 USD Limited to 2,012 pieces
Apollo 11 40th Anniversary, 311. 9,100 USD Limited to 7,969 pieces
Moonwatch Professional, 310. 8,500 USD Co-Axial caliber 3861
Speedmaster Professional Moonphase, 3876.50.31 6,200 USD Moon phase display
Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch, 311. 4,600 USD Classic Moonwatch with Hesalite crystal
Dark Side of the Moon, 311. 9,200 USD Ceramic case, two subdials, display case back

How much does a Speedmaster Professional cost?

The "Speedy" combines a legendary moment in time and functional technology like no other watch. If you decide on a Speedmaster Professional, you'll be purchasing a piece of watchmaking mythos. With decades of history to look back on, the market is full of a wide variety of Moonwatches covering a vast price range. Entry-level models start around 4,600 USD, while more exclusive collector's items can easily cost 12,000 USD or more. Then there's the platinum edition with the caliber 321, which changes hands for well over 70,000 USD.

Die-hard Speedmaster fans prefer the classic Moonwatch with Hesalite crystal and a manual caliber. Hesalite is what Omega calls plexiglass. The original Speedmasters from the 1960s used this material. Inside the case, you'll find the caliber 1861. This movement builds upon the previous calibers 861 and 321, which Omega developed based on the Lemania 2310.

The reference 311. features Hesalite crystal and the caliber 1861. This model is closest to the original Moonwatch from the 1960s and costs around 4,600 USD new. Pre-owned examples cost a few hundred dollars less. This particular timepiece tends to retain its value, so you aren't likely to lose much money should you decide to sell it in the future.

Sapphire Crystal Case Backs and the Ornate Caliber 1863

In terms of the movements, it's important to note the difference between the 1861 and 1863. While they are identical in terms of functionality, the 1863 is more ornately decorated. Therefore, Omega equips models powered by this movement with a transparent case back so you can admire its beauty in action.

The Omega Speedmaster Professional with the reference number 311. features one of these display case backs in addition to the sapphire crystal protecting its dial. This material is much more scratch-resistant than Hesalite, though it is also significantly more expensive to replace. Plan to spend about 5,400 USD on an example in mint condition and 5,000 USD on a used watch. For comparison: Two years ago, those prices sat at 4,300 and 4,000 USD.

"New Moon:" An Updated Moonwatch

In January 2021, Omega announced that they would be discontinuing the classic Omega Speedmaster Professional ref. 311. In its place, they presented the new Moonwatch Professional with the reference number 310. This model has a Hesalite crystal, though Omega also offers another version with sapphire crystal on the front and back (ref. 310. Also known as the "New Moon," you can choose from a stainless steel bracelet or textile strap for the Hesalite edition and a stainless steel bracelet or leather strap for the sapphire crystal variant.

The new Co-Axial caliber 3861 is a thoroughly updated version of the time-tested caliber 861. One notable detail is that the latest Moonwatch comes with certification from the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS). This means that, in addition to its extraordinary precision, the movement is resistant to magnetic fields up to 15,000 gauss thanks to its silicon hairspring. Omega has also improved its power reserve from 48 to 50 hours. However, the balance frequency remains the same at 21,600 vibrations per hour (vph).

Like its predecessor, the "New Moon" has a 42-mm stainless steel case. Omega outfits it with a so-called "dot over 90" (or "DON") tachymeter bezel. As its name implies, a small dot sits atop the "90" on the tachymeter scale. While it may seem like a minor detail, Moonwatch fans count it among their favorite features, as it pays tribute to Speedmaster models produced prior to 1970.

Below the crystal, you'll find a "step dial" with sunken subdials, which lends the watch a more dynamic look. Omega also used a step dial for the ref. 145.002 from 1968, among others. The manufacturer transitioned to a "flat dial" for later models.

Omega also redesigned the bracelet for the Moonwatch Professional, offering a slightly different version for each reference. The Hesalite model's bracelet has a fully brushed finish, while the sapphire crystal edition's bracelet combines polished and brushed surfaces. Both have polished sides and taper gradually from 20 mm at the lugs to 15 mm at the clasp. The ref. 310. is available on a textile strap in addition to a stainless steel bracelet, while the ref. 310. comes with the option of a leather strap.

The "New Moon" with Hesalite crystal has a list price of 6,300 USD. You can find never-worn examples on Chrono24 for roughly 8,500 USD. Omega recommends a price of 7,150 USD for the model with sapphire crystal. On Chrono24, this watch costs about 600 USD more.

