The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 2020 reference guide
The Omega Speedmaster collection groups among the brand's most enduring and desired watches of all time. The Speedy includes plenty of options, yet none of them is as iconic as the Moonwatch, the quintessential Omega sports watch. Our reference guides' purpose is to gather a signature collection's product SKUs within a single article, and the Omega Moonwatch is no different. By collecting and listing the 2020 Moonwatch's references and prices, we aim at providing, especially those approaching the brand and the watch industry, with plenty of information to help them explore the Speedmaster Moonwatch's catalog from a single page.
A brief history of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch
Initially introduced in 1957, the Omega Speedmaster became popular once NASA officially appointed it as the wristwatch for human-crewed space missions. Back then, the competition between the US and the USSR competition was fierce, and conquering the Moon became the battlefield to showcase technological and geopolitical supremacy. The stakes were high.
It was 1962, when President John Fitzgerald Kennedy reaffirmed, during a famous speech held at Rice University, the United States' commitment to land a man on the lunar surface by the end of the decade. What followed up was the ambitious Apollo Space Program, ending with Neil Armstrong being the first man to ever walk on the Moon in July 1969.
Wrapped around his wrist was the Omega Speedmaster Professional chronograph after that nicknamed the Omega Moon Watch.
The Omega Moonwatch Guide: The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch options and product variations
The current Moon Watch Omega collection's offering is extensive; it comprises much-coveted historical re-issues and state-of-the-art technology modern chronographs: you can choose different case sizes, movement, material, or bracelet option. The Omega Moonwatch is available in steel, Yellow, Sedna™, or Moonshine™ Gold, ceramic, or platinum. The current line up also includes a variety of limited series models celebrating a space mission's anniversary or upcoming challenges in the most demanding professional sports. Among these old-but-gold limited series is the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch “Apollo XVII” 45 Anniversary for instance, that we reviewed a few years ago, and is not a part of this guide.
How many are the Omega Moonwatch references to choose from in 2020?
If you filter the Moonwatch collection on the official Omega watches website, you'll end up counting a total of 45 SKUs, which is impressive. However, bear in mind two product references can vary from one another depending on the kind of buckle they're adopting. For example, the Moonwatch Dark Side of the Moon comes with either a folding or a pin buckle. Also, consider Omega will launch the 2020 Moonwatch Snoopy Awards next 5 October; please expect us to review and upgrade this guide by the end of the year.
The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch's case size and options
You can easily spot a chronograph is a Moonwatch from afar, yet the Speedmaster comes in two different designs:
- Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch
- Omega Speedmaster First in Space
The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch has the signature asymmetrical case, tapered lugs, and protectors around Chrono pushers and crown. The Omega Speedmaster First in Space comes with a symmetrical case, no protectors at all, and an under-40-mm case size compared to an Omega Moonwatch Professional. The Swiss brand gave the First in Space the Moonwatch moniker, which I assume is a marketing choice. Please find below a summary showcasing the three case styles and the available sizes; left to right is a 39,7mm large case (pictured here is a Speedmaster Calibre321), a 42mm Moonwatch Professional case, and a 44,25mm model (shown here is an Apollo 8). Combine these styles with all the materials, mechanical movements, dials, and bracelet options, and you'll end up configuring 45 product references.
Please find below the Moonwatch sub-collections to case size options available combinations:
- Moonwatch First in Space and CK2998, 39,7mm diameter
- Moonwatch Professional, 42mm diameter
- Moonwatch Chronograph caliber 321, 39,7mm and 42mm diameter
- Moonwatch Co-Axial Chronograph, Apollo 8 and Alinghi, 44,25mm diameter
Accordingly, the 2020 Speedmaster Moonwatch Calibre 321 is the only Moonwatch to offer two case designs.
How much does an Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch cost?
With a 4,500 Euros entry price, you can make a Moonwatch "First in Space" yours; by spending 58,900 Euros, you'll take the most expensive Omega Moonwatch. The Omega Moonwatch Moonphase in platinum reference 304.93.44.52.99.003 is currently the most exclusive Moonwatch on offer.
