We followed every single round of the Fratello Omega Speedmaster World Cup in case you missed it, and the winner is…Thor Svaboe
Which is the best Omega Speedmaster of all time? Our friends at Fratello Watches decided there was only one way to settle this one properly – by launching the Speedmaster World Cup. Over a gruelling tournament that lasted almost two months(!), 32 eager Speedies duked it out to determine who would be the ultimate victor. As with any World Cup, there was agony, ecstasy and the odd contentious refereeing decision. But what emerged from Fratello was an admirably comprehensive analysis of this iconic watch in all its myriad forms. Here are the top five contestants.
The Winner: the Calibre 321 Ed White
Embodying the peak of Speedy-ness, this dynamic piece of remade history fully deserves to be on the top podium with a gold medal dangling around its slender angular lugs. The case itself is essentially the leaner version that you’ll recognise from the #FirstOmegaInSpace, but refashioned with a few subtle tweaks. That means it’s got the narrower 39.7mm diameter with a 48mm lug to lug range, making it comfortable and almost identical in feel to the normal Moonwatch, while sharpened to within an inch of its life.
The flat link bracelet is supremely comfortable, while the remade 321 Calibre is utterly beguiling under the sapphire caseback. So, while feeling and looking like a vintage Speedmaster 105.003 should have felt back in 1964, straight outta the box, the clear caseback broadcasts that this is a remade 321 movement. To ensure authenticity, Omega went as far as using Tomography tech to digitally scan the insides of the very Speedy that Gene Cernan wore on the moon during the Apollo 17 Mission. Everything in the new Calibre 321 is replicated, down to the smallest screw to make this the Speedmaster of all Speedmasters.
Second place, the Silver Snoopy 45th Anniversary
I was surprised and happy to see this crisp arctic fresh Speedmaster clinch second place in this battle of Speedies. It brings a more youthful design to the model, ironically while channelling the very reason we love it — the historic significance marked by the limited editions. My favourite detail here might be the cartoon thought bubble emanating from Snoopy as he muses on the fact that “Failure is not an option”. The mere fact that Snoopy rests within the 9 o’clock register has for me always been quirky enough to love this particular reference and I’m clearly not alone, given the fact that resale values are skyrocketing. And boy, it’s even better when the lume lights up!
Third place, the Silver Snoopy 50th
A brand new non-limited model, yet maybe the boldest, freshest Snoopy Speedmaster ever made that also possesses a caseback to die for. Nick Kenyon from this very parish said it best in his headline that this Speedmaster “will spark joy in even the coldest heart”. With a tough-looking fabric strap in blue and a clean-cut navy colour on the bezel, registers, hands and even the indices, it subtly changes our perceptions of the classic watch. Maybe this is the way to a much younger audience’s heart? I’m certainly betting on it, and to make such a profound impact while still inhabiting the classic 42mm case takes a masterful design team. But the caseback is the real winner here and boy does it impress. Have a look at our video here before I spoil the surprise.
Fourth place, the colourful Tintin
Nothing is better than when an out-of-production, non-limited model charms the audience into a top five place, and the ‘Tintin’ is exactly that. While recognisable as a Speedmaster, it’s distinguished by the incredibly colourful red and white blocky minute track. Me? I absolutely love it. Otherwise, this is pure Moonwatch – crystal-clear painted white hands, perfect vintage dial and those balanced recessed registers for the crisp chronograph. As Fratello member Michael Stockton so deftly put it, it’s like a noticeable, yet classy tie against a really serious grey suit.
Fifth place, the Speedy Tuesday tribute to Alaska
Another well-deserved finalist is the lesser-seen Speedy Tuesday Tribute To Alaska, a sharp-suited limited edition not too taxing on the wallet and well worth a look. It is a proper Hesalite crystal Speedmaster, though found here on a classy hand-sewn leather two-stitch with the sub-registers on the 42mm chronograph in a fresh snailed silver pattern. With the classic 1861 calibre it’s a worthy alternative to the classic Moonwatch on a bracelet.
To binge-read your way through the entire World Cup (it’s well worth it), head on over to our Dutch friends at Fratello Watches.