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.
Movement: Omega Caliber 3330, automatic, column-wheel chronograph; officially certified chronometer; 31 jewels; 28,800 vph; co-axial escapement with 3 levels; silicon “si 14” balance spring on Omega free sprung-balance; Nivachoc shock absorber; 52-hour power reserve
Functions: Central hours and minutes; small seconds at 9 o’clock; date at 6 o’clock; chronograph with central seconds hand, 30-minute subdial at 3 o’clock, 12-hour subdial at 6 o’clock
Case: stainless steel with polished and brushed finishes; diameter = 40 mm; thickness = 15.05 mm; stainless steel bezel with matte black aluminium tachymeter ring with grey/yellow scaling; polished crown and pushers; embossed Omega logo on crown; domed, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with nonreflective treatment on both sides; screw-down caseback stamped with seahorse medallion; water-resistant to 100 meters; on rubber strap or patented screw-and-pin steel bracelet with foldover clasp
Dial and hands: Vertically brushed main dial (except matte black, white and red areas) in gray; triangular-Clou de Paris-textured subdials in black; yellow touch hour markers; transferred indices with Super-Luminova; blackened, rhodium-plated or varnished white hour, minute and seconds hands (hour and minute hands with Super-Luminova); blackened, rhodium-plated, varnished yellow or white chronograph hands
Click below for a video of the Omega Speedmaster Racing…
This article was originally published on April 10, 2012, and has been updated.