From Monochrome Watches

Hands-On With the Omega Speedmaster “Lunar Dust”


In honor of yesterday’s 47th anniversary of the moon landing, we re-present this comprehensive hands-on review of the ceramic-cased Omega Speedmaster Lunar Dust edition, released in 2014, by our colleagues at the online magazine Monochrome Watches.

Omega Speedmaster Lunar Dust

Monochromatic watches have been one of the major trends in the watchmaking industry in recent years, especially with the use of black-DLC coated cases, with sometimes questionable results. Although we’re not the biggest fans of all-black watches, we have to admit that Omega’s use of the look on the Speedmaster was interesting. First of all, the color scheme works great on the Dark Side of the Moon, and the concept of a ceramic watch has been pushed to the extreme: the case, crown, pushers, caseback, buckle and even the dial are made of that same material. And this interpretation, a “declination of grey,” is a nice alternative for those who want a brighter color.

Omega Speedmaster Lunar Dust

The Omega Speedmaster Lunar Dust shares its 44.25-mm case and technical specifications with the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon. The case is made from a solid block of white ceramic that is treated with a plasma technology. We’re not talking about a surface coating here, but a deep treatment that tints the entire ceramic: if you cut the case in half, you’ll see that the gray tone goes all the way through. What that means is no risk of fading colors or of seeing traces of white after the case has been scratched (something that will probably never happen anyway, because ceramic is nearly scratch-proof). On the photo below, you can see the different steps of manufacturing.

Omega Speedmaster Lunar Dust - tray

The color obtained through the process is a metallic gray, darker than stainless steel or titanium, reminding us of the color of a moon stone. The difference between the entirely black “Dark Side of the Moon” and the “Lunar Dust” is that the dial on the latter is made of a solid piece of platinum that is finely textured and is a bit iridescent. The bezel, crown, pushers, caseback and pin buckle on both models are made of ceramics. The hands and indices, with the classical Speedmaster Professional design, are black colored and filed with Super-LumiNova. Even the engraved tachymeter on the bezel is filled with Super-LumiNova.

Omega Speedmaster Lunar Dust

 

The Lunar Dust features Omega’s in-house Caliber 9300, a self-winding movement that is also used in the Moonwatch Chronograph and the Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph that we reviewed for you here. It features:

  • an integrated chronograph function (meaning that all the levers and gears are not in a module on top of a base movement, but are fully integrated into the movement’s construction)
  • a silicon balance spring that is antimagnetic
  • the co-axial escapement that allows very good chronometric performance and the COSC chronometer certification
  • two mainspring barrels that deliver more than 60 hours of power reserve
  • a column wheel and a vertical clutch system to engage the chronograph

The movement, visible through the caseback with boxed sapphire crystal, is finished with elegant arabesque Geneva waves. Like the IWC Portuguese Chronograph Classic we reviewed a few weeks ago, it’s a two-register chronograph that indicates the elapsed minutes and hours on a single subdial. It’s not very easy to see in these photos, but there are two hands (one for the elapsed hours, one for the elapsed minutes) in the subdial at 3 o’clock.

Omega Speedmaster Lunar Dust - movement

This movement has not yet benefited from the new antimagnetic technologies, like those used in eight new Master Co-Axial calibers, which are able to resist to magnetic fields up to 15,000 Gauss. The Omega Speedmaster Lunar Dust comes with a matching gray alligator strap. The case is larger than the classical Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional, as it measures 44.25 mm in diameter vs. 42 mm for the older, more iconic version, but has the exact same design. On the wrist however, it wears smaller than expected, probably due to the short lugs. It also feels very light, obviously owing to the use of ceramics. The gray case, dial and strap create a very monochromatic — and very original — color scheme. The Lunar Dust makes a great alternative to the all-black Dark Side of the Moon; which do you prefer?

omega speedmaster dark side of the moon lunar dust - 9

The Lunar Dust is priced at 10,500 Swiss francs (about $11,720, currently) before taxes, approximately 500 francs more than the black version.