If you're looking for a gold Moonwatch, you may enjoy the new refs. 310. and 310. The former has an 18-karat Sedna gold case and bracelet. Sedna gold is Omega's name for their proprietary rose gold alloy. This model has a list price of 34,800 USD. The other reference is made of Canopus gold, Omega's white gold alloy, and officially sells for 45,300 USD.

Prices for Limited Snoopy Editions

Omega regularly releases limited editions of the Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch. These are often good investments, since their prices have tended to rise over the years thanks to their limited numbers.

Examples include the two limited-edition Snoopy Award models, which pay tribute to 1970's Apollo 13 mission. The beloved Peanuts character happens to be NASA's official mascot. The first Snoopy watch debuted in 2003 and bears the reference number 3578.51.00. Omega produced 5,441 copies of this timepiece. It features a black dial with a colorful image of the white beagle in a spacesuit at 9 o'clock. The same Snoopy motif also appears on the case back.

You can purchase this watch for about 12,500 USD new and 11,500 USD pre-owned.

The next Snoopy Award model (ref. 311. appeared in 2015 in honor of the Apollo 13 mission's 45th anniversary. It has a white dial with Snoopy again making an appearance at 9 o'clock. This time, the famous dog is coated with luminous material and glows in the dark. He is accompanied by the text, "Failure is not an option!" Another special detail appears on the first fourteen minutes of the minute track. Here, there are square markers and the inscription "What could you do in 14 seconds?" This is a reference to the 14-second burn performed by the Apollo 13 crew to adjust their course in April 1970.

Snoopy dominates the case back, where he floats freely in space in a spacesuit. The image is made using silver powder and blue enamel. Since the powder is applied by hand, each watch is truly one of a kind. Only 1,970 copies exist of this Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Award, making it much more difficult to find.

Prices for mint-condition timepieces have nearly doubled since 2018. As of early 2021, these watches demand upwards of 36,000 USD. Used editions sell for around 32,500 USD. Considering it had an initial list price of 6,100 USD, this model has exceptional potential going forward.

Purchasing the Speedy Tuesday

The two Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Speedy Tuesday models are also highly coveted. Omega introduced the first edition of this timepiece in honor of #speedytuesday in 2017. Before that, Speedmaster fans around the world had already been tagging posts of their Omega chronographs and stories with this hashtag. In 2018, the Swiss manufacturer released the second edition of the Speedy Tuesday under the nickname "Ultraman." Both watches were limited to runs of 2,012 pieces. The idea behind the "Speedy Tuesday" campaign came from the Dutch online magazine Fratello Watches. Omega teamed up with members of the Fratello team to develop both timepieces.

The first Speedy from 2017 features a reverse panda dial and brown leather strap. While it had an official list price of 6,500 USD, by late 2017, prices for a never-worn watch had already eclipsed 10,000 USD. As of 2020, one of these timepieces will set you back around 11,500 USD. Well-maintained used watches demand about 1,200 USD less.

The Speedy Tuesday 2 Ultraman shares several details with the Moonwatch ref. 145.012-67 from 1968. This watch appeared in the Japanese TV show "Return of Ultraman" in the early 1970s and stands out with its orange chronograph seconds hand. The show's director specifically chose this model because the members of the "Monster Attack Team" wore suits in the exact same color.

The 2018 edition incorporates even more orange into its design. The most obvious are the orange chronograph seconds hand, the hour markers, and the word "Tachymètre" on the black aluminum bezel. However, this watch offers plenty of other colorful surprises, including the first three minutes on the minute counter. This is a reference to the amount of time Ultraman had in superhero mode.

Eagle-eyed fans will notice Ultraman's silhouette on the dial at 9 o'clock. While it's normally very faint, it comes to life under UV light. Luckily, every watch comes with a light for viewing this special feature. Omega packages the final watch in a matching plastic box, complete with a black and orange NATO strap and black leather strap.

Prices for this unusual Speedmaster have remained stable since 2018. You can pick up one of these watches for roughly 10,500 USD new and 9,400 USD pre-owned.

