The Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8

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Last Tuesday (of course), Omega unveiled its latest Speedmaster model. This is an updated version of the existing model, the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8, and it was a very familiar watch at first glance. Initially he was announced in 2018. Commemorating his 50th anniversary of the mission that first observed the other side of our satellite (and also the first manned spaceflight to reach the Moon…), this DSOTM Apollo 8 of his features a double-sided lunar texture and It featured a bold black and yellow color scheme. There don’t seem to be any major changes in the new model, apart from an updated seconds hand and movement, which is shaped like the Saturn V. But is it really that simple? Let’s take a look at the details.

brief summary

  • The new movement – ​​Caliber 3869 is based on the Caliber 3861 with a Co-Axial escapement, silicone hairspring and Master Chronometer certification.
  • The shape of the case has changed slightly, the diameter remains 44.25 mm but is now 0.8 mm thinner.
  • New bezel without SLN, with enamel tachymeter scale
  • The front and back of the moon’s surface are more clearly defined
  • Saturn V small seconds hand made with patent-pending laser turning technology
  • Rubber strap with folding clasp

background

When the term “far side of the moon” is mentioned, it can refer to three things. First, obviously, the far side of the Moon, which can never be seen from Earth. The second is his one of his most important studio albums ever recorded (1973 – Pink Floyd). Last but not least, today’s topic is Omega’s collection of Speedmaster watches. Returning to our satellite, the far side, or dark side, of the Moon was first observed in 1968 by the Apollo 8 crew. Jim Lovell, commander of the infamous Apollo 13 mission, said these words:see you on the other side” before moving to the far side of the moon and losing radio contact with Earth. The fact that Omega released an Apollo 8 themed watch within its Dark Side of the Moon collection makes a lot of sense.

New version of Apollo 8 DSOTM on the left – discontinued version on the right

As a reminder, the Speedmaster DSOTM collection was first launched in 2013 and consists of mostly black watches (with some exceptions, gray and white models are also included). ). Omega has wanted to offer a black case Speedmaster for several years, but DLC or PVD coatings were not an option. Ceramic was chosen instead for its scratch resistance and lightness. Before the release of the Apollo 8 watch, all DSOTMs were automatic (caliber 9300) and slightly larger at 44.25 mm. The Apollo 8 watch kept the same diameter and black ceramic case, but was equipped with a hand-wound movement built on the architecture of the all-time classic caliber 1861, which powers the Moonwatch.

Updated ceramic case

Omega will update this watch, which is one of the last models in the collection without a Co-Axial Master Chronometer movement, with 321-equipped watches in 2024 (although these will not change). This may have been the only update by Omega. And that’s what it appears to be after a quick look at the new Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8. However, closer inspection revealed multiple incremental updates. In fact, not only is the movement new, but most parts of the equipment have also been revised. The case, dial, bezel, strap…it looks very familiar, but none of these parts are the same as the earlier Apollo 8 watches.

Let’s start with the case. As you might expect, this new Speedy DSOTM maintains the collection’s black ceramic construction and its large diameter of 44.25 mm. However, if you look closely at the case, you will see that the details of the shape have been revised. As with the new 2021 Moonwatch, the case has been modified to approximate the look of the reference 105.012. This is the first Speedmaster with an asymmetrical case and lyre-shaped lugs. Of course, we are talking about minimal changes, but the profile is slightly different, especially the tips of the lugs. Another difference is the thickness, the previous generation was 13.80mm and now it is 13mm. The length of the case is 50mm, which is quite compact considering the diameter of the watch.

Other changes were made to the case, especially the bezel. Separate block of ceramic, previously marked with a white tachymeter scale in Super-LumiNova and a yellow “tachymeter” description. The polished surface of the bezel features a completely white, non-luminescent scale that looks like this: Grand Feu enamel. Similarly, the Omega logo on the crown, which was previously luminescent, is now made of white enamel. What remains the same is the use of a box-shaped sapphire crystal to protect the dial. The case back is also made of black Zr02 ceramic with a sapphire crystal and has been slightly modified (previously polished, now polished) to commemorate the movement and the Apollo 8 mission. Relevant new engravings (including famous quotes) have been added. Jim Lovell). The case maintains the classic Speedmaster feel, with brushed sides and polished bevels on the sides. Water resistance remains the same and is rated at the collection’s classic 50 meters.

The dial has been slightly revised and now comes with a locket!

