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Omega releases white-dial Speedmaster inspired by NASA spacesuits

March 6, 2024

— It took 55 years, but an iconic wristwatch has finally taken on the look of the garment that helped make it iconic.

Omega on Tuesday (March 5) revealed its new Moonwatch in white, an $8,100 version of its Speedmaster Professional chronograph with a lacquered white dial.

"Why white? The primary inspiration for this new look is the white and black colors of astronaut spacesuits — especially those used during extravehicular activity (EVA), such as spacewalks," Omega officials wrote in their announcement of the new model. "An authentic connection after all, as the Speedmaster Moonwatch has been officially worn by NASA astronauts since 1965 and is known as the first watch worn on the moon."

When Omega created the Speedmaster in 1957, one of the main goals was to produce an easy-to-read display with superb legibility. The designers chose white hands and indexes on a black dial for that reason. For this new version, Omega adopted the opposite colorway.

Although there have been other white-face commemorative edition Speedmasters, this is the first time that the Moonwatch's step dial has featured a glossy lacquered finish, delivering the same clarity as the original.

In addition to white and black, Omega also rendered the Speedmaster name in red as a nod to the red commander's stripes that were added to NASA's spacesuits beginning with the Apollo 13 mission in 1970 and which have been in use ever since.

The use of white and red are also a reference to Omega's own history working with NASA. In 1969, Omega created the "Alaska I" prototype as part of its secret project to design the perfect space watch. After months of experiments, the watchmaker chose a white dial because it provided a particularly effective thermal reflection coefficient, an asset when considering the extreme temperatures of the vacuum of space and on the moon.

The original Alaska I watch also featured a protective red case.

The new 42mm Moonwatch otherwise shares the same form and function of the classic black dial Speedmaster, with a stainless steel case presented on either a stainless steel bracelet, a black micro-perforated leather strap with red and white stitching or an anti-bacterial rubber strap with a moon surface pattern in positive relief on the underside for comfort and aesthetics.

"For Moonwatch fans, the black anodized aluminum bezel of each timepiece has been given a famous "Dot over Ninety" on the tachymeter scale," Omega officials also noted in the release.

The white dial Speedmaster features a sapphire crystal glass on the front, as well as on the caseback, revealing the Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861 movement — Omega's updated version of the Calibre 321, which was chosen by NASA for astronauts' use on the moon. Like other Speedmaster models, the back is inscribed, "The First Watch Worn on the Moon."

NASA astronauts have not worn watches on the outside of their spacesuits for use while spacewalking since 1993, however they do use timepieces made by Omega and other companies while on board the International Space Station. Russian cosmonauts are issued black-dial Speedmasters for use on EVAs. So it is possible the white-dial Moonwatch could make it into space.

That said, proving that the white-dial Speedmaster is not just for astronauts or space enthusiasts, public excitement for the new model began in November 2023, when the first edition of the Moonwatch in white was spotted on the wrist of Omega brand ambassador, Daniel Craig (of "James Bond" fame), at an Omega exhibition in New York.


The new Moonwatch in white reverses the colorway of the classic Speedmaster dial as a nod to NASA's spacesuits. (Omega)

The front and back of the Moonwatch in white features a sapphire crystal glass, which on the reverse reveals the movement. (Omega)

Omega pairs the Moonwatch in white with one of three different bracelets: stainless steel (at left), black micro-perforated leather strap with red and white stitching (at right) or a anti-bacterial rubber strap with a moon surface pattern in positive relief on the underside. (Omega)

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