Almost a month ago, I told you about the upcoming Moonwatch Only 2nd edition (60 years of Omega Speedmaster). During the annual trade show in Basel, I received a signed copy of this 2nd edition of what I quoted as ‘this book sets a new standard’ in 2014. Let’s have a look at this Moonwatch Only 2nd edition book.
That said, I can keep this review short and just say that the best book just got better. However, that wouldn’t do justice to the book and doesn’t answer the question why you should upgrade from the first edition (here is my review of Moonwatch Only first edition).
The image above was taken during the book presentation at BaselWorld, a few weeks ago. On the left, author Gregoire Rossier and on the right is author Anthony Marquié.
The cover of this Moonwatch Only 2nd edition book shows the new Speedmaster 60th Anniversary (reference 318.104.22.168.01.001 that I discussed here), as can be seen below. Together with the Apollo XVII limited editions (“Tribute to Gene Cernan”), these are the latest models from the ‘Moonwatch’ collection that were introduced this year in Basel. The Apollo XVII is not in the book, I guess Omega wasn’t prepared to give-away that information too early or that it just wasn’t ready yet at the time of printing. The Speedy Tuesday Limited Edition that was introduced (and sold) on January 10th this year, is in the book and I remember that this was also around the dead-line for this book to go to print.
Anyway, the cover of the book is already an amazing tribute to 60 years of Speedmaster and then I haven’t even opened it yet. By the way, this book has been dedicated to the memory of Gene Cernan, Apollo XVII (Last Man on the Moon) astronaut and Omega ambassador for many years. He also wrote one of the two forewords of this Moonwatch Only 2nd edition book. The other foreword is written by Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of Omega. Although I know Mr Aeschlimann is keen on the new (METAS) range of Omega (Speedmaster) watches, I also know that he loves the Moonwatch and is often amazed by the real fans of this timepiece.
Besides the forewords, the Moonwatch Only 2nd edition book has another interesting new introduction part. A chapter on the Speedmaster and NASA, written by International Brand Heritage Manager Petros Protopapas and former NASA Project engineer James H. Ragan. This chapter describes the birth of the Speedmaster in 1957 (a prototype was already there in 1956), the use of Speedmasters by Schirra and Cooper in 1962 after they’d purchased them privately and the NASA qualification that was finished on March 1st 1965. Also, it talks about the Speedmaster models that went to space ever since. Definitely an interesting read that will also make an end to some speculations that are still floating around on the web and in older print titles (and taken for granted by many).
The authors of Moonwatch Only have added a couple of more watches and extended the information on some of the existing models that were in the first edition of the book. Since the last edition, a number of new (limited edition) models were introduced by Omega that are all in the 2nd edition of the book. Think Speedmaster Professional Silver Snoopy Award, the Sedna gold FOiS, last year’s CK2998 and the aforementioned Speedy Tuesday Limited Edition and 60th Anniversary model.
Also added are a number of watches that could be considered to be special projects or personalized watches, like the FAP, ACP and Royal Omani watches. Models added as well in this chapter are the Depora (delivered to Indonesian officials), RAF, early Racing Dials, the Ultraman (including an interesting table of the orange chronograph hand compared to those of other Omega models), the rare gray-blue dials, and some more.
Another new chapter is on the famous Alaska Project watches. 12 additional pages are added on this topic, written by Petros Protopapas and James H. Ragan. It describes all the different Alaska Project watches up till nr. IV (1979). It ends with a prototype of the X-33 model (that was first designated ‘Flightmaster’). A very interesting chapter for the fans of the watches that were developed for NASA use.
Pages 514 till 529 are no specifically about the Moonwatch, but about models that also appeared during the years, starting with the Speedmaster Professional Mark II of course. You’ll also find detailed information on the 1977 LCD version for example, the Teutonic moonphase models, Chuck Maddox’ Holy Grail reference 376.0822 as well as the X-33 references, 1999 Split-Second model (with a case similar to the X-33) etc. all the way up to the Dark Side of the Moon (2013) and Moonphase Co-Axial Master Chronometer models (2016). An interesting addition to the Moonwatch Only 2nd edition book and even though it doesn’t concern ‘Moonwatch’ models, they are definitely connected to each other and worth mentioning.
Besides new chapters and subjects, the authors of Moonwatch Only also corrected some parts and added more information to chapters like the ‘Main Components and Accessories’. An example is their addition to the bracelet section, where they wrote a two pager on the Komfit Forstner and JB Champion bracelets that were used by astronauts. These bracelet had the questionable quality to snap off the wrist when there was too much force on them. They also added the new current Moonwatch bracelet to the overview of references used throughout the years.
Well, you don’t need anything of course but a copy of Moonwatch Only – any edition – comes very close to what you would need when you have an interest in the Speedmaster watch. The first edition of Moonwatch Only was one of the best written books on watches out there and should be the standard in a perfect world. I can see that a book with similar structure, diagrams and information would be very welcome for other iconic watches like the Rolex Submariner or GMT-Master, Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak, Patek Philippe’s Nautilus or the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso for example. Not sure if those watches could fill up over 550 pages of useful information, but it is the structure of the book and almost academic approach that makes this book a piece of art.
I collect Speedmaster watches myself, as do some of the Fratello Watches’ colleagues and this book is definitely of great help when doing so. This Moonwatch Only book doesn’t come cheap (250 Euro is a lot of money for a book), however, if this amount of money will (definitely) help you to prevent from making mistakes that are much more expensive, it is a rather cheap investment to be able to do your homework right.
If you already have the first edition of the Moonwatch Only book, the 2nd edition is definitely worth the upgrade in my humble opinion. Especially if you are serious about collecting and want to keep your facts straight (and up-to-date). This new edition is more than only an update on a couple of post-2014 Speedmaster watches. It has 68 more pages than the first edition, corrections on the previous version, new chapters on subjects like the Alaska Project models and the non-Moonwatch models since 1969.
Make this book yours, now. Click here to order your copy.
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more