In the last few days, I’ve been posting a couple of gold watches on my private Instagram account (@rjbroer). Not to test or try something, but because I’ve noticed I’ve grown into this precious material. Owning a couple of gold watches myself, including the Speedmaster Professional ‘Stafford’, I’ve come to appreciate the material more and more. Even yellow gold. And bi-color. Not too long ago, I was in London and tried the new Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer in 18kt Sedna gold. Sedna is Omega’s own alloy for rose gold and it has been used for almost all their collections if I am not mistaken. Sedna gold is an interesting material, as it – as opposed to normal rose gold – will not turn into yellow gold over time. It will keep the specific rose gold color.
The Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer with caliber 9900 movement (based on the in-house caliber 9300 movement) was introduced earlier this year, on January 13th to be precise. I remember, as it was right before the SIHH in Geneva when Omega stole a bit of the show (again). Last year, they did the same with the Speedmaster Moonphase Master Chronometer.
Both Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer models undergone a couple of small adjustments, so that the case of these Speedmaster watches are a bit thinner than the regular Speedmaster with caliber 9300 movement. A welcome update, as some people found these models a bit too thick.
The Speedmaster Racing goes back to 1968, when Omega released their first Speedmaster with racing dial. A sought-after configuration that we discussed in-depth in this article. The connection between Speedmasters and racing has been there since the very first CK2915. That watch was advertised with cars and racing drivers. The Speedmaster Mark II was also available with racing dial (and the updated Mark II of 2014 also is available with racing dial). Over the years, racing has always been connected to Speedmasters. Remember the Speedmaster Reduced models that were linked to Schumacher and Andretti? Or the later Schumacher limited editions for his GP wins? We talked about the Schumacher edition that was done especially for the Ferrari team not too long ago.
In 2004, the Speedmaster Professional Racing was released again (2004 pieces) for the Japan market. Long sold out, but you might be able to source one via one of the sales forums, auctions or Chrono24 for example. A few years ago, I sourced the dial and hands for this model, to rebuild a standard Speedmaster Professional to this Japan limited edition (but it wasn’t the same). The Speedmaster Tintin was also first marketed as Speedmaster Racing, until we’ve found out that it was meant to be a watch as commemorative edition for Hergé’s creation (Tintin).
Now, it was time for a new racing edition. The Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer, with two register chronograph and 44.25mm diameter case. Available in stainless steel and 18kt Sedna gold. Not only that, but it also has a ceramic bezel. The stainless steel version comes with a sporty perforated (racing) strap and the 18kt Sedna gold version comes with a beautiful alligator bracelet. The dial and bezel colors are also different. Where the steel version comes with black dial and bezel, the gold Speedmaster has this dark blue tone dial and bezel. An amazing combination with the rose gold case.
Strapping on the Sedna gold Speedmaster immediately makes you feel the different in weight with the stainless steel Speedmaster watches. The rose gold color is something that will suit any type of skin tone. Yellow gold can sometimes be a bit ‘hard’ whereas white gold has the tendency to be interpreted as a steel watch. Only if you know, you know. The same goes for platinum, which again looks a bit more like steel than white gold does. The weight will immediately give away the use of precious metals though. The Sedna gold Speedmaster has a substantial weight, even with the leather strap on it. The two sapphire crystals are also relatively heavy of course. You feel you are wearing something precious. A gold sports watch is – to some purists – something not done, but the Speedmaster has been available in gold on-and-off since 1969 with their BA145.022 (better known as the Apollo XI 1969 numbered edition). The Speedmaster in gold also make it very suitable for more dressy or formal occasions, especially on a leather strap.
As I wrote in the introduction of this article, I’ve come to appreciate gold. Perhaps it is my age (40 now), or the years I’ve been into watches, but I feel more comfortable with gold these days. It might also be caused by the recent trend of gold and bi-color watches again. When you see more of them around, it becomes accepted again. For a long time, bi-color watches where considered not-done but more brands have been (re)introducing this combination of stainless steel and gold again. Even Tudor introduced their Heritage Black Bay in gold & stainless steel and Audemars Piguet did an introduction of the bi-color Royal Oak in 2015. But, full gold is king of course and Omega did a couple of Speedmaster introductions in gold this year. Not only the Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer, but also the earlier covered Speedmaster Professional Apollo XVI was introduced in gold. And Omega announced the partnership with Starmus IV by giving 3 gold Speedmaster Professional watches to the Starmus winners.
Anyway, the Omega Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer is normal production (meaning it is not limited or numbered). The steel version has caliber 9900 inside and the gold model comes with the luxury finished caliber 9901. This means that the caliber 9901 has a gold rotor and bridge. These movements are of course certified by METAS and bear the ‘Master Chronometer’ writing on their dials. The boxed sapphire crystal enables you to enjoy these beautiful movements.
The 18kt Sedna gold Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer has reference 318.104.22.168.03.001 and retails for CHF 22,750.-. Expected delivery is July 2017.
More information via Omega on-line.
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