While most watchmakers today are content to simply replicate a vintage look in a modern timepiece, Omega replica recently went to uncommon lengths to recreate one of its famously space-tested Speedmaster watches.
Four years before the 1969 moon landing, American astronaut Ed White became the second person ever to perform a spacewalk. He did it with two Speedmasters that each showed a different time zone. To revive the long-discontinued caliber 321 manually wound movement that powered these watches, Omega used tomographic imaging to scan a vintage example. The brand then opened a workshop dedicated to meticulously duplicating the movement, assigning a single watchmaker to assemble each new caliber 321-based Speedmaster watch by hand.
The new 321, which replicates a movement that’s been out of production for 50 years down to its tiniest detail, now powers a thoroughly modern chronograph. And though the watch is based on a reference that preceded Swiss movement fake Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch, it satisfies those ardent fans who have long been waiting for an authentic modern Speedy.
The new Omega Speedmaster copy for men is remarkably faithful to the original, but Omega isn’t trying to fool anyone into thinking it’s a vintage model. Watches of the sixties hid their movements behind solid case backs; here, however, Omega proudly displays the modern caliber 321 through a transparent window, and features like a sapphire crystal and a ceramic bezel are welcome upgrades — even if they aren’t historically accurate.
The one letdown is that while the Speedmasters of the 1960s were purely pragmatic tools, the modern Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 fake with stainless steel case is a collector’s dream, and therefore priced accordingly at over $14,000.
Movement: Omega caliber 321 mechanical
Water Resistance: 50m