Yesterday—or “Speedy Tuesday,” if you will—Omega unveiled a fresh take on the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8, a piece from 2018 that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission from 1968—the first human-piloted flight to orbit the Moon, on which every astronaut was rocking a Speedy.
The original watch, based upon the 2013 ceramic-cased Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon, measured a burly 44.25mm and featured a skeletonized dial, yellow accents, and a customized take on the brand’s Calibre 1861 hand-wound movement with black bridges. A non-limited model, it expanded the already eye-catching Dark Side of the Moon family into yet bolder territory, turning the toolish Moonwatch into something simultaneously tactical and runway-ready. Arresting and dramatic, it’s a clear evolution of (though a far cry from) the much more toned-down Moonwatch.
Think of the new version as a subtle upgrade on the 2018 iteration. Similar to the Calibre 1861 on the previous generation, the Calibre 3869 used in the updated version uses laser ablation to depict the Moon in relief on the blackened bridges and mainplate, while the cool black look of the dial itself is created using skeletonized aluminum.
This entire dial side of the watch is meant to depict the Moon as we see it from Earth; flip the watch over, however, and a glance through the sapphire caseback reveals the “dark side” of the Moon—which otherwise requires an actual, you know, space voyage to see. Definition is provided by contrast against gray movement wheels and a gray gold-coated balance wheel, providing a more nuanced depiction than was available on the previous iteration. (The movement, meanwhile, is now a Co-Axial Master Chronometer, meaning it’s highly accurate, precise, and resistant to magnetism.)
The case, meanwhile—which measures the same 44.25mm as the previous gen—is black ceramic, as is the polished bezel and caseback. The bezel’s tachymeter scale achieves its bright white coloring via grand feu enamel, while the varnished yellow central chronograph hand coordinates with the black rubber strap’s yellow interior. Look closely at the dial and you’ll notice what may be this Speedy’s wildest feature: The running seconds hand at 9 o’clock takes the form of a tiny Saturn V rocket engineered from Grade 5 titanium via a laser turning process. (The depth and color achieved by Omega in this miniscule feature is frankly remarkable.)
Flip the watch back over and you’re greeted with several engravings, one of which reads “We’ll see you on the other side,” which was spoken by Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell before stepping onto the dark side of the Moon, whence radio contact broke off. Though it’s doubtful you’ll get to test the new Speedy where the likes of Lovell and his famous friends had the privilege to walk, it certainly doesn’t detract from the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8’s appeal. At $14,300, the piece is priced well beyond the cost of a regular Moonwatch on a bracelet—but such is the price one pays for this level of finishing on a METAS-certified movement, and for black ceramic.
Indeed, if you’re a fan of the Speedy but you want to stand out in the more typical Moonwatch crowd, this is certainly the watch to do it with.
Originally Appeared on GQ