Before Omega’s legendary Speedmaster watch was worn by astronauts on the moon — and thus forever linked to space exploration and assigned the nickname “Moonwatch” — it was much more closely associated with the decidedly earthbound activity of automobile racing. In fact, when Omega introduced the first Speedmaster in 1957, it designed the watch’s dial to resemble the dashboard of that era’s Italian sports cars. Motorsports and rally drivers prized the Speedmaster for its chronograph capability and for the fact that it was the first chronograph watch that positioned its tachymeter scale on the bezel rather than the dial.
The Omega Speedmaster Racing, on the market since 2012, is a return to the brand’s automotive roots. Its got a 40-mm steel case with a matte black tachymeter ring, made of aluminum, on the bezel. The type on the tachymeter scale is in either gray or gray/yellow or gray/red combos. Omega’s familiar seahorse emblem is featured on the solid steel caseback. (Click on pictures below for larger images.)
The chronograph subdials, also available in several color schemes, sport a triangular Clous de Paris pattern. The 30-minute counter is at 3 o’clock; the 12-hour counter is at 6 o’clock; and the small seconds display is at 9 o’clock. There is also a date window at the 6 o’clock position; Omega includes a date corrector tool with each watch.
The movement inside the Speedmaster racing is Omega’s in-house Caliber 3330, with a column-wheel chronograph mechanism, a silicon balance spring and the brand’s trademark co-axial escapement. Omega is so confident about the watch’s timekeeping performance and reliability — the movement has been certified as a chronometer by the Swiss testing agency COSC — that it delivers it with a four-year warranty.
The watch comes on a steel bracelet or a black rubber strap with a distinctive embossed pattern that bring to mind the treads of a race car’s tires — just another way the Swiss brand is putting the “speed” back in its Speedmaster. Both the rubber-strap and steel-bracelet versions of the Speedmaster Racing retail for $4,800.