The Omega Speedmaster is one of those watches that doesn’t need an introduction. Forever known as the “Moonwatch” it has carved out quite a niche for itself in the market. Rightfully, this comes with quite a few limited editions, of which the new Speedmaster Apollo XVII 45th Anniversary is one of the latest.
Limited editions are tricky. Almost always selling at a premium over the regular, non-limited version of the watch, they can make a brand a tidy amount of money. This temptation leads in many cases to limited edition watches that only vary in color from the regular model. It is, therefore, all the more pleasing to see that Omega didn’t step into this pitfall.
This Speedmaster is dedicated to the Apollo XVII mission, the last time humans landed on the moon. This particular limited edition is also a tribute to astronaut Gene Cernan, who was the last man to set foot on the lunar surface, and who passed away earlier this year. While there is also a stainless steel model (limited to 1972 pieces, the year of the mission), I prefer the contrast between the gold and blue, which makes this watch very striking.
Both the dial and the bezel are made from ceramic. Usually blue ceramic has a very harsh tone to it, almost too bright, but Omega succeeded in making it a very deep blue. This actually makes the watch. Also, the gold mission medallion of Apollo XVII at the nine o’clock subdial is crafted with such care and detail that makes this limited edition worthwhile.
The same can be said for the case back. Here a silver mission medallion mentions the name of the mission and the tribute to Gene Cernan, with the moon and Apollo in contrasting gold. The engravings are quite deep, with lots of detail, giving true depth to the back of the watch.
In essence, this limited edition is your regular 42mm Speedmaster. That also means that the movement inside is caliber 1861 by Lemania, a rugged and solid performer, although some movement connoisseurs might crave for something more. I doubt however if this will be a deal-breaker given the great care and attention that Omega put into this limited edition, also because of the expected retail price of around $20.000,- seems to be just right.