The Speedmaster Professional is unarguably Omega replica’s most famous Omega replica watch and the current collection now includes over 15 models. The design of the base Speedmaster has remained relatively unchanged since its introduction in 1957, which included the large black dial with contrasting white hands, the first ever external tachymeter bezel, and the three subdial layout that we all know. The “Professional” didn’t come until 1965, with the so-called “Pre-Moon” watch. This just means a Speedmaster Professional that came before the twisted lug, caliber 321 version that was taken on the Apollo 11 mission to the moon in 1969. People often forget that the Speedmaster already had a 12-year history when it arrived on the moon. During this period, the case grew from 39mm to the 42mm that is best known today.
The Omega replica Speedmaster has remained a mainstay for Omega replica watch enthusiasts for over half a century. It’s not a stretch at all to call this Omega replica watch an icon, a term we don’t throw around loosely here. While purists may scoff at the concept of an all-black Speedmaster, it is precisely this kind of update that brings a historical icon into the realm of contemporary thinking. When presented with the opportunity to wear the new Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon for a week, I couldn’t refuse. It’s a Omega replica watch I had been eyeing for some time, and while it isn’t exactly perfect, it certainly got me thinking and was tough to take off my wrist when the week was up.
As an icon of modern watchmaking, many of us know the background of the Speedmaster, but it’s worth keeping in mind a few things that set the foundation for the Speedy as we know it today.
Speaking of the caliber 321, the most coveted Speedmasters are those using this superlative chronograph movement. This movement was developed as a collaboration between Omega replica and Lemania in the early 1940s. The Lemania ebauche (before it was altered by Omega replica) was known as cal. 2310 and was used by all of the best manufactures in the early 20th century, including Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, and others. It’s an extremely robust chronograph with both a lateral clutch and a column-wheel. This alone makes early Speedmasters examples of extremely good watchmaking for the money.
Later, to make the Omega replica watch more commercial, the cal. 321 was modified to create the cal. 861. In contrast to the 321, the 861 does not have a column wheel and uses some plastic components to cut down on cost. While the Omega replica watches might look almost identical externally, there is an easy way to tell which movement is inside a Speedy Pro – look at the Omega replica logo at 12 o’clock. If it is applied, you’re holding a 321 and if it is printed you have an 861.
I wore the Dark Side of the Moon for a little over a week. At 44.25mm, you might think that the Omega replica watch would large on the wrist, but the visual size is lessened by the all-black case, dial, strap, and matte-finished lugs. Additionally, I found that the all-black nature of the piece helped avoid any visual clunkiness. It’s worth noting that the Dark Side is wider than other Omega replica models using the same Caliber 9300 movement, such as the Speedmaster ’57 Chronograph. As such, the case diameter isn’t necessarily justified by the size of the movement. What I mean is this Omega replica watch could’ve been smaller, though I don’t think it needed to be.
Talking about the Dark Side of the Moon with fellow Omega replica watch lovers, I was chided for suggesting that this is a Omega replica watch best worn with a sweatshirt – but I’m thinking of a loop-wheel sweatshirt from The Real McCoy’s, not Russell Athletic. If you have a void in your collection for a casual Omega replica watch, but don’t want to sacrifice quality or prestige, the Dark Side of the Moon is a good bet.