Watch Test: Omega Speedmaster Mark II


Omega Speedmaster Mark IIThe Omega Speedmaster Mark II, launched in 1969, was a more streamlined, spiffier version of the Speedmaster that landed on the moon that year. Now Omega has brought the Mark II back. We test the new version of the Omega Speedmaster Mark II in “A Sleeker Speedy”.

 

Omega introduced the Speedmaster Mark II in 1969. It was a sleeker, more modern-looking version of the original Speedmaster, which, chosen by NASA for use by astronauts in the Apollo project, had visited the moon earlier that year. The Mark II had a streamlined case, an updated bracelet, and two dial variations: one in black and white and the other in gray, with orange elapsed-time hands and a bright orange- red checkerboard minutes circle. This was what Omega called the “racing” version. This year, after 45 years, Omega has brought out a new edition of the Mark II that looks surprisingly like the original. It has a similar satin-finished barrel-shaped case with integrated lugs, a three-part steel bracelet with domed links, and a classic Speedmaster dial layout. And like the original, it comes in two dial variations: a black-and-white version and a gray “racing” one with fluorescent orange elapsed-time hands and 5-minute indexes. The case is 42.4 mm by 46.2 mm, not much larger than the 41.75 mm by 45 mm of the older model. We tested the racing version of the new Mark II.

Omega Speedmaster Mark II - front

As on the first Mark II, the tachymeter scale is printed on the underside of the crystal in order to protect it from blows and abrasion. But unlike the tachymeter scale on the older model, this one glows in the dark. To accomplish this, transparent numerals and markers are printed on a black ring on the crystal. Underneath is an aluminum ring coated with Super- LumiNova. The tachymeter numerals and markers shine through the transparent portions of the scale. The hour and minutes hands are also coated with Super-LumiNova, as is the arrow-shaped tip of the central chronograph hand. The time and the elapsed time are easy to read on the original version of the Mark II so these displays have been altered very little. One change that has been made is the addition of a date display. It is located at 6 o’clock and is integrated into the elapsed-hours counter, which can tally up to 12-hour intervals. The sapphire crystal is also a new feature: the original model had a mineral glass crystal.

The bracelet was upgraded by adding a concealed extension piece, patented by Omega, which is integrated into the clasp. It allows the bracelet to expand in approximately two-centimeter increments each time you press a button on the inner surface of the clasp. You can lengthen the bracelet by nearly 10 cm. Despite this handy feature, the wearing comfort of the Mark II could be better. We found the case to be somewhat top-heavy, and the raised seahorse insignia and Speedmaster lettering engraved on the caseback caused some discomfort.

Omega Speedmaster Mark II - back

Click here to download the full test article, including complete specs, final scores and prices for the Omega Speedmaster Mark II — plus more great original photos of the watch by Nik Schölzel — for only $2.99 from the WatchTime online store.

2 Responses to “Watch Test: Omega Speedmaster Mark II”

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  1. Meir Barac

    Very nice & interesting. But not everybody likes 43-45 mm’ even if its modern. Depends allso on one’s wrist. All other detsils are beautiful!

    Reply
  2. Debashish

    It is a fantastic timepiece and I plan to buy the new version shortly.

    Reply
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