OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch 'Dark Side of the Moon' Black Ceramic: How it was made
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Thread: OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch 'Dark Side of the Moon' Black Ceramic: How it was made

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  1. #1
    Watchuseek Editor
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch 'Dark Side of the Moon' Black Ceramic: How it was made

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    In May of this year we ran news of The OMEGA Speedmaster chronograph. It was originally introduced in 1957 and received the moniker “Moonwatch” for its presence on all six NASA lunar missions. In 2011, Omega outfitted the watch with a new co-axial movement and bicompax design, both of which are used again in the first Moonwatch with a black ceramic case, unveiled at Baselworld 2013.

    The OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch “Dark Side of the Moon”is so called for its black zirconium oxide ceramic dial and matching black ceramic case, which is 44.25 mm in diameter and boasts both brushed and polished finishes.

    The dial features applied indices, made of 18k white gold, and the two blackened subdials at 3 o’clock and 6 o’clock. The subdial at 3 o’clock serves as both the 12-hour and 60-minute counter, using two hands to display the elapsed time intuitively.

    The watch is powered by OMEGA’s Calibre 9300, visible through the caseback. It contains a magnetism-resistant silicon balance spring and a co-axial escapement. Certified by COSC as a chronometer, the movement carries a 60-hour power reserve. On the caseback are featured the words “DARK SIDE OF THE MOON” engraved in matte chromium nitride.

    Deep black definitely proved to be the colour scheme at Baselwordl this year and the new OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch is no exception. Completing the watch’s black-on-black look is a strap made of black Cordura fabric with a black ceramic buckle. The price of the black ceramic Speedmaster is around $12,000.

    Now OMEGA have thoughtfully produced a step by step photo guide to the processes involved in creating the watch.

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    Visit the OMEGA website
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  2. #2
    Member kimnkk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Melbourne, AUS

    Re: OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch 'Dark Side of the Moon' Black Ceramic: How it was made

    All translate to an amazingly finished ceramic watch. Didn't know you could get ceramic to look like that!
    Too bad there are other watches in that pricepoint.

    smuggled_sheep, Ichigo and nerdz1 like this.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Re: OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch 'Dark Side of the Moon' Black Ceramic: How it was made

    If only their last step was...'then we put it in our magical product reconfiguration box which expands the subdials to the size of those on our new Speedy 57, reduces the diameter by 2mm and the thickness by 1.5mm, then prices it $3,500 less'....I would be a buyer. Otherwise, the process they show is just that used to produce a product that will sit in a boutique's display case, AFAIC. Might as well show a mannequin being made.

  4. #4
    Member IGotId's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Re: OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch 'Dark Side of the Moon' Black Ceramic: How it was made

    Lol @ "the case starts out as a giant disk but it is stage heated in a furnace to a smoldering 1,400 calories so it shrinks to the right size"

    They need to turn the heat up a bit more &/or leave it in the furnace a while longer
    AAMC likes this.

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  5. #5
    TKS is offline
    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Re: OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch 'Dark Side of the Moon' Black Ceramic: How it was made

    The basic gist of the process is, you do the design on a computer, and after you finish, a machine mills a block of either bleach or chemically pre shaded zirconium.

    The milled product is about 50%+ bigger than the bezel should be. In this stage the bezel is the consistency of chalk. Now based upon whether or not these are blank zirconia blocks or discs, you would now dip them in a chemical solution for an amount of time. Once that is done, they are placed in the sintering oven. Depending on the manufacturer providing the zirconia material (don't think for a second any watch company on earth produces zirconia in-house or at all for that matter) the sintering times are variable, and the temperature varies by a few degrees depending on how much material is being baked. 14-16 hours I presume is the sintering time. After that is done they may then polish the new ceramic (zirconia technically being a oxide from a metal so not really a ceramic at all), using stone or carbide burrs and maybe even diamond impregnated ones. The characters on the bezel are laser etched and sintered if necessary . To obtain a mirror like finish the can continue the course to fine polish technique, or uniform ally glaze it and have it in the oven once more.

    The thing I wonder is how they get it to stay in place on the watch, not aware of any chemical bonding to metal agents exist for zirconia, and last too long. So it has to be mechanically retained through leverage.

    And that's in basic terms how they make these. Rolex is no different. In terms material cost and labour this is essentially cheaper in the long term than the bezels we have had the traditional way. Amazing how the Swiss watch industry have turned this into something desirable... I'm not a fan.

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