On July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin made history when they touched down on the lunar surface in the Apollo 11 lunar module, named ‘Eagle’. Six hours later, at 02:56 UTC, Armstrong and Aldrin then became the first humans to set foot on the surface of the moon. Strapped to Aldrin’s wrist, on the outside of his space suit, was Omega’s manual winding Speedmaster Professional chronograph.
To this day, Speedmasters are still associated with the NASA space program, and Omega has celebrated milestones with various limited edition models. At BaselWorld this year, ahead of the 45th anniversary of the lunar landing, Omega gave the world a glimpse of its new Speedmaster Apollo 11 45th Anniversary Limited Edition.
Flash-forward to present day, and final production watches have finally landed in Dubai – we spotted the watch you see below at Omega’s boutique in The Dubai Mall. The watch, though immediately identifiable as a Speedy, is a unique interpretation of what is unquestionably an iconic chronograph. Like the original moonwatch, this new model (reference: 3126.96.36.199.06.001) features a 42mm case and has the typical three sub-dial layout that we’ve come to know and love. But beyond this, things get very interesting.
The case is made from brushed grade 2 titanium, and there’s a matt black ceramic bezel that is encircled by a thin rim made of Omega’s 18K Sedna Gold material. The dial is a sort of black/brown (depending on light) PVD creation, and Omega went to great lengths to create the sub-dials by using a laser to remove material, to give each individual sub-dial its appearance and depth.
Another interesting element of this Speedy is its bracelet or rather, the lack of a bracelet. Omega has instead fitted this watch with a high-quality NATO strap that’s brown in color.
Speedmasters are incredibly handsome and versatile watches that, when fitted with the right strap or the standard bracelet, can be worn with almost any attire, and for any occasion. This latest LE Speedy, though a stunner in person, sacrifices some of that everyday flexibility because of the brown NATO strap and, to a smaller extent, the attractive but attention grabbing dial and bezel.
While incredibly comfortable, we reckon the NATO strap will look out of place at formal events or when paired with formal clothes. Moreover, given the predominately hot climate that all of us in the Middle East experience, it’s possible the NATO strap may wear quickly or even discolor, due to a combination of heat and sweat.
The dial, as we said earlier, is a bit of an attention-getter, and certainly stands out when compared to a standard Speedy Professional – we have no doubt you’ll get a lot of attention with this Speedy strapped to your wrist.
Of course, you could just forget about standing on ceremony and wear what you please because, at the end of the day, this is a seriously attractive watch – we’re completely in love with it.
The watch ships in a fairly large and attractive display box and retails for AED 28,000 (approximately US $7,700).
To learn more about this Speedmaster, click here.
To learn more about Rivoli Group, click here.