The Latest Generation Of The Speedmaster Moonwatch

As from January 2021, the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch has been certified as a Master Chronometer. This is an event that catapults the historic model into the 21st century, aligning its technical characteristics with the remainder of Omega's high-end production.

The certification is issued only to Swiss Made watches which are certified by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (Cosc), and resistant to magnetic fields of intensity up to 15,000 Gauss.

 Among  other specifications, the timepiece must additionally pass strict chronometric precision tests on the wrist according to the Metas (the Federal Institute of Metrology – the stringent testing institute that tests Omega's watches) protocol, and the precision must be constant for the entire duration of the charge.

The conversion of the Moonwatch into a Master Chronometer coincided with a delicately stylistic revision of the model, which was partly redesigned using the fourth generation of the Speedmaster as a model, with the reference ST 105.012, worn in 1969 by the astronauts of Apollo 11.

The movement is the latest generation of the caliber lineage that began with the 27 CHRO C12 of 1941, renamed 321 in 1949, and which subsequently evolved into the 861, mounted on most of the Speedmasters certified by NASA for the Apollo missions (although some astronauts, like Buzz Aldrin, wore the 321 movement models, purchased by the US Space Agency for the Gemini programme).

On the 3861 we find cam chronograph sorting and horizontal coupling, but the escapement is the Co-Axial Omega and the balance wheel is equipped with a free silicon balance spring, resistant to magnetic fields. Several other components of the movement have also been manufactured in new alloys which are just as antimagnetic. The accuracy exceeds the criteria set by the COSC (-4, + 6 seconds per day), scoring average daily deviations between 0 and +5 seconds per day.

Ref. 310. is the one which is most faithful to the past, with Plexiglas glass and a closed case back. The dial is of the ‘step’ type, that is with a marked step that separates the outer band sloping down from the center, as those that we find on the models of the 1960s.

Still on the outer band, the spaces between the notches of the minutes are now divided into three intervals instead of five for consistency, with a frequency of 21,600 vibrations / hour of the balance-spiral, which divides the second into three parts.

The central hand of the chronograph resumes the shape of an arrow with a teardrop counterweight, which was in use until 1968.

 by Dody Giussani