Is This The Best Omega Speedmaster Chronoscope? Introducing The Bronze Gold Reference
No less than 7 different variations of the recently introduced 43mm Omega Speedmaster Chronoscope can be found in the Omega catalog. I had the opportunity to have some hands-on time with the Speedmaster Chronoscope in bronze gold last week, the watch with reference 318.104.22.168.10.001. As I already did an in-depth overview of the steel models, you won’t find many differences in terms of functionality and dimensions, but this model provides quite a different wearing experience. Plus, the looks alone make the Bronze Gold Omega Speedmaster Chronoscope worth talking about!
Speedmaster Chronoscope in bronze gold
The Speedmaster Chronoscope is not the first watch that Omega has introduced in this special alloy consisting of bronze and gold (37.5% to be exact). Earlier this year, Omega also showed us the Seamaster 300 in bronze gold. This alloy will keep its color, unlike regular bronze cases that you’ll find out there. Often aging and oxidizing into a dark (nearly black) color in the end, with even some green tones developing. Due to the use of 9K gold, and palladium, the bronze will retain its bright color and reduce the patination effect (more on that later). The bronze gold color is somewhere between Omega’s Sedna and Moonshine gold alloys (rose gold and yellow gold). We know that bronze-gold alloy consists of copper, gold, silver, gallium, and palladium. But Omega won’t reveal the exact percentages of each material, in wanting to maintain the exclusivity of the material.
Bronze gold is not just for the Seamaster 300
Of course, it makes sense that Omega doesn’t create a new alloy for just one watch. I simply did not see this alloy coming for the Speedmaster. And truth to be told, the bronze-gold looks incredible with the oxidized bronze dial and the brown ceramic bezel. The 18K bronze gold PVD leaf-shaped hands and Arabic numerals perfectly match the color of the case. The brown reverse panda dial has two silvery-white sub-dials featuring the snail-like track of the telemeter and pulsometer in a golden tone. The track with the Arabic numerals also has a circular grain motif, to create extra depth. The configuration or design of the dial is similar for all the Speedmaster Chronoscope models but does look a bit more vintage-inspired in this bronze gold version. It comes fitted with a brown two-stitch leather strap and a bronze gold pin buckle, to match the Speedmaster’s case.
Same but different
If you want to read the in-depth review of the new Speedmaster Chronoscope watches, you can find it here. All 7 variations are the same in terms of functionality, movement, dimensions, etc. The main difference is in the use of material, including using ceramic for the bezel insert instead of aluminum on the steel Speedmaster Chronoscope models. All of them use the same caliber 9908, a Master Chronometer certified hand-wound movement with Co-Axial escapement. More details regarding this movement can be found in the in-depth review of the steel Speedmaster Chronoscope.
It must be said that the 43mm Speedmaster Chronoscope in bronze gold seems to wear a little bit smaller, probably due to its color. An optical illusion for sure, that’s why I am keen on wearing black clothing these days.
Bronze outside the dive watch world
One of my worries about bronze gold I had was that it’s simply not gold, or better said 18K gold. Meaning, I had some restraints when it comes to the appearance of this classic-looking chronograph. I associate bronze with a dive watches, and the water-resistance of a Speedmaster is far from that of a real dive watch, as you all well know. Even though you can swim with it, of course. Probably due to the use of gold and palladium in the alloy, which gives it a more premium shine and heft, it does work perfectly for the Speedmaster.
As said, the color lands somewhere in between Sedna and Moonshine gold and reminds me more of gold than bronze. I was recently on a weekend beach-cleaning trip with Oris where they showed us some of their bronze watches. On the trip, of course, I brought my personal bronze Oris watch with me. The full-bronze watch certainly looks quite different from the Omega, even when it was still unworn. A bit more raw-ish or tool-ish, you could say, whereas the bronze-gold alloy brings some shine.
Why I like it better than the steel Speedmaster Chronoscope
After seeing and wearing the Speedmaster Chronoscope in bronze gold, I came to the realization that this is the version I like the most. I had to process my thoughts a little bit after coming to this conclusion, but I manage to come up with the reasons as to why. The steel model on the steel bracelet that I’ve reviewed recently, reminds me more of the Speedmaster Professional.
This is mainly due to the bracelet, but also in part due to the steel case. It feels like a bigger Moonwatch with a different dial. But the bronze gold case in combination with the leather strap makes it a very different experience, and perhaps the best suited for a dial with these different scales. For Moonwatch guys like myself, the Speedmaster Chronoscope in bronze gold brings something new and different to the table for sure. Then, last but not least, I think the combination of brown and bronze gold is simply stunning.
As you can see in some of the pictures, you will notice that some parts of the watch, and the buckle, show some patina. This is completely normal, as any material including bronze will develop some with time and use. The biggest difference is that it will not lose its shine, as is the case with fully bronze watches. This is thanks to the use of palladium and gold. The price reflects the use of gold and other precious metals, of course, and it results in the Speedmaster Chronoscope Bronze Gold having a retail price of €14,000 ($14,100). The watch will be available starting in November 2021.
More information about this Speedmaster Chronoscope in bronze gold can be found here.