50 years ago, Neil A. Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon for the first time. This remarkable historic moment was a giant leap not only for the culture and science but also for Omega – making the Speedmaster Professional one of the most recognisable watch in the world.
Releasing limited series of the legendary Speedmaster Professional – Apollo 11 50th Anniversary in Moonshine Gold, along with the stainless steel model, or hosting Speedy Tuesday World Tour, are just examples how Omega celebrates the first landing on the Moon and the Moonwatch legacy. With the market reevaluation and a drastic shift in consumer behaviour, a new dimension of collecting watches is dedicated to its enthusiasts who are seeking more in-depth experience and are increasingly paying attention to intangible values standing behind the watch. Omega understands perfectly well non-materialistic dimension of its watches, and by operating on established codes, in 2017 introduced Speedmaster 38 to the market – the feminine version of the Speedmaster Professional. It wasn’t the first time when the Swiss brand was reinventing the legendary look of the most famous gents’ chronograph.
Going back to 2002, the first Speedmaster for ladies was nothing more than the automatic Speedmaster Reduced with a more sparkly diamond-paved bezel, or with a steel tachymeter scale. The mother-of-pearl dial was decorated with over-sized, coloured Arabic numerals. The 39 mm models powered by 3320 movements came with an alligator leather strap or stainless steel bracelet with a striated central section. Omega’s website indicates that some models were reduced even to 35.5 mm, but I haven’t seen such a small Speedy so far. This chronograph was produced from 2002 to 2010. The successor of Speedmaster Reduced Ladies was the Speedmaster Chronograph 38. Respectfully to the previous model, the new model had over-sized Arabic numerals. This time, the broader range of dials was added so that women could choose from mother-of-pearl dial to sun-brushed dials. More distinctive and traditional touches to these models gave a new bracelet that looked like the classic Moonwatch bracelet (in ladies’ version the central section is polished) as well as ceramic, or a diamond-set bezel. At the heart of this Speedmaster for Ladies was the OMEGA 3304 self-winding chronograph calibre with rhodium‑plated finish. The new winding system ensured a power reserve of 48 hours (8 hours longer compared to its predecessor). Although Omega stopped the Chronograph 38 production in 2017, you can still find them in some of the authorised retailers’ stores.
In 2017, Omega extended its product segmentation with Speedmaster 38 designed especially for women. The reinvented timepiece is a combination of the 60-year legacy of Moonwatch and De Ville chronograph’s dial. The Speedmaster for ladies incorporates horizontal oval subdials and an oval date window positioned at 6 o’clock. The Arabic numerals are gone and replaced with indexes. Omega in this collection went more feminine with the case and the bezel. Comparing to the former models, the overall look of the Speedmaster 38 has a womanly feel, as opposed to simple, straight lines well-known from the original Moonwatch. When it comes to design, the colours of dials and leather straps appeal mainly to women. Softer tones that were used are generally associated with more feminine concepts, just like the typography on the dial, and ornamentation of the bezel. The fonts on sundials are now thinner and smoother. These details only show how vital the delicate detailing and curves are when we speak about women’s watches. When you get to the movement, each watch carries the Omega Co-Axial 3330 self-winding chronograph with column-wheel mechanism and Co-Axial escapement (power reserve of 52 hours). While ladies went with Speedmaster 38 Cappuccino, I feel this collection has something more to offer than this very distinctive design.
What’s your take on the green version? Apart from the watches hitting the SIHH and Baselworld earlier this year; forest green, emerald, khaki dials and straps were the trends that fuelled the luxury watch industry. Omega during Time to Move event came with two new watches that are dominated by green – Omega Seamaster 300 Malachite and ladies Trésor 39 mm. As now green wins the heart of watch enthusiast, I decided to dive deep into the 38’s dark emerald model. This elegant timepiece differs significantly from the legendary Omega Speedmaster Professional – it’s more chic and extravagant. The yellow gold, an ornate bezel that is built to surround the tachymeter scale placed on green aluminium ring, highlights the steel case of the watch and dark emerald leather strap. A silvery opaline dial combined with yellow gold indexes and hands gives the whole concept more sophisticated appeal. I’m not entirely sure about mixing yellow gold with varnished green on the dial – I appreciate the detailing of Speedmaster 38, but for me focusing on only one colour, in this case – yellow gold – could give this watch more glamorous spin especially that the oval subdials are decorated with snailed (circle pattern) finish. This model is available in two version – with diamond-paved bezel and polished-brushed gold bezel.
