VIDEO: The Omega Speedmaster ’57 is a funtastic take on a classicBorna Bošnjak
The Omega Speedmaster is certainly deserving of being called an icon. I won’t bore you with its historical provenance, nor the space-dwelling efforts of the Professional – I’m sure you’ve heard it all. The Omega Speedmaster ’57 is what today is all about. While it still incorporates lots of vintage-inspired touches, the Speedmaster ’57 takes a more colourful approach to a classic. With notable case refinements and incremental tech upgrades, the Speedy ’57 is looking to share the limelight of the iconic chronograph.
RGB dial trio
Let’s start with the obvious, then – colour. A topic that many brands shied away from in the not too recent past now graces dials worldwide, and this Speedy is no different. Should you deviate from the beaten path of the black-dialled Speedmaster, you’ll be met with red, blue and green alternatives. The red, while quite striking in press shots, exudes an air of subtlety in person, as its rough surface texturing reflects no light. The slightly desaturated blue and green options contrast this with a brushed sunburst effect, adding extra texture via circularly grained sub-dials.
While the new Speedmaster ’57 retains the dual-register layout of the 2013 model, there are many small tweaks and upgrades apart from the colourful rendition. The hands are among the more obvious, Omega opting to swap the alpha style out for a broad arrow for the main handset, and vice versa for the hour and minute totaliser. Recessed black rings encircle both the main dial and sub-dials, giving the colours more of a pop.
The monolithic indices are all applied, including the double dots on either side of the 12 o’clock marker, just above the highly polished and applied Omega logo. The dial is kept balanced by a trapezoidal date window at 6 o’clock. In hopes of giving some of those signature vintage distortions, Omega is using a boxed sapphire crystal to cover the dial.
Slimmer by a sliver
By using a manually wound calibre, Omega has managed to slim down the Speedmaster ’57, though not by immensely significant margin. While their press material notes it to be 12.99mm in height, our callipers suggest that measurement to be closer to 13.4mm. For reference, this is a smidge thinner than the 13.6mm height of a Hesilte-equipped Moonwatch. The case is also reduced in diameter, now measuring in at 40.5mm and a relatively long 49.6mm lug-to-lug. This makes it perfectly suitable for average and large wrists, whereas those with wrists smaller than 6.5in may find it a little overbearing.
Dimensions aside, the case finish is lovely, and differs from the recognisable shape of the Moonwatch in a few areas. The most obvious are the strut-like lugs, which take the place of the lyre lugs of the Professional. Keeping with the case profile, the pushers and crown are unguarded, making for a symmetrical case profile, and one reminiscent of the CK2915, the very first Speedmaster. The bezel is particularly of note, as it has also been slimmed down from the 2013 Speedy ’57, with fine tachymeter engravings. They’re so fine, in fact, that the inky printing completely disappears under certain angles.
As for strap options, you’re spoilt for choice. Most will certainly opt for the scrumptious flat link bracelet, a decision that I’m fully on-board with. Should you wish for a more casual option, each dial colour is offered with a matching leather strap, complete with Omega pin buckle. While leather straps are normally associated with dressing up, their vibrant colours suggest the Speedy takes itself less seriously when paired with one.
Taking over from its automatic predecessors is the Omega Calibre 9906. It’s a METAS-certified (more on which here) movement employing Omega’s Daniels-derived co-axial escapement, powered by two series-mounted barrels and resistant to 15,000 Gauss. The chronograph aspect is composed of a column wheel and vertical clutch. Most notably, it’s manually wound, giving the wearer 60 hours of power reserve. The calibre is a familiar face, however, as it is based on the automatic 9300-series movements found in previous Speedmasters, though it’s worth pointing out that those did not carry METAS certification.
In regards to the decoration, we see a thick bevel to the three-quarter plate surrounding the balance wheel, transitioning into arabesque Geneva striping. The screws, barrels and balance wheel are all black-polished, combined with a rhodium-plated traversing balance bridge. It’s in line with modern Omega decoration, though I can’t help but wish we had a better look at what’s hidden underneath the large three-quarter plate.
Omega Speedmaster ’57 pricing and availability:
Omega is currently accepting expressions of interest via their website, or giving you the option to contact the boutique for any pieces that are out of stock. The Speedmaster ’57 is priced at A$13,200 on the steel flat-link bracelet in blue, green and red, or A$12,725 on a colour-matched leather strap in blue, green and red.
|Speedmaster ’57 Co-Axial Master Chronometer Chronograph
|40.5mm x 49.4mm x 13.4mm, 20mm lug width
|Sunburst blue (3184.108.40.206.03.001, 3220.127.116.11.03.001)
Sunburst green (318.104.22.168.10.001, 322.214.171.124.10.001)
Grained red (3126.96.36.199.11.001, 3188.8.131.52.11.001)
|Box sapphire crystal front, flat sapphire crystal back
|Flat-link stainless steel bracelet or colour-matched leather strap
|Omega Calibre 9906, METAS-certified with Co-Axial escapement, 60-hour power reserve
|A$13,200 (steel flat-link bracelet)
A$12,725 (leather strap)