Omega begins 2022 with a new Speedmaster
The Speedmaster 321 Canopus Gold™
Complete with vintage details and a beautiful design in 18K Canopus Gold™, this unique Speedmaster model is a perfectly collectable timepiece. Along with its iconic Calibre 321, there are also several special tributes to the collection’s 65th anniversary.
For the first major release of 2022, Omega is introducing a new Speedmaster Calibre 321, complete with vintage details and a beautiful design in 18K Canopus Gold™.
When this legendary collection was first launched in 1957, it changed the face of chronograph watchmaking forever. Created for professional racing car drivers, the watch was perfectly readable and easy to use, and was also the first in the world to feature a tachymeter scale on the bezel, as opposed to on the dial. This feature was ideal for timing average speeds on the track, and complemented the watch’s sturdy, highly-precise and water-resistant design.
Taking inspiration from that very first Speedmaster, known as the CK2915-1, today’s release marks the collection’s 65th
anniversary with a unique 38.6 mm case that has been crafted in 18K Canopus Gold™. This exclusive material is Omega’s own white gold alloy and is distinguished by its high brilliance, whiteness and longevity. Watch connoisseurs will also be able to pick out the NAIAD symbol on the watch’s crown, which was specifically used to reference water-resistance in some of the first CK2915 models.
For the ultimate contrast, the watch has been given a deep black onyx dial with an applied vintage Omega logo and typography featuring an oval “O”
- a detail that was typical for the first CK2915 models. There are also 18K white gold hands and indexes with a Canopus Gold™ PVD treatment and the three classic Speedmaster subdials including a small seconds display, 30-minute recorder and 12-hour recorder, along with the central chronograph function.
Of course, the famous tachymeter scale is there too. On the bezel, it has been filled with black “Grand Feu”
enamel, and if you look closely, you’ll also see two of the original Speedmaster’s most collector-worthy details: the famous dot over ninety (DON) and a dot diagonal to seventy.
Perhaps most sought-after of all is the famous movement inside the watch. The Calibre 321 was the original movement used inside the Speedmaster in 1957. It also powered the watches worn during the Apollo missions, including all of history’s six moon landings. Since 2019, Omega has brought the Calibre 321 back into production, carefully retaining all the authentic specifications. Adding it to this new release gives the watch added provenance and a genuine connection to the Speedmaster’s heritage.
Turning the watch over reveals a further tribute to the collection’s anniversary. An engraving of the Omega Seahorse – a brand icon used on the Speedmaster since 1957 -has been added to the inside of the sapphire crystal glass. Its eye has been made from a sparkling blue sapphire, a precious jewel that traditionally marks a 65-year celebration.
The Speedmaster Calibre 321 watch is set on an 18K Canopus Gold™ bracelet with a comfort release adjustment system and is presented in a special wooden box. Crafted with a Rosewood-like pattern in honour of the collection’s 65th
anniversary, the shape and design of the box is inspired by the original Speedmaster boxes that customers would have received in 1957.
Omega has been using the exclusive Canopus Gold™, an 18K white gold alloy, since 2015. As well as being 100% noble, it bears all the standard characteristics of other 18K golds, while also distinguishing itself for its high brilliance, whiteness and longevity, making it an ideal material for high-end or diamond set timepieces.
The alloy is named after the bright star Canopus, which is 71 times bigger and 10’000 times brighter than our sun. Due to its brilliance and position, Canopus became an important reference point for many space agencies.
Its unique composition includes platinum, rhodium and palladium for colour and stability.
The Speedmaster Calibre 321 in Canopus Gold™
To create the newest version of the legendary Speedmaster chronograph, Omega has once again pushed the boundaries of watchmaking expertise, using methods and technologies that achieve exceptional quality in every detail.
We have now gone inside the factory to reveal exactly how this commemorative and highly-innovative timepiece has been crafted. From the bezel to the dial, you can now begin to understand why this unique watch stands apart from the rest.
For the very first time, Omega has developed a white gold bezel featuring a black enamel tachymeter scale. To accomplish the début feature in this specific case, the process requires three separate layers of black enamel being applied to the engraved bezel, and after each layer is applied, the bezel spends time in a “Grand Feu”
furnace at exactly 850°C. When this is complete, the top surface of the bezel is satin-brushed to reveal the clear numbering of the scale, before the bezel is placed back in the furnace one last time (at 800°C) to enhance the tachymeter’s glossy appearance.
Onyx is blacker than ceramic, making it the ideal material for the dial of this Speedmaster. To respect the original specifications of the 1957 Speedmaster dial, Omega uses an ultrasonic CNC machine to precisely cut and assemble each of the dial’s main components - beginning with the primary base plate in brass.
This plate is given a black DLC coating (Diamond Like Carbon), before receiving its three chronograph counters also in black onyx. A second plate in black onyx is then added, followed by the external minute ring in black onyx, to complete the Speedmaster’s famous “step dial”
18K gold (with at least 75% pure gold) is considered the premium standard for watchmaking, as it offers the ultimate balance between purity and practicality. Omega’s 18K Canopus Gold™ alloy combines gold with platinum, rhodium and palladium to deliver its exclusive quality and look.
For this watch, the raw material is machined to create the genuine case shape of the original Speedmaster and is then given polished and brushed surfaces to deliver contrasting effects.
The Seahorse has long been a symbol used on Omega watches and was originally inspired by the seahorse motifs used on the gondolas of Venice. While also being attributed to Seamaster timepieces, the Seahorse has also become a defining icon for the Speedmaster collection. On this watch, the design has been laser engraved on the inside of the sapphire glass. Then, a patented technique using Liquidmetal™ has been used to set a single blue sapphire for the eye. Liquidmetal™ has become an important material for Omega, providing the ultimate technique for bonding and enduring stability.