Almost two months ago, we brought you the exciting news about the pre-Baselworld 2014 launch of the new Omega Speedmaster Mark II Co-Axial Chronograph. Today, we were able to peruse the two new models in the flesh. Frankly, as with most watches, it is one thing to see the stock images and it is another to see them in person or in live pictures. This time, we need to admit that our Leica didn't perform as expected and our iPhone 5 gave the Leica a run for its money. While the pictures in this post show the orange accents as a true bright orange, the actual color of these accents is fluorescent orange, as shown in the picture below —captured with our iPhone and not our Leica. Regardless of the slight color variation, we hope that these images convey the real beauty of these two new timepieces.
1969 was a memorable year for humankind. The same year, Omega introduced the Speedmaster Mark II, a timepiece with a streamlined case that was powered by the same space-tested, hand-wound calibre 861 found inside the Moonwatch. In 2014 Omega has reintroduced this classic Speedmaster Mark II and updated it to include an automatic movement with column wheel chronograph and a tachymetric scale that is visible in the most limited light thanks to its ultra bright superluminova– a first in the iconic Speedmaster family. Additionally, the watch features fluorescent orange accents instead of bright orange as its predecessor, and the Professional Mark II writing on the dial has been replaced with the words 'Co-Axial Chronometer'. Lastly, the Omega symbol that used to be orange in the original Speedmaster Professional Mark II is now white.
The barrel-shaped stainless steel case measuring 42.4 mm in width and 46.2 mm in length features the most beautiful satin-brushed finish with alternating polished chamfers. While this watch doesn't feature a screw-down winding crown, the new crown feels very solid and slightly bigger than the crown fitted on its predecessor. The watch features pump pushers and a date corrector located at 10 o’clock on the case band. As you will be able to appreciate the attention to detail and finish of the watch is exceptional.
The new Omega Speedmaster Mark II Co-Axial Chronograph is fitted with one of the best matte finished dials we have seen lately. Fitted with either a matte black dial as ref. 318.104.22.168.01.001 or a matte grey one as ref. 322.214.171.124.06.001, the dial features a running seconds register at 9, a 30-minute chrono-register at 3 and a 12-hour chrono-register with small date aperture at 6 o’clock. The beautiful matte finish of the dial is enhanced by a perfectly flat scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides that provides exceptional readability. Depending on lighting conditions, the black dial looks more like a charcoal grey due to the grain on its matte finished surface.
The transparent tachymetric scale on the sapphire crystal is illuminated from beneath by an aluminum ring filled with superluminova. The aluminum ring on the gray dial reference is orange matching the accents on the dial, while on the black dial reference it is dark gray. Interestingly enough, the ring on the gray dial reference almost seems to glow when light hits it at certain angle. The varnished white and black hour and minute hands are also coated with superluminova as is the central chronograph hand.
The watch is equipped with a nice solid satin-brushed finished stainless steel bracelet and an Omega signed clasp. The bracelet can be sized quite easily, thanks to the screws on the links. This bracelet is not only thicker than the bracelet on the original Speedmaster Mark II but it is also fitted with the new Omega patented extendable fold over rack-and-pusher clasp with micro-adjustment. To micro-adjust the bracelet, one just needs to push a small button located inside the clasp and smoothly slide the link outward as necessary. This micro-adjustment provides up to 9.60 mm of extra length to the last link on the bracelet. Perhaps, the best micro-adjustment system we have seen in the market so far.
The beating heart powering this fascinating timepiece is the Omega Co-Axial calibre 3330, an automatic movement with column-wheel chronograph mechanism, co-axial escapement for greater precision, stability and durability of the movement and a free sprung-balance equipped with Si14 silicon balance spring. This watch is an Officially Certified Chronometer and it provides a power reserve of 52 hours when fully wound. To protect the movement, the watch is fitted with a solid case back featuring the seahorse medallion engraving, "Mark II", “Si14” and “Column Wheel”. The watch is waterproof rated to a depth of a 100 meters.
On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size and with remarkable wrist presence. Once you put this watch on, prepare to be taken back in time with one of the most iconic watches ever designed by Omega. To make it even more attractive, the watches are priced as reasonable as it gets.
If you want one of these watches —or perhaps both of them— right now, make sure you swing by the Omega Boutique in Chicago as they just got these in. Now, if you don't live in Chicago, we guess that you could always make a quick phone call to the boutique and provide them your American Express Centurion card number to get them first thing next week.
Sticker Price $6,250 USD. For more info on Omega click here.