Omega Speedmaster Ultraman Speedytuesday 2
Eiji Tsuburaya's legacy
Lately my guesses about the new OMEGA models have all been quite good (I would rate myself 8 out of 10), and yet I really did not expect that, or at least not this year!
The mysterious origins
In 1966 the black and white Ultra Q television series premiered the long-running cult television series Ultraman from 1967, where the main character is Ultraman: a superhero fighting monsters from space, who can use his super powers for a limited period of time (3 minutes only). What would link the Speedmaster to this TV series? The "mythological" origins of the Speedmaster Ultraman are not very clear; they are still mysterious even for OMEGA.
The Speedy already appeared in the Ultra Q TV series through the 105.003 reference and thanks to the producer Eiji Tsuburaya’s passion for watches and for the Speedmaster. In 1968 OMEGA produced a version of the Speedmaster with an orange central chrono counter; about 3,000 pieces of this timepiece were manufactured and shipped all over the world. In 1971 the sequel to the TV series (The return of Ultraman) aired for the first time in full colour and the main character turned from being black and white to a new colour combination; orange and grey. Possibly it was at this point that it became a bit easier for the producer Tsuburaya to create a link between the series and that Speedmaster that OMEGA had manufactured 3 years earlier and featuring an orange seconds hand...the continuation of that story is known to everybody already; this version of the Speedmaster went to become one of the most popular references among collectors and was renamed the Speedmaster Ultraman!
#SPEEDYTHUESDAY - 2
On 10 July 2018 OMEGA sent an e-mail to its members announcing an imminent piece of news, as confirmed by the post teasers released on the company’s Instagram and Facebook profiles. At 12pm, on the official website of the manufacturer, the Speedmaster Limited Edition 42mm "Ultraman" was placed for sale; it was the second edition of the series "Speedytuesday" limited to 2,012 pieces (2012 is also the year when the hastag #speedytuesday appeared on Instagram for the first time). On the legendary Speedmaster "Ultraman" the orange shades linked it to the Japanese TV series, whereas on this timepiece it is the new limited edition #speedytuesday that runs like a red thread almost to formalize the nickname of its predecessor.
Many details on this watch remind us of the superhero Ultraman; the minutes chronograph scale features the first 3 notches in an orange color to recall the fateful 3 minutes during which Ultraman was gifted with his super powers. The real gem, however, is to be found at 9 o'clock where the small seconds counter hides Ultraman’s face that can be seen only under UV rays with the use of the tool supplied together with the chronograph.
The OMEGA logo used on the dial is the vintage logo also appearing on the 1968 reference and it dominates the orange "Speedmaster" writing. Applied minutes indexes appear on the dial topped by orange dots and a touch of color also comes from the tachymeter scale with its orange "TACHYMETRE" writing. Inside the case we can find the tried-and-tested OMEGA 1861 caliber, while the winding crown also features a vintage logo and a denser gear than that of the classic Speedmaster Professional.
Casing and Retail Price
The case of this limited version is original and very well-done, because it takes up the shape of the hexagonal table used by Ultraman’s monster attack team! Inside the case, in addition to the Speedmaster Limited Edition 42 mm "Ultraman", there are two straps; one in leather with two orange stitching and a NATO strap with a central orange stripe, there is also the strap replacement tool with the UV lamp at its end. In 1 hour 53 minutes and 17 seconds all the specimens were sold online for €6,020. You can still put your name on the waiting list and hope that someone who has booked a timepiece already will change their mind!
(Photo credit: courtesy of Omega Watches)
Matteo Bulla @Horbiter®