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Alistair Charlton

Stunning new Omega Speedmaster revealed with white lacquer dial

Omega Speedmaster White Dial.

To paraphrase Vesper Lynd in the Bond movie Casino Royale, there are new watch announcements and there are new watch announcements; this is the latter.

She was talking to 007 about dinner jackets, but you get the point. Every so often, a new watch lands with an especially large splash, and that is one of those moments. It’s a new Omega Speedmaster and it has a lacquered white dial.

The James Bond reference is double-sided, as this particular Omega made its public debut on the wrist of Daniel Craig at the Swiss watchmaker’s Planet Omega event in New York last November. It caused a stir, naturally, and now we know it wasn’t just a one-off for the former Bond. It’s real, it’s not a limited-edition, and it’s available to buy right now for £7,600 ($8,100).

Although not limited production, the watch cannot be bought from Omega’s website, and is instead restricted to Omega boutiques, at least for now. It's offered on either a stainless steel bracelet or a black perforated leather strap with red and white stitching.

(Image credit: Omega)

As you surely know by now, the Omega Speedmaster began life as a motorsport-inspired timepiece, but was soon dubbed the 'Moonwatch' after being strapped to the wrists of Apollo astronauts on their missions into space and onwards to the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took their NASA-issued Omegas to the moon, and it was a Speedmaster that helped the crew of the stricken Apollo 13 return to Earth.

The watch usually has a black dial, but for this new edition Omega has taken inspiration from the white and black suits of astronauts. Omega explains: “The primary inspiration for this new look is the white and black colours of astronaut spacesuits – especially those used during extravehicular activity, such as spacewalks…In addition, red lines have also featured on the suits since Apollo 13 in 1970 to signify the commander’s rank.”

A second reason for the white dial is how, in 1969, Omega created the Alaska I prototype as part of a secret Nasa project to design the perfect watch to be worn in space. Omega chose a white dial for that prototype because, the company says, “it provides a particularly effective thermal reflection coefficient.”

(Image credit: Omega)

This is the first regular steel Speedmaster Professional to get a white dial, and the lacquered finish really makes that dial pop. Equally eye-grabbing is the high contrast of the black markings and red Speedmaster motif, while a black tackymetre – used for calculating the average speed of a vehicle travelling a known distance – sits on the aluminium bezel of the 42 mm stainless steel case.

Power comes from Omega’s Calibre 3861 automatic mechanical movement, which is visible in all its beauty through the sapphire case back. Power reserve is 50 hours and the watch is water resistant to 50 metres. As ever with a contemporary Speedmaster, the case back includes the inscription: “The first watch worn on the moon”.

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