Before we look at the new best replica Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional Master Chronometer, it is important to refresh our minds. Because the new reference looks almost identical at first sight, but since almost everything is new, even for us, it was important to take the time to look at an older Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional in details. So first of all, let’s start by exploring the older, pre-2021 reference 318.104.22.168.01.005 (also known as 3570.50 with the older nomenclature), with its 42mm asymmetrical steel case, Hesalite crystal, hand-wound calibre 1861 – and a fair amount of dust and scratches, being my personal, used and abused watch (which I bought new in 2012).
While born in 1957, under the reference CK2915, the Swiss made fake Speedmaster as we know it today, the so-called “Professional,” came on the market in 1964 under the reference ST 105.012. The “Professional” mention appears together with the implementation of the new asymmetrical case, with its lyre-type twisted lugs and protection for the crown and pushers – with a diameter that coincidentally grew from 39.7mm to 42mm, however with a slightly smaller lug-to-lug measurement. This shape is practically unchanged since 1964 and it is what we still find in the pre-2021 Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional.
The Speedmaster as we know it today, with the reference 3570.50, has been in the collection since 1996 when Omega launched the calibre 1861, an evolution of the 861 that appeared in 1968. Except for the change from tritium to Super-LumiNova, a new presentation box and small updates on the bracelet, nothing has changed in well over 20 years of production.
The 42mm stainless steel case mostly features brushed surfaces, with a polished bevel running on the side. Also available with a “sapphire sandwich” construction, the classic model features a synthetic Hesalite crystal (with the small Ω logo in the centre).
The bezel insert of the pre-2021 Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional 3570.50 replica watch is made of black anodized aluminium. For the rest of the story, we must note two important features: the “dot next to 90” and “dot beneath 70″… You’ll understand later, but these are features that came only on more modern references and were absent from the 105.012. The bezel is, of course external, framing the crystal and is made of polished stainless steel.
As for the dial, the pre-2021 Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional has a matte black, slightly grained texture with recessed sub-counters featuring a snailed pattern in the centre, but not on their flange. The dial is a so-called flat dial, in opposition to the step dials that were found until 1975 on vintage Speedies. The “flat” mention isn’t entirely true though, since the dial has an angled periphery with long markers for the seconds/minutes, short luminous hour markers (they don’t cross into the minuterie) and a chronograph track with 5 divisions per second – which doesn’t make sense with a 3Hz movement… The hour and minute hands are straight batons painted in white, while the second hand has a so-called diamond tip (which is quite small and rather close from the centre of the dial) and a flat counterweight, which appeared in 1968.
The printing at 12 is showing a triangular arrangement, with the wide Ω logo on top, followed by the name of the brand, the “Speedmaster” mention with a short and wide S and finally, a larger “Professional” mention with tall font.
As for the bracelet (not shown here), the ref. 3750.50 was equipped with a brushed band with polished inter-links – reference 1998/849. Measuring 20mm at the lugs and 18mm at the buckle, it was equipped with a rounded brushed clasp (with safety pushers) and engraved with the same mentions as found at 12 o’clock on the dial (logo, brand, Speedmaster, Professional). On later models, the adjustment pins were replaced by screws. And even though of impeccable execution and comfort, it started to look slightly outdated – at least in my books.
As for the classic Hesalite model, the caseback was plain stainless steel. The sapphire sandwich model came with a see-through back offering a view of a slightly better finished (Geneva stripes and bevelling) calibre 1863. The steel back features a central seahorse embossed logo and the two iconic mentions “FLIGHT-QUALIFIED BY NASA FOR ALL MANNED SPACE MISSIONS” as well as “THE FIRST WATCH WORN ON THE MOON”.
The mechanics in the Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional 3750.50 are, to say the least, tried-and-tested. Inside is the venerable calibre 1861, which appeared inside the watch back in 1996. However, keep in mind that this is an evolution of the calibre 861 that appeared in 1968… It was certainly time for Omega to bring more modern technologies in this watch. After more than 50 years of loyal services, and even though I still enjoy the calibre 1861 in my own Speedy, Omega had to improve it with its latest technologies. This calibre is a cam-operated chronograph (Lemania-based) with a horizontal clutch, a synthetic Delrin brake, 18 jewels and a standard Swiss lever escapement. It was also one of the rare Omega watches not to be chronometer-certified. It runs at 3Hz and boasts about 48 hours of power reserve.