Omega Introduces the Speedmaster Moonwatch in Moonshine Gold

An attractive pair in today's colours.

In 2021, Omega revamped its ubiquitous Moonwatch, giving it a thorough makeover that included an upgraded movement in the form of the Master Co-Axial cal. 3861. This year, Omega follows up with the Speedmaster Moonwatch 42 mm Moonshine Gold.

Omega’s proprietary pale-yellow gold alloy, Moonshine Gold was developed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Moon landing, so it comes as no surprise that the alloy has made its way into the latest-generation Speedmaster with the cal. 3861.

The “panda” dial in solid Moonshine Gold with black registers

Initial thoughts

The Speedmaster Moonshine Gold Speedmasters are possibly the most striking version of the latest Moonwatch (though the Canopus Gold is a close second). Both iterations of the Speedmaster Moonshine Gold are in popular colours; green is currently hot and while Omega may not score points in originality, the brand is delivering what the market wants at the moment.

That said, the execution of the new Speedmasters is done well. The restrained use of modern material such as ceramic for the bezel insert gives the watch a polished yet traditional look, allowing it to retain the essence of its bestselling model. Put simply, it still looks like a Speedmaster Moonwatch, which is what matters.

And the unique, pale yellow tone of Moonshine Gold gives the new Speedmaster a slightly vintage look, albeit one with elements that are clearly modern. At the same time, the colour of the metal allows for a subtlety in appearance in spite of the large amount of gold, especially in the bracelet model.

Starting at US$24,600 on a leather strap and rising to US$36,500 on a gold bracelet, the Speedster isn’t quite a value proposition but priced fairly relative to other Speedmasters. The prices are on par with the Sedna Gold version and slightly less than the Canopus Gold variant.

Strong execution

Interestingly, Moonshine Gold has been rarely used as a case material on the Speedmaster Moonwatch despite its name. Debuted in 2019 on the Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary, the alloy is a slightly paler in colour compared to conventional 18k yellow gold, in part due to its 14.5% silver content.

For the ones who prefer uniformity in colour and material, the “panda” dial would be the variant of choice. The dial is a solid disc of Moonshine Gold and matched with black hands and indices, which have just enough contrast. The combination is not too jarring, as it might be with a traditional black-on-white “panda” dial.

And for someone who wants something more trendy, there’s the all-green model that has a green bezel and dial. Though the colour is new, the unbroken colour from bezel and dial means it resembles the traditional Moonwatch.

The traditional thin sets the Speedmaster apart from most modern chronographs that have bold, wide bezels

An interesting detail is the rubber strap with a fine, linear pattern on top and a lunar surface pattern in relief on the underside

The watches are powered by the cal. 3861 that was introduced in 2019. Essentially an upgraded version of the Lemania cal. 1861 (or 1863) that was found in the Moonwatch since the late 1960s, the cal. 3861 boasts several technical improvements.

Amongst them is a Co-Axial escapement made of anti-magnetic alloys, giving it high levels of magnetism resistance. Like all high-end Omega calibres, the cal. 3861 is certified by the federal Swiss measurements authority METAS, making the Speedmaster a Master Chronometer.

One notable omission, at least in terms of aesthetics, is the rhodium finish on the movement. Unlike other the limited edition Speedmaster Apollo XI in Moonshine Gold, the new pair doesn’t have movements plated to match the case.


Key facts and price

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional Co-Axial Master Chronometer Chronograph 42 mm Moonshine Gold
Ref. 310.60.42.50.10.001 (green, bracelet)
Ref. 310.63.42.50.10.001 (green, strap)
Ref. 310.60.42.50.99.002 (gold, bracelet)
Ref. 310.62.42.50.99.001 (gold, strap)

Diameter: 42 mm
Height: 13.12 mm
Material: 18k Moonshine Gold
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 50 m

Movement: Cal. 3861
Features: Hours, minutes, seconds, and chronograph
Frequency: 25,200 beats per hour (3.5 Hz)
Winding: Hand-wound
Power reserve: 60 hours

Strap: Leather, rubber, or matching Moonshine Gold bracelet

Limited edition: No
Availability:
 At Omega boutiques and retailers
Price:
Green, strap – US$24,600
Green, bracelet – US$34,800
Gold, strap – US$26,400
Gold, bracelet – US$36,500

For more, visit Omegawatches.com.


Correction March 13, 2022: The case thickness is 13.18 mm, and not 18.12 mm as stated in an earlier version of the article. 

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Up Close: Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 5057G “Cortina Watch 50th Anniversary”

A nineties throwback with a contemporary twist.

Conceived for the jubilee of Singapore-based retailer Cortina Watch, the Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 5057G-010 is a throwback to the nineties in both size and size, but given a contemporary flavour with a dial in smoked grey.

In fact, it is a remake of the original model, the ref. 5057R that was in rose gold. Interestingly, the reference was specifically created for Cortina’s 25th anniversary in 1997, giving the ref. 5057 the distinction of being a reference unique to a retailer.