Features of the Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday

  • Coveted collector's items
  • Limited runs of 2,012 pieces each
  • Likely to appeciate in value
  • Ultraman with orange accents
  • Multiple bands for both models

Speedmaster Apollo 11: Solid Gold

In 2019, Omega celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing with the release of a special-edition Speedmaster in 18-karat gold. The 50th Anniversary Limited Edition ref. 310. pays tribute to the ref. BA145.002, which Omega produced between 1969 and 1973. NASA gifted this model to the Apollo 11 astronauts upon completion of their mission. Like the vintage model, the remake is limited to a run of 1,014 pieces and a desirable collector's item.

Omega crafts the new Speedmaster's case and bracelet out of what they call "Moonshine gold." The dial is also gold and features faceted onyx hour indices. The watch has a burgundy bezel, though it is made of ceramic instead of the original aluminum. The Omega Master Chronometer Co-Axial caliber 3861 powers the watch. As a Master Chronometer, its movement can withstand up to 15,000 gauss of magnetism.

If you're interested in this reference, be sure to have around 42,000 USD on hand for new watch. Pre-owned models are slightly less expensive at 37,000 USD. This Speedmaster has an official list price of 36,500 USD.

Speedmaster Professional Caliber 321

In 2019 and 2020, Omega announced two new Moonwatches with the remade caliber 321. Another thing both models share is a polished ceramic bezel with a "dot over 90" (or "DON") tachymeter scale. This term refers to all Speedmasters with a dot above the "90" rather than next to it. Collectors value such small details, which is why models with this feature generally demand higher prices than those with a conventional scale.

The ref. 311. combines a platinum case with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal on the front and back. Its "step dial" features sunken subdials made of genuine moon rock, and Omega crafts the dial itself out of precious onyx.

Due to its rarity, this exclusive platinum timepiece demands more than 78,000 USD in mint condition. Its official list price is "only" 59,500 USD.

If you're not looking to spend over 75,000 USD on a watch but want the caliber 321, you should take a closer look at the ref. 311. The stainless steel edition from 2020 is much more affordable. At 39.7 mm in diameter, it is also quite a bit smaller than the platinum version. The size matches that of the third-generation Speedmaster worn by astronaut Ed White on his history-making spacewalk in 1965.

Like the platinum Speedmaster, the Ed White features a step dial with sunken subdials. Omega lists this timepiece for 14,100 USD. Never-worn examples cost roughly 21,500 USD on Chrono24. Pre-owned pieces are rare.

Features of the Speedmaster Caliber 321

  • Available in stainless steel or platinum
  • Legendary Omega caliber 321
  • Platinum model with onyx and moon rock
  • "Dot over 90" tachymeter bezel

Prices for a Ceramic Moonwatch

Omega also offers Speedmaster models made of ceramic. These watches are available in gray, white, black, and blue. The first ceramic edition was the Dark Side of the Moon ref. 311. This black watch honors astronauts of the Apollo 8 mission, who became the first people to ever view the far side of the Moon with their own eyes in December 1968.

All ceramic Speedmasters get their power from the modern Co-Axial caliber 9300. While other Moonwatches have three subdials thanks to the caliber 1861, ceramic models feature only two subdials at 3 and 9 o'clock. As a result, the subdial at 3 o'clock does double duty as the chronograph's hour and minute counters. You can purchase this timepiece for about 9,200 USD in mint condition and 8,000 USD used, which is several thousand dollars less than the official list price of 12,000 USD.

White Side of the Moon

Without light, there is no darkness; without darkness, no light. Perhaps Omega's designers were thinking the same thing when they created the Speedmaster White Side of the Moon. This model is the opposite of the Dark Side of the Moon and represents our celestial partner shining in the night sky. Omega offers two different versions of this watch, the ref. 311. and ref. 311. While both are solid white and measure 44.25 mm in diameter, the former stands out with its mother-of-pearl dial and diamond-studded bezel. The two editions also share a pair of red accents: the "Speedmaster" inscription and the tip of the chronograph second hand.

The version with diamonds and a mother-of-pearl dial has an official list price of 25,800 USD. You can save over 20% by purchasing this timepiece on Chrono24, where it demands roughly 20,000 USD. If you prefer the less opulent model, expect prices between 7,700 and 9,600 USD. Omega lists the same watch for 12,000 USD.

Grey and Blue Sides of the Moon

Combine black and white, and you get gray – another color with strong connections to the Moon. As American astronaut, Jim Lovell, once put it, "The Moon is essentially gray." Thus, Omega named their gray Speedmaster the Grey Side of the Moon. You can find this model under the reference number 311. Other than its color, the Grey Side of the Moon is identical to its black and white counterparts. Mint-condition timepieces change hands for about 10,500 USD new, while used watches demand some 8,800 USD. Both prices are well below the manufacturer's suggested retail price of 12,000 USD.

