While the Speedmaster is a watch that mostly comes to mind in stainless steel (it remains first and foremost a racing instrument chronograph), the concept of a precious metal Moonwatch is not new. In the past, mostly for limited or commemorative editions, gold or platinum have been used by Swiss made replica Omega on multiple occasions. The first gold Speedmaster was launched in 1969 under the reference BA 145.022, produced in 1,014 examples (including 32 examples offered to astronauts, to President Nixon, to Vice-President Agnew and to Omega executives), with a yellow gold case and a signature burgundy bezel. Most importantly, from 1999 to 2012, Omega offered an 18k yellow gold Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional as part of its permanent collection, in a non-limited edition, under the reference 3195.50 (as seen above). However, as of 2012, the Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional was only available in stainless steel, with Hesalite or sapphire variants.
For the new best fake Speedmaster collection, Omega has decided to update the stainless steel models – Hesalite or sapphire sandwich – but also to bring back precious metals in the permanent collection, with two luxurious editions of the Moonwatch Professional. First is a white gold model with a silver-coloured dial – made in Omega’s proprietary alloy, Canopus gold. Second is the watch we’ll be looking at today, somehow the modern descendant of the 3195.50 mentioned above… except that yellow gold has been replaced by another of Swatch Group’s proprietary alloys; Sedna gold.
Just like Canopus gold is said to be an upgraded version of white gold (with more whiteness, brilliance and longevity, and without rhodium plating), Sedna gold is Omega’s vision of a more durable pink gold alloy. Introduced in 2013 and developed by an in-house Swatch Group team, this 18k alloy blends gold, copper and palladium to ensure a long-lasting reddish luster – standard pink gold can fade and loose some of its colour over time. Omega replaces the silver used in traditional pink gold alloys by palladium, a process that ensures a more stable pink tone.
Compared to the older yellow gold version, this new Sedna gold Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional has a more subtle, less vibrant colour and feels a bit more discreet. It is also different from yet another proprietary alloy used by Omega, Moonshine gold, which was used in the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition and has been developed to replace yellow gold (still with a paler hue but again with high resistance to colour fading). The result is a watch that retains a luxurious feel, however, without too much ostentation.
Regarding the case, and to the exception of a different material, no surprises here, as we find the same newly-shaped case as the steel models. Thinner and more compact, it still measures 42mm in diameter with a height of 13.2mm (0.5mm less than previous models) and 47.46mm lug-to-lug (again, about 0.5mm less than before). If it’s not really obvious at first, the entire case has been subtly redesigned for more comfort, however, the traditional Professional look is still present, with the combination of brushed surfaces and polished accents, the twisted lyre lugs and the protected crown and pushers.
Contrary to the steel models that can be ordered with a synthetic Hesalite or a sapphire crystal, the Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional Sedna gold is only available in the so-called sapphire sandwich configuration – meaning both sides protected by sapphires, with a visible movement. Another subtle evolution on the new Speedmaster Moonwatch is its bezel, and the Sedna gold model is no exception to the rule. Indeed, its black insert, still made in anodized aluminium, shows a historic layout with “dot over 90” and has a crispier printing than in the past. In this edition, the scale is executed in gold colour, matching the case. Finally, regarding the habillage, water-resistance is still rated at 50 metres and the crown and pushers have been slightly redesigned too.
The main difference, apart from the material used for the case and bracelet, between this Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional Sedna gold and the steel models is the dial. Indeed, multiple evolutions are to be noted. While Omega also uses here the vintage-inspired step profile, with a recessed chapter ring as a reference to mid-1960s versions, the dial isn’t matte but has a discreet sunray-brushed pattern. As you can expect, all printings, logos and scales are executed in gold colour and the dial has an applied Ω logo at 12 o’clock. On this edition, the painted “short markers” found on the steel models are replaced by Sedna gold applied “tall markers”, with a small inclusion of Super-LumiNova and the hands, while having the same revamped design, are also executed in gold.
This new Sedna gold Speedmaster Co-Axial Master Chronometer also benefits from the updated bracelet found on all variations, with a 20/15mm profile and a redesigned clasp, smaller and more comfortable than before. Overall, the bracelet is more pleasant than before, both visually and on the wrist, specifically thanks to its thinner profile and to the redesigned end-links, making the watch more compact. Surprisingly, the gold editions (Sedna or Canopus) have a fully brushed bracelet, while we could have expected some polished mid-links, as for the steel/sapphire model.
Under the see-through caseback is Omega’s new standard Speedmaster movement, the recently-introduced calibre 3861. While close in architecture to the venerable 1861, it has been drastically updated on all crucial levels, with a co-axial escapement, a silicon balance spring, a stop-seconds. This means that it now has true antimagnetic properties (>15,000-gauss) and its precision is Master Chronometer-certified. The decoration of the movement has also been improved, with Geneva stripes and polished bevels. A nice movement that combines historic look and 21st-century specifications.