The Omega Dark Side of the Moon 2015 watches hands-on
When Omega launched the Dark Side of the Moon, in 2013 I believe, I wasn’t really convinced of the path that the brand from Bienne had decided to take. The watch's features were indeed excellent, but that black ceramic case, coupled with a two-counter lay-out, was miles away from a classic three-register Moonwatch. Innovations may sometimes require a bit of time to be fully appreciated, especially when it comes to upgrading an iconic timepiece that has featured practically everywhere over the last 40 years, and of which you also own a couple of pieces in your personal collection.
The Dark Side of the Moon is the “Speedmaster 2.0”, the natural technical evolution of the Moonwatch, and does not intend to replace the legendary original. Its style makes it one of the most original chronos on the market, and its combination of features, with a ceramic case architecture that draws inspiration from a Moonwatch, as well as a manufactured Co-Axial caliber 9300 with a silicon balance spring, is just unique.
I realized how beautiful this timepiece actually is only some time ago when, during a photo-shoot of the Omega Solar Impulse I had enough time to observe from up close and to actually wear the Grey Side of the Moon (needless to say, ceramic beats stainless steel 10 to 0 when it comes to comfort); this is the latest version of the Dark Side, before discovering the four new versions Omega unveiled at Baselworld 2015. They are the Dark Side of the Moon Pitch Black, Black Black, Sedna Black and Vintage Black, four variations of the Dark Side, where Omega has essentially played with different combinations of its available technologies, as well as introducing a few small changes here and there.
The Dark Side of the Moon Pitch Black has a matte ceramic dial, covered in Super-LumiNova™. The case is polished and brushed, and features a tachymetric scale also made of Super-LumiNova™. The registers at 3 and 9 have white varnished hands.
The Dark Side of the Moon Black Black has the same case and dial as the Pitch Black, but in its case the hands and the applied indexes have been blackened, to be later covered in black Super-LumiNova™.
Counters at 3 and 9 respectively are matte black, and the tachy scale on the bezel is also black lacquered.
The Dark Side of the Moon Sedna Black is a Dark Side that adopts the Omega-patented 18K Sedna™ Gold and, with its grey dial made via a laser material ablation, resembles the 45th Anniversary Speedmaster launched last year. Sedna™ Gold has been used to make the ring surrounding the bezel, and also for the applied indexes, the chrono and central hands. They have been then covered in “Vintage” Super-LumiNova™.
Last but not least, the Dark Side of the Moon Vintage Black is similar to the Pitch Black, with the difference that Omega has adopted the “Vintage” Super-LumiNova™ for indexes and tachy scale, instead of its standard one (green). In addition, the chrono counters' hands are varnished in brown, to match the indexes and tachy scale respectively.
The 2015 Dark Side of the Moon's collection replaces the tang buckle (which I preferred, to be honest) with an Omega-branded folding buckle. Out of the four, I think the Pitch Black and the Vintage Black are exceptional. The first is perhaps the most appealing overall, as it only features two colors, black and white. After having repeatedly seen it on display at the Omega's booth, I had to reconsider the Black Black, the only one out of the four to adopt a technical strap that is the best option, in my opinion, for a watch that seems to have been crafted out of a F-117 Nighthawk's wing. Retail prices are 10.400€, except for the Sedna Black, that will retail for 12.000€.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Federico Nolfi @Horbiter®