The Speedmaster is Omega’s most iconic timepiece, best known as “The Moonwatch” for being on the wrist of Buzz Aldrin during the first NASA lunar landing in 1969. The model he wore, and numerous subsequent Speedmaster models, have garnered a huge fanatical following over the years.
Five years ago in 2012, this following essentially got its own hashtag, #SpeedyTuesday, a term coined by Robert-Jan Broer, the founder of Fratellowatches, for use on social media sites such as Instagram. Fast forward to 2017, on the five-year anniversary of #SpeedyTuesday, Omega announced a limited edition Speedmaster Professional – based on the Alaska Project III that was created for NASA in 1978 – that pays tribute to the hashtag, and the followers who use it. And they responded with their checkbooks, so to speak, as you will read below.
Defined by large radial Arabic numerals on the subdials, and a vintage Omega logo on the dial, the 42 mm steel case of this Speedy Tuesday Limited Edition Anniversary Speedmaster houses the manually wound caliber 1861 movement, which is an evolution of the caliber 861 which powered the first Moonwatch.
Omega Speedmaster Alaska Project III
The movement beats at 3Hz (21,600 vph), has 18 jewels, and a 48-hour power reserve and powers other current Speedmasters such as the CK2998 that was launched last year at Baselworld
As a throwback, the dial features a “Reverse Panda” design that was first used by Omega in 1966, that consists of white opaline-silvery subdials with a black dial, and encircled with a bezel ring and tachymeter scale in matte black aluminum. Another feature worth noting is that the subdials have been coated with bright luminescent ink.
The dial is protected not by a sapphire crystal but a Hesalite crystal (plexiglass), which is yet another nod to the past.
On the solid screwed caseback, the words “SPEEDY TUESDAY ANNIVERSARY – A TRIBUTE TO ALASKA PROJECT III” are written around the perimeter, as well as the engraved limited edition XXXX/2012 at the bottom, with the Speedmaster Seahorse medallion stamped in the middle. Also, circling the outermost section of the caseback is the word “RADIAL.”
In addition to the brown vintage style leather strap, each timepiece is presented in a special leather watch roll containing a black and white NATO strap with #SpeedyTuesday engraved on the strap’s loop. The roll also contains a strap changing tool. The retail price for the Omega Speedy Tuesday Anniversary Limited Edition Speedmaster is $6500, and could initially be reserved on Omega’s website, which is the first time the Swatch Group owned company has officially sold timepieces online, but likely not their last, as all 2012 pieces were reserved within a few hours of becoming available. Delivery will begin Summer 2017. (Ref. 3184.108.40.206.01.001)