On the heels of its new releases at Baselworld 2018, Omega has announced that it is launching a new version of the historically inspired Speedmaster CK 2998 model that made its original debut in 2016. Based on a model that hit the market in the pre-Moonwatch year of 1959, and featuring a new color scheme and new pulsometer bezel that distinguishes it from its recent predecessor, this year’s version of the CK 2998 is this week’s Watch to Watch.
The new Omega Speedmaster CK 2998 Limited Edition features the vintage hallmarks of its recent forerunner — the Alpha-shaped hands; symmetrical 39.7-mm stainless steel case with alternating brushed and polished finishes; and a dark-colored bezel made of polished ceramic with white enamel markings. Where this edition (which is limited to 2,998 pieces worldwide) varies from the 2016 model is in the coloring of the chronograph subdials, minute track, bezel and strap, which are black rather than dark blue, and in the presence of a pulsometer scale, rather than the auto-racing-style tachymeter scale, on the bezel. The latter is a callback to the original models, which were offered by Omega with a choice of four different bezel-scale options: tachymeter, pulsometer, decimal, or telemeter. (Does this hint that we will see further variations on this vintage design on future models? Time will tell, though one would be advised not to bet against it in this vintage-crazed market.) Another bit of historical trivia about the Speedmaster CK 2998: though it predates the reference that ultimately became known as the “Moonwatch” after it was famously worn by astronauts during the moon landing in 1969, it was this reference that was worn by astronaut Wally Schirra during 1962’s Mercury “Sigma 7” mission, thus making it the first Omega watch taken into space.
A sand-blasted finish gives the silvery dial, and the rhodium-plated subdial hands, their subtly gritty texture; the blackened Alpha” hour and minute hands are coated with Super-LumiNova, along with the similarly blackened hour indices. The central chronograph seconds hand stands out against this “Panda” dial layout with its red varnished finish. As was the 2016 CK 2998 Limited Edition, this watch is powered by a historical Speedmaster movement, the manual-winding Caliber 1861, which has a 21,600-vph frequency and a 48-hour power reserve and ticks behind a solid, screw-down caseback engraved with the collection’s classic Seahorse medallion (a throwback to the Speedmaster’s earliest days as an offshoot line of the Seamaster), a “SPEEDMASTER” engraving, and the watch’s limited-edition number.
The Omega Speedmaster CK 2998 Limited Edition is presented on a micro-perforated (as in the style of vintage auto racing gloves) black leather strap with a white rubber interior and red contrast stitching. Priced at $5,850, it will be available this month at Omega boutiques and select online outlets.