It has not escaped your attention that the retail price for a new Omega Speedmaster Professional has recently increased. Omega drastically changed many things, not only under the hood (caliber 3861) but also with different exterior parts than before. A new case, dial, hands, and bracelet were been designed for the Moonwatch, making it aesthetically truer to the 1960s models. On top of that, the Speedmaster Professional is certified by METAS as a Master Chronometer to ensure the watch is accurate, antimagnetic, and water resistant.

Omega Speedmaster Professional

Current Moonwatch prices

However, that still doesn’t take away the fact that the new Omega Speedmaster Professional might now be further away from you purchasing it than ever. The retail price of the new Speedmaster Professional with Hesalite crystal on a bracelet is €7,700, while the sapphire version retails for €8,900. The bicolor model hits €20,100, while a full-gold model starts at €47,300.

A Speedmaster Professional 'Moonwatch'

Speedmaster Professional 3570.50

The pre-owned market, though, still offers a lot of bang for the buck when looking for a Moonwatch. Looking at the cheapest offers on Chrono24, all from Japan, prices even dip under €3,000 for a Speedmaster Professional 3570.50 (produced between 1996 and 2014). Just be aware of adding VAT and duties when you import the watch to your country. Also, if the condition of a watch is important to you (and it should be), you need to shell out some more money to get one of those reference 3570.50s in good condition.

However, if you want to have something different from the regular Moonwatch, the retail price of a new one also opens the door to some special or limited editions from the past. Let’s have a look at some of the options out there.

Speedmaster 3592.50 — Image: Marks Uhren

Speedmaster Professional “Hesalite Sandwich” 3592.50

The Moonwatch ref. 345.0808 was the first steel Speedmaster to have a sapphire crystal on the back to display the caliber 863 within. The dial was still protected by the classic Hesalite (Plexiglass) crystal. That first steel Speedmaster Professional with a display back had a production of 1,000 numbered pieces between 1985 and 1988. In 1988, Omega changed its reference numbering system and started to use the xxxx.xx coding for its watches. From that moment onward, the longer reference numbers were only used to indicate the case of a watch.

Omega Speedmaster Professional 3592.50

Speedmaster 3592.50 — Image: Marks Uhren

In 1988, Omega produced another 1,000 Speedmaster Professional watches with display backs. This time, they did not house the copper-colored caliber 863 but its gilded successor. At the same time, Omega also started to produce the Hesalite sandwich, reference 3592.50, as an unnumbered series. This model came with the then-new bracelet, reference 1479. And it’s this model that is available for sale here for €5,650. The seller switched the case reference and the reference number for the watch, which is common, but it’s actually reference 3592.50, not 345.0808.

Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 8

Speedmaster Apollo 8 — Image: Vintage Speedmaster

Speedmaster Apollo 8

This Speedmaster celebrates the mission that gave us that beautiful image of Mother Earth, the first time astronauts went to see the far side of the Moon. Apollo 8 astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders are mentioned in the mission patch on the dial. Anders was the one who took the image of the Earthrise, which Omega also used on some Speedmaster instruction manuals in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 8

Speedmaster Apollo 8 — Image: Vintage Speedmaster

This Apollo 8 watch debuted in the special 1997 Mission Cases, which contained 22 mission watches and a Speedmaster ’57. Then, one year later, these watches became available separately, limited to 100–150 each (except the 999-piece Apollo 13 model, which had already debuted in 1995). The Speedmaster Apollo 8 comes in a special box, and aside from the mission patch at 9 o’clock, it’s the same watch as a standard (3570.50) Moonwatch of that time. Unfortunately, the example pictured here sold out between writing and publishing this article, but here is another one with a similar price of €7,500.

Speedmaster First Omega in Space — Image: Vintage Speedmaster

Speedmaster FOiS

This model inspired by the second Speedmaster generation (CK2998) was discontinued in 2020 and suddenly received hero status. That’s not without reason, though, as it’s a modest-sized alternative to the Moonwatch and priced way below the 39.7mm Speedmaster Calibre 321 in today’s catalog. This watch was introduced in 2012 as a tribute to the “First OMEGA in Space” that astronaut Wally Schirra wore during the Mercury-Atlas 8 mission in 1962.

Speedmaster First Omega in Space — Image: Vintage Speedmaster

It’s a numbered series with a total production of approximately 15,000 pieces in the eight years it was in production. This reference 311. has Omega caliber 1861 inside, and it only came on a leather strap. It uses a sapphire crystal, and the case back has the hippocampus in relief in the center. I found one that comes with all the goodies here for £4,750.

Speedmaster Professional 3590.50 — Image: Orologium

Speedmaster Professional 3590.50

The classic Moonwatch was nearly discontinued at one point. This is unthinkable today, but it shows how different the market was a few decades ago. In the 1990s, Omega was not the company it is today, and the best-selling pieces at the time were the Seamaster Professional 300M (1993) and Constellation ’95 (1995). However, enthusiasts went for the Moonwatch, which had reference number 3590.50 from 1988 to 1996.

Speedmaster Professional 3590.50 — Image: Orologium

This Moonwatch housed the same (861) movement that NASA qualified in 1978 for the Space Shuttle program, but it came on a new type of bracelet. The dial and hands still had tritium lume, something that only changed in 1996/1997. I found one that dates to 1991. Priced at £3,950, it comes in a full set with the original gray leather box, papers, etc.

Omega Speedmaster Professional DD145.022

Speedmaster Professional DD145.022 — Image: Zeitauktion

Speedmaster Professional DD145.022

Two weeks ago, we showed you the new bicolor models in the Moonwatch collection. I also wrote that the first two-tone Speedmaster Professional was introduced in 1983. It shared all technical specifications with the then-current Speedmaster Professional 145.022 but featured 14K yellow gold elements. The reference 1171 bracelet had yellow gold center links, and the bezel was 14K gold as well (with an aluminum insert). The dial had a “gold reverse panda” color scheme, unlike the model in the catalog today.

Speedmaster Professional DD145.022 — Image: Zeitauktion

This model was in production between 1983 and 1986, and we believe that Omega did not make that many of them. Inside was the Omega caliber 861, just like the normal 145.022. I found one for sale here with a price of €6,050. The bezel insert is not in the best condition, and finding a replacement will not be easy, but it’s not incredibly disturbing for a 40-year-old watch.

The current Moonwatch is the best option

If you love vintage watches, some of the watches mentioned above might be best for you. However, I believe that none of them can beat the current Speedmaster Professional in terms of quality. The production of the Speedmaster looks very different today than it did a decade (or more) ago, and the modern Moonwatch does have a different feel to it too. Since I collect Speedmaster watches covering the full spectrum from the 1960s until today, I wear modern ones more than vintage ones. I love them all, though.

Speedmaster bezels

The vintage models have a certain charm to them, and you will notice that they can age very differently from each other. The modern ones will probably age all the same, and I get that the vintage ones have more character. It makes collecting fun, and if you already have the regular Moonwatch model(s), a special or limited model like the FOiS or Apollo 8 might be a welcome addition to your collection.

What’s your favorite pre-owned or vintage Speedmaster? Or do you prefer to own a modern Speedmaster Professional for daily wear? Let me know in the comments below.