Watch Test: Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon vs. Breitling Chronomat Blacksteel


Two chronographs robed in black and powered by in-house movements — the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon and Breitling Chronomat GMT Blacksteel go head to head in this comparative test. Black cases are all the rage. So are in-house chronograph movements. Omega and Breitling combine both in two new watches that here go head to head: the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon, from Omega, and Breitling’s Chronomat GMT Blacksteel. The Breitling Chronomat was introduced in the 1940s, but the watch’s styling has been continually updated. The Chronomat GMT Blacksteel has a martial look to it: the gigantic, dark, matte-finished, 47-mm case is more than 18 mm thick; the screwed push-pieces and the rotating bezel, with its four applied cursors, look extremely sturdy. The watch weighs a hefty 209 grams. When you wear the Blacksteel, you almost feel as though you belong to a special-ops task force. The steel of the case is called “black,” but it really looks more like dark anthracite. The DLC (diamond-like carbon) coating is relatively scratch-resistant, but it is thin, and harsh treatment can leave silver-colored scratches on it.

The Omega Speedmaster has an illustrious and often-told history: unveiled in 1957, it was chosen for NASA’s manned spaceflight program in the 1960s. The high point of the watch’s space career came in 1969, when Buzz Aldrin wore this model over the sleeve of his spacesuit while strolling across the lunar surface. This new rendition of the Speedmaster is more elegant than other versions thanks to its black case and dial, both made of zirconium dioxide ceramic. The white-gold hands and the applied white-gold indexes, which are coated with Super-LumiNova, look more luxurious than the white hands and applied luminous indexes on other Speedmasters. The black bezel and its tachymeter scale don’t contrast very strongly with the black case. Chrome nitride, which forms an uncommonly hard and very adherent coating, is used for the silver-gray lettering that’s inset along the ceramic bezel.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch “Dark Side of the Moon”
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch “Dark Side of the Moon”
Breitling Chronomat GMT - Blacksteel
Breitling Chronomat GMT Blacksteel
Omega vs. Breitling test
Both watches were disassembled for our in-depth comparative test.

Click here to download the full test article, including scores for each watch, for only $2.99 from the WatchTime online store.

This article first appeared in the June 2014 issue of WatchTime.

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8 Responses to “Watch Test: Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon vs. Breitling Chronomat Blacksteel”

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  1. JOÃO CARLOS MASTROBERTI

    Possuo um Omega Speedmaster Professional Mark II, particularmente não gosto de relogios pretos, mas no caso destes dois modelos, eu prefiro o Breitling, pois possue os tres acumuladores completos.

    Reply
  2. Both are very nice watches, but the Speedmaster has MUCH MUCH more of an edge over the Blacksteel !!

    Lets see:

    Co-Axial Escapement for starters (Although both are in-house)
    Bi-Compax dial allows for a second time zone if you wish.
    A better everyday wearer in terms of both comfort and legibility.
    Omega is lighter and thinner.
    More classic look and for young and old (Cant imagine the Blacksteel on my wrist at 70yo)
    Zirconium Dioxide as opposed to DLC Steel.
    Much more scratch resistant.
    See through case back…….

    Im sure someone can add to this list ??

    Id love to see how they would attempt to polish scratches out of the Blacksteel ??

    The Omega will definitely prove to be a better investment and hold most of its value over time too !!

    MrTissot

    Reply
  3. Funkright

    Speedmaster = understated elegance… Breitling = in your face ostentatiousness

    Reply
    • Both are very nice watches, but the Speedmaster has MUCH MUCH more of an edge over the Blacksteel !!

      Lets see:

      Co-Axial Escapement for starters (Although both are in-house)
      Bi-Compax dial allows for a second time zone if you wish.
      A better everyday wearer in terms of both comfort and legibility.
      Omega is lighter and thinner.
      More classic look and for young and old (Cant imagine the Blacksteel on my wrist at 70yo)
      Zirconium Dioxide as opposed to DLC Steel.
      Much more scratch resistant.
      See through case back…….

      Im sure someone can add to this list ??

      Id love to see how they would attempt to polish scratches out of the Blacksteel ??

      The Omega will definitely prove to be a better investment and hold most of its value over time too !!

      MrTissot

      Reply
  4. Peter weynn

    After less than a month my 826/1000- piece Chrnomat GMT Black Steel arrived, I had to rush send it back to Breitling via it’s authorized dealer due to the sudden death of the watch on July 26, 2014 (5-year warranty). On the top of it, I have had no update on the watch service since then; the dealer had no clue either. Breitling is big with such a service!?

    Reply
  5. MrTissot

    I’ll take the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon over the Breitling Chronomat Blacksteel any day of the week!! The Breitling is too overdone and I would love to see how to polish out a scratch on it. The bi-compax dial arrangement on the Omega allows for a nicer way to have a second time zone also.

    Reply
  6. Anthony

    i wish i could strip the watches down like that, great review just got to love the moonwatch !

    Reply
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