Monochrome Monday – Baselworld 2015: Omega Replica Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award

This is the one we (almost) predicted on our Monochrome-Watches blog. We were 90% sure that Omega Replica Hour Vision would come with a new edition of the Snoopy Speedmaster Professional. The one we imagined, however, is quite far from this new Omega Replica Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award ref. 311.32.42.30.04.003. Using the iconic Speedy Pro base, it brings not only a new dial but also several little details that will definitely create a proper collectible edition.

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Before we go into what is new in this Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award, let’s first look at what hasn’t changed. The base of this limited edition (1.970 pieces) is THE classic Omega Speedmaster Professional a.k.a Moonwatch, meaning a 42mm chronograph made in both polished and brushed stainless steel, with a 3-counter layout and deploying the Omega Caliber 1861. Technically speaking, Omega has adhered to nearly the same (and totally superb) recipe since 1965. A Snoopy Award edition of the Speedmaster isn’t a novelty, as Omega introduced a first version (made in 5441 pieces) in 2003 – that showed a patch with Snoopy sketched in the sub-counter at 9 and a specific caseback.

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For Baselworld 2015, Omega is coming with a new edition that celebrates the 45th Anniversary of the unfortunate Apollo 13 mission. Why Snoopy though? “On April 17, 1970, the world watched as the Apollo 13 Command Module landed in the Pacific Ocean after an unexpected crisis occurred 200,000 miles away from Earth. The mission was aborted and the astronauts completed a number of mid-course corrections in order to achieve the trajectory that would allow them to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere. Both the Apollo 13 crew members and Omega Replica Constellation received the Silver Snoopy Award (a NASA mascot) in recognition of its contributions to the entire Apollo program.”

The 2015 edition of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award shows a black & white color scheme and several details that recall the space mission and the award. The dial shows a white background with black inscriptions and hands. The indexes are luminous white plots with top cavities filled with black varnish. The small-second sub-counter at 9 o’clock shows the NASA mascot Snoopy saying “Failure is not an option”.

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Something else is also highly noticeable: on the 14 seconds scale starting from 0 is written “what could you do in 14 seconds?” – a reference to the length of the thrust the astronauts needed to achieve in order to set the module on its orbit. The bezel is also specific to this Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award edition. Even if it might look similar to the classic Moonwatch, this one is made of Polished black ceramic [ZrO2] with a Super-LumiNova tachymeter scale.

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The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award also comes with a dedicated caseback. Protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal is a 925 silver medallion that resembles the pin that accompanied the Silver Snoopy Award that OMEGA received in 1970. The silver Snoopy is mounted on a plate of the same material and is surrounded by dark blue enamel.

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Finally, the strap of this new Speedmaster Snoopy differs from the one found on the classic edition; this one has a black coated nylon fabric strap with white stitching, reinforced around the holes and featuring a foldover clasp. The Omega Replica Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award will be produced in a limited edition of 1,970 pieces with the reference 311.32.42.30.04.003. Price is to be revealed soon.

Fratello Classics: 4 Vintage Omega Replica Watches Under $1,000

Omega Constellation Reference 2852 10SC, ca.1961

Let’s start with a couple of Constellation models you should be able to source for under a grand. Although this watch looks a bit used, worn, or perhaps even “damaged,” some might appreciate its “patina.” Although I am not too fond of dials that are scarred, this one does show that the watch has seen a bit of the world. This piece reminds me of an old, comfy-looking leather Chesterfield couch. This is an early 1960s model that has a Caliber 505 movement. These first series of Caliber 50x movements came right after their bumper movements (Caliber 354 and so on) and are considered to be solid performers. After the 50x series, Omega Replica Speedmaster came up with the 55x and 56x movements, which are improved versions. Just like all other Constellation watches of that period, this one was chronometer-rated. The dial has the “officially certified chronometer” wording and the movement has “adjusted to 5 positions and temperatures” engraved.  This reference 2852 10SC Constellation has a 35-mm case diameter and has the fancy lugs and and 10-sided winding crown. The dial has quite a bit of patina, but is still very readable, with large dauphine hands. It’s not shown in the pictures, but on the caseback of this Constellation (as on all the current models, as well, I believe) is an embossing of an observatory. This particular model has a gold emblem on the back, with the Geneva observatory.

