New for 2017, the Omega Speedmaster Racing Master 44.25mm Chronograph replica 318.104.22.168.01.001 is a modern – and until now chunky – Speedmaster Moonwatch that is getting a lot of attention. Yes, yes, it’s as wide as the front, but it has a very slim profile. It’s not all about looks, nor is it smart, as it packs the latest generation METAS-certified, 15,000 Gauss-resistant Master Chronometer caliber 9900. Let’s see if all this, a lower price and some orange accessories are enough to get anyone excited to go racing. There are a few more quirks to watch out for.
Instead, I will just keep it short and concentrate on its most modern iteration. Although to me it feels like it was way longer ago, it actually happened in 2011 that Omega launched the Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph replica, a modern Speedmaster equipped with an all-new, 9300-series, two-register, automatic chronograph movement. Since then, they have officially called this collection a range of different and wildly confusing names, including the Speedmaster Moonwatch (yes, that’s right), although it very much belongs to that group of 99.99999% of all watches that have never ever been to the moon. I mean it. Google Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch and see what comes up first – it’s this collection and not the classic and actual Moonwatch Speedy. The closest this modern Speedy has been to the moon is when it received a cool moon phase indication recently, with a stellar blue-dial model that Ariel reviewed here.
This is to say that around the classic Omega Speedmaster “Moonwatch” replica (the one that did go to the moon and back) grows an increasing variety of other Omega Speedmaster chronographs. And while the “original” Moonwatch I bet will remain unchanged until we colonize the moon, it also is one of the very few watches that deserve the label “iconic.” The good news this entails though is that the rest of the Speedmaster collections are free to change and evolve as Omega and the market dictates. Now, with the Omega Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer, we see what that unequivocally dictated direction is, and I am pleased to see and report: it means more wearable, technically more advanced, and visually more fascinating.
What’s New For The Speedmaster
Cutting straight to specifics: the case is 1.1mm thinner when compared to the Omega Speedmaster fake (still referring to the 2011-model that didn’t go to the moon). The case itself is still crafted from stainless steel and is still 44.25mm-wide. Omega says that they have changed the design of the sapphire crystals to shave off this bit of thickness. About how it actually wears and looks on the wrist just a bit later.
Another important update is how the 9300 caliber has been updated to the 9900 version. There’s plenty of boasting on both the front and back to help you figure out if this is the latest generation of Omega in-house movements: the dial says “Co-Axial Master Chronometer” on it while the rotor has “Omega Master Co-Axial 9900” written in red.
It is quite confusing since the exact same watch refers to two very similar things in two different ways: as it turns out, “Co-Axial Master Chronometer” and “Master Co-Axial” mean that this watch is a chronometer (as only COSC-certified watches can be called as such), and, as the text on the rotor explains, also METAS-certified tested in-house by Omega. More on the movement below. Beyond these updates, the racing dial returns once more – if I remember correctly, as a first for this larger Speedmaster – and with it also comes a new, perforated, sporty-looking strap.
Time to take a closer look at these novel elements of the Omega Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer replica and so let us begin with wearability. A day into wearing the watch and after adjusting the strap a few times, I realized that the Speedmaster Racing (with the strap set to offer a secure fit – which is how I prefer to wear watches) wears like loosely set, slim watches do.
The eye-trickery comes from the fact that the Speedmaster Racing has a very thin case profile – in the traditional sense, that is. The super long, nicely curved, polished edge runs from the end of the upper lug and doesn’t end until the other corner of the watch. For one, this angled, shiny, sweeping curve makes the watch appear longer and slimmer. Underneath it is the slender, vertical case profile that is brushed and hence darker, making it appear yet slimmer to the eye.
Now, the trick is in the fact that the case-back itself is just as thick as the case-band, but it is tucked away in a way that most of the time when the watch is on the wrist it cannot be seen at all. So, when you look at the watch on your wrist, it gives the illusion of a slim watch that sits a finger’s width above the wrist – this is possibly the best way to describe it.
The racing dial has been around since 1968 and while I think it looks cool, I cannot agree with Omega when they say “it is generally accepted that this ‘Racing’ style was added to make the chronograph easier to read.” I mean, it may have been added with that goal in mind, but it didn’t quite work for me that way. This is the first racing dial Speedmaster that I got to wear for an extended period and so the first time when I could realize how difficult it is, for me at least, to read not only the chronograph seconds, but also the running time minutes with great accuracy in between the applied markers.