Initial thoughts

Though it’s small by modern standards – it’s a bit over 36 mm in diameter – the ref. 5057G instantly stands out with its nineties style. The triple-row hobnail bezel and straight lugs instantly evoke Patek Philippe’s aesthetic of that decade. They set the ref. 5057G apart from the brand’s current offerings that have a more modern style.

I like Patek Philippe’s style of that era, so I like the ref. 5057G. With the wide hobnail bezel, it’s a bit fancier than it should be, but that’s the appeal. And the bezel is the very feature that gives the watch presence. It catches the light well and is essentially “bling” for an otherwise conservative design.

At the same time, the ref. 5057G is more attractive than the original model in rose gold, which lacked contrast due to its white-on-rose gold palette. By today’s standards the original is old fashioned.

The ref. 5057R of 1997 that was created for Cortina’s 25th anniversary and also a limited edition of 100 watches. Image – Phillips

Though the ref. 5057G retains exactly the same case, it has just enough tweaks to the dial. The radially brushed, smoked grey dial on the ref. 5057G create both contrast and reflectivity, which are a big part of its appeal.

The ref. 5057G is also appealing because it is unique amongst current Patek Philippe models. Not only is the reference itself unique, being exclusive to Cortina, but the movement within is also uncommon. The cal. 240 PS IRM C LU inside is only found in one other model, the Nautilus ref. 5712.

Also worth noticing is the discreet commemorative text on the underside of the case back. It’s translucent, meaning it isn’t too obvious

The only drawback to the design is the fact that it doesn’t incorporate any of the refinements and upgrades that Patek Philippe has implemented since the nineties.

The case, for instance, lacks the sculpted lugs that recent models features. At the same time, the dial is merely printed and goes without the applied markers that are now found even on entry-level Calatrava models like the ref. 6119.

Retro hobnail

Like several of Patek Philippe’s other watches of the nineties, the ref. 5057G has an extravagant bezel. It’s finished with three rows of hobnails, making it unusually wide for a relatively small case.

The bezel occupies about a quarter of the case diameter, which compresses the size of the dial, but increases the visual presence of the watch.

The hobnail bezel is sharply executed

The bezel is certainly integral to the case, which is only 36.15 mm in diameter. That makes it the smallest than any Calatrava in Patek Philippe’s current catalogue. While it is small, it isn’t too small. The size is just right for what it is.

That said, the retro style and size also means the construction is nineties in manner. The case construction is simple, probably too simple for a watch of this price today. The lugs are soldered to the case, but they are plain. I would have appreciate some minor upgrades to the case style.

Fume grey

The dial is composed primarily of classical elements, but the colours and finish give it a modern feel. In fact, the design is identical to that of the first ref. 5057R in rose gold, so it is literally a nineties design, but the finish and colours are very much rooted in today.

It’s radially brushed and treated with a galvanic process to create the grey finish. And then finally it’s varnished to create the graduated finish at darkens towards the edges.

Already relatively simple, the finish is also familiar since it’s been used by other brands. But it is attractive. The grey finish works especially well with the clean white print, particularly the large Roman numerals.

I would have liked to have luminous Roman numerals and hands. Pure-white Super-Luminova would be entirely in keeping with the overall aesthetic, while giving the dial a surprising and subtle twist.

Micro-rotor

Like the original ref. 5057R, this edition has commemorative text on the underside of the case back. But unlike the original that had the text in unsightly black print, this edition has it in translucent, frosted print that isn’t obtrusive.

That leaves the cal. 240 PS IRM C LU entirely visible. It’s a decades-old calibre but still fit for purpose thanks to its thinness as well as continuous upgrades over the years. Amongst the obvious upgrades is a silicon hairspring.

This specific version of the cal. 240 features a date, moon phase, and power reserve indicator. Although it was once found in several references, the ref. 5057G is the only current model equipped with this movement, aside from the Nautilus ref. 5712, which is a very different watch.

The finishing is typical of modern-day Patek Philippe calibres. Every component is clenaly and carefully decorated, although much of it is done by machine with only a few aspects appearing to have been done by hand. That said, the quality of decoration is comparable to that of Patek Philippe’s peers like Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet.

Note the bevelling and countersinks on the base plate, an indication of the careful and comprehensive finish, even if it is mostly done by machine

Concluding thoughts

The ref. 5057G is an appealing watch on many levels – aesthetics, proportions, and rarity. While the old-school case lacks the sophistication of newer constructions, the hobnail bezel has charm. In fact, it’s probably the strongest element of the design.

There isn’t much to criticise save for one detail: the retail price of about US$55,000 is steep for a watch that is fairly simple in terms of mechanics, though that is pretty much within the ballpark for Patek Philippe.


Key facts and price

Patek Philippe Calatrava “Cortina Watch 50th Anniversary”
Ref. 5057G-010

Diameter: 36.15 mm
Height: 9.14 mm
Material: 18k white gold
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Cal. 240 PS IRM C LU
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, moon phase, and power reserve
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 38-48 hours

Strap: Alligator with white gold folding clasp

Limited edition: 100 pieces
Availability:
 Only at Cortina Watch
Price: 75,000 Singapore dollars including GST (approximately US$55,700)

For more, visit Patek.com and 50thanniversary.cortinawatch.com.


 

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