Truly big news in the watch world is few and far between, though there are always some major events and releases that are sure to make every headline and Instagram feed. This year, we saw some big multi-brand items, like last spring’s Watches & Wonders online event and very likely this fall’s upcoming WatchTime Live, though we also saw single brands command attention, i.e., the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue release last July, and the updated Rolex Submariner release just last month. This past month, big news struck again, this time from Omega, which unveiled the latest addition to its ultra-popular Speedmaster collection: the Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th Anniversary (Ref. 310.32.42.50.02.001), which we had an opportunity to go hands-on with this past week.
The new Speedmaster celebrates, as its name implies, the 50th anniversary of NASA’s “Silver Snoopy Award.” For context, back in 1970 — one year after the Apollo 11 mission to the moon in 1969 — NASA astronauts granted the Award —named for the famous “Peanuts” cartoon character who had been adopted as a mascot of the space program — to Omega in recognition of the brand’s unique contributions to space exploration (The Speedmaster, of course, was the first watch on the moon). This year, the brand commemorates the achievement once more with a special (and non-limited) version of the famed, beagle-adorned chronograph.
This special edition of the Speedmaster “Moonwatch” has a 42-mm steel case with alternating brushed and polished finishing; its lugs are slightly twisted, its pump pushers and crown are set close to the case, and it’s topped with a blue ceramic bezel ring, accented with a white enamel tachymetric scale, which matches the blue nylon strap that secures the watch to the wrist. Beneath the domed sapphire crystal, the blue-and-silver dial is actually engraved with silver rather than simply silver-colored. Other interesting details include the dial’s three-dimensional convex construction, adorned with a black outer minute ring, blue PVD hour markers, and, most notably, the three blue, indented subdials for running seconds, a 30-minute counter, and a 12-hour counter. The running seconds subdial at 9 o’clock features the famous Snoopy astronaut cartoon for which both the award and the original watch are named — an engraved image that has made all the “Snoopy” sub-series of Speedmasters highly valued.
Inside the 50-meter water resistant case is the manually-wound Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer Caliber 3861, a movement renowned for its incredible anti-magnetism and timekeeping accuracy, certified by the Swiss firm METAS. The movement has 26 jewels, a frequency of 21,600 vph, and a power reserve of 50 hours.
The movement beats behind a very special caseback, which could be the new model’s biggest draw. On it we find an animated image of Snoopy launching into orbit courtesy of a black-and-white Command and Service Module (CSM) on a “magical hand” (that is, a black hand obscured from view). When the chronograph is started, Snoopy begins his trip around the far side of moon like the astronauts of the Apollo 13 mission. The lunar surface of the image is produced using a “unique micro-structured metallization” to give it a lifelike appearance; behind it is a spinning Earth rotating once per minute, in sync with the watch’s small seconds. The final details are in the black starfield used as the image’s background, and the iconic quote “Eyes on the Stars” titling it all.
Like all Snoopy watches produced by Omega, the new Speedmaster is likely to become a hot collector’s item in the months and years to come. This particular edition — marking a 50th anniversary, produced in a very attractive blue-and-white colorway, and featuring the excellently produced, animated caseback — will likely be even hotter than most. Though Omega plans to release the watch on a non-limited basis, it may well become effectively limited by virtue of high demand and production time.
The new “Snoopy Speedy” will come with Omega’s standard five-year warranty, packaged in an “Apollo 13” presentation box that comes complete with a microfiber cleaning cloth, a brochure, and a magnifying glass to allow owners to get up close with the watch’s details. The Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th Anniversary will retail at $9,600, exclusively through authorized Omega dealers, with availability expected to begin in late October 2020.
To learn more, you can visit Omega’s website, here.