Hot Take: Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Platinum
Exactly 50 years ago, Apollo 11 landed on the Moon and on the wrist of Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin was an Omega Speedmaster Professional 105.012. From that moment, the chronograph as part of the astronaut’s official equipment became ‘The Moonwatch’. Today, Omega shows us the Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Platinum to commemorate Apollo XI and celebrate caliber 321.
As you can read in this article we published last week, the Speedmaster didn’t become the watch of choice by accident, it underwent some proper testing procedures by NASA’s engineers and was the only watch to pass all tests. The Speedmaster that NASA qualified for all manned flight-missions, was their reference 105.003. But soon after, Omega made adjustments and shipped the similar but improved reference 105.012 and 145.012 models (also with caliber 321). The wrists of Armstrong and Aldrin were equipped with the Speedmaster Professional 105.012, where Michael Collins wore the 145.012 (which is a slightly improved version of the 105.012).
For Omega, a perfect reason to use that first Speedmaster reference that was used on the Moon as inspiration for this platinum beauty.
Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 in platinum
Omega’s CEO Raynald Aeschlimann kept his word by telling us in January this year, that the first Speedmaster with the new caliber 321 movement would be in precious metal. After a lot of guessing, bets and gossip, Omega introduces to you their first Speedmaster with the new 321 movement. A Speedmaster watch in a platinum case, actually a special alloy (Pt950Au20) that also uses gold.
At first sight, the typical asymmetrical Moonwatch case in 42mm, with a black bezel with tachymeter scale. Clearly, the dial is a bit different, as the sub-dials are made of Moon meteorite (also used for the case back of the gold Speedmaster Professional Apollo XI Moonshine gold anniversary edition). It shows a bit of a resemblance with the Speedmaster Apollo-Soyuz with its meteorite dial. However, the step-dial of this Speedmaster is ‘deep black’, quite different from the regular black dials on the standard Moonwatch models in stainless steel. The dial is made of onyx, and that probably wasn’t an easy thing to do with the step.
If you look more closely, you will see that the white gold hour markers have a little angle in the center, to follow the shape of the step on the dial. All indexes and hands, are made of 18-carat white gold, to give a nice contrast with the black onyx dial and match the colour of the platinum case. The chronograph seconds hand is an exception to this according to Omega, and might be made of platinum (a guess from our side). The shape of the large chronograph seconds hand is similar to the one of the original 105.012, with a triangle shape on the short end. The Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 platinum uses Super-LumiNova for the hands and hour markers. The ceramic bezel has a tachymeter scale of enamel (so not luminous).
Not a limited edition(?)
Inside, the new caliber 321 movement as we showed to you before here and if you have been to one of our Speedy Tuesday events, you probably already held it in your hands. As indicated before, Omega will produce less than 2000 of these caliber 321 movements each year. And this Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Platinum already takes a certain number of this total annual number of caliber 321 movements.
The first of the new caliber 321 movements will now be fitted in the Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Platinum. As you can see in the picture below, the platinum case back also has a sapphire crystal, to demonstrate this beautiful and historical chronograph movement. You can also see there is no ‘Limited Edition’ or other kinds of engraving on the case back that indicates we are dealing with a certain ‘edition’. This might indicate that this watch will be just in the regular Speedmaster collection from now on, where the demand, price and production capacity will dictate the available number of watches.
If this is the precious metal watch that Omega’s CEO was talking about last January during the introduction of the new caliber 321 movement, we are truly looking forward to what is waiting for us in stainless steel later on this year. Just like the steel and Moonshine gold 50th-anniversary editions, Omega selected the Speedmaster reference 105.012 as input for its design. Slightly different from the current Moonwatch in stainless steel.
No word on availability or pricing yet, but we assume this watch will be in the field of €50.000,- for sure. That’s a lot of money, but the fortunate Speedmaster collectors and enthusiasts probably will not be scared off by such a price tag for something in platinum. Also considering the fact that the 1,014 pieces of the Moonshine gold edition were allocated and reserved in no time.
As you can see, the Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Platinum comes on an alligator strap (with ditto lining) and a pin buckle in platinum. No further information is given at this point. We are looking forward to getting our hands on this watch and observe the black onyx dial with meteorite subdials and its caliber 321 movement in person.
If Omega releases more information on this Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Platinum, we will give you an update. Meanwhile, keep an eye on their official website.