The problem that I have with the racing dial is that the funky minute/seconds track on the periphery of the main dial has its subsequent indices share the first and the last mark, so my eyes (or brain, rather) cannot tell where one minute ends and the other begins. I am ready to admit that it could be just a bad wiring in my brain, and if I really wanted to, I guess I could tell where each section ends and begins (at the longer marks) but, for some reason, the minute track just did not add up for me when I tried to read it at a glance.
This, controversially, doesn’t mean that I don’t like it. This, I think, is one of the coolest and most beautifully balanced dials Omega has done, thanks to a clever dosing of colors and a yet more ingenious choice in textures for the dial and hands. The double-tier seconds track pulls the entire dial closer together, making the 44.25mm watch look smaller and more balanced to the eye. Furthermore, it adds a sporty element that works really well against both the track of the tacyhmeter scale as well as the long, arrow-like, polished, applied hour indices.
The orange accents are an even more subjective design twist of the Omega Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer watch replica, but these splashes of color are distributed in a very sensible and tasteful way. The running time’s indications are in orange, while the chronograph’s three hands are in white – makes sense. The orange tachymeter text of the bezel, the Speedmaster line, and the small orange pips by the hour markers create a sublimely balanced look. The crisp white Omega logo just jumps off the dial.
The date window is above the short, lumed block of the six o’clock hour marker. The shape, size, font style, and color combination render this one of the most sensibly and least obstructively done date windows – making this one of the very few occasions where I never once wished that it wasn’t there.
Overall legibility is great, the almost perfectly flat sapphire crystal has AR coating on both sides, while all the hands, thank goodness, are properly sized. Omega has also enlarged the 3 and 9 o’clock sub-dials a fair bit when compared to previous models so they finally look just right and are way more legible than they had been before.
The case, as I said, remains 44.25mm-wide and is crafted from stainless steel. The bezel on the replica Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer reference 322.214.171.124.01.001 is ceramic with a brushed Liquidmetal tachymeter scale and a spot of “Tachymètre” orange text to match the orange elements of the dial and strap. I’ll say I’m still not a fan of random French words on watches where every other bit of text is in English – or vice versa.
The box sapphire crystal extends about two millimeters above the plane of the flat bezel and after a gentle curve on its periphery, it is almost perfectly flat throughout. Omega added a very thoughtful element to the bezel by wrapping the ceramic into steel and by keeping the sapphire crystal low and closer to the inside. This step-like design and the softer steel frame of the bezel will keep your fragile (but extremely scratch resistant) ceramic bezel insert safe from impacts from the side. Ceramic is notoriously hard but, as a direct consequence, is also notoriously fragile, so this framed bezel not only looks good, but will also save you a several hundred dollar repair bill.
The polished edge that runs across the side adds a touch of refinement, rendering the replica Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer an ideal fit for everyday office wear. It isn’t a funky-looking tool/racing watch that only aficionados will get – it’s an objectively versatile, modern, but restrained looking watch.
The Master Chronometer Caliber 9900
The Caliber 9900 (and 9901 with gold rotor and bridges in gold cased versions) is the latest and greatest Omega can do with a movement. It is an automatic chronograph equipped with a column wheel, a vertical clutch, two barrels, and a Co-Axial escapement with silicon parts and an operating frequency of 4Hz.
The 9900 movement looks stunning and – now priced under $8k – this is among the nicest looking movements at this price point. It is machine decorated, but done in a decent way: excessively detailed, reaching even difficult to see places like the plates deep under the balance wheel and finished off in a silver-purple-green hue that depends on lighting and that is rarely encountered elsewhere.
The vertical clutch means there are no coupling-decoupling chronograph wheels to elevate the show, but the curved striping on the icy silver looking rotor and plates still offer plenty of candy for the eye. Dark grey screws and intelligently placed, variously sized texts in red add a few splashes of color. For real nerds, the column wheel is on display neatly close to the large balance wheel, which in turn is hidden several levels into the movement. The Omega Caliber 9900 is one impressive movement.
Cost for that Omega Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer 3126.96.36.199.01.001 is $7,800, and also the racing dial can also be on a Sedna Gold (Omega’s proprietary gold alloy that’s seems near to red gold), having a blue dial and gold indices. More information, please visit our latest replica Omega watch listing, we are selling almost all model AAA grade 1 :1 cloned Omega watches.