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch First in Space 39,7mm
Referred to as the "First Omega in Space" (FOIS), this specific Omega Moonwatch was the first-ever-worn-in-space Speedmaster. Astronaut Walter (Wally) Schirra wore it during the 1962 "Sigma 7" mission.
The steel model is a numbered edition featuring a 39,7mm steel case and straight lugs, brown leather strap, and black inlay with a tachymeter scale. The dial comes with "Alpha" shaped hands, protected by a scratch-resistant glass box sapphire crystal. It houses the Omega caliber 1861, like the Moonwatch Professional.
Three are three available options, two in steel and one in Sedna™ Gold (we reviewed it a few years ago):
- Omega reference 3126.96.36.199.01.001 priced at 4,500 Euros
- Omega reference 3188.8.131.52.02.001 in Sedna™ Gold, brown ceramic bezel, priced at 16,300 Euros
- Omega reference 3184.108.40.206.02.001, priced at 5,600 Euros
The latter is a limited edition, paying tribute to the historic Omega CK 2998 model. Among its distinctive traits are the silver dial and the glossy black ceramic insert on the bezel, featuring a pulsometer scale.
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional 42mm
No other Chronograph is as appealing and meaningful as the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional, and no other is capable of rivaling such a unique story. The 42mm case comes with black bezel and hesalite glass, covering the three-counter layout with baton hands coated with Super-LumiNova™.
The Omega caliber 1861, powering the Professional, is a hand-wind mechanical movement, replacing the caliber 861 (the 861 replaced the 321 instead).
According to Omega watches' and NASA documents, the Speedmaster Professional still is the only watch certified by NASA for performing extravehicular activities (EVA). The case back carries the engraved Speedmaster logo along with the "first and only watch worn on the moon" sentence. Interestingly, most Speedmaster Moonwatch timepieces are unparalleled in that they offer manual-winding mechanical movements in their class.
The Moonwatch Professional comes in two slightly different variants: a more faithful 1969 re-issue with Hesalite glass, and a second one geared towards those looking for a sapphire crystal's scratch resistance (plus a transparent case back). You can either buy them with a steel bracelet or a black leather strap. They all come available in a special Moonwatch package, including several die-hard fan accessories like a NATO strap, a Velcro strap, a strap replacement tool, an Omega signed loupe and the Speedmaster history book.
The two Omega references with hesalite glass are:
- Omega reference 3220.127.116.11.01.005 with a steel bracelet, priced at 4,800 Euros
- Omega reference 318.104.22.168.01.001 with a black leather strap, priced at 4,700 Euros
The two options with sapphire crystal are as follows:
- Omega reference 322.214.171.124.01.006 with a steel bracelet, priced at 5,600 Euros
- Omega reference 3126.96.36.199.01.002 with a leather strap, priced at 5,500 Euros
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Caliber 321 "Ed White"
The 2020 Moonwatch Calibre 321 is inspired by the 3rd generation Speedmaster worn in 1965 by astronaut Ed White during the first spacewalk (Gemini 4 mission). This exquisite Moonwatch is 39,7mm across, but, unlike a First Omega in Space, features a glossy black ceramic bezel (ZrO2), with white enameled tachymeter scale, and "Moonwatch" hands, and vintage Omega logo.
Beating inside is a kind of reverse-engineered (and modern in every respect) Omega Calibre 321. The 321 ranks among the most refined and respected hand-wound mechanical chronograph movements in watchmaking; it features a column-wheel mechanism with a horizontal clutch, a Breguet hairspring, and an 18K Sedna™ gold finish. It truly is a feast for the eyes to any watch connoisseur.
Unlike its Omega siblings, the modern Omega 321 is hand-assembled by a handful of master watchmakers in a specific Omega laboratory. A single watchmaker oversees full assembly to guarantee top-notch quality and precision rate. The product reference is the Omega 3188.8.131.52.01.001 and retails for 13,400 Euros.
If you are looking for the most precious Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Calibre 321, you can opt for a 42mm large Professional case made of a special alloy combining platinum and gold (Pt950Au20). Again, the bezel is in black ceramic with a white enameled tachymeter scale, a shining black onyx dial, showcasing vintage Omega logo, and 18-carat white gold indexes and hands.
The icing on the cake is the three Chrono registers; they come in the lunar meteorite. The most expensive Moonwatch Calibre 321 is the Omega reference 3184.108.40.206.99.001, retailing for 56,900 Euros.
Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition
In 2019, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, Omega introduced a commemorative new take on the Omega Moonwatch Professional limited to 6,969 pieces. This commemorative watch has a 42mm stainless steel case with a polished 18K Moonshine™ Gold bezel, housing a polished black ceramic (ZrO2) inlay with Omega Ceragold™ tachymeter scale.
The dial has a gray and black surface and comes equipped with Moonshine™ Gold indexes and hands, with the counter at nine showcasing a laser engraving that depicts Buzz Aldrin as he steps down from the lunar module. On the watch's case back is a medallion reproducing a laser-engraved Buzz Aldrin's footprint and Moonshine™ 18K gold-plated inscription with the following: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
The headline news is that Omega debuted the new Metas-certified Omega Master Co-Axial 3861 caliber. Please find pictured below a comparison between Calibre 1861 and its cutting-edge successors.
The watch comes with a special package including a watch holder in the shape of the Apollo 11 lunar module, an additional Velcro strap, and the mission official badges. The Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary is Omega reference 310.20.42.50.01.001 and costs 9,200 Euros.
The Apollo 11 collection also includes the Omega reference 310.60.42.50.99.001, entirely made of Omega's proprietary Moonshine™ Gold, paired with a burgundy ceramic bezel, and faceted onyx applied indexes. It is limited in numbers and retails for Euros 32,500.
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Co-Axial Chronograph and Moonphase, 44,25mm
This macro-family includes several sub-collections and special editions, including a chronograph or a chronograph paired to moon phase display. They all share a 44,25mm case and house the self-winding movement Omega Caliber 9300 base movement. It comes in two options:
- Omega Moonwatch Co-Axial Chronograph
- Omega Moowatch Moonphase
The former is a two-register chronograph, powered by the Omega Caliber 9300. Simultaneously, the Omega Moonwatch Moonphase comes equipped with the Omega 9904 caliber (and Omega 9905 on non-steel variants), showcasing the moon phase display.
The first-ever steel option is no longer available; it solely comes in titanium or yellow gold.
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Dark Side of the Moon
Celebrating the Apollo 8 mission's astronauts' observing the dark side of the Moon for the first time, this Moonwatch is in a black ceramic case with a glossy and matte finish, ceramic dial, and plenty of different finishes.
The movement, visible through the see-through case back, is, again, the in-house Omega caliber 9300, equipped with a column-wheel mechanism and a Si14 silicon balance spring.
The range includes seven references (pictured above is a mix of the most popular), offering different dial, indexes, bezel, and straps options:
- Omega 3220.127.116.11.01.003 Dark Side with a nylon strap and pin buckle, priced at 10,300 Euros
- Omega 318.104.22.168.01.007 Dark Side with a nylon strap and folding buckle, priced at 11200 Euros
- Omega 322.214.171.124.01.004 Pitch Black with a leather strap, priced at 11200 Euros
- Omega 3126.96.36.199.01.005 Black Black with nylon strap, priced at 11200 Euros
- Omega 3188.8.131.52.01.006 Vintage Black with a brown leather strap, priced at 11200 Euros
- Omega 3184.108.40.206.06.001 Sedna Black with a leather strap, priced at 13600 Euros
- Omega 3220.127.116.11.51.001 Dark Side with diamond bezel, priced at 21700 Euros
The Moonwatch Dark Side of the Moon has, in the last two years, welcomed two special editions, one named after the Apollo 8 mission and a similar one celebrating Omega's partnership with Alinghi. Interestingly, they combine a 44,25mm ceramic case with the hand-wound layout of a Moonwatch Professional.
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Gray Side of the Moon
The Omega Moonwatch Gray Side of the Moon is another take on the Dark Side. The gray ceramic case offers an outstanding platinum dial or meteorite pieces if you're opting for a Gray Side of the Moon "Meteorite" Moonwatch.
