If like me you’re a fan of Omega watches you’ll no doubt know about the significant 60th year anniversaries for three icon Omega professional watches: Speedmaster, Seamaster and Railmaster.
Omega itself this year released the “trilogy” set of three watches to mark this milestone in horological history not only for the brand but for the watch industry at large.
Of most significance is the Omega Speedmaster itself, being the “Moonwatch” that was approved by NASA.
This commemorative book seeks to chronicle and document this iconic watch from its first reference, the NASA flights, all the way to present day with the latest releases such as the CK2998.
Coming in at nearly 600 pages this is a MONSTER of a book, so the purpose of this review is not to cover each page blow by blow. I seek to offer you the reader an insight on who the book might be good for from the die hard “Speedy” fan to the watch novice, and if it’s worth the money. Currently it’s selling for $235 on Amazon (list price is $290).
Dust Cover & Book Cover
The dust cover is a striking vibrant red with the 60th anniversary Speedmaster gracing its cover with the hint of the lunar surface in the background.
I personally prefer the actual book cover, with the same watch featured but with a real picture of the moon’s surface.
To me this is more appropriate for the history of the watch, but I do see and understand that the red is more attention grabbing / unique and thus should sell more books!
Above shows the text on the back of the book.
Why This Book & Table of Contents / Topics Covered
The authors do a fantastic job of explaining why this book is “needed” and it has tremendous support from the several forwards including a forward by the current president of Omega, as well as forwards from multiple astronauts who wore the watch in space.
The book is broken up into nice, logical sections.
For me personally, I read some chapters end to end, and flicked through others / know they shall be a reference in the future.
Stories & Pictures Behind the Omega Speedmaster
Perhaps one of the most enjoyable aspects of the book for me was not only the great and detailed photography throughout, but also the historical photographs.
These historic photographs along with the stories really take one back to a time when these watches were critical tools for day to day life, as well as going into space! It’s far too easy today to pick up your phone, check the time, set a timer, alarm, etc… Whereas as little as 60 years ago this was not possible without the assistance of a fine timepiece like the Speedmaster.
Sheer Level of Granular Detail (If Desired / Needed)
It’s actually quite mind-blowing that this level of detail was assembled into one reference book.
I can only hazard a guess to the amount of time and effort it took the authors to compile all of this data and cross reference it.
If like me any of you are vintage watch fans, you’ll know what a pain it is / can be to get the correct facts as to the appropriate date / authenticate a timepiece.
The book makes that task infinitely easier for a Speedmaster fan / collector.
From bezels, to bracelets and even pushers, no detail was left unaddressed!
What I thought was a nice touch, is that each element of the watch was introduced by an “isolated” picture. An example for the pushers and bracelet can be seen below.
Every Single Reference Covered
I thought the below page #274 and the picture (on the right) were of particular interest for two reasons:
- The price tag of the watch is still intact, and stands at only $79.25!!!
- The box is like the one that the trilogy set is modeled after with the red leather box and corduroy lining
Coverage of Even the Most Current Speedy Models
To my amazement the book had the latest 2016 and 2017 references, including the:
- CK2998 (Reference: 318.104.22.168.02.001 )
- Writer’s Note: I actually own this wonderful piece!
- Speedy Tuesday (Reference: 322.214.171.124.01.001)
- Trilogy, Speedmaster “57 Chronograph 38.6mm (Reference: 3126.96.36.199.01.001 )
It’s worth noting that these three references are all limited editions. With the Speedy Tuesday being effectively impossible to get, to the others requiring that you really need a relationship with an official Omega Boutique.
They are of course available on the secondary market, but for a premium. This just shows the strength of the Speedmaster brand.
If you don’t want to get in a bidding war on the pre-owned piece / one someone has just bought to resell, or have the resources to craft a boutique relationship (aka buy several watches), the original “Moonwatch” as a fantastic option as it’s the definition of a classic!
Pictures below are in order of three respective “current” models mentioned above.
Reference, Upon Reference, Upon Reference…
As you’re most likely aware by now, even if you’ve only read this review of the Omega Speedmaster, the name “Speedmaster” is, for a lack of a better term, a “boilerplate” name / design aesthetic for a multitude of watch references.
Expect there to be a handful of new references next year that shall “date” this book. However, that is also one of the reasons this watch is such an icon, as it has stood the test of time with it’s classic style and manual wind movement, all they way to modern references such as the Dark Side of the Moon with it’s ceramic case and automatic movement.
Some Omega fans say they have too many issues and references, but I also hear the same thing that Rolex has too few! What is a watch brand to do…
Overall I thoroughly think this watch book is worth the time and money, for both the Speedy collector and watch noob for different reasons.
The current Speedmaster fan / collector shall revel in it’s detail and sheer encyclopedic reference.
Whereas, the noob / new watch guy can get two things:
- An historical context of why some watches are simply icon for the job they were designed for and ultimately performed, like going to the moon!
- The size of the book should be almost a comforting factor that it is truly impossible to know everything about everything in the watch industry. Yes, there are trolls within the online forum who claim to know everything, but one must ignore these people and remember why we all got into watches in the first place – whether that be for the historical stories like the speedy, or for an appreciation of micro mechanics.
This book can be purchased on Amazon.com.
Please comment below with your favorite Speedmaster reference, and you can read more of our Omega articles too.
Author: Anthony Marquié
Publisher: Watchprint.com Sarl
"An impressively comprehensive book! The Omega Speedmaster is an icon of the watch industry and this book does a great job covering everything that you may want to know about this historic timepiece."Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★