Watches | January 11, 2021 11:12 am

Omega Just Made Some Subtle, Glorious Updates to the Moonwatch

The legendary Swiss watchmaker doesn't futz with it signature model often, but they've made some subtle, inventive changes with the latest release

speedy pro moonwatch 2021
The latest release of the Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch, in stainless steel

While Omegas’s re-release of their famed 321 caliber-powered Speedmaster last year was met with general delight among the watch enthusiast community, it also begged a question: In doing so, had Omega overshadowed their standard workhorse Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch, which had existed more or less as-is for five decades?

Omega just responded to that in a big way, by completely overhauling the Speedy Pro with the introduction of the brand new Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Master Chronometer in no fewer than four different iterations.

The biggest change is that the caliber 1861 that had been the beating heart of the Speedy Pro since the ‘70s has been replaced with the new Master Chronometer certified caliber 3861 movement. While visually the 3861 is very similar to its predecessor, the most noticeable functional difference is that the watch now features a hacking movement: for the first time in its history, the second hand of the Speedmaster ticks rather than sweeps. In a matter of no small import, the new Speedy remains approved by NASA for both space flight and exploration, allowing the Moonwatch to very much live up to its storied name.

omega moonwatch 2021
It’s available in both a “Canopus Gold” and stainless steel case and bracelet

Externally, the changes to the new Speedy Pro are subtle, and mostly play tribute to revered vintage versions of the legendary watch, including a stepped dial rim and a dot on the bezel slightly askew of the 90. The Speedmaster has long been sold with a gloriously retro Hesalite — which is Omega’s fancy word for acrylic, which itself is a fancy word for plastic — crystal, and the new edition continues that trend for the stainless steel model, though it also offers a stainless model with a sapphire crystal as well. The sapphire version, which is slightly thinner than its Hesalite counterpart, carries an $850 premium, but for that you also get a sapphire “display” caseback as opposed to the Hesalite’s solid rear, an applied Omega logo as opposed to the Hesalite’s painted version, and polished innerlinks on the tastefully modernized, otherwise all-brushed bracelets that both models share.

For those who wish to splurge, the Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Master Chronometer is available in two different solid gold versions as well. The “Sedna Gold” version is a red hue with black dial, while the “Canopus Gold” is white gold with an attractive silvery white dial. Both feature a sapphire dial and caseback while sporting the Hesalite model’s all-brushed bracelet in their respective golds.

We’re a sucker for the Hesalite as the closest iteration to the vintage Speedy Pro, but regardless of which you choose, Omega has brought to the table a thoroughly impressive, thoughtfully executed upgrade of one of the most famous and accomplished watches of all time.