The Tenth Fratello × REM Strap For The Speedmaster: This Is Not A Replica
For this month’s Fratello × REM strap, we took one of our team’s favorite Speedmaster references as a starting point. The Omega Speedmaster ’57 reference 3594.50 — also known as the Broad Arrow — officially debuted in 1997 as the Speedmaster ’57 Replica. This watch flew under the radar for many years, but recently, it seems to be receiving some well-deserved attention.
Omega Speedmaster ’57 3594.50
We have covered this watch several times here on Fratello. Three of us here own this reference and can’t stress enough how nice it looks and wears in the flesh. I can’t speak for the others and their Speedmaster 3594.50 watches, but mine is pretty special to me. It’s not only because I love the looks of the watch (I will get back to that later) but also because it was a special gift from my wife (and daughter) for my first Father’s Day back in 2013. Consequently, it’s a watch that will stay with me forever and will indeed be passed on at some point. However, so far, my daughter has shown more interest in the watches with Snoopy on the dial.
A short five-year production run
The Speedmaster ’57 Replica came out in 1997 as part of the large Mission Cases that carried 23 watches. These included 22 Speedmasters with a NASA mission patch on the dial, a spare 1861 movement (as it was a new introduction at the time), and one of these Speedmaster ’57 Replica models. In 1998, Omega introduced the ’57 Broad Arrow as a separate watch. It was not a limited edition, but it was only in production for a few years (1998–2003), meaning the total number is probably fairly low. In addition, there was a gold version of this model that was limited to just 150 pieces.
It’s an interesting watch because it’s not a true copy — or replica — of the original CK2915. That very first reference from 1957 had a smaller case without crown guards and measured 38.6mm wide instead of 42mm like the 3594.50. Nothing is the same as the CK2915 when looking at all the details; it was just the style of the watch that was mimicked with this Replica edition from 1997 to 2003. Why Omega used the word “Replica” for this watch remains a mystery. A few years ago, though, the brand started to refer to it as the “Re-launch” in official communications since it took inspiration from the first Speedmaster reference. Now the Omega website lists it as the Speedmaster Broad Arrow.
A dark gray dial
What I love about this particular model is that while it is a Speedmaster, it has a very different appeal from the Moonwatch. The dark gray dial, steel bezel, polished Broad Arrow hands, and applied logo on the dial are all nice touches. It’s a refreshing change from the regular Moonwatch with a black dial and white baton hands. However, I know that for Lex, it’s his only Speedmaster, and he has no need for a regular Moonwatch.
The reference 3594.50 was originally available with a stainless steel bracelet and a light brown leather strap with a folding buckle. Officially, that makes the latter option reference 3894.50, but often, the watch is just advertised as 3594.50.
Those straps looked pretty amazing on the watch, but the original ones are not available anymore. This inspired us to come up with a brown strap for this watch but with a little twist. We thought it would be fun to engrave the text “This is not a replica” in a military-style font (hinting at the broad arrow as a military symbol). The long side of the strap has the characteristic Broad Arrow hour hands engraved on it.
I’ve always advocated wearing a black-dial watch with a brown strap as it makes it pop more. Although the Replica’s dial isn’t exactly black, the tenth Fratello × REM strap still looks incredibly nice on this watch. And it also will on the standard Moonwatch, of course.
As always, REM straps use organic leather from Sweden. Everything has been done in Sweden, including the stitching and laser engraving. For each strap, we have the month of release engraved on the inside, so the “This is not a replica” edition has an “October 2023” marking. The long part of the strap measures 127mm, and the short end is 74mm long. All straps come on a Fratello-signed buckle.
The tenth Fratello × REM Speedmaster “This is not a replica” strap is now available in our shop for €107. We also restocked the Fratello × REM straps that we made for the Alaska and the Snoopy editions. You can check them out and order yours here.