2024 Omega Speedmaster Apollo 8 Dark Side of the Moon – what is actually new?

2024 Omega Speedmaster Apollo 8 Dark Side of the Moon – what is actually new?

Zach Blass
  • Omega has just launched a new Speedmaster Apollo 8 Dark Side of the Moon six years after the original.
  • New laser-turned grade 5 titanium Saturn V rocket-shaped running seconds hand, METAS calibre, and other subtle changes.
  • The original retailed for A$14,850 in 2018, this new model is launching at A$23,650.

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A teaser is revealed, and a launch is incoming, what could this new watch be? Well, yesterday Omega lifted the curtains on a new Speedmaster Apollo 8 Dark Side of the Moon. At first glance, a recreational watch enthusiast would not necessarily register this as a new take on a cult-favorite model first introduced six years ago in 2018. A special new patent-pending running second hand is the only immediate tell we have a new model on our hands, the remaining updates are quite subtle. So, let’s run through what is actually new with the 2024 Omega Speedmaster Apollo 8 Dark Side of the Moon.

New 3D Saturn V Rocket running seconds hand

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Omega has exhibited playful engineering as of late, developing things like their Snoopy-on-a-rocket going around the earth and James Bond moiré caseback animations. A headlining development of this new Speedmaster Apollo 8 Dark Side of the Moon model is its patent-pending Saturn V rocket running seconds hand – a tribute to the famed rocket that carried the Apollo 8 crew ten times around the Moon which remains the only vehicle to have ever carried humans beyond low earth orbit.

Omega explains: “Another new touch is the patent-pending small-seconds hand at 9 o’clock. This has been engineered from Grade 5 Titanium and shaped like NASA’s famous Saturn V rocket. The powerful 3D structure has been obtained by laser turning, while the colours are achieved with white varnish, ablation, and laser blackening. A small yet inspiring detail that celebrates the success of the Apollo program.”

Look closely, and you will even notice the microscopic USA lettering on all of the bottom facets of the rocket. It’s all in the details.

Refined positioning of the screws on the dial

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Such a small detail, but, again, the small details make or break watches for watch geeks. With the introduction of a newer calibre into the model, the positioning of the screws seen on the dial side has changed for the better in my opinion. With the lunar surface texture such a draw for this watch, the interruption the screws imposed on the 12′ position of the dial found on the old model were a bit too noticeable for my tastes. With the new model, the screws find themselves largely hidden beneath the applied indices and in turn offer a purer motif of the lunar surface.

Upgrade to the in-house 3869 METAS Master Chronometer calibre

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While the Omega calibre 1869 is no slouch, the switch to the in-house 3869 is a massive improvement internally for the watch. This means for the first time ever the Apollo 8 Dark Side of the Moon model has a movement with a co-axial escapement that is METAS Master Chronometer certified. This pledges a calibre regulated within 0/+5 seconds per day and resistant against magnetism up to 15,000 gauss thanks in part to its silicon balance spring. In terms of power reserve, you get an added two hours up from 48 hours to 50.

The new model is no longer luminous on its crown and tachymeter scale

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The reaction to this change-up will range from wild to mild depending on how much love you have for lume. For me personally, I am cool with just the dial indications having strong lume in all the right places. But, many do perk up at the thought of lume being used throughout an entire watch. For the 2018 model, the Speedmaster Apollo 8 Dark Side of the Moon utilised SuperLuminova embedded within the bezel’s tachymeter scale and the Omega logo on the crown. The 2024 model, however, has removed this element – electing to use white enamel fillings for the scale instead.

Slimmer mid-case profile

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The debuting 2024 model effectively shares the same dimensions as the 2018 model, 44.25mm in diameter, around 12mm thick, and 49mm lug-to-lug. But, the dark ceramic case does have a subtly slimmer mid-case that makes the watch feel a tad thinner on the wrist. It may be supposed to fit the same on paper, but it does feel slimmer – thus the importance of fit and feel.

New model has a rubber strap and a deployant clasp

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Lastly, straps are becoming more and more a crucial component in terms of a watch receiving nay or yay votes from watch fans. The material and style of the clasp, fine-tune sizing, strap width, etc. The width and colour scheme of the strap remains the same, but Omega has switched the material from leather to rubber and the case-matching pin/buckle closure for a case-matching deployant clasp. The clasp offers a greater sense of luxury, but it does add a bit of bulk as most deployant clasps do. The architecture of a deployant also means you do not have the full aeration of every loophole. The more you bring the clasp in, the more holes that will be covered. This does offer a cleaner look though.

The tough sell for some will ultimately be the significant increase in price between these two generations of Omega Speedmaster Apollo 8 Dark Side of the Moon watches, with the original retailing for A$14,850 back in 2018 and this new model debuting with a retail price of A$23,650. Whether or not that is too aggressive in pricing, well… I leave that up to you.

Omega Speedmaster Apollo 8 Dark Side of the Moon (2024) pricing and availability

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Omega Speedmaster Apollo 8 Dark Side of the Moon (2024) is available now for inquiries at Omega boutiques worldwide. Price: A$23,650

Brand Omega
Model Apollo 8 Dark Side of the Moon (2024)
Case Dimensions 44.25mm (D)
Case Material Black Ceramic
Water Resistance 50m
Crystal Sapphire crystal and exhibition caseback
Dial Lunar-motif openworked dial
Strap Black rubber strap w/ black ceramic deployant clasp
Movement In-house automatic co-axial 3869
Power Reserve 50 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph
Availability Now for inquiries
Price A$23,650