Mini Buyer’s Guide To The Omega Speedmaster ’57 Broad Arrow 3594.50
In the last year, I received such a large number of requests about the long-discontinued Omega Speedmaster ’57 Broad Arrow Replica, Reissue, or Relaunch that I felt it was about time to write a (mini) buyer’s guide on this Speedmaster variant.
Omega used a very unfortunate name for this Speedmaster 3594.50 but did so with all the best intentions. It was Omega’s first attempt at creating a re-edition of the first Speedmaster CK2915, and the watch debuted as the Speedmaster ’57 Replica. Apparently, the folks at Omega were unaware of the negative connotation that this term has for watch collectors and enthusiasts. Even just recently, one of our readers and fellow Speedmaster enthusiasts had his IG account blocked by Instagram because he referred to the watch as the Speedmaster Replica (pro tip: don’t do that).
Introduction of the Omega Speedmaster ’57 Replica
Naming aside, Omega introduced the Speedmaster ’57 in 1997 as part of the 50 Mission Cases. Each case contained 23 Omega Speedmaster watches, a container with the then-new 1861 movement, and a loupe. Twenty-two Speedmasters were so-called “mission patch” models. Each had a patch design from a space mission in the sub-dial at 9 o’clock.
The 23rd Speedmaster (or first Speedmaster, depending on how you look at it) was the new Omega Speedmaster ’57 Replica 3598.50. That’s correct, the reference number was slightly different from the regular production model in 1998. Forty of the Mission Cases were offered on the market, and the watches were individually numbered xx/40. Omega also did two more batches of five Mission Cases. These had a slightly different lid design and were numbered x/5. One of these batches carried the “hors commerce” (non-commercial) label while the other batch was the “épreuves d’artistes” (artists’ proof). One of these cases now resides at the NASA visitor center in Houston, Texas.
The Speedmaster ’57 3594.50 becomes a regular model in the collection
In 1998, Omega introduced separate editions of the Speedmaster Professional mission patch models from the Mission Case. Between 100 and 150 pieces of each model were available separately, and each came in a white fabric “Missions” box. Omega made two exceptions to this. One was for the Speedmaster Professional Apollo XIII. This model had already seen a release in 1995 as a limited edition of 999 pieces (with the old ref. 1479 bracelet). The other exception was for the Speedmaster ’57 Replica. This model received reference number 3594.50 (and 3894.50 for the version on the tan leather strap) and existed as a regular production model until 2003. Although still available in the years after, production had ceased, and the watch disappeared from the Omega catalogs after 2003.
The yellow gold 150th-anniversary edition
Aside from the steel version from 1998, Omega also introduced 150 pieces of the Speedmaster ’57 in yellow gold. These commemorated the 150th anniversary of the brand that same year (1848–1998). There are a few interesting facts about this gold edition as well. It was available with a gold bracelet (ref. 1479), and it had the then-new caliber 1863 (a luxury-finished version of the 1861) despite not having a sapphire case back. Furthermore, it was worn (and perhaps still is) by Dire Straits lead singer Mark Knopfler. The Speedmaster ’57 150th-anniversary edition had reference number 3193.50 for the version on the gold bracelet. Meanwhile, the version with a leather strap and gold folding clasp carried reference number 3693.50. You can find more information about gold Speedmasters here.
Omega hadn’t mastered re-editions yet
Interestingly, we would perhaps view this first Speedmaster ’57 as a put-together Frankenwatch rather than a proper re-edition today. This also has to do with the accuracy of re-editions that brands like Omega are able to produce these days. A current re-edition can come very close to the original version of a watch. The Speedmaster Calibre 321 from 2020 is an excellent example. So is the 2019 Speedmaster Apollo XI in Moonshine Gold. Indeed, even the 2009 Omega Seamaster PloProf 1200M was a “truer” re-edition or “replica” than the 1998 Speedmaster ’57 3594.50.
The regular Moonwatch as a starting point
Omega took a Speedmaster Professional 3570.50 as a base and changed several things to make it a “Replica” of the CK2915. The 3594.50 used a 42mm asymmetrical case with lyre lugs, although we know the original CK2915 was much smaller at 38.6mm. Of course, Omega also used the then-new caliber 1861 (which debuted in 1996/1997) just like in the 3570.50. The same was true for the bracelet, but more on that later.
Special dial and hands for the Speedmaster ’57 Replica
What Omega did change, however, was the dial, which resembled the original dial of the Speedmaster CK2915 from 1957. Of course, there was no “Professional” designation on it, and Omega used the old typography for the brand name and “Speedmaster” wording. In addition, Omega decided to use the applied logo, as the brand had done until 1968. This model also featured steel Broad Arrow hands for the hours and minutes and small alpha hands in the sub-dials. The indices and the central hour and minute hands both featured an application of Super-LumiNova.