Omega Constellation Ref. 2852

Omega Constellation ‘C’ Model reference 168.017 ca.1968

Later in the 1960s, Omega  came up with a different case design for the Constellation collection. While the famous round “pie-pan” models were still available during the time, Omega also introduced the “C”-shaped model. The one I picked is Reference 168.017. It contains automatic Caliber 564, which has a quick-set feature. This model appears to be larger than the round models, mainly due to the integrated lugs, but is also just 35-mm in diameter. It certainly wears larger, though. You will also be able to find these models from a later period with a 300-Hz tuning-fork movement.

Although the case shape is a bit peculiar for today’s tastes, perhaps, the dial is something you should pay attention to. It has a very nice texture, which is a bit difficult to see in the picture, and the stick-shaped hour markers have onyx inlays. The caseback has the Geneva Observatory emblem, of course.

As you can see on the picture of the movement, the gold-copper finish is very nice to look at. If you are going to buy a vintage Omega with a similar caliber, make sure to have a peek at the movement before you buy. Some of them have green spots (moisture) or patina (also moisture) and if there are too many of these spots, I would leave the watch alone.

Omega Constellation Ref. 168017SP - front

Omega Seamaster De Ville 166.020 ca.1968

Before the De Ville became a stand-alone collection of watches, Omega Replica  Constellation used this name for some of the dress watches in its Seamaster collection. A number of these Seamaster dress watches actually are not that much different from the Constellation watches, except that the Constellation models always had chronometer-certified movements and the cases were a bit fancier.

This Seamaster De Ville also has an automatic caliber (565) and has a gold-capped case. Do not mistake this for a plaque or double; it is more like a shell of solid gold that goes over a stainless-steel case. You could say these were the two-tone watches of that era. Unfortunately, the watch in this photo does not have an original crown (it is unsigned and slightly too big) but with a bit of luck you might find either an original spare crown, or even a model with the correct crown. The stainless steel caseback has the Seamaster logo and Seahorse image embossed.

Omega Seamaster Deville Ref 166020

Omega Genève Chronostop ca.1970

Omega’s Genève collection is a bit odd, to be honest. It was used as a label for all different sorts of watches, from dress watches like the ones above to sporty watches such as the Genève Dynamic models of the 1970s. One of the Genève models I really like is the Chronostop watch. It was hard to find one under $1,000, as the model is relatively popular for a small-cased watch, but I managed to do so.

This particular watch’s movement is Caliber 865, based on Lemania Caliber 2225. It has a monopusher chronograph function. As you can see, the watch has only one pusher, which is used to start, pause (not stop), and reset the red seconds hand. By pushing it once, the chronograph hand starts to run. If you want to stop the time, you have to push it and keep it down. If you release the button, it will reset to zero again.

Omega Genève Chronostop

Other Omega Replica De Ville Watches that would fit the $1,000 bill include the 1970s Omega Genève Dynamic, a gold-capped Omega Seamaster Calendar with the date aperture at 6 o’clock, and a number of other Constellation and Seamaster references. One of the fun parts of the quest is the challenge of finding one that’s the right watch for you and also in good shape. Give up any hopes to find a Constellation or Seamaster in gold, or to get one with box, papers and original invoice, for this kind of money. However, if you do come across one, do not hesitate.

Omega Replica Globemaster

On Wednesday 18 March, Omega Replica De Ville hosted a highly attended event at Basel’s von Bartha art gallery where the brand unveiled the highlight of its new collection and the certification that makes it such a revolutionary timepiece. The Globemaster, with its iconic pie-pan dial and fluted bezel, is the world’s first Master Chronometer – it is the first mechanical timepiece to not only exceed the standards established by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC) but also pass the stringent tests that are part of the certification process approved by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (Metas).

Omega announced that it would be working with Metas to develop the new certification process, which includes testing the watch and its movement in magnetic fields of 15,000 gauss, at a press conference in December of 2014. The unveiling of the eight criteria that a watch must pass in order to achieve Master Chronometer status is the follow-up to the news that Omega and Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek shared with the public last year.

Stephen Urquhart, president of Omega, explained some of the brand’s major milestones and described how important innovation, implementation and industrialization are for Omega.

