The Coolest Omega Speedmaster You Can Buy For Under €2,000
An Omega Speedmaster under €2,000 — are you sure that’s even possible? Sadly, this amount won’t buy you a hand-wound Moonwatch anymore. Nevertheless, there are some Speedmaster variations that you can buy for around (or sometimes even under) €2,000. One of them is the Omega Speedmaster 3511.50.00 with its cool reverse-panda dial and automatic movement.
Since the late 1980s, Omega has been making smaller variations of the Speedmaster that have come to know as the Speedmaster Reduced. They feature a smaller case, an automatic chronograph movement, slightly different design elements, and, of course, a more attractive price tag.
Omega Speedmaster 3511.50
I must admit that in the past, I was never a fan of these smaller, automatic Speedmaster versions. But my distaste for them was partly because sellers would often incorrectly advertise them as Moonwatches. I’m not sure if they just didn’t know any better or if they were intentionally trying to mislead customers. Years ago, I had to explain the difference quite often (as I did here in this article) to people who had just gotten into Speedmasters or watches in general.
However, several variations of the Speedmaster Reduced also made sense to me. Those with more interesting dials than the standard black ones offered an interesting visual difference. One of them was this Omega Speedmaster ref. 3511.50 reverse panda, with its 39mm case and caliber 1155 inside.
The times when you could buy a Moonwatch under €2,000 are long gone — the last time for me was when I purchased a 145.022-69 for €1,500 in 2014. The new Speedmaster Professional with caliber 3861 retails for €6,700 (on a steel bracelet), and even the former Moonwatch models have gone up significantly in price. I don’t think €6,700 is too expensive for the new watch with its new Master Chronometer certified movement and well-designed bracelet. But on the other hand, it is quite far away from the price tag the Moonwatch once carried. In the past, with some effort, you would have been able to save up a bit of money and go buy a Moonwatch. At €6,700 now, the saving might not only take longer, but it might also be just too much money for someone to spend on a watch.
Speedmaster Reduced 3510.50 versus Speedmaster 3511.50
I think there are plenty of other interesting Speedmaster models out there that will cost less than a new Speedmaster Professional Master Chronometer. The Speedmaster Reduced comes to mind, but I also found out that for below €2,000, you will be able to buy this Speedmaster 3511.50. For me, it ticks more boxes than the Speedmaster Reduced. Besides the more playful dial, there’s the movement inside the 3511.50 that I think is more interesting. The Speedmaster Reduced 3510.50 is powered by an ETA 2892-A2 base movement with a chronograph module (Dubois Dépraz 2020) added to it. This movement was also known as Omega caliber 3220, and prior to that, caliber 1143 and caliber 1141. These are basically just iterations of the same combination, but always with an ETA base movement and the Dubois Dépraz chronograph module on top.
Omega Caliber 1155
The Speedmaster 3511.50, however, uses Omega’s caliber 1155. It is based on the ETA/Valjoux 7750 movement. I prefer the Valjoux 7750 over the movements of the Speedmaster Reduced (3220/1143/1141), as it is an integrated chronograph rather than a piggy-backing movement. The Valjoux 7750 has proven to be incredibly reliable and relatively easy to get serviced or repaired. The ETA-based movements with add-on chronograph modules are more costly to service or repair. For this Speedmaster 3511.50, Omega decided to only use the date function, forgoing the day indicator (which is also a function of the Valjoux 7750 caliber).
Speedmaster 3511.50 design elements
If you look around, you will find some very nicely aged versions of this chronograph. Depending on the age, the tritium hour markers might have turned yellowish, bringing a little bit of color to the black dial with white registers. I am also fond of the minute scale on the dial, which indicates increments from 5 to 55. The date aperture is at 3 o’clock, and the white date disc gives a nice contrast to the black dial while bringing a nice balance to the white sub-dials at 12, 6, and 9 o’clock. The steel bezel has a tachymeter scale filled with black lacquer, which has often disappeared on well-worn examples.
The 39mm case shape is unmistakably a Speedmaster with its lyre lugs. But in my opinion, one of the coolest features about the Omega Speedmaster 3511.50 is the crown with its hexagonal shape.
On the Speedmaster 3511.50, we find a bracelet that is very similar to the one used on the Moonwatch from 1988 to 1996. Whereas the Moonwatch used the bracelet ref. 1479, the Speedmaster 3511.50 uses the 1469 bracelet with ref. 813 end links. This bracelet tapers from 18mm to 14mm (instead of 20mm to 16mm as on the Moonwatch). Another notable difference between the 1469 and 1479 is that the former features polished center links.
Great offers from Japan
Although I noticed that this reference 3511.50 is being offered by European sellers on Chrono24 for nearly €3,000 (and sometimes even over), there are quite a few offerings from the Land of the Rising Sun. They go for as low as €1,450 with free shipping. Even when I add 25% for customs and fees, it still comes in under €2,000.
What do you make of this Speedmaster 3511.50? And what are your favorite non-Moonwatch Speedmaster models that you think offer good value in today’s market? Let us know in the comments!