Omega have revealed their latest Limited Edition Speedmaster watch at the 2010 Baselworld exhibition. Perpetuating their enduring association with all aspects of man's achievements in space, this new piece, the Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo-Soyuz is released as a tribute to the first international space flight on the 35th Anniversary of the event.
The Omega Speedmaster, despite it's age, remains an essential element of the brand's range of models and wears it's years remarkably well, being in most part true to the 1957 original. However, the new edition is a striking interpretation indeed and to underline this as well as commemorating the historic 44-hour unison in space of the US Apollo module and Soviet Russia's Soyuz on July 17, 1975, it's dial is made from a material rarely found anywhere on earth - meterorite!
The crazed texturing on each dial of the 1975 pieces is unique to that watch, as naturally no two sections of meteorite can be the same, so each piece is truly one-of-a-kind! Being made from a single piece of the meterorite, Omega have achieved the light/dark contrast of the dial and it's subdials by preserving the oxidised blackened outer 'crust', created under the ferocious temperatures endured during the metallic space rock's entry into the earth's atmosphere, and for the recessed subsidiary dials, we see the natural colour of the meterorite. The dial is further enhanced by the subtle use of red detailing on the tip of the chrono seconds hand and in it's 'Speedmaster' motif.
On the caseback there's a cool motif of the two spacecraft with the names of the astronauts Lieutenant General Thomas Stafford, Vance Brand and Donald K 'Deke' Slayton and the cosmonauts Lieutenant General Valeri Kubasov and Alexei Leonov. Each case is engraved with the edition number ****/1975.
I have to confess to writing this article while wearing my first real watch, a 2005 Gemini 4, First Spacewalk 40th Anniversary Speedy Professional - the one with the blue dial - so it would be fair to say that I have more than a fondness for the Speedmaster. The new Apollo-Soyuz edition is a stunning stainless steel watch and features a sapphire crystal, as opposed to the non-scratch resistant hesalite. It's 42mm diameter case houses the legendary Calibre 1861 hand-wound movement.
Price expected to be around €6400 or $7500 with availability from July (but you'd want your name on it sooner if you want one!). It's a thing of beauty to my eyes, but that's a lot for a steel Speedmaster. But the other side of the coin is it's exclusivity and collectability. Unless Omega use meterorite in further editions, this one could be a keeper with a premium in the coming years.
Do make sure to click on the images to enlarge, then click the enlargement to supersize so you can get a great look at this fab watch.