You will find the dial to be more on the dark gray side than black, like the Speedmaster Professional 3570.50 dials. If you’re looking for a Speedmaster ’57 3594.50 or 3894.50, you need to be cautious about the dial and hands. Especially on earlier models, you can find some with a corroded applied Omega logo or signs of corrosion on the hands. It’s a typical thing that happened to some of these watches, but not all.
Steel bezel with a tachymeter scale, close to the original from 1957
Additionally, Omega swapped the usual steel bezel with its black aluminum inlay for an all-steel bezel with an engraved black tachymeter scale. It was larger than the original bezel (39.7mm versus 38.6mm) and thicker (1.85mm versus 1.2mm). Still, this bezel has been used to replace the original steel bezels on certain Speedmaster CK2915 models because it was so darn close. The easiest giveaway of the original bezel was the “A” in “Tachymètre”, which had a flat top. As such, if you see a CK2915 with a pointy-topped “A”, you’ll know where the bezel comes from.
Omega’s bracelet updates for the Speedmaster ’57 3594.50
The steel Speedmaster ’57 3594.50 was in production from 1998 to 2003, which means that it also was updated with different bracelets during the time it was in production. All bracelets that came with the Speedmaster ’57 3594.50 looked similar, but some details differed. At first, Omega put the Speedmaster ’57 on the ref. 1499 bracelet with ref. 842 end links.
This bracelet looked similar to the ones used until 2021, but it did not have the pushers on the clasp to open it. The bracelet tapered from 20mm at the end links to 16mm at the clasp. However, it was quickly followed up by the ref. 1498 bracelet with ref. 840 end links. The only visual change was the definition of the engraving, which was much sharper on the new reference. Around the year 2000, the ref. 1498 bracelet was replaced by the modernized ref. 1998 bracelet, though it kept the same end links. This bracelet tapered from 20mm at the end links to 18mm at the clasp, and the folding clasp had pushers to open it.
The case back of the watch was also different from the Speedmaster Professional 3570.50 with its “Flight-qualified by NASA for all manned space missions” engraving. Instead, it only has the Hippocampus medallion in the center with “Speedmaster” written above it and no other text or engraving whatsoever. A soft iron inner case is underneath the back to protect the watch from magnetism.
Under the radar for many years
The Omega Speedmaster ’57 3594.50 has been an underrated model for a long time, and perhaps it still is. But this also allows you to buy one at an attractive price. Vintage models and Moonwatch variations are in high demand, and certain models, like this 3594.50, have been ignored by collectors. Some think it’s too modern or just too weird. I, on the other hand, would like to disagree, and I think this Broad Arrow is a very interesting variety of the standard Moonwatch. Sure it doesn’t make sense as a copy of the Speedmaster CK2915, especially not by today’s standards. However, if you can mentally separate it from its original intention, it’s a wonderful-looking watch that plays incredibly well with the light due to the steel hands. The bracelet has never been my cup of tea, so a nice leather or NATO strap will make this watch “pop” even more. The original tan strap looked amazing, but it’s not in Omega’s collection anymore. Luckily, there are enough alternatives out there.
What you can expect to pay for a Speedmaster ’57 3594.50
According to WatchCharts, the average market price for the Speedmaster ’57 Replica 3594.50 is €3,680 / US$3,735. These prices are based on offers on forums, eBay, Rakuten, Caroussel, and so on. It is unknown whether this number is based on a watch with boxes and papers, head-only, or otherwise, only that the mentioned price is the average market value. Looking at Chrono24 (My Collection), the average price for a 3594.50 with boxes and papers is €4,851 / US$5,075. Without boxes and papers, Chrono24 gives an average of €4,525 / US$4,734. There’s still a gap between them, but you might have your own ideas on where and how to buy, whether that’s from a private person on a forum or through a business that advertises on Chrono24. Just always make sure you know what you will be receiving when it comes to the boxes and papers, but also when it comes to the condition of the watch, its service history (my advice: if there’s no proof, it has not been serviced!), and possibly any warranty.
Where to source a 3594.50?
At the time of publishing, there are 23 examples for sale on Chrono24, and the ones with the lowest price tags come from Japan. This has to do with the weak yen, but remember that you will probably need to add shipping costs and customs charges (VAT) to the price. Via WatchCharts, I see about 29 in total, but as it takes offers from multiple sources, I see the same examples on different platforms. It’s wise to keep an eye on different platforms and remember that the condition of the watch should be the most important aspect.
You will find the Omega Speedmaster ’57 Replica offered with a (wide) black leather box or a red leather box. Both can be correct, and later models seem to have originally come with the red leather box.
Let me know in the comments below what you think of this unusual Omega Speedmaster ’57.