The quintessential function-first, tool watch has finally gotten a healthy dose of gaudiness. It was only a matter of time before Omega
decided that it needed to price a version of the Omega Speedmaster Professional Moon Watch out of its core consumer's spending threshold. Available starting at Omega's new flagship 5th Avenue store in New York City - 69 pieces of the new 40th Anniversary Limited Edition Apollo 11 Moon Watch, in platinum, will tempt collectors. The watch case, bracelet, and hands are done in platinum. An 18k gold engraved plate on the caseback, and as the seconds subsidiary dial, are emblematic of the successful 1969 moon landing mission. The gold plate on the dial pictures an eagle landing on the moon, to celebrate the historical statement made famous by event stating, "the eagle has landed."
Even after 40 years, the watch remains very true to the original. Size of the case is 42mm wide, while the crystal is made out of an acrylic compound called Hesalite. Why not sapphire? Because the plastic is shatter-proof (even though it can scratch), and a shattered sapphire crystal in a space shuttle would be a disaster. The movement is a still manually wound Omega Caliber 1861 movement. Again, this has to do with the fact that an automatic movement would be worthless in a gravity-free environment.
The platinum version is in addition to a stainless steel version of the 40th Anniversay watch, which will also be in a limited edition, but of 7,969 pieces instead of the 69 pieces for the platinum version. From afar, the only thing telling the watches apart from is the color of the engraved plate on the dial - which is gold for the platinum watch, and sterling silver on the steel version. I would guess that price for the platinum version is $100,000 plus. Still a good looking watch, but did they take it too far? We will only know after seeing what Omega comes up with for the important 50th anniversary in another 10 years.
Ariel Adams publishes the watch review site