A modern take on Omega’s first-ever Speedmaster from 1957, the aptly named Speedmaster ’57 has just been facelifted and upgraded. What was originally a two-counter, automatic chronograph is now a two-counter, manual-wind chronograph. Its aesthetics have been refined, including with a smaller case, coloured dials, and a better bracelet, while the insides have been upgrade with a METAS-certified movement.
While the new Speedmaster ’57 might seem identical to its predecessor that was introduced almost a decade ago, it is entirely different. The latest release retains the same retro style with its “Broad Arrow” hands, straight lugs, and flat-link bracelet, but everything else has been redesigned.
Continuing Omega’s stylistic direction for 2022, the new Speedmaster ’57 is offered in bright, metallic-finish dials, including a fashionable olive green. It also encapsulates consumers’ preference for a smaller and thinner case, as well as a quick-adjustment clasp, which will certainly improve wearability.
But the biggest surprise comes courtesy of the movement. While the cal. 9300 in the earlier model was automatic, the cal. 9906 in the new model is hand-wind, which results in a slightly thinner case that’s 12.99 mm.
With its evocation of vintage chronographs, the hand-wind movement leaves the date feeling somewhat out of place, since it’s a complication traditionally associated with practicality instead of good, old-fashioned aesthetics.
At US$8,600 on bracelet, the new Speedmaster ’57 is around 5% pricier than the outgoing model. That makes it strong value given the high-spec movement that’s one of the most advanced chronograph calibres available in this price range.
Colourful and hand-wind
The latest Speedmaster ’57 is a blend of modern and classical elements. While the hand-wind movement is traditional in operation (though it looks thoroughly modern), the dials on offer for the Speedmaster ’57 are dressed up in colours that are clearly contemporary.
Four different dials are available, with the red and black variants executed in a matte, grained finish, while the blue and green versions have a brushed, metallic finish. While the colours are bolder, the design of the dial is streamlined. Instead of the contrasting, coloured hands on the earlier Speedmaster ’57, the latest uses only rhodium-plated hands, which help tone done the look.
Notably, the most unusual model of the preceding Speedmaster ’57 line-up is absent from the current generation. That was the titanium version with a white lacquered dial. All four variants of the new Speedmaster ’57 are steel.
But the most important aspect of the new generation is the new cal. 9906, which means the Speedmaster ’57 is now METAS-certified. It’s an upgrade that’s long overdue since the preceding Speedmaster ’57 was one of the Omega’s last offerings that’s was not a Master Chronometer, a title that comes with METAS certification.
The cal. 9906 is the hand-wind version of the cal. 9900, Omega’s top-of-the-line chronograph movement featuring a vertical clutch and column wheel.
The cal. 9900 in turn is based on the cal. 9300, with the key difference between the two being the METAS-certification for the former. That arises from invisible but significant upgrades to the materials used for the escapement parts that allow for better magnetism resistance, a key criteria of METAS testing.
Key facts and price
Omega Speedmaster ’57 Calibre 9906
Ref. 3126.96.36.199.01.001 (black, bracelet)
Ref. 3188.8.131.52.10.001 (green, bracelet)
Ref. 3184.108.40.206.03.001 (blue, strap)
Ref. 3220.127.116.11.11.001 (red, strap)
Diameter: 40.5 mm
Height: 12.99 mm
Water resistance: 50 m
Movement: Cal. 9906
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, and chronograph
Additional features: Co-Axial escapement, silicon hairspring, and resistant to magnetism of up to 15,000 Gauss
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 60 hours
Strap: Steel bracelet or leather strap
Availability: At Omega retailers and boutiques
Steel on strap – US$8,300
Steel on bracelet – US$8,600
For more, visit omegawatches.com.
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