The latter also comes standard with a beautiful Omega Ceragold™ bezel. Here are the Omega Moonwatch Gray Side of the Moon references:
- Omega 318.104.22.168.99.001 with leather strap and classic buckle, priced at 10,900 Euros
- Omega 322.214.171.124.99.002 with leather strap and folding buckle, priced at 11,700 Euros
and below are the Moonwatch Gray Side of the Moon "Meteorite" references instead:
- Omega 3126.96.36.199.99.002 with leather strap and classic buckle, priced at 13,300 Euros
- Omega 3188.8.131.52.99.001 with leather strap and folding buckle, priced at 14,100 Euros
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch White Side of the Moon
The Moonwatch White Side of the Moon model completes this "Side of the Moon" section and pays homage to our satellite as seen from planet Earth.
The full white ceramic model comes in two references:
- Omega 3184.108.40.206.04.002 with a leather strap, priced at 11,200 Euros
- Omega 3220.127.116.11.55.001 with diamond-encrusted bezel and indexes, for 22,200 Euros.
Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8
Named after Apollo 8's 50th anniversary, this Moonwatch appeared at Baselworld 2018, and we got our hands-on too.
The 44,25mm case is in full black ceramic; the skeleton dial allows you to admire the Omega caliber 1869, an intricate re-engineered and laser-ablated take on the original Omega Calibre 1861, to reproduce the lunar surface's craters. The yellow hands and accents stand out against the black dial. The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Chronograph Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 has Omega reference 318.104.22.168.01.001 and a price of 9,300 Euros.
Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Alinghi
It is the most recent Moonwatch released and has nothing to do with the Moon, preferably with sailing since it carries the Alinghi's insignia. The black ceramic case has a carbon-finish looking skeletonized dial that allows you to admire the caliber 1865, a second laser-ablated take on a standard Omega 1861.
The carbon fiber composite looking details mimic America's Cup's boat's materials, with the red Alinghi standing out here and there on the timepiece. The Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Alinghi has Omega reference 322.214.171.124.01.002 and retails for 10,300 Euros.
Omega Speedmaster Moonphase Co-Axial Master Chronometer Chronograph
Last but not least, a Moonwatch offering moon phases display is more than welcome (did you notice the Moonwatch Professional with moon phase display has been discontinued?). The collection has plenty of references, as many as the colors, ceramic bezels, Liquidmetal™ or Ceragold™, dials, and case materials available. It comes in steel, yellow gold, or 18K Sedna™ Rose Gold and platinum.
The dial is an ode to symmetry given its two counters layout with the moon phase display at six. Powering them is the Omega Caliber 9904 (or the Omega Caliber 9905), a Master Chronometer certified movement. The moon phase display is close to perfection, as it requires a single correction every ten years. Below is a list of all the 13 product references sorted by case material and ascending price:
Steel and gold-steel options:
- Omega 304.33.44.52.01.001 steel, black dial, black leather strap, priced at 9,700 Euros
- Omega 304.33.44.52.03.001 steel, blue dial, blue leather strap, priced at 9,700 Euros
- Omega 304.30.44.52.01.001 steel, black dial, steel bracelet, priced at 10,000 Euros
- Omega 304.23.44.52.13.001 steel and Sedna ™ gold, leather strap, priced at 12,900 Euros
- Omega 304.23.44.52.06.001 steel-yellow gold, leather strap, priced at 12,900 Euros
Omega Blue Side of the Moon in Blue ceramic:
- Omega 304.93.44.52.03.001 leather strap, priced at 12,100 Euros
- Omega 304.93.44.52.03.002 Sedna™ Gold indexes and hands, leather strap, priced at 13,100 Euros
- Omega 304.63.44.52.01.001 Sedna™ Gold, leather strap, priced at 26,600 Euros
- Omega 304.63.44.52.02.001 yellow gold, leather strap, priced at 26,600 Euros
- Omega 304.93.44.52.99.001, red bezel, burgundy leather strap, priced at 46,500 Euros
- Omega 304.93.44.52.99.002, red bezel, gold indexes with rubies, red leather strap, priced at 51,700 Euros
- Omega 304.93.44.52.99.004, blue bezel, gold indexes with diamonds, blue leather strap, priced at 51,700 Euros
- Omega 304.93.44.52.99.003, green bezel, gold indexes with emeralds, green leather strap, priced at 58,900 Euros
For more information, please visit www.omegawatches.com.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Omega Watches, Horbiter®)
Francesco Falcone @Horbiter®