Moving to the dial of this updated Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8, it’s much the same story as the case. Although they look the same at first glance, several details have actually changed. Again, we’re talking about minimal changes. First, the texture of the dial is more detailed than before. The lunar surface is still obtained thanks to the laser ablation process, but with higher resolution and more precise definition of craters and reliefs than before. The bottom section of this texture is also slightly darker than before, also due to an evolution in the brass-based laser ablation process. The raised elements around the dial, including the lace-like seconds track and applied dark hour markers, have the same fine snail texture.

If you look more closely, you’ll notice a few small updates to the hands. The minutes and yellow-varnished central seconds hands have curved tips (in keeping with the slightly narrower case and thinner sapphire crystal). Apart from the texture, the movement update also makes the textured baseplate different. For example, the screws are now less noticeable and are partially hidden behind the hour markers, but this is more due to the construction of the movement than anything else. Additionally, the luminous hour markers are faceted and updated to match the curvature of the hands. The Omega and Speedmaster logos are applied in white and yellow lacquer respectively. Yellow accents can still be seen next to the hour markers and on the chronograph counter. No changes here.

One of the main talking points on the new Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 is the small seconds dial… Firstly, you can see that the bottom recess is deeper and more open than before. This gives the much-talked-about second hand, which is shaped like a Saturn V rocket, more space and presence. Made from grade 5 titanium, its 3D shape is obtained by laser turning and the color is achieved by white varnish, ablation and laser black dyeing. There’s also a USA logo on the bottom…but you’ll need a loupe to see it. Think about what you want from this feature (gimmicky or cool…). But the level of detail and execution is impressive.

master chronometer movement

The caseback is engraved with the words “See you on the other side,” another important reference. Co-Axial Master Chronometer. This could be the main update for this new DSOTM Apollo 8 watch. In fact, the previous generation Caliber 1869, based on the classic Caliber 1861, was replaced by the more modern Caliber 3869, based on Caliber 3861. So it has the same upgrades as the 2021 Moonwatch, but retains its functionality. This movement uses classic hand-wound and cam-driven construction. His 26-jewel movement (previously 18 jewels) has a coaxial escapement and a silicon hairspring. Therefore, it complies with the 15,000 Gauss magnetic resistance required by the Master Chronometer Standard and METAS. The frequency remained at 3Hz and the power reserve improved slightly from 48 hours to 50 hours. Its accuracy falls within the Omega-defined range of 0/+5 seconds/day.

Just like the dial side of the movement (with a texture depicting the visible side of the moon), the back of the movement is also decorated with a lunar texture depicting the dark side of the moon. Along with the mechanical evolution, some visual changes were made. Once again, the laser-ablated texture is more pronounced than before, and all references (number of jewels, name of the movement, etc.) are made in positive relief. In keeping with the dark appearance of the movement, the balance wheel is coated in dark gray gold.

New strap, more comfort

The final update to the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 is the strap. The dimensions are still 21 mm at the lugs and 18 mm at the buckle, but the top layer is now made entirely of rubber, whereas in previous versions the top layer was leather. This black and yellow perforated strap is closed with a ceramized titanium folding clasp with a ceramic closure mechanism, rather than an ardillon buckle.

Despite its large size, this watch feels comfortable and balanced on the wrist. The 99-gram weight certainly makes up for the slightly oversized case.

thought

Overall, this Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8, despite the multiple changes made to the case, dial, movement and strap, we cannot really talk about a new watch, but rather a collection A watch that matches the rest of the. Gradual changes make it more precise, more durable, more technologically advanced… typical Omega. Slightly over-engineered, but with incredible quality and mechanical precision.

In terms of appearance, this Apollo 8, like its predecessor, is a polarizing watch. It will have fans and detractors. So was the previous model. While this may certainly be debatable, keep in mind that the Speedmaster collection is broad and includes a variety of classic and historically relevant watches. Moonwatch is the best example. This watch, like most Apollo-themed watches, is made for fans and features multiple references to lunar exploration. Yes, some details like the Saturn V Hand don’t tell the whole story. Like the Silver Snoopy Award 50th Anniversary Animated Backside…tells a story.

Availability and price

The updated Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 Co-Axial Master Chronometer (reference 310.92.44.50.01.001) has been released as part of the Permanent Collection and is available now. Before it was discontinued, the price of the previous version was 11,800 euros.This new edition can be found at 15,700 euros.

Learn more about. omegawatches.com.

https://monochrome-watches.com/new-2024-updated-omega-speedmaster-dark-side-of-the-moon-apollo-8-co-axis-master-chronometer-calibre-3869-ref-31092445001001- Hands-on review-Specs-Price/

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