Since its debut in 1957, Omega’s iconic Speedmaster chronograph, nicknamed “Moonwatch” for its presence on all six NASA lunar missions, sported a tricompax dial arrangement. In 2011, Omega outfitted the watch with a new co-axial movement and bicompax design, both of which are used again in the first Moonwatch with a black ceramic case, unveiled at Baselworld 2013.
The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch “Dark Side of the Moon” derives its name from its black zirconium oxide ceramic dial and matching black ceramic case, which is 44.25 mm in diameter and boasts both brushed and polished finishes. The dial is notable for its applied indices, made of 18k white gold, and the two blackened subdials at 3 o’clock and 6 o’clock. This new bicompax subdial arrangement was first used on the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Co-Axial Chronograph, the first Moonwatch to contain Omega’s in-house chronograph Caliber 9300. As on that model, the subdial at 3 o’clock serves as both the 12-hour and 60-minute counter, using two hands to display the elapsed time intuitively. The small seconds subdial is at 9 o’clock, and the date is displayed on a window at 6 o’clock, the spot occupied by the elapsed-hours subdial in older models. (Click on photos for larger images.)
The hour and minute hands, as well as the hands on both subdials, are also made of 18k white gold. the central chronograph hand is rhodium-plated and ends in a red tip. Omega has coated the hour, minute and chronograph hands, as well as the two small dots at 12 o’clock, with Super-LumiNova for legibility in the dark. The bezel, also made from polished black ceramic, has the Speedmaster’s familiar tachymeter scale, here inscribed in matte chromium nitride. The chronograph pushers are in polished ceramic. The watch, which is water-resistant to 50 meters, has scratch-resistant sapphire crystals in the front and back.
Omega’s Caliber 9300, visible through the caseback, contains a magnetism-resistant silicon balance spring and a co-axial escapement. Certified by COSC as a chronometer, the movement carries a 60-hour power reserve. The words, “DARK SIDE OF THE MOON” are engraved in matte chromium nitride above the caseback crystal. Completing the watch’s black-on-black look is a strap made of black Cordura fabric with a black ceramic buckle. The price of the new black ceramic Speedmaster will be $12,000.