NEW: Omega Speedmaster Calibre 321 in Canopus Gold
Getting ready for the Speedmaster’s 65th anniversary this year.
Are you ready for a bumper season of Omega Speedmasters? Introduced as a racing-inspired chronograph in 1957, the Speedmaster started life as the CK 2915 (nicknamed ‘Broad Arrow’ for its hour hand), a shock- and magnetic-resistant sports watch. Although the collection’s sports chronograph-anchored DNA, as well features like its signature hardiness and design features such as the tri-compax dial layout and tachymeter scale have defined and accounted for much of its success and longevity, it is fair to say that the Speedmaster has also evolved a great deal over the decades.
There is, of course, the flagship Speedmaster ‘Moonwatch’, the NASA-certified range famously billed as the first watch to be worn on the moon when Buzz Aldrin strapped one on for the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, which birthed countless special editions. There are also other fan favourites like the ultra-rare Speedmaster ‘Snoopy’ limited editions, borne from a NASA award given to people and organisations who contributed significantly to space exploration with the cartoon beagle as mascot, as well as ‘Alaska Project’ series of limited editions, spawns of the Speedmaster ‘Mark II’ from 1969, when Omega wanted to create an even sturdier space watch.
Likewise, the Speedmaster Calibre 321 holds a special place in the collection’s catalogue. Named after the handwound Calibre 321, the first-ever chronograph movement with monobloc column wheel that was used in the original model in 1957, it was arguably one of the most revered chronograph movements in modern watchmaking, famed for its robustness and precision.
In 1968, Omega ended the movement’s production run and in 2019 decided to resurrect the cult engine through painstaking reconstruction process that took two years, and involved Omega referenced the second-generation Calibre 321 by using its original blueprint, and digital scanning technology to ‘see’ inside a vintage model featuring the movement (the Speedmaster ST105.003 that astronaut Eugene Cernan wore in 1972 for man’s last walk on the moon).
The ‘new’ Calibre 321 debuted in the Speedmaster Calibre 321, housed in a platinum case featuring totalisers crafted with slices of moon meteorite. The brand followed up the luxurious re-introduction with a non-limited stainless steel range in 2020. Compared to ‘regular’ Speedmasters, the Calibre 321 series are marketed as a special breed with low production, courtesy of the meticulously re-engineered movements that are assembled from start to finish by individual watchmakers in a specialised workshop. Naturally, the Speedmaster Calibre 321 models are, when compared with industrially produced models in similar materials, markedly pricier.
This year’s Speedmaster Calibre 321 in Canopus Gold amplifies the range’s privileged disposition in no uncertain terms. As the name implies, this model is encased in Omega’s proprietary 18k white gold alloy, 18K Canopus Gold, which is said to shine with greater brilliance and longevity compared to regular white gold. The bezel with tachymeter scale on this model has also been up-luxed, filled with black grand feu enamel, and accented with the collection’s famous ‘dot over ninety (DON)’ and ‘dot diagonal to seventy’ markings common to pre-1970s Speedmasters.
Elsewhere, Omega endows the Speedmaster Calibre 321 with even more vintage-inspired touches that ought to please Speedmaster aficionados. They include the ‘NAIAD’ symbol on the crown, used to symoblise water-resistance in the early CK2915 models, as well as the broad arrow hour hand and applied vintage Omega logo and typography, also used on the first CK2915 models.
A lovely heritage-laden edition bearing the heft of luxury, the Speedmaster Calibre 321 in Canopus Gold doesn’t come cheap. But if this beauty proves a bit out of reach for you, rest assured that we are only at the start of the year and there will be more options for your consideration.
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