This article was originally published in 2014 and has been updated.

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12 Responses to “Hands-On With the Omega Speedmaster “Lunar Dust””

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  1. Will Arthur

    My father had an omega on his arm for 50 years until his death. I think I am the only one of his children to understand the quality and always admired his watch. His watch was borrowed by a relative to have it cleaned and that is the end of that story. However, I decided to honor him and his loyalty to omega for all those years by purchasing my own grey side of the moon a year and a half ago. It is interesting how very few people realize that it is any more than a ten dollar watch from the dime store. But every once in a while, someone will notice. Anyway, I really love the watch and I can’t help but think my father somehow knows and I think he is smiling down upon me.

    Reply
  2. Ed Prusz

    I love the Omega moon watches but would love to get the Apollo 13 Snoopy watch. It is hard to find. How can I get one?

    Reply
    • The come up on eBay, mostly Japanese sellers with really good feedback ratings. Keep an eye on Crown&Caliber. I think I remember them having one awhile back. I have an Apollo 13 30th anniversary Speedy. I’d also like to have the Snoopy but it’s out of my price range now.

      Reply
  3. Frits van der Veer

    Hi Frank

    Thanks for the nice review. Love the lunar!
    Would you recommend running the chronograph 24/7, or would you advise against it?
    I would like to use the dail at 3 as a second time zone.

    Reply
  4. MrTissot

    I truly love both these watches and love Omega and where they are headed. These watches are both created out of such great technological advancement both in regards to timekeeping and materials, but I must admit that I too am one of those enthusiasts that asks the question “Are they really Speedmasters?” I think Omega have really created something special and amazing with these two models and could have used the new bi-compax arrangement combined with automatic co-axial movement as a GREAT reason to name them something else! I don’t believe they are Speedmasters!
    Others may beg to differ but that’s my opinion.

    Anyway, I would wear the ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ for casual occasions and the ‘Grey Side of the Moon’ or ‘Lunar Dust’ as I prefer it for more formal events.

    Reply
  5. Hector Peña

    Beautiful watch, but a little bigger for my 16,5 wrist. My top size is 41mm. and I won´t buy a watch that I not feel good on my wrist.

    Reply
    • I agree, Hector. I think it’s beautiful, and while my wrist fits right in the middle of a standard band (7″) I don’t like how anything above 42mm looks on it. Short lugs or no, this one is out no matter how pretty it is.

      I wish they would do something like this in a 42mm or even a 40mm like some of the other moon watches. I’d be buying one up pretty quickly at that level, but won’t even consider it at 44mm+.

      Reply
      • I actually tried on the Dark Side of the Moon at an Omega Boutique. While 44.25mm sounds big, it surprisingly wore much smaller on my wrist. The main problem with it is the case thickness. At 16mm, it is quite hard to fit under a cuff and truly makes it stand out in a very bad way. Hence, I opted for the classic Professional edition instead.

        Reply
  6. Martin Dawson

    Looks nice, some great technology and advancements (ie ceramic) but is it really a Speedmaster? I think its a totally different watch. like a BMW Mini is as far removed from a BL Mini. Prefer my Speedmaster Snoopy…

    Reply
  7. BadgerHeel

    Based on the pictures, this looks great. I have a 9300 and have tried on a DOSM and liked it too. But a light colored dial like this seems pretty unique and will probably be popular. Price is the only negative but it is ceramic with a proven in house movement. Like everything, the market will decide

    Reply
  8. Greg Brindley

    Great description. The more I read, the more I liked the watch. The final side-by-side between the Dark and Lunar really tells the story and I have to admit I am somewhat taken by the monochrome look.

    Reply
  9. gorgon777

    I want both! I like them both, the black I would say is more sporty with the Lunar dust being a little more formal. Does the lunar dust sit as high as the dark side? This is due to the crystal at the bottom of the watch not being flat but having some height to it.

    Reply
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