If blue is your favorite color and you're on the market for a ceramic watch with a moon phase display, you should take a look at the ref. 304. Known as the Blue Side of the Moon, this men's watch measures 44.25 mm in diameter. Inside the case, you'll find the Co-Axial caliber 9904 with a moon phase display at 6 o'clock. This is also made of ceramic and displays the Moon from both the front and back. Omega crafts the dial out of blue ceramic and outfits it with hour indices in 18-karat white gold. Finally, the blue bezel features a tachymeter scale in an alloy known as Liquidmetal.

Prices for this model range from 8,700 USD for a used watch to about 10,500 USD for a new timepiece. Omega officially sells the Blue Side of the Moon for 13,100 USD.

Features of the Ceramic Speedmaster

  • Available in black, white, gray, and blue
  • Ceramic: more scratch-resistant than stainless steel
  • Omega Co-Axial caliber 9300
  • Blue Side of the Moon with a moon phase display

Speedmaster Professional Moonphase

Omega also offers other Speedmaster Professional watches with a moon phase. Inside their cases, you'll find the in-house caliber 9904, an antimagnetic Co-Axial Master Chronometer movement. Unlike the ceramic edition, these versions have their moon phase display at 12 o'clock.

Omega has ceased production of select models, so the pre-owned market is your best bet to find these timepieces. The ref. 3876.50.31 with a standard 42-mm stainless steel case costs around 6,200 USD. The larger, 44.25-mm ref. 311. changes hands for roughly 7,400 USD.

The Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Moonphase is available in ceramic, gold, or platinum. One example is the Sedna gold ref. 304. on a brown leather strap. This variant uses the Omega caliber 9905 with a moon phase display at 6 o'clock. It has a list price of 29,000 USD but sells for approximately 23,000 USD on Chrono24. Pre-owned pieces are even more affordable at about 18,500 USD.

Prices for a Speedmaster Reduced

If the Moonwatch's 42-mm case is a bit too large for you, you might prefer the smaller Speedmaster Reduced. It measures only 39 mm in diameter and, thus, suits narrower wrists. The dial also has slightly different proportions to the Moonwatch. For example, the ref. 3510.50.00 marks the hours using both line indices and Arabic numerals. The automatic Omega caliber 3220 powers this timepiece. The movement a modified version of the ETA 2890-A2 and boasts a chronograph module from Dubois Dépraz.

The different movement means its subdials have slightly different positions. In this instance, they sit closer to the dial's edge than they do on the Moonwatch. This movement also puts the small seconds at 3 instead of 9 o'clock. Omega outfits this model with Hesalite crystal, which adds a nice retro touch. The ref. 3510.50.00 has been out of production for several years now, so you're most likely to find it on the used market, where it demands between 2,300 and 2,800 USD.

The newer ref. 3539.50.00 is also a Speedmaster Reduced but features sapphire crystal instead of Hesalite. Its stainless steel bracelet is also of a higher quality than that of the 3510.50.00. Furthermore, it is water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft), which is a significant improvement upon its predecessor's depth rating of 30 m (3 bar, 98 ft). Omega decided against Arabic numerals on this model, so it bears an even stronger resemblance to the Moonwatch. In terms of the movement, the manufacturer chose the caliber 3220 with a chronograph module. Prices for well-maintained timepieces sit around 3,200 USD.

Features of the Speedmaster Reduced

  • Approx. 39 mm in diameter
  • Available with Hesalite or sapphire crystal
  • Automatic caliber 3220

Prices for Vintage Speedmasters

If you're on the hunt for an original Speedmaster Professional from the time of the Apollo missions, then you should keep an eye out for the reference numbers 105.012 and 145.012. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin wore a 105.012 as he took his first steps on the Moon on July 20, 1969, while his colleague Michael Collins had a 145.012 back in the command module. Finding a 105.012 from the mid-1960s is rare. Its value largely depends on its condition and whether the accompanying box and papers are still available.

Prices for both models sit well above that of a new Speedmaster Professional. A ref. 145.012 demands a solid 10,500 USD and you'll need about 12,000 USD to purchase the Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch ref. 105.012.

