HANDS-ON: The Omega Speedmaster Grey Side of the Moon Meteorite, plan 9 from outer spaceJustin Mastine-Frost
Omega is clearly focusing on the Planet Ocean and Speedmaster this year, with a solid cluster of variants in each model range being unveiled at Baselworld 2016. The attention-grabbing blue dialed Speedy Moonphase was instantly a fan favourite, while those of us who remember the jaw-dropping meteorite dial from Jaeger-LeCoultre last year took little time to begin fawning over Omega’s take on the sexy material from outer space. This is quickly turning into the year at Basel where models I’ve seen press shots of – and been none too impressed – have managed to win me over in real life. In the metal is where it counts and this is one very good example. Seeing more meteorite models being released by a player as big as Omega gives us hope that this trend isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Given the number of meteorites that hit the earth every year, the material is actually not uncommon, and due to its hardness it isn’t particularly difficult to work with for a dial either. Unlike softer materials like mother-of-pearl that often requires a brass or other metal backing for support, the meteorite can simply be cut and finished as is. After a quick acid etching we are left with the funky ribbon-like pattern seen here. When paired with Omega’s Grey Side of The Moon dark ceramic case, its 18K Sedna Gold bezel, silicon nitrate bezel insert and Ceragold-printed Tachy scale, the whole piece comes together just perfectly.
Visuals aside, the GSOTM Meteorite boasts a healthy number of the usual goodies that made the first GSOTM so beloved. At its heart we have Omega’s Co-Axial caliber 9300 complete with silicon balance spring and 60 hours power reserve. We also have a glorious dark grey plasma-treated ceramic case. The meteorite is sold on a slick textured grey leather strap that pulls the whole look together really nicely. Omega even went so far as to stitch the inner edges of the strap in red, perfectly matching the chronograph’s second hand tip, and Speedmaster logo.
On the wrist the ceramic case does lighten the Speedy up a decent amount compared to its steel siblings, but not drastically. If you’ve been wearing a steel Speedmaster, the difference is immediately noticeable, but if you’re new to the model range, the lightness of the meteorite still seems suited to the design of the piece. Even better, the watch isn’t a limited edition – instead it’s a limited production model, meaning that this visitor from out of space will be around for a while.
What is this Baselworld we speak of so often? Baselworld is the world’s biggest watch fair, held annually in Basel, Switzerland. We went, we saw, we made a video. It explains everything (headphones recommended, it’s loud).