The Omega Speedmaster commemorative editions continue to roll out from Bienne. After two 50th anniversary limited editions — one in Moonshine Gold, and the other in steel with a gold bezel — Omega now presents an exclusive model in a platinum alloy case powered by the recently-revived, fan-favorite Caliber 321 movement.
Launched in 1957, the Speedmaster was originally powered by Caliber 321, a column wheel chronograph movement based on the legendary Lemania 2310. The watch that went to the moon with the Apollo 11 crew was powered by the same movement. In 1968, Omega replaced Caliber 321 with Caliber 861, a cam-actuated chronograph movement. However, purists have long pined for the revival of Caliber 321 and lusted after is traditional column wheel construction. We’ll the save the column wheel vs cam-actuated chronograph story for another day.
Omega announced earlier this year that it would revive production of these legendary movements and here it is now, encased in an exclusive platinum alloy. However, this isn’t the Speedmaster’s first outing in platinum, a 40th anniversary commemorative edition also used the same metal.
The 50th anniversary edition uses the asymmetrical 42 mm case of the fourth generation Speedmaster (Ref. 105.012) but instead of steel, it is made from a special alloy of platinum alloy and gold (Pt950Au20). In another concession to modernity, it is also fitted with a black ceramic bezel with an enamel tachymeter scale. The stepped black onyx dial and uses real moon meteorite for the subdials and the indexes, the hours and minutes hands are all made from 18K white gold.
Unlike steel Speedies, this commemorative edition again has a sapphire crystal caseback to showcase the copper hues of the Caliber 321 in all its glory. However, unlike the original, the copper colored bits you see here are actually PVD-coated Sedna gold. Omega’s tech boffins based this revival movement on a second generation Caliber 321. If you must know, the engineers used tomography technology (basically digital scans) to reconstruct the movement.
The watch is fitted with a black alligator strap with a platinum buckle. Though this is not a limited edition, Omega has in the past stated that only 2,000 Caliber 321 movements will be made in a year. While the platinum edition may be out of the reach of a lot of fans, there have been rumors swirling that we’ll see a Caliber 321-powered version in steel too in the not-so-distant future. Now wouldn’t that be grand.