Precious Metal Meets Retro Charm: Omega Kicks Off 2022 with Vintage-Inspired Speedmaster Calibre 321

The very first Omega Speedmaster, Ref. CK2915-1, hit the market in 1957, aimed at racing drivers with its first-ever use of a tachymeter-scale bezel, an innovation that changed the course of wristwatch chronograph design. For the model’s 65th anniversary in 2022, Omega has unveiled a revival of that groundbreaking timepiece, with a case and bracelet in the brand’s proprietary Canopus Gold, faithful in many respects to its vintage ancestor including in its choice of movement. Here is the lowdown on Omega’s first major launch of the new year, the Omega Speedmaster Calibre 321.

Omega Speedmaster Calibre 321 in Canopus Gold

The 18k Canopus Gold used for the watch’s period-appropriate 38.6-mm case is Omega’s own exclusive white-gold alloy that has been engineered for high levels of brilliance, whiteness, and longevity. The dial, with the classical “Broad Arrow” handset that debuted on the original 1957 model, is in deep black onyx with an applied, vintage-style Omega logo in a font that includes an oval-shaped “O,” a detail found on the very first Speedmasters in the CK2915 series. The hands and applied indices are made of white gold with a Canopus Gold PVD treatment, and the three subdials are arranged in the classical Speedmaster configuration, with a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock, and running seconds at 9 o’clock.

The black onyx dial features the historical Broad Arrow hands.

The hallmark tachymeter scale on the bezel is filled with black grand feu enamel and features two historically accurate details that have added to the collectibility of the 1957 model: the “DON” (dot over 90) and another dot diagonal to 70. The crown, flanked by pump-style chronograph pushers, is inscribed with Omega’s traditional NAIAD symbol that represents the watch’s water resistance.

The tachymeter bezel has a scale filled with black enamel.

Behind the watch’s sapphire exhibition caseback is the updated version of a legendary movement, the Omega Caliber 321, the original version of which was installed in the very first Speedmaster as well as the later model that made history as the first watch worn on the moon and its descendants that were worn on all the subsequent NASA moon landing missions. Omega famously revived Caliber 321 after a 50-year hiatus in 2019 and has subsequently installed it in a handful of special timepieces since. Among its meticulously reconstructed elements are a monobloc column wheel to drive the chronograph functions, gold-plated brass wheels, a classical screw balance, and a traditional long regulator arm rather than a more modern free-sprung, variable-inertia balance. The bridges and plates are finished in another proprietary Omega precious metal, 18k Sedna gold, to echo the copper-finished surfaces on the original caliber. The caseback window offers an additional vintage-inspired flourish, namely a subtle, engraved version of the Seahorse that has been an emblem of the Speedmaster collection since its inception, here with a single eye of blue sapphire, the jewel that traditionally marks a 65-year anniversary.

Caliber 321 is visible through the sapphire caseback.

The three-link bracelet of the Speedmaster Calibre 321 is also forged from Canopus Gold and features a comfort-release adjustment system. The watch comes in a special wooden box, designed in the style of those Omega used circa 1957 and boasting a rosewood-like pattern. The watch is priced at $81,000.

The buckle is equipped with a comfort-release clasp.
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  1. Looks and reads like a “copy and paste” from Omega’s PR announcement. How about that: while an EXTREMELY beautiful watch it marks yet another cynical high on Omega’s side in pushing up their prices from rediculously high (50K and more for the reissued gold model) to near-criminally high for this one. Why? oh, the answer is simple – because they can. I would expect an expert to discuss the elephant in the watch collecting room that stands there for a while now – setting rediculously high prices, creating artificial “shortages” via flippers and scalpers and generally speaking forgetting that luxury products should also come with luxury service – which includes – basic respect for the client.

    While this policy has been lead mainly by Rolex, PP and the likes of them, it seems like Omega tries its hand in adopting this cynical strategy and nobody says a word. I wonder why.

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