Without a doubt, one of our favorite watches from Omega at Baselworld 2018 and the only one we would even consider purchasing. The new Omega Speedmaster 'Dark Side of the Moon' Apollo 8 Limited Edition brings back memories of that time when Armin Strom himself used to skeletonize watches for other Swiss watch brands like Omega, a brand whom he collaborated with in several occasions. One particular timepiece that stands out from those collaborations is the 2003 skeletonized platinum Speedmaster Professional.
While the new Omega Speedmaster 'Dark Side of the Moon' Apollo 8 Limited Edition has nothing to do with Armin Strom or whatsoever, in this new creation, Omega brings skeletonization back at a different level and in a very sporty and dramatic way. Embracing the successful design codes of the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon, the brand has decided to go into uncharted territories by partially skeletonizing and specially decorating their manual wound calibre 1861, the result, a gorgeous blacked out calibre 1869.
Presented on a perforated black leather strap with yellow rubber through the middle, the new Speedmaster 'Dark Side of the Moon' Apollo 8 Limited Edition remains true to NASA's Mission Apollo 8 pioneering spirit. Produced in sleek black ceramic, the dial has been expertly skeletonized to reveal a blackened movement inside. 50 years after NASA's first manned mission, the Omega Speedmaster 'Dark Side of the Moon' Apollo 8 Limited Edition celebrates the words: "We'll see you on the other side."
About the Apollo 8 Mission and the Movement
The Apollo 8 was the first manned mission to the moon, entering lunar orbit on Christmas Eve, December 24th, 1968. That evening, the astronauts —Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders— held a live broadcast from lunar orbit, in which they showed pictures of the Earth and moon as seen from their spacecraft. They ended the broadcast with the crew taking turns reading from the book of Genesis.
From Mission Control CapCom Gerry Carr spoke to the three astronauts more than 200,000 miles away, "Ten seconds to go. You are Go all the way." Pilot Jim Lovell replied, "We'll see you on the other side", and Apollo 8 disappeared behind the Moon, the first time in history men had been occult. For 34 minutes there would be no way of knowing what happened.
Unlike previous Dark Side models, this release houses a specially decorated version of Omega's famous Moonwatch movement calibre 1861. To make a close connection between the watch's movement and the Apollo 8 Mission, Omega has partially skeletonized and decorated the Calibre 1861. For this particular watch, the calibre is called 1869 as a tribute to the first moon landing.
Most impressively, the movement has been laser-ablated to produce realistic imagery of the lunar surface. To contrast this dark tone, the brand has chosen yellow, a color used in the Speedmaster collection in 1968 for a Speedmaster Racing model. And like the moon, the movement reveals two unique sides. The dial-side is a light shade to represent our view of the moon’s surface from Earth, while the back of the watch delves into the dark side that only astronauts get to see.
About the Watch
Cased in a black ceramic case measuring 44.25 mm in diameter, Omega has again embraced its popular “Dark Side of the Moon” innovation, producing the entire watch in black zirconium oxide ceramic. The dial-side is a somewhat lighter shade almost graphite grey to represent our view of the moon’s surface from Earth, the chronograph hands are varnished yellow, while the tachymeter scale and crown are filled with superluminova.
The dial is simply gorgeous and very well finished. The chrono-registers feature snailing on the center and smooth bevelled edges. The contrast between black, yellow and white is simply perfect.
The black and yellow theme extends to the leather strap, which contains a section of yellow rubber through the middle. A milling tool has then been used to create micro perforations through the constructed strap to reveal the yellow rubber inside. The black and yellow theme extends to the leather strap, which contains a section of yellow rubber through the middle. A milling tool has then been used to create micro perforations through the constructed strap to reveal the yellow rubber inside.
The Case Back
"WE'LL SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE" are the special words engraved on the case back of the new Omega Speedmaster 'Dark Side of the Moon' Apollo 8 Limited Edition. Exquisitely finished, the movement takes the center stage on this new watch from Omega.
On the Wrist & Pricing
On the wrist, the watch wears extremely nice and true to its size. One of our favorite Speedmasters ever and a watch that brings a very 'haute horlogerie' execution to one of the most iconic watches in the world. No details where provided regarding limitation, so hopefully we all will be able to get one once it hits the stores in August 2018.
Sticker Price $9,750 USD. For more info on Omega click here.