5 reasons you need to be familiar with the Omega Speedmaster ReducedFergus Nash
It’s fair to say that the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch is one of the most famous watches of all time, up there even in the minds of the uninitiated. As the watch that went to the moon and thrived on racetracks, it’s cemented a strong legacy within horological history and has become a stylistic icon. As special as it is, its younger sibling does tend to get left on the sidelines far too often. The Omega Speedmaster Reduced came about in 1988, and it quickly gained a cult following as a smaller and more affordable alternative. With the discontinuation of the collection in 2009 and modern Speedmaster prices on the rise, it’s time to take a look at 5 reasons why you need to be familiar with the Speedmaster Reduced.
The most obvious benefit to the Omega Speedmaster Reduced is in the name, as the 38.5mm case size lends itself much more readily to smaller wrists. The full sized 42mm version does have relatively short lugs, but if you’re a fan of a slightly more vintage look or if you just struggle with large watches then the Reduced will be much more comfortable. The Reduced is also thinner than the Moonwatch despite its automatic movement, with a thickness of 12mm versus the 13.8mm of the big brother, and both of them generally have a water resistance of 50m.
Watch enthusiasts love to wax poetic about the romance of winding a movement by hand every day, but the reality is that not everyone enjoys that ritual. If you live somewhat of a frantic life, sometimes realising that your watch has stopped once you’ve thrown it on in a hurry just makes your day that much worse. If you’re a lover of the Speedmaster but feel the need for an automatic movement, then the Reduced is a strong option for you. One of the dealbreakers for most Speedmaster purists is that the pushers and the crown are not exactly aligned horizontally, as the chronograph is actually a module rather than integrated into the ETA 2890-A2 movement. If you’re not one to nitpick however, then I doubt this could ever bother you.
Whenever a new Speedmaster Moonwatch limited edition drops, it seems to shake the ground. The Silver Snoopy 50th Anniversary watch still drops jaws nearly three years after its release, and the prices they command twists the heart. With the Speedmaster Reduced, sometimes the limited editions can be even cheaper than the standard versions. Mother-of-pearl dials, gold bezels, triple calendars, and the incredible red or yellow Michael Schumacher editions are just a few stunning examples. Not only does this increase your chances of owning something with a bit more individual flair, but it explores the Speedmaster aesthetic in a way that Omega just couldn’t risk doing with the full-blooded model.
As spectacular as the Moonwatch stories are, especially with the life-saving role it played in Apollo 13, not everyone is all that interested in space exploration. If your appreciation of the Omega Speedmaster stems from its original purpose of timing on racetracks, then the Speedmaster Reduced is actually tailored more towards you. It has printed numerals next to the hour markers for easier timing, and then there are the racing-specific editions such as the Schumacher models.
We’ve all seen how watch prices have skyrocketed over the last few years, and although many improvements and tweaks have been made to the current generation of Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional, it can be hard to stomach the retail price. A brand new Moonwatch will set you back AU$10,400, with second hand models starting from around AU$8,000. Depending on your choice of reference and patience for a good deal, you can find a Speedmaster Reduced for as low as AU$4,000. Of course it’s not exactly the same watch, and it’s not quite as refined as the Speedmaster Professional, but considering you’re still getting a luxury watch from a huge name brand the prospect starts to sound pretty appealing.