I first acquired a speedy pro a few years back since it has always been on my list of must haves. I had it for a month and readily flipped it to acquire an upgrade so I thought. When I eventually realized my mistake, I tried to reacquire the piece I sold but it was too late. Since then, I have always been on the lookout for an opportunity to have one back into my stable.
......Opportunity knocked and I wasn’t going to miss on this one........
.....I had trouble finding a link for it but with the help of our commendable forum member Ditoy......I was able to go for the piece...
I do have a few reasons why I like this particular model:
1. History: …..it is in fact…..the watch worn on the first moon landing.
2. Design: it is a quintessential piece…..the design remains identifiable from the first speedy designed by Claude Baillod way back in 1957
3. Case Size: With my 7.25 wrist, IMHO 42mm is my sweet spot ( not too big but with the righ amount of wrist presence)
4. Tool: It is a toolwatch, it is in fact designed for a purpose other than to look nice.
5. It is proven tough. Through NASA testing
1. High temperature
48 hours at a temperature of 160°F (71°C) followed by 30 minutes at 200°F (93°C). This under a pressure of 5.5 psia (0.35 atm) and relative humidity not exceeding 15%.
2. Low temperature
Four hours at a temperature of 0°F (-18°C).
Chamber pressure maximum of 1.47 x 10-5 psia (10-6 atm) with temperature raised to 160°F (71°C). The temperature shall then be lowered to 0°F (-18°C) in 45 minutes and raised again to 160°F in 45 minutes. Fifteen more such cycles shall be completed.
4. Relative humidity
A total time of 240 hours at temperatures varying between 68°F and 160°F (20°C and 71°C) in a relative humidity of at least 95%. The steam used must have a pH value between 6.5 and 7.5.
5. Oxygen atmosphere
The test item shall be placed in an atmosphere of 100% oxygen at a pressure of 5.5 psia (0.35 atm) for 48 hours. Performance outside of specification, tolerance, visible burning, creation of toxic gases, obnoxious odours, or deterioration of seals or lubricants shall constitute failure to pass this test. The ambient temperature shall be maintained at 160°F (71°C).
Six shocks of 40 Gs, each 11 milliseconds in duration, in six different directions.
The equipment shall be accelerated linearly from 1 G to 7.25 Gs within 333 seconds, along an axis parallel to the longitudinal spacecraft axis.
Ninety minutes in a vacuum of 1.47 x 10-5 (10-6 atm) at a temperature of 160°F (71°C) and 30 minutes at 200°F (93°C).
9. High pressure
The equipment to be subjected to a pressure of 23.5 psia (1.6 atm) for a minimum period of one hour.
Three cycles of 30 minutes (lateral, horizontal, vertical), the frequency of varying from 5 to 2,000 cps and back to 5 cps in 15 minutes. Average acceleration per impulse must be at least 8.8 Gs.
11. Acoustic noise
130 db over a frequency range of 40 to 10,000 Hz, duration 30 minutes.
I recently took in an APOLLO 11 “40TH ANNIVERSARY” . It commemorates the first manned lunar landing on the 20th of July, 1969. I would however be just giving my thoughts to my view of its finishing, craftsmanship, and wearing comfort as a speedy pro in general.
*Model Ref: 318.104.22.168.01.002
*Stainless Steel case
*Tachymetre scale bezel
*Case Diameter: 42mm
* WR 50M
*Black chronograph dial, with silver Eagle patch on 9 o'clock seconds subdial, 2:56 GMT marked underneath standard text at 12 o'clock, Superluminova luminous index marks
*Non screw-down crown and pushers
*Chronograph function, non-date
*Speedmaster bracelet with polished highlights
- Cal. 1861 (based on the Lemania 1873)
- 21.6k BPH
- 48 hour power reserve
- Manual wind
Packaging / Manual
I am impressed a bit with the packaging of the 40th. It is a welcome improvement from my old speedy pro which is what others may refer to as the usual Omega disintegrating box.
Its interesting to see the wide box with a few extras on it such as a 42 mm silver medal with an engraving:
There was also a polishing cloth, the usual pictograms, manuals and certificate of authenticity.
Overall, I get the impression that I do have something more special than my old Speedy pro.
At 42mm, it is in my sweet spot ( I have a 7.25 wrist ). I love the size and while it isn’t too big, it doesn’t lack the presence as compared to, lets say a usual 40mm.
Finishing is tops. I would say that they did pay attention to detail on the finishing. The sides are not cornered or boxy. I would presume it would take a higher level of finishing or craftsmanship to get into this end point.
The case isn’t thick at all although the bezel would be prone to dings IMHO. The lugs are pleasing to look at since it isn’t squared. Here you can observe the level of finishing which isn’t your round the mill squared lugs.
Water resistance is at 50M. Im sure Omega can do better than this. I am quite anal with WR, a good 100 is achievable Im sure and would be a welcome improvement.
