Welcome to part II of the overview of gold Speedmaster ‘Moonwatch’ models. In this article I will focus on the gold Speedmaster watches between 1995 and now. I ended part I with a 1995 gold Speedmaster Professional that was commemorating the MIR mission of July 1993 – July 1994, where 7 of these gold Speedmaster Professional watches were on board of the space station. Probably the rarest model of all gold Moonwatch models. Also, at the end of the first part I showed you the regular gold Speedmaster Professional watch that was in production until a few years ago.
A gold Moonwatch is a rarity, even though some models have been produced in high numbers or not as a limited or numbered edition at all. The fact that there is no gold Speedmaster Professional in the current Omega collection is most probably based on lacking sales numbers. Truth to be told, I’ve never seen a gold Speedmaster on the wrist of someone outside our Speedy Tuesday GTG events or outside the inner circle of watch friends I have. During watch trade shows or in the ‘flesh’, I’ve never seen someone wearing a gold Moonwatch. Gold models start just under €10.000 Euro, but that money will also get you a vintage CK2998 for example, in good condition. My guess is that many Speedmaster collectors rather choose the latter.
1995 Apollo – Soyuz 20th Anniversary 3691.50
This 1995 Speedmaster Apollo – Soyuz 20th anniversary commemorative version is limited to 200 pieces only. On first sight, it doesn’t look very much different from the regular production gold Speedmaster Profession from that time. Upon closer inspection, you will notice that the sub dials have the gold trim, like on the MIR version that I discussed in last week’s article.
The strange thing, is that it has case number BA145.0052 and PIC number is unknown for now. Moonwatch Only refers to it as 3691.50, but that reference number is also used for the 1992 Jubilee 27 CHRO C12 on a leather strap. However, it might also be the case that Omega just used the same reference number for this model, as it was for the Italian market only and just in 200 pieces.
Inside, this watch has the Omega caliber 863 movement. WatchFinder.co.uk sent us an image of the caliber 863 in the 3691.50 (although this one does refer to the 27 CHRO 12 model limited to 999 pieces, the movement is identical).
1997 Japan Special ‘Golden Panda’ – 3690.30
Don’t confuse this model with the new 2015 introduced First Omega in Space in Sedna gold, this model was introduced in 1997 especially for the Japan market. It is a ‘regular’ Speedmaster Professional model with ‘panda’ dial, in yellow gold.
Japan is a Speedmaster country, many specific models have been made for that market only in the past. The most recent model was the 2004 Speedmaster Pro Racing, but before that there were quite a few others. Like the Mitsukoshi dial (panda in stainless steel) and this gold model.
The image below was taken from OmegaForums.net, but is probably a scan of the Moonwatch Only book. According this this source, only 40 pieces were delivered to Japan.
1998 150th Anniversary of Omega 3193.50
You might recognize this model from one of our recent Speedy Tuesday articles. This Speedmaster ’57 Replica model was also done in stainless steel, but Omega also produced 150 of them in 18 carat gold. In this article, we showed Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler wearing one. The case back has the regular Moonwatch engraving (the stainless steel version does not!) and has been engraved with its unique number. Furthermore, it had a sapphire crystal and the new generation of Lemania / Omega hand-wound movements, caliber 1863. Based on the 863, but with an extra jewel and a rhodium plated finish.
This model was also available with a gold bracelet, with reference number 3193.50. Below, an image of the gold Speedmaster Broad Arrow on a leather strap, reference 3693.50.81. List price, at the time of introduction, was CHF 7600 Swiss Francs and the full gold version retailed at CHF 16500 Swiss Francs.
1999 Speedmaster Professional Moonphase 3689.30.31
In 1999, Omega introduced this white gold Speedmaster Professional Moonphase. Based on the same Lemania movement with moon phase complication (add-on module) as the 1985 Speedmaster Moonphase models, but in a white gold Speedmaster Professional case. When it was released I was under the impression it was meant to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Apollo XI mission, but there is no such reference on the watch itself. This watch was in production for just a few years, but you don’t come across them very often. There is currently one on Chrono24 for around €6000 Euro, which is a very attractive price for a gold Speedmaster. I’ve seen them for much higher prices in the past. This model was only available on a leather strap with folding buckle. Inside, the caliber 1866 movement was fitted. The white gold case back had the standard NASA engraving, like the regular Speedmaster Pro production. Rumor is that there are less than 300 pieces of this watch produced, this is unconfirmed though.
2000 Apollo – Soyuz 25th Anniversary 3195.59
The Apollo – Soyuz mission has been commemorated a lot by Omega, in total 4 times, with two stainless steel models (the 1975 model with mission logo at 12 o’clock, the 2010 model with meteorite dial, the 1995 gold edition and this 2000 edition). Except for the Apollo XI mission, it is the most commemorated mission by Omega. On the third place we find the Apollo XIII mission, with one 1995 mission patch model and two Speedmaster Snoopy Award editions.
Anyway, in 2000 Omega commemorated the historical mission from 1975 with a gold Speedmaster Apollo – Soyuz 25th Anniversary edition, limited to 50 pieces only. This time, the gold Apollo – Soyuz Speedmaster was a bit more bold than its 1995 pre-decessor. Not only the printing of the Omega logo and ‘Omega Speedmaster Professional’ wording was done in gold colored font, the sub dial at 6 o’clock had the mission ‘Apollo – CHO3’ name printed in gold as well. The case back didn’t have the usual NASA inscription, but also the mission name and the limited edition number engraved. This watch was available on a gold bracelet (reference 3195.59) but also on a leather strap (reference 3695.59).
Below you will also find an image of the rhodium plated caliber 1863 movement, successor of the caliber 863 movement.
End of Part II
As you can see, Omega produced quite a high number of gold Speedmaster watches in the 1990’s and that ended around 2000. Even though the white gold Speedmaster Professional Moonphase model was in production till the mid-2000’s. The regular Speedmaster Professional in gold that I showed you in the previous article, was in production till 2011/2012. Even though it was regular production, it is still a rarity, as explained earlier in this article.
I hope this article changed your interest a bit in the gold models, hopefully for the good. Personally I love the gold Speedmaster models a lot, while I am not per definition a guy who likes to wear gold watches. This article also showed you that you don’t have to bring over €10.000 Euro (or dollars, or Swiss Francs) to buy a gold Speedmaster watch on the pre-owned market.
What this article did not show are the platinum models (Omega did a couple of them, even recently) like this Apollo XI 2009 commemorative model or the skeleton models (like the one we covered in 2012). We did cover them extensively in other articles (click the links) though. I also didn’t cover some ‘specialty’ versions of gold Speedmasters, packed with diamonds and rubies. These were made in very low quantities and I don’t see them adding value to the line-up in our gold Speedmaster overview article(s). However, we will try to get them as separate Speedy Tuesday topics in the future for sure.
In case we missed a gold Speedmaster Professional model, please let us know so we can add it to this article.
Header image by Watchfinder.co.uk, thank you!
Image Gallery of gold Speedmasters Part II