In 1957, Omega’s objective when designing the Speedmaster chronograph was to create “a new type of chronograph, for research, industry and sport.” From then, it has become part of watch legend, used for space missions from 1965 after its approval by NASA, recording man’s first steps on the moon’s surface on 21 July 1969, and contributing to the rescue of the Apollo 13 astronauts when Jack Swigert used his Speedmaster – all the electronic systems had been switched off to save power – to accurately time a 14-second engine burn, necessary to get them back onto course for earth.
We’re now in World Cup fever, but Omega is already looking forward to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in two year’s time where, as usual, it will be performing its official chronometry duties. Its Speedmaster Mark II Rio 2016 is based on the original 1969 Speedmaster Mark II. Its three subdials are decorated with bronze, silver and gold. A new feature in this watch is the tachymeter scale, which is illuminated by a ring of aluminium coated in SuperLumiNova. While many watches have dial indications and hands with SuperLumiNova for visibility in the dark, this is the first watch by Omega in which the tachymeter scale is similarly treated.
The watch is powered by the Omega 3330 calibre, which comprises the brand’s anti-magnetic technology with silicon Si14 balance spring, and co-axial escapement. The watch will be available from September 2014, at a price of €4,880. It comes in a special presentation box, with certificate of authenticity, and a four-year guarantee.