Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch CK2998 Limited Edition - A dream comes true at Baselworld 2016
Its name is Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch CK2998 Limited Edition and that particular alphanumeric code indicates that Omega have decided to rewrite their history backward, going from 1969 back to 1957, with the very same intensity and enthusiasm that they used to project the Speedmaster into the future. The year 1969 represented a turning point for the Speedmaster, it was its highest moment of glory and the beginning of its subsequent commercial success.
An outstanding sports chrono had just become a worldwide legend but today, it is mainly the biggest collectors rather than normal human beings, who are aware of what happened before 20th July 1969. Reference number “2998” was the first successor of reference number “2915”, the very first Speedmaster that was produced between 1957 and 1959 and that is now the most sought after timepiece among all the still working Speedemasters. That particular watch featured a symmetric case, straight, elongated lugs and push buttons, it was then replaced by reference number “2998” that introduced us all to alpha hands and, in some cases, even to the central “lollipop” seconds hand.
The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch CK2998 Limited Edition is the re-edition of that specific series, where, according to the manufacturer's internal coding, the CK acronym included all those models that sported a steel case. At least from an aesthetic point of view, that particular model is not to be mistaken for the watch that Wally Schirra wore during the Sigma 7 mission in 1962. That's the very reason why, despite the two timepiece models being very similar, Omega decided not to call the CK2998 model “First Omega in Space”. I was very glad to see that, a few years ago, Omega opted for the relaunch of the First Omega in Space and last year, the same watch was revamped even further and was given a Sedna Gold case and a “panda” dial. It was a pretty smart, although timid, move by the manufacturer, because it was also a great way to tell us the story of this timepiece's origin and of its worldwide success.
If we were to consider the First Omega in Space as the first prototype, we can then clearly notice the apparent similiarity between this timepiece and the Moonwatch. For all those people, who don't own the book that tells the story of this brand, it might look complicated to spot the differences between the two models. The second edition released in 2015 has completely revamped this series and has contributed to the fame of this timepiece by transforming it from the Cinderella of the new 2015 models to the new star of the year 2016.
The “panda” dial sports three flat counters crafted in a light blue colour, the same shade has been used for the ring of the chapter ring. The bezel is made of ceramic and the alpha hands are linked to a central “lollipop” seconds counter that has been filled with SuperLuminova. The dial also features applied indexes, whose endings have also been filled with green luminescent material, the same can be said for the tachometric scale, something that would be virtually impossible on a stock Speedmaster.
The size of the case is pretty typical and it measures 39,7mm, the crystal is a sapphire glass box that features quite a unique characteristic; it has an extremely high bending radius that terminates in an ultra-flat central part. When I wore the Omega Moonwatch CK2998 Limited Edition yesterday, I experienced the exact same sensation that I enjoyed one year ago, when I got to try on the First Omega in Space Sedna Gold; a perfectly symmetric case, a rich dial that doesn't look crowded, contrasting registers and lugs that do not actually cover the case but that are rather elongated and straight and terminate on a leather strap with a pin buckle.
The only negative note about this timepiece is its availability in the market – the retail price has not been disclosed yet – because, as the name clearly suggests, the manufacturer will only craft 2998 copies of it, but it looks like all of them have been pre-booked already, the same thing that happened when the Snoopy was launched. Whatever marketing strategy the manufacturer has decided to adopt, the Omega Moonwatch CK2998 Limited Edition is, in my opinion, a dream come true. This watch is one of the most fascinating three-counters in the world, it is one timepiece that even those collectors who are used to buying and selling their items on a regular basis, would never get rid of and, as it often happens on similar occasions, this watch is also one of the most difficult pieces to get your hands on.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting by Entropik)
Gaetano C @Horbiter