Did you ever want a Speedmaster, but still felt like the watch on offer at your local boutique missed something, or maybe you just wanted something new? Something less boring? Well, the famous Swiss brand has finally offered a refreshed version of its classic Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph (ref. 318.104.22.168.01.001) that now features an innovative variety of the good old bi-compax layout, all courtesy of their new Caliber 9300 self-winding mechanism that basically blends to sub-dials into one, which is not only more readable, but is actually cool.
The last couple of years I have heard numerous complaints from different watch enthusiasts that accused Omega in exploiting the legendary Speedmaster series like a milk cow, constantly churning out “limited edition” and “special edition” versions, but not releasing something new.
Well, now it seems that all these years the Swiss watchmaker was, in fact, busy preparing a new version of the living classic.
Equipped with their new Caliber 9300 in-house automatic movement with their reworked co-axial escapement, the watch finally ditches the tri-compax dial in favor of a simpler (and more elegant) bi-compax design while preserving its functionality.
While normal chronographs with two sub-dials can only display a small seconds hand and a 30-minute (okay, sometimes 45- or 60-minute) totalizer, this one preserves all the usual chronograph functionality. This is achieved thanks to a combined totalizer at 3 o’clock that sports a couple of hands and is capable to count both hours and minutes in an easy, intuitive way as the brand puts it in its press release.
We have already seen this design around five months ago when the watchmaker first introduced its gorgeous Seamaster Planet Ocean 45.50 mm automatic chronograph that featured an impressive WR of 600 meters.
Thankfully, the rest is the same.
The ref. 322.214.171.124.01.001 still features a black beveled dial with white transferred inscriptions, luminous hour markers and varnished white hands that have also received their fair share of Superluminova. The signature tachymeter scale on the black bezel is also on its rightful place.
The only thing that somewhat cools off my enthusiasm regarding this watch is the gargantuan size of its stainless steel body.
At 44.25 millimeters it is not just big. For a classic timekeeper that only 50 years ago measured only 35 millimeters in diameter, it is definitely HUGE! Not sure if I want to see such a monster hugging my wrist. As for the price, it is set at rather high $8600 USD, but you can also fine one at about two-thirds of the figure.
Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph (Caliber 9300, ref. 3126.96.36.199.01.001) specification
Price: $8600 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Omega Co-Axial Caliber 9300, 31.58 mm, double-barrel, tri-level co-axial escapement, in-house, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 39
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Cotes de Geneve in Arabesque
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
Power reserve: 60 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 44.25 mm
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black leather strap or a stainless steel bracelet
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Back: Sapphire, antireflective