Speedy Tuesday – Hands-On With The Speedmaster Blue Side of the Moon Moonphase Aventurine Dial
Early January, we covered the Speedmaster Blue Side of the Moon here on Fratello. Today, I will show you the new 2018 version of that watch, with aventurine glass dial and Sedna gold hands and hour markers.
I have to admit that I wasn’t über-enthusiastic about the blue ceramic Speedmaster Moonphase we showed you last January, but couldn’t really make myself clear on what it was. Now that I’ve seen the new Speedmaster Blue Side of the Moon Moonphase with aventurine dial, shown to us in Basel last month, I know exactly what it was. The ‘regular’ blue ceramic Speedmaster Moonphase doesn’t ‘pop’ for me. The blue ceramics are nice, the moon phases indication is a cool complication, but the ‘ensemble’ is rather dull to me. Not that I am a flashy guy, at all, but I love it when a watch has some contrast. The blue ceramic version had a blue ceramic dial and a blue ceramic bezel… you catch my drift.
Blue Side of the Moon Moonphase Aventurine
The new Baselworld 2018 release, the Speedmaster Blue side of the Moon Moonphase Aventurine is something else. Not only does the dial stand-out due to the aventurine glass, the hour markers, hands and moon are all done in 18 carat rose gold, or better yet, in Omega’s Sedna gold. Also, the blue ceramic bezel uses the Ceragold technology, where ceramics and Sedna gold are blend in perfectly.
Aventurine, family of quartz, is a mineral that has some inclusions that cause the blue-ish shine and glitter. The dial on this watch is remarkable and together with the moon disc, it is like a nice starry sky.
Technically speaking, there aren’t many differences. Both have the 44.25mm blue ceramic case and the Master Chronometer caliber 9904 movement, with moon phase complication. The difference is in the fact that the new Speedmaster Blue Side of the Moon Moonphase Aventurine, really stands-out. It pops. I’ve always been a sucker for these watches with aventurine dials. The 1970s Constellation Megaquartz was available with this type of dial, and later on Omega did a Speedmaster Professional with Moonphase in 44mm (2012) with an aventurine dial as well (click here for that one). It had the famous hand-wound Lemania based movement, with add-on Moonphase module, caliber 1866. An enhanced version of their caliber 866 that was used in 1985 for their three short-time produced moonphase Speedmaster models. The 2012 Moonphase model with hand-wound movement was also only for a short time in production. You might want to hunt one down if you’re a Moonwatch collector. Despite the 44mm size, it is a Speedmaster Professiona afterall.
Anyway, the dial of the new Speedmaster Blue Side of the Moon Moonphase Aventurine is simply stunning. Especially in combination with the Sedna gold elements. Although last week’s platinum Speedmaster Moonphase watches got me excited, I would have a tough choice to choose between one of those and this Blue Side of the Moon Moonphase Aventurine Speedmaster. Pricewise, the blue ceramic moonphase model with aventurine glass dial is the wisest pick of course. Where the regular blue ceramic moonphase model retails for €11.800, this new aventurine model has a retail price of CHF12700 Swiss Francs. We don’t have the official Euro price yet, but it should be around the same in Euro. Perhaps a bit less. Between the two, and the relatively small difference in price, there’s no doubt which one I would pick. Below, for illustration purposes, the ‘regular’ Blue Side of the Moon image that our photographer Berti took earlier this year.
Compared to the pictures above, that’s pretty ‘boring’, right? Of course, to each his (or her) own, and there’s definitely a lot to say for this more plain blue ceramic version, but the new Speedmaster Blue Side of the Moon Moonphase Aventurine has more presence for sure. If you are, like me, a Moonwatch guy, than this pimp-version of the Moonphase watches in ceramic might be a very interesting addition. The platinum versions are as well of course, but that’s an entirely different league.
What surprised me is that the price tag of this Speedmaster Blue Side of the Moon Moonphase Aventurine is very close to the regular Blue Side of the Moon Moonphase and the Dark Side of the Moon family members. The most basic Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon retails for €9800 and the most expensive one (with Sedna gold bezel and meteorite dial) retails for €12800. This new Blue Side of the Moon Moonphase Aventurine is about the same. I would have expect that the aventurine glass dial and use of 18 carat Sedna gold would have increased the price a bit more. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a lot of money and Moonwatch enthusiasts probably rapidly calculate what type of vintage 105.003 they can buy for this kind of money, but still. Compared to the competition out there it is not bad for a modern chronograph with moonphase with in-house movement and ceramic case, not bad at all.
For a more in-depth review of the Speedmaster Blue Side I recommend you read this article. It contains a good explanation on the Master Chronometer caliber 9904 movement and the way it has been tested and certified. As said, the only difference is the dial and the use of Sedna gold. I could definitely see myself wearing this watch as a modern ‘everyday’ piece besides my modest collection of hand-wound Speedmasters.
I would be very happy to give this watch a long-term review once it is out there on the market. I am very curious to see how it will hold up after a couple of weeks of wearing. It is most of the time long enough to get an indication whether a watch is a keeper or something to forget about. As soon as one is available for a review, I will make sure to request one from Omega and put it on my wrist for a while. Up till now, the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon – most plain, or simply first, version – was the winner for me. However, my love for aventurine dials and a touch of gold give the advantage to this Blue Side of the Moon Moonphase Aventurine. I just wish Omega would drop the use of ‘Moonwatch’ in the official model name (“Moonwatch Blue Side of the Moon Moonphase OMEGA Co-Axial Master Chronometer Chronograph Calibre 9904”). This watch is not limited or numbered.
The retail price of the Speedmaster Blue Side of the Moon Moonphase Aventurine will be CHF12700 Swiss Francs.
Visit the official Omega website for more information.
Update 18th of April: A clever gent over at OmegaForums.net commented that the color of the case of the new Blue Side with Aventurine dial appears to bit a bit darker than the ‘reguar’ Blue Side. Omega let us know that it is exactly the same blue ceramic though, but due to the reheating process it may have a slightly different tone.