Alluding to the press conference Omega held in December, Mr Urquhart said: “Some of you might have been with us in Geneva in December where we announced a new certification process and a new quality standard for watchmaking in general and for Omega. Now we have finalized that whole process and to make this process really meaningful we have a watch that we decided to launch which will be the flagship of the Omega brand in the future.”

Omega Vice President of Product and Customer Service Jean-Claude Monachon presented the Metas certification process and described the Globemaster in more detail. He explained that the eight stars on the caseback of the watch not only signify eight of the most important precision records that Omega’s movements set in the 1940s and 1950s, they also represent the eight tests a watch must pass to become a Master Chronometer.

The symbolic use of these eight stars and the eight certification criteria show that Omega Replica Hour Vision aims to offer its customers only the best when it comes to precision, he said.

Following Mr Urquhart’s and Mr Monachon’s presentations, the guests were welcomed into an area with showcases displaying the vintage models that inspired the Globemaster and the full Globemaster collection. Writing on the walls surrounding the displays described the Globemaster timepieces and outlined the criteria a watch and its movement must pass in order to become certified as a Master Chronometer.

The exhibition also included an interactive station where guests could learn about the strength of the magnetic fields of objects they use on a daily basis and they could even measure the magnetic fields of their personal items, like cell phones, tablets, cameras or handbag clasps.

The Globemaster

Created in the true spirit of Omega, the Globemaster houses the brand’s most advanced mechanical movement and features a design inspired by early Constellation models that represent horological expertise and Omega’s legacy of precision and outstanding performance. Each watch is certified through a series of independent tests – a revolutionary process that establishes a new quality standard in the watch industry.

Two design features that define the Globemaster are its dial, which is created in a style that watch collectors have long referred to as a pie-pan dial, and the “fluted” bezel, an element that has decorated several famous Constellation watches.

Omega’s history also influenced the Globemaster’s caseback. Representing the precision awards that the watchmaker received for the outstanding performance of its movements during the famous chronometer observatory trials in the 1940s and 1950s is a medallion stamped with an image of a cupola of an observatory where the precision competitions took place. Eight stars in the sky above the observatory symbolize the most important precision records that Replica Omega Seamaster set and, reflecting how the brand’s commitment to quality has endured, the stars also signify the eight Metas-certified criteria that a timepiece and its movement must pass in order to receive Master Chronometer status.

Omega Replica- Speedmaster ‘57 revisited

In 2013, Omega Replica Seamaster unveiled an upgrade of the original Speedmaster of 1957. With its Co-Axial movement and classic design, the watch was an instant hit as it combined the best of both aesthetics and mechanics. This year, the brand has revisited the timepieces and created a new model that, while boasting several updated features, remains loyal to the style of the watch that has continued to be an icon in the industry for more than half a century.

The 41.5 mm stainless steel Speedmaster ’57 has a polished and brushed casebody that is complemented by its brushed bezel, which features the tachymeter scale that is at once associated with the chronographs in this legendary watch family. Protected by a box-form scratch-resistant sapphire crystal is a black dial with white and beige transferred dial indications. Distinguishing this model from its 2013 counterpart are the recessed hour markers that are partially filled with “vintage“ Super-LumiNova that emits a green light.

Another design element that sets this timepiece apart from its latest predecessor but creates a tighter link to the Omega Replica Speedmaster original Speedmaster is the look of the hands. The polished facetted rhodium-plated central hour and minute hands have been created in the “Broad Arrow” style and are coated with Super-LumiNova. Alpha-shaped hands can be found in the small 60-minute and 12-hour recorder at 3 o’clock and the small seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock.

This inspired timepiece is presented on either a brown leather strap with a polished and brushed stainless steel foldover clasp or OMEGA’s patented brushed and polished stainless steel screw-and-pin bracelet with a butterfly clasp. The Omega Replica Constellation Co-Axial calibre 9300 is visible through the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal caseback. The reliability and accuracy of this extraordinary mechanical movement is such that the Speedmaster ’57 is offered with a full four-year warranty. As with all the timepieces in the Speedmaster family, this watch is water resistant to 10 bar (100 metres / 330 feet).