In the current streetwear era, where cool sneakers and oversized jackets dominate the ladies’ wardrobe and where it seems that luxury streetwear demand is as strong as ever, betting on sports watch might be the best to step into the new season. That’s why my second choice fell on stainless steel Speedmaster 38 with sun-brushed grey dial. Honestly, when I was deciding which models I could present in this article, in the beginning, I wasn’t sure about this one until I tried it on. I am falling in love with this model although I’m not a streetwear girl anymore, and prefer heels over sneakers. Dual bezel design looks chunky, the tachymeter scale is placed on a black aluminium ring and is encircled by stainless steel bezel. The orange hands and Speedmaster logo mixed with Novo Nappa leather strap is something that makes this watch badass, while rhodium-plated indexes and hands glamorise the whole design. As in the previous case, the dial features horizontal oval subdials and a vertical oval date window at 6 o’clock. I believe that this timepiece perfectly blurs the lines between streetwear and luxury and gives every outfit a fresh twist.
It seems like the original Moonwatch gets all the attention this year, so discovering what lies behind the black Speedmaster 38 on a stainless steel bracelet and how different this watch is from the legendary Speedmaster Professional is an incredible opportunity. At first glance, the black Speedmaster 38 resembles Moonwatch more than other models from the 38 collections.
Firstly, the dial is based on Speedmaster Professional design, rather than a De Ville chronograph. The black dial with round-shaped subdials and rhodium-plated indexes and hands refer clearly to Omega’s one of the most iconic timepiece. The watch has a stainless steel case and dual stainless steel bezel design with tachymeter placed on a black aluminium ring. Some say that Speedmaster 38 version is a unisex watch and it might be a perfect solution for people who want to possess Speedmaster Professional but for whom the 42 mm version is way too big. Is this not a too bold statement? Even if the rounded subdials look better on the 38 and they are the fundamental part of Speedmaster design – the whole concept of the 38 is distinct, more feminine and petite. The case is smaller and differently shaped; the bracelet is a bit posh with polished central links and clasps carrying the Seahorse, and I could go on and on because when we looked at the technical data only stainless steel and the colour of the dial remain the same.
I have a crush on Speedmaster 38 with sun-brushed grey dial, but I feel that this time sense will prevail over sensibility and my choice will fall on the Moonwatch.
When I look at the black Speedmaster 38, the watch doesn’t refer to the Speedmaster’s rich history. Undeniably the Speedmaster 38 is one of the coolest watches that Omega has in its offer for ladies, and I’m not surprised that the popularity of this watch is growing. The watch perfectly combines tradition and femininity – the smaller proportion, and a modular chronograph movement makes the watch unique. However, for ladies desiring the Moonwatch – I feel you do need to buy the Moonwatch. While the 38 is beautiful ladies’ watch that will perfectly elevate your daily fashion game, the Moonwatch embraces the boldness, vision, and innovation that led Omega to be the first watch worn on the Moon. It’s your choice whether you want to wear Speedmaster 38, or Speedmaster Professional. I have a crush on Speedmaster 38 with sun-brushed grey dial, but I feel that this time sense will prevail over sensibility and my choice will fall on the Moonwatch.
The famous Golden Astronaut landed in Warsaw and was celebrating the first Lunar Mission with Omega Poland. The party was hosted at the Elektrownia Powiśle in Warsaw, where selected press and celebrities attended the event. Amongst the guests were a handful of Omega loyal clients. Similarly to “Golden Moments” that took place in Amsterdam, over 200 guests invited to “The Eagle Has Landed” were greeted to an industrial venue filled with gold and black decor. Maxime Gourgouillat (Omega’s Brand Director for Poland) and Emilia Sawicka (Senior PR & Marketing Manager) made sure that all attendees had left the world behind as they entered the venue and explored the Speedmaster watch and its contribution to the Apollo 11 mission. Guests were experiencing the world of the brand and the complexity of innovation behind the presented watches over delicious drinks and music.
I had a wonderful time! The event theme extended throughout the entire decor with stunning urban scenery and gold accents that highlight the golden anniversary. The venue was filled with fantastic music and a magical vibe. The anniversary models have gained extreme interest, as well as the Moonwatch, and the Speedmaster 38. Currently, the demand for the Speedmaster Professional is quite high in Poland. The marketing campaign that Omega prepared for this market is appealing, and this event proved that.
Explore pictures from the “The Eagle Has Landed” event that was held on July 16th in Warsaw.
More information can be found at Omega online.
Karina Kwiatkowska is a contributor to Fratello and longtime watch enthusiast. In her professional life, Karina is an international marketing strategist and holds a Master of Design title, focused on Luxury Brand Management Innovation from the University of Arts London.... read more