Today’s #TBT will be Baselworld 2017 focused as we’re still basking in the afterglow of the show. And, even though we’ve covered it already, I’ll use this column as a platform to discuss why I, a vintage diehard, ordered the Omega Speedmaster 1957 reissue. Maybe my purchase of this watch surprises you and maybe it doesn’t, but let’s discuss it anyhow.
Omega, if you’ve not yet read, debuted a trio of 1957 reissues to mark the 60th anniversary of introduction for the Railmaster, Seamaster and the Speedmaster. Omega allows you to purchase these watches in one of two ways: individually or as a set of three. To clear up any confusion, if purchased as a set of three, the watches contain the font “Trilogy” and the limited edition # of 357 (the number of sets made) right below the Omega logo on the dial. If the watches are purchased separately (3,557 of each, numbered on the back), there is no indication on the dial of the limited edition # – in fact, it’s on the case back.
During our appointment with the brand, it was explained to us that a kind of 3D scanning was used on all watches including the Omega Speedmaster 1957 reissue in order to create an exact replica of the case. This is how exact the details are and how close the new pieces are to their historical relatives. Furthermore, all the cosmetic bits are identical, save for sapphire crystals on the Railmaster and Seamaster.
Even the case backs contain the same engravings as the orignals, but have moved to NAIAD in order to ensure the backs are aligned vertically. Movement-wise, the two non-chronos use a slim Co-Axial automatic movement and the Speedy uses the well-known Lemania 1861 manual. Finally, all pieces get a new version of Omega’s renowned 1039 bracelet, but with a newer and thicker deployant buckle.
All three of these watches, at a hair below 39mm, fit amazingly well. They feel slim and achieve that “nothing on” feel that’s similar to, say, a 36mm Rolex. A real aid is Omega’s choice of endlinks because, unlike so many current watches, the links don’t extend beyond the lugs. This allows the watch to really drape well on the wrist and just adds to the silky feel. To be honest, I could have bought in any direction on the trio and I would have been deeply satisfied, but because my wallet only allowed one, I chose the Omega Speedmaster 1957 reissue. I’m a chrono guy first and everything else is a distant second. But, more importantly, if I don’t buy redials, why did I decide to buy a reissue?
Simply put, I chose the Omega Speedmaster 1957 reissue because I know that there’s essentially no chance that I’ll ever own an original 2915-1 Speedmaster. Yes, the other two watches are expensive in their own right, but the first Speedmaster, in lovely original condition, is now a $150,000 watch. Plus, it’s a legend and signifies the birth of something really iconic. It’s a beautiful watch too and nearly impossible to find. So, when Omega decided to offer up an almost exact replica, I had to do it.
The crazy thing is that I received a lot of Instagram messages and Whatsapp traffic from diehard vintage collectors about the Omega Speedmaster 1957 reissue and they ordered the watch as well. I think all of us felt a little weird buying a new watch that looks like an old watch (maybe a little like buying a Watchco Seamaster 300) and perhaps we were messaging each other for the purposes of group confirmation, but the fact that the watch was so perfectly rendered made it impossible to resist. Heck, the new Speedy even boasts the famous “dot over 90” bezel and the old crown! If you think it lacks creativity and are wondering why all the hoopla over a copy of an old watch, just think about what collectors would do if Rolex issued a faithful copy of a Paul Newman Daytona…thought so. When something is as classic as this watch, it’s worth buying no matter when.
Let’s address the other embodiment of a beast that lurks in the corner of the room that’s ready to pounce on the Omega Speedmaster 1957 reissue – the use of so called “fake patina”. I think you kind of get this watch or you don’t. If you get it and you’re familiar with the original, you’ve never seen one without aged lume. Therefore, I stand by Omega’s decision to introduce some artificial aging. It looks natural to me and I can’t imagine a dial with stark white lume. To those whom say let it age on its own, I have news for you: superluminova doesn’t age! If it does, it won’t show during the next couple lifetimes.
Gripes from my side? I have but a few. First, and I guess this is impossible for the price of roughly 7,000 Euros (the cost for the Omega Speedmaster 1957 reissue), I would have sold pieces off to aid funding if the watch had contained the legendary column wheel 321 movement. Also, the clasp, despite its use of the old logo, on the bracelet is too thick and bulky. It’s a shame that Omega didn’t revert to some sort of stamped clasp. It would have been more in keeping with the original, but also would have helped to make wearing it even more of a lithe experience. Finally, and I know this roils Omega; I am not a fan of the “Trilogy” text on the dial. I know that Omega wanted to give buyers who shell out over 20K Euros some sort of visible differentiator, but it is a little distracting. Maybe engrave the rehaut next time? Then again, it’s hardly noticeable on the Speedy when the central chrono hand is at 12:00 and it’s not that large on the other two. I’d get past it, but I do prefer the individual pieces.
What the heck will I do with the Omega Speedmaster 1957 reissue? Well, I will wear it and I can see it jockeying with pieces such as the upcoming #SpeedyTuesday edition for serious wrist time. With its steel bezel and bracelet, the reissue will pair with anything and even though it won’t ever see a swimming pool, I’ll take comfort that it’s at least up to the task of managing through a deluge when compared to my Ed White. Modern build has its advantages. Also, it’s one hell of a good-looking watch and I don’t think I’ll ever tire of it.
People have asked how I was able to order the Omega Speedmaster 1957 reissue. Look, writing for an online publisher does have its perks (most are financially detrimental 😉 ) and ordering at Baselworld was thankfully a possibility. For those who have asked how to get one, I’d recommend calling your Omega dealer ASAP in order to get on the list. 3,557 pieces are a lot, but when a watch looks this good, it will sell – in fact, we were told that all trilogy sets have been spoken for, but perhaps that’s with dealers and maybe some don’t have a customer name behind them. I’ll go just short of promising you that you’ll love the look and feel of this watch in the metal, so if you’re on the fence, hop to the proper side. One testimonial I received, granted it was about the Railmaster, was from a friend who owns the original. He had to do a triple take on the reissue to figure out if we were posting an original as a comparison. Sounds like a clear indicator that Omega has achieved real success with these models. We’ll be back with a hands-on look once the watches come in during the Summer/Autumn timeframe. Until then, order up!
Michael was born in South Florida in the USA. As a full-time role, he works in the Automotive Industry. He's lived and worked in many locations and when he's not cruising at 30,000 feet, he calls Germany home. Michael became... read more