Speedy Tuesday – Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 45th Anniversary 311.62.42.30.06.001

It’s Speedy Tuesday! Every 5 years, Omega introduces a commemorative edition of the Speedmaster Pro with regards to the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. In 2009, the 40th Anniversary edition of this Speedmaster Pro Apollo 11 was a slightly modified version of the standard Speedmaster Pro 3570.50 model. A beautiful silver medal patch on the sub dial on 9 o’clock and a big Eagle on the case back. We covered it in one of our Speedy Tuesday articles, of course (click here).

Omega Speedmaster Pro 311.62.42.30.06.001

It wasn’t a surprise to anyone that Omega introduced the 45th Anniversary Edition of the Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 this year. However, I guess that nobody expected the watch to be like this. A titanium case, PVD dial, a Sedna gold bezel with matt black ceramic tachymeter ring and a NATO strap.

Omega-Speedmaster-Apollo11-01Black PVD Dial

One of the first things to notice is the dial. The logo and wording have not been printed like we are used to, but it is all made of 1 piece and treated with black PVD. The dial was created using a special laser which created the nice looking dial by removing all material surrounding the logo, model name, sub dial numerals, minute and hour markers.

This results in a dial that has a grey-ish look with appears to be a grained structure. The use of 18 carat red gold for the indexes and hands (one exception – the chronograph second-hand is red gold plated) is very well-chosen by Omega as it gives a great contrast with the black PVD dial.

Omega-Speedmaster-Apollo11-03Sedna Gold

The use of Sedna gold was quite a surprise as well. Sedna gold being Omega’s answer to Rolex’ Everose gold, both are rose gold alloys that are long lasting. The Sedna gold alloy blends in gold, copper and palladium and has a minimum gold content of 75%. The result is a unique rose color mainly due to the right amount of copper. Palladium ensures the long-lasting effect of the reddish hue on the Sedna gold.

Omega-Speedmaster-Apollo11-02Titanium Case

The case of this new Omega  Speedmaster Professional is from titanium. Although titanium has been used before on a Speedmaster Professional, it wasn’t done before on this typical a-symmterical Speedmaster (Professional) case. Omega decided to use Grade-2 titanium and give it a brushed finish. Normally, watch brands tend to use the Grade-5 titanium type, which almost looks like stainless steel when it has been given a polish treatment. The Grade-2 titanium is bound to become darker over time, which will give the watch its own unique look I guess. The rose Sedna gold bezel contrasts nicely with the case and dial.

The dimensions of the case are equal to those of the stainless steel ‘Moonwatch’ (3570.50) model, 42mm in diameter measured from side to side. Omega decided to put a sapphire crystal on this watch instead of the plexi Hesalite crystal, which makes sense in a way, since it was designed to be a sturdy watch (hence the titanium case). The case back has the typical inscription used by Omega to show this watch as part of the Moonwatch-family. On top of that, it has the Apollo 11 45th Anniversary Limited Edition engraving and an individual number (of 1969 pieces in total).

Omega-Speedmaster-Apollo11-09Underneath the case back is the good ol’ hand-wound Lemania based caliber 1861 movement. Although I respect the Co-Axial movements from Omega a lot, especially the caliber 84xx, 85xx and 930x families, I don’t think they should ever change this winning combination of the Speedmaster Professional and the hand-wound movement. Unless they come up with a way to use the Lemania 2310 column wheel movement again, which is now at Breguet. Collectors of the Speedmaster might be able to forgive them if they’d put a Co-Axial escapement in a new version of the caliber 321 and Omega has a valid reason to increase the price on the Speedmaster (a bit!!!). Compared to the rest of the collection, the Omega Speedmaster Professional 3570.50 ranks among the cheaper watches. On the other hand, perhaps they should keep it affordable. It is cool that one of the most iconic watches is accessible to almost everyone.

NATO Strap

One of Omega’s novelties this year in Basel was their offering of NATO straps. Beautiful finished NATO straps that really stand out compared to the cheap $20 USD straps you can order on-line about everywhere. Thick NATO’s that will not scratch the case back of your watch and with a nice Omega clasp as well. The Apollo 11 Anniversary Limited Edition Speedmaster comes with such a NATO strap, in green. A wonderful combination.

Omega-Speedmaster-Apollo11-07 Omega-Speedmaster-Apollo11-08DSC_7811On the photo above you’ll see some of the variations that will be available. On the left, the 2009 Apollo 11 40th Anniversary limited edition Speedmaster and on the right the new 45th Anniversary Limited Edition Speedmaster. Missing on this picture is the leather NATO strap that also will become available soon. The NATO straps will have a 150 Swiss Francs price tag, except for the leather NATO strap. More information soon.

