05/23/2022
 5 minutes

It’s 2022: Is it still worth buying an Omega Speedmaster?

By Donato Andrioli
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There’s no doubt that the Omega Speedmaster Professional is one of the most historic, iconic watches ever. The Moon landing, however, was more than 50 years ago. In addition, the new Omega X Swatch MoonSwatch offers watch fans a fresh homage as an alternative. Swatch has delivered a very affordable entry into the Speedmaster world, allowing more enthusiasts to have an Omega Speedmaster in their collection (at least symbolically). So is it still really in vogue in 2022 to purchase an Omega Speedmaster Professional? I definitely think so! Why? Well, read more to find out my three reasons. 

Reason #1 to Purchase a Speedmaster: Its Timeless, Iconic Design

A fantastic, timeless design will always be in style. That goes for all famous watch icons, and unquestionably for the Omega Speedmaster as well. Icons like the Rolex Submariner or Breitling Navitimer have traditional designs, but these days are leaning more towards a luxurious look and feel. Omega on the other hand is taking a somewhat different path: The classic Speedy is remaining very faithful to its original design and heritage. This approach is in plain sight with the model released in 2021. That being said, its new METAS-certified caliber delivers the latest technology and Omega took the overall quality of the watch up a notch or two as well. 

The design of the new Omega Speedmaster is traditional like never before. Minor details like the new bracelet with smaller links, the “dot over 90,” and the “step dial” are nothing less than affectionate homages to bygone times. These minor but meaningful details are found on older Speedmaster references, and are enjoying a comeback with the latest Moonwatch – much to the delight of enthusiasts and Omega Speedmaster fans alike. Omega made no compromises with its icon, meaning there’s still no ceramic bezel. You can even select a version with Hesalite crystal. While this material scratches pretty easily, it is an absolute must for purists. After all, opting for Hesalite makes the watch much closer to the “original” Moonwatch, the watch that wrote history together with NASA astronauts. Even with sapphire crystal, the Omega Speedmaster is still probably the most traditional, iconic timepiece out there. But is that perhaps a tad boring in 2022? Absolutely not. How else could Swatch have rattled the watch world like it did with the release of its MoonSwatch? The polarizing plastic Speedy made one thing clear: the Omega Speedmaster design remains modern and sought-after to this day – and will likely still be 50 years from now. 

The Omega Speedmaster Professional design will never go out of style.

Reason #2 to Purchase a Speedmaster: A One-of-A-Kind Heritage

One of the biggest arguments in favor of buying an Omega Speedmaster Professional is the Moon landing – the “Speedy” was the first watch on the Moon. Omega never fails to mention this fact whenever it promotes the timepiece. However, has it gotten a little stale? Does it still grab anyone’s attention these days? The Moon landing was 53 years ago, but does that take anything away from this historic feat? Does that diminish the iconic status of Omega’s Moonwatch in any way? I don’t think so. Luxury watches are about the emotion that wearing and collecting a watch like this creates. What could create more emotion than one of humankind’s greatest achievements? The history of the Omega Speedmaster is not limited to the first Moon landing on July 20, 1969. Named the official NASA chronograph for astronauts in 1965, the Speedmaster remains the sole watch that is officially authorized for extravehicular activity (EVA) during space missions. The “Speedy” was also on the arm of American astronaut Ed White during the first ever US spacewalk. This Omega flagship has served numerous astronauts over the years as a useful tool; it’s even saved lives.  

The Omega Speedmaster became the Moonwatch thanks to Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the Moon. Neil Armstrong left his Omega in the lunar module after the on-board electric timer malfunctioned, requiring a backup. Enter the “Speedy.” When numerous systems failed during the Apollo 13 mission, the chronograph was put into action to time critical course-correcting burns for safe re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, playing its part to save the lives of the crew members. This timepiece was so important that NASA honored the luxury watchmaker from Biel, Switzerland with the Silver Snoopy Award, the highest honor for NASA employees or contractors for outstanding human flight safety or mission success achievements. What other watch can claim that? The future will also probably bring its fair share of excitement. As a fan of everything space-related, I’m soaking in all the latest news about NASA’s Artemis program. Uncrewed flights are planned for later this year, with astronauts scheduled to land on the Moon in 2025. As the official NASA watch, it’s basically guaranteed that the Omega Speedmaster will take on new and exciting adventures – to the Moon and beyond. 

Will the current Omega Speedmaster reference soon land on the Moon again?
Will the current Omega Speedmaster reference soon land on the Moon again?

Reason #3 to Purchase a Speedmaster: It’s Available for Purchase and Holds Its Value Well

In my opinion, the Omega Speedmaster achieves a balance that you probably won’t find anywhere else in the world of watches. The Moonwatch was always produced in high quantities. You never have to worry about long wait times or skyrocketing market prices when purchasing this legendary Omega chronograph. However, because the Omega Speedmaster is such a popular watch, it holds its value well, meaning you’re unlikely to see any major loss in value in the short run. In the long run, you can even expect your watch to slowly but steadily increase in value. Omega also regularly increases the MSRP for the legendary Moonwatch, boosting its market value as a result. If you look at older references of the Omega icon, you’ll see that some of them cost as much as new models, while certain well-known vintage references have become downright investments, going for prices higher than the current models. The so-called “pre-Moon” references, i.e., watches produced prior to the Moon landing, are very sought-after collector’s items, with market prices surpassing the $10,000 mark. 

It’s not just sought-after “pre-Moon” references that are hot commodities. Thanks to their popularity and regular price increases, current models are holding their value well despite high levels of supply.

Omega is often criticized for the handling of its flagship timepiece. I, on the other hand, think they do a perfect job with it. They make the classic Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch accessible to every watch lover, while special editions are limited and in shorter supply. In terms of design, these latter models are less connected to the original Moonwatch, instead paying homage to certain events in space travel history. These include the skeletonized Apollo 8 “Dark Side of the Moon”, which pays tribute to the first crewed Moon orbit. The Omega Speedmaster “Ed White” is a modern remake of the watch worn during the first American spacewalk. Now discontinued, you can find this timepiece on Chrono24 for around $21,000. The Snoopy editions are the most sought-after Speedmaster models. Depending on the reference, these have reached market prices of over $50,000. Kudos to anyone who got their hands on one of these favorites when they first came out, or those with the necessary chunk of change to pay for one at today’s prices. Everyone else can enjoy the classic Speedmaster Professional in their collection – a true icon that holds its value well despite its availability. Let’s see another watch top that. The Omega Speedmaster has also profited from the hype around the MoonSwatch, which will surely give yet another big boost to the popularity of this horological icon. 


About the Author

Donato Andrioli

With the purchase of my Tudor Black Bay 41, I discovered a passion for mechanical watches. I am particularly drawn to iconic watches with long and exciting histories.

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