The Speedmaster Pro comes with a solid caseback. My old one has the standard making on it which I think is very nice. It does have an iron core backing to help its anti magnetic properties.
My recent pickup has a unique caseback which I welcome since it makes it a bit unique although I wouldn’t mind if the caseback is as the standard ones. I think they both have their own merits .
Now here is my favourite part. As in my other reviews, I have mentioned Im a sucker for domed crystals. In this piece, I think I had an overload on the dome. It simply is…..exactly as I like it. It is Hesalite and it is shatter resistant. One thing that it isn’t, is scratch resistant. I believe I managed to put some scratches here and there already but in my view, it adds character overall to the watch.
Another thing that’s a joy to look at is the omega symbol engraving right smack at the middle of the crystal. It just reinforces the feel of a quality timepiece and their attention to detail.
There is quite a lot if interaction with the crown in the Speedy Pro. You deal with it everyday since you wind it. The knurling did help with the grip but I think the flaw is in the size. Heck, it is easier to grip a Rolex Submariner crown than this one! I just cant imagine the astronauts having to wind theirs nearly every 1 ½ days. Im sure my hands/fingers aren’t that big but it is so darn hard to operate. Maybe an increase in size would have made crown operation a bit easier.
In fairness, the crown did have a good tactile feel when you wind it and an excellent feedback at the endpoint when you reach full winding.
With the pushers, I have no problems with the operation. They are the right size, accessibility and a good tactile feel when you push them. Just perfect
The dial has an excellent legibility. It is easy to view and doesn’t seem cluttered even with 3 subdials for the chrono function. The markings aren’t loud and in this particular model, they didn’t fuss the extras, thus it didn’t look overdecorated.
Dial work is detailed and the markers are well laid. The lume is not to be denied as after all, it is a moonwatch, so it does have its roots on aviation which requires the lume to be at least ….good.
The patch on the 9 0’ clock second counter is very nicely minted although the contrast is lost thus making the seconds hand quite harder to discern. It’s something I was willing to overlook. The trade-off was it is a nice break from a bit of boredom on my old speedy. It made the dial a bit unbalanced and decentralized but it did acquire the right to deserve the second look ….and maybe a longer stare.
The hands are thin. Not like in divers watches wherein you will observe that thy have wide hands tapering to the tip to aid in the legibility. In the Speedy, they managed to make the hands thin and extremely legible. Looking at the time is a breeze and what’s amazing about it is that the hands in the subdials doesn’t seem to distract you when you glance at the time. I’d say it scores a 10 on this aspect.
On this particular model the tip of the second chrono counter has been highlighted red. It is a small modification from the usual speedy pro but it did make a huge impact on aesthetics for my taste that is.
I did like the bracelet in my old speedy but it did leave me to wonder. Why is it on a pin adjustment? I guess I thought that at the pricepoint I had to cope to get it at that time, I expected it to be in screws.
The 40th did have the improved screw adjustment on the bracelet which is a welcome improvement. I do love the fit and comfort of wearing it as I did in my old speedy.
The clasp is as most Omega clasp, on a push button system and as most of them, a scratch magnet. It doesn’t bother me personally but I sometimes wonder why my rolex clasps aren’t as filled with scratches as my omegas.
The original movement of the Speedy ( 1957) is the 321 (27Chro12) based on a Lemania 2310. These movements didn’t have shock resistance. These movements were worked by Albert Piguet. It was then replaced by the 861 ( Lemania 1873) in 1965. Production was simplified, schaltrad to shuttlesystem, 18000vph to 21600vph , balanced spring etc. To sum it up, it was more precise. This new movement made its way to the speedy in 1968. It was 1969 when NASA flight qualified the speedy.
These generation of Speedys mentioned in this review has the 1861. It is an improved 861 with 18 jewels, rhodium plating in place of copper and some nylon parts replacing some metal parts making it more wear resistant and self lubricating.
From personal experience. The movement has been accurate for the time that I have it. I do wind it every morning to keep the power up and I am yet to time its power reserve which is I think 45 hours.
Comfort and Overall Impression
Overall, It is a comfortable watch to wear. The size is just a notch up from most 40mm sportwatches. Its isn’t heavy nor thick and would fit most cuffs. This piece doesn’t need to be babied nor would it look great in mint condition. It is tested for the harshest conditions and could be worn in such. If care would be taken for aesthetic purposes. The crystal, clasp and bezel would be prone to scratches and dings. The glitch for me personally is the crown. Difficulty in operation is a minor setback.
The strong point of the watch for me is the domed crystal, the timeless design and the extremely great legibility. WR can be improved.
In conclusion, it is a tool. We can use it as such without worries. It can be passed to the next generation ( I wish my dad bought one in the 60s, and passed it on to me). Design is timeless and it has been through a lot in history.
……….a piece of history……….something to keep……… I guess…….