The transition from reference number 145.012 to 145.022 marks the change from the caliber 321 to the 861. According to Omega, the caliber 861 is more robust. You can buy a pre-owned Speedmaster Professional 145.022 for around 6,200 USD, making it significantly more affordable than its predecessors. If you find functionality more important than a watch's status as a collector's item, the 145.022 is a good choice for you. It also has potential to increase in value. Omega produced watches with the 861 movement until 1997.

The History of the Speedmaster Professional

The remarkable story of the Omega Speedmaster Professional truly began in 1964. In the fall of that year, NASA started looking for a watch to join their astronauts on manned space missions. While NASA decided to produce the rest of the astronauts' equipment in house, they opted to use commercial watches. They put models from various manufacturers through vigorous tests, subjecting them to temperatures as high as 93°C (200°F) and as low as -18ºC (0°F). Furthermore, the watches endured conditions with 95% humidity, violent shocks, vibrations, high pressure, and vacuum pressure.

The Omega Speedmaster was the only watch to pass all of the tests, and NASA made it their official timepiece in early March 1965. The astronauts from the Gemini 3 mission wore the watch during their flight on March 23, 1965. Around two months later, Ed White donned a Speedmaster Professional as he became the first American to perform a spacewalk. The watch functioned perfectly, even in the harsh conditions of space.

Omega added "Professional" to the Speedmaster's title after receiving NASA certification in 1965, four years before the Moon landing. However, the watch had actually made its space premiere well before the tests even began. Back in 1962, astronaut Walter Schirra took his own Speedmaster along on the Mercury-Atlas 8 mission, which orbited the Earth six times.

A Consistent Design for Over 60 Years

The 1962 version of the Speedmaster was a chronograph with three subdials. It featured an hour counter at 3, a minute counter at 6, and a small seconds at 9 o'clock. Not much has changed since then. The stainless steel case, black dial with white accents, and tachymetric bezel all remain key to the Speedmaster's design. Furthermore, you'll still find push-pieces on either side of the crown for operating the stopwatch function. While most Speedmasters come on a leather strap or stainless steel bracelet, the astronauts wore theirs over their spacesuits on a long textile strap.

Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the Moon on July 20, 1969. However, because the clock on board the lunar module had failed, he left his Speedmaster behind as a replacement. Thus, he made mankind's giant leap without a watch on his wrist. About fifteen minutes later, fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin and his Speedmaster joined Armstrong on the lunar surface. In 1971, Aldrin sent his watch to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Sadly, the package never arrived and remains missing to this day. The Speedmasters belonging to the other Apollo 11 astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Mike Collins, are on display at the museum.

"Houston, we've had a problem."

The Apollo 13 mission was plagued by bad luck. However, it provided the Speedmaster with its first real opportunity to shine – even if only for 14 seconds. After an oxygen tank exploded, the astronauts had to cancel their planned Moon landing. Commander Jim Lovell reported the incident with the now-famous phrase, "Houston, we've had a problem." From that point on, the mission's new goal was to return everyone to Earth safely. To do so, the astronauts had to right their course and burn their rockets for exactly 14 seconds. Astronaut Jack Swigert used his Speedmaster to time the 14 seconds, and the maneuver worked. If it had failed, Apollo 13 would have missed Earth by about 37,000 miles (60,000 km) and disappeared into the vastness of space.

For its part in saving the Apollo 13 astronauts, NASA granted the Speedmaster Professional the Silver Snoopy Award – the highest honor given by NASA for achievements related to flight safety or mission success. The 1995 Hollywood adaptation of the story elevated the Speedmaster Professional's reputation even further. By the time shooting finished, the lead actor, Tom Hanks, had become a dedicated Speedy wearer. Omega has since released two limited-edition models featuring Snoopy on the dial and case back in honor of the watch's role in the Apollo 13 mission.

The end of the Apollo flights in 1972 didn't mean the end of the Speedmaster Professional as an astronaut's watch, however, as it was also used in the space shuttle program.

Caliber 1861: Similar to the Original

Little has changed about the Speedmaster since the days of the Apollo missions. Omega outfits modern models with the manual calibers 1861 and 1863. These movements have 48-hour power reserves and vibrate at 21,600 vibrations per hour (vph). Earlier timepieces have a balance frequency of 18,000 vph. The change occurred in 1968 when the caliber 321 gave way to the 861. The 861 lives on as the 1861, which debuted in 1997. Each of these calibers can trace its roots back to the Lemania 2310. You can find this movement in the earliest Speedmaster watches produced between 1957 and 1965.