Omega Speedmaster Mark II Watch Review | aBlogtoWatch


Watch review: Omega Speedmaster MKII


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You’ve got to feel sorry for the folk who designed the Omega Speedmaster MkII. It was the late 1960s, and they’d been given the brief of a lifetime. Work with NASA! Design a space watch! Send it to the Moon! They came up with a brilliant solution: a space-ready timepiece that Neil Armstrong et al could rely on if things went a bit Apollo 13 with the electronic gizmos up there on the lunar surface.

But when it came to picking a watch for their trips to the Moon, NASA’s finest turned their noses up at it, opting instead for the original Speedmaster.

The problem the designers had was that the original Speedy had been going into space since 1965, having survived a barrage of NASA tests the rest of the competition failed. By the time the MkII was launched in 1969, the Apollo astronauts were in no mood to chop in their trusty Speedmaster, which went on to become the famous ‘Moonwatch’. The MkII, meanwhile, never made it beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.

Which must have hurt, because it was the first watch designed specifically for space travel – and it was good. Working with NASA, Omega’s designers had tapered the case into a barrel shape, tucking the crown and push pieces in to make it more streamlined. They’d also put the tachymeter under the glass and integrated the steel bracelet into the case, doing away with the lugs. All of which made it less likely to catch on and tear a spacesuit.

On top of that, they’d brushed all the steel to reduce glare from the sun and flattened the crystal so it would be less likely to chip or break when bashed into a metal doorframe as the astronauts floated about in zero gravity. It was, in short, a far better space watch than the Speedmaster Buzz Aldrin wore when he took his first steps onto the lunar surface, making it the first watch worn on the Moon. But just six years after launch, the MkII fizzled out, never to be heard of again.

Until now. Omega’s relaunched retro stunner now has an automatic chronograph calibre (the original was hand-wound) that’s also chronometer certified for accuracy and loaded with the brand’s ultra-efficient Co-Axial technology and a low-friction, antimagnetic silicon balance wheel. There are two versions to pick from. One has the conventional black Speedmaster dial, with chronograph subdials at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock; the other the ‘racing dial’, with natty red detailing.





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Date: 02.12.2018, 07:44 / Views: 61434