Reviewing and Comparing the New and Vintage Omega Speedmaster Mark II
13 October, 2014 at 6:17 am in Business
This week Fratello Friday comes to us from that Tuesday series, and focuses on my recent opportunity to replica omega Speedmaster Broad Arrow review, compare and contrast the new Omega Speedmaster Mark II with its vintage predecessor from 1969. After the Omega Speedmaster Professional won the race to the Moon in 1969, Omega thought it was time to come up with a watch that was perhaps a bit more up to date and ready for the 1970s design wise, that is, as the watch would still need to handle the same abuse as the Speedmaster Professional could. Sometime in 1969, Omega introduced the first Speedmaster Mark II, which was actually a Speedmaster Professional Mark II. (For non native English speaking readers: the in the name stands for a new or revised/improved version; it is similar to calling something a version these days.) The Speedmaster Mark II came with the same Lemania based movement as the Moonwatch, Reference 145.022. This movement is Omega's Caliber 861 and was in production from 1968 through about 1996, when it was succeeded by the Caliber 1861 movement. The Speedmaster Mark II had a barrel shaped case that looked totally different from the asymmetrical Speedmaster Professional case. The regular Speedmaster, which was issued to NASA astronauts, was still in production, however. Throughout all the Speedmaster Mark series, the regular Speedmaster Pro remained available (and, of course, remains so today). When Omega ceased production of the Speedmaster Mark II in 1972, the Mark III already had been introduced. The Speedmaster Mark III was succeeded by the Mark IV in 1973. Then there is the Mark 4.5 (which is a Mark IV with a different movement, an Omega Caliber 1045), which came on the market in 1974. The last one of the Speedmaster Mark series is the Mark V, introduced around 1984. Confusing, right? There are even more models in between and some slight variations on the above. In any case, Omega decided to do a Speedmaster Mark II reissue earlier this year, and we noticed that the watches were already in the Omega boutiques before their official introduction at Baselworld 2014. Just like the original Speedmaster (Professional) Mark II watches, there are a few variations available of the Omega Speedmaster Mark II Co Axial 2014 models. There is a black dial version and a racing dial version as well as a Speedmaster Mark II 2016 Olympic Games edition (pictured below)that we saw during our appointment with Omega. As you can see on the photo of the new Speedmaster Mark II Racing (below), the barrel shaped case and bracelet are very similar to those on the original version. We will come to that comparison later on. If you take a closer look, you will notice that the dial is somewhat different from the original. The racing track is a bit different from the original, which had a red outer track and an orange Omega logo at 12 o'clock. However, the biggest differences are perhaps in the text on the dial and the fact that the new Speedmaster Mark II 2014 model has a date aperture. This movement has a column wheel mechanism, a co axial escapement, an Si14 silicon balance spring and a power reserve of 52 hours. It has little similarity with the original movement, except for the tri compax layout of the dial, of course. People have asked us about the base movement http://www.speedroc.com/replica-omega-speedmaster-broad-arrow-gmt.html for Omega Caliber 3330, as it is not one of Omega in house developed chronograph movements (Caliber the 93xx series). We tend to think that it is based on some ETA caliber that has been tailored for exclusive use by Omega only, hence the Si14 balance spring and co axial escapement. It is understandable that Omega decided to use this movement. It is probably not a watch for the purist although it is an awesome timepiece but more for someone who loves vintage watches but wants to wear something new. There also may be some collectors who just feel that they need a piece like this in their Speedmaster collection. We believe that the target audience, though, is the guy who loved seeing the vintage Speedmaster Mark II on the wrist of his father or grandfather and has decided to go with a similar timepiece with all the modern technology inside. For the purists, there are still some great pre owned vintage Speedmaster Mark II models out there that are priced attractively. He has been passionate about watches since childhood. Although being raised in the digital watch era, he found his way to mechanical timepieces. He was one of the first watch journalists with a dedicated blog focused on exclusive timepieces. With a team of editors and a professional photographer, Robert Jan visits watch manufacturers, watch exhibitions and events. I purchased the new version, and am very impressed. The new track on the outside edge of the dial is lighted from underneath, by a liner of Superluminova. Neat touch. And there is no comparison in the bracelets the old ones feel cheap and flimsy; the new ones are not only solid, with screw adjustable links (finally) but also has Omega's micro adjustment buckle that does not require any tools. I may look for an old one for my collection, but the new one has it all over the old. Just because something is old/vintage does not necessarily make it better. Thanks for your comment. Although I don't believe the comparison is a discussion between good or bad, I do believe that most modern / new watches are per definition better than the vintage ones. However, people buy vintage watches for different reasons than people who buy a new watch. I do love the new Speedmaster Mark II but I decided to go with an old one (as replica omega Seamaster 300m pictured in the article btw). I feel it has a bit more character because it is +40 years old, worn, scratched and I love the hand wound caliber. The new watch has a lot of advantages, admitted. I love how Omega executes their re editions, it is done in a great way. LATEST WATCHTIME POSTS Philippe Cousteau's replica breitling Sea Dweller Sells for $183,750 at Antiquorum AuctionAntiquorum's fall auction in New York generated an impressive $3,679,437 in sales. The [Read More.] Fratello Friday: Everyone Needs at Least One, Right? My Top 5 Digital WatchesPerhaps it is a bit like cursing in a church when discussing digital watches on a site [Read More.] Omega Launches New Speedmaster "Grey Side of the Moon"Following its highly successful "Dark Side of the Moon," Omega announces the new Omega [Read More.].