We’ve heard that the titanium Speedmaster Professional X-33 bracelet will fit this watch as well. So if you really want to wear it on a metal (titanium) bracelet that matches, you might want to order one separately.

Price

The price tag on this reference 311.62.42.30.06.001 Speedmaster Professional is approx 5000 Euro (CHF 6400 Excluding 8% VAT). Higher than the normal Speedmaster Professional ‘Moonwatch’ (3410 Euro including 21% VAT) but somehow it doesn’t seem out of proportion given the Sedna gold bezel, use of gold on the dial, the lasered black PVD dial and the titanium case.

Omega-Speedmaster-Apollo11-04More information can be found on the official novelties page of the Omega website, click here.

Follow me

Robert-Jan Broer

Founder & Editor at Fratello Watches
Robert-Jan Broer, born in 1977, watch collector and author on watches for over a decade. Founder of Fratello Watches in 2004.
Follow me

Latest posts by Robert-Jan Broer (see all)

  • http://www.in2watches.com Gerard Nijenbrinks

    Beautiful watch and review!

    I just have a bit doubt on the index markers; they look to be mounted in the wrong direction. The thick part normally points outward, towards the edge of the dial isn’t it…?

    • http://www.fratellowatches.com Robert-Jan Broer

      Thanks Gerard, much appreciated!

      My best guess would be that Omega tries to create the (optical) illusion of a pie-pan – or at least a slightly domed – dial this way, don’t you think? Like the older Speedmasters have.

  • Alfonso Castañeda

    Great write up as always. It seems a little bit expensive though, specially when you think about Tag’s new CH-80 Carrera which actually is cheaper. Of course one should not compare apples to oranges, the Speedmaster being hand wound, titanium case, gold bezel, and a limited edition on top of that. The watch is very nice, looks like a mean though watch, and sure it will stand up from the rest of rather equal looking speedies.
    Do you think Omega could bring back (maybe in five years for the next Apollo iteration) the 321? with a coaxial scapement…. or maybe a manual version of their existing 9300, just like they did with the 8500 turned 8400?
    Maybe your contacts at Omega could give you a glimpse of things to come.
    Thanks again and keep your great work.

    • http://www.fratellowatches.com Robert-Jan Broer

      Dear Alfonso,

      Thanks for your e-mail. It is difficult to compare these watches indeed. I think the CH Carrera should be compared to the standard issue Moonwatch instead to this limited edition for the reasons you mention.

      There are some rumours of course and there are some things that I’ve heard directly. My own interpretation is this: I think Omega will revive the caliber 321 movement at some point, which (Lemania 2310) is now at Breguet. For now, Breguet (or Hayek) is not willing to give it to Omega, for whatever reason. Perhaps it is too early, perhaps they need to develop a strategy or production process around a revived caliber 321 (which will cost serious money of course, and Omega’s focus is now on the Co-Axial family of movements). I doubt that there will be a variation of the caliber 9300 that will be used in the Moonwatch, I think that this would ‘kill’ the iconic Moonwatch. So, fingers crossed. My bet is that it will be either 2017 or 2019. Both for obvious reasons :)

      RJ

  • Bill

    Very pretty. Such a shame Omega went down the Rolex route though ie over-priced bling for people with more money than sense.

    • http://www.fratellowatches.com Robert-Jan Broer

      Hi Bill,

      Not sure if I agree on that. I think the Omega collection is quite diversified and supplies different markets/cultures. Same for Rolex. Fact is, that Rolex is still King in terms of sales & demand. Omega is surely breathing in their necks in certain price ranges though. In 5 to 10 years from now, the first positions in terms of sale and demand might look totally different.

      However, I do understand where you are coming from but it is difficult to blame the brands for supplying overpriced bling to those with money (and no taste). Personally, I feel that Rolex and Omega still take it (very) easy with respect to bling compared to some other brands who are clearly only focusing on certain countries where bling equals status.

  • MikeInFrankfurt

    Nice review RJ,

    I was wary when I saw this release but after seeing it in person, it’s great looking! The whole package really works well IMO and I actually think the price is in the right area for this.

    Quick question…were the pushers and crown titanium? Perhaps a silly question but the crown does look darker from your shot.

    Cheers!

    • http://www.fratellowatches.com Robert-Jan Broer

      Hi Mike,

      It is probably due to the lightning that the crown looks darker Mike. Lightning conditions aren’t the best in Basel, we try to do our best with a special designed and developed portable photobooth, but still..

      RJ