The Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch is arguably Omega's most popular flagship model. First introduced in 1957, the manufacturer originally developed this chronograph with motorsport in mind. However, that all changed in the 1960s when NASA began outfitting its astronauts with this timepiece. Today, it is most famous for joining the astronauts of the Apollo 11 mission on the lunar surface when they became the first humans to set foot on the Moon in 1969. Since then, Omega has released numerous versions of the Moonwatch. The Speedmaster Professional ref. 318.104.22.168.01.005 is the original model's closest relative. It features the manual caliber 1861 and, true to the original, plexiglass and a stainless steel case back.
One of these watches in mint condition on a steel bracelet costs around 5,800 USD. Between July 2020 and July 2022, the value of this timepiece increased by 45%.
If you're a fan of the version with sapphire crystal, i.e., the ref. 322.214.171.124.01.006, plan to spend around 500 USD more. Prices for vintage models, such as the ref. 2998 from the 1960s, came in at around 20,000 USD as of mid-2022. The value appreciation in the same two-year period was roughly 27%.
Then there's the Speedmaster "Dark Side of the Moon" (ref. 3126.96.36.199.01.003). This watch features a case made of scratch-resistant black ceramic and requires an investment of around 9,300 USD. Prices for this Speedmaster have also been steadily increasing.
2021: A New Moonwatch With the Caliber 3861
In January 2021, Omega announced that they would be discontinuing the classic Moonwatch. In its place, they presented the new Moonwatch Professional with the reference number 310.30.42.50.01.001. This model features the brand new manual caliber 3861 with a co-axial escapement and some tweaks to its overall design. The movement comes with Master Chronometer certification from the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS) and can resist magnetic fields of up to 15,000 gauss.
The 42-mm stainless steel case is identical to that of its predecessor. Other shared features include Hesalite crystal and a screw-down stainless steel case back. Expect to pay around 5,900 USD for a new timepiece.
If you prefer the variant with sapphire crystal on both the front and back, check out the Moonwatch ref. 310.30.42.50.01.002. This Omega watch costs around 6,700 USD.
The "New Moon" in Rose or White Gold
Omega also introduced rose and white gold editions of the new Moonwatch alongside the stainless steel models. The ref. 310.60.42.50.01.001 features a case and bracelet made of Omega's proprietary rose gold alloy, Sedna gold. The manufacturer crafts the watch's hands and indices from the same material. As of mid-2022, this stunning chronograph sells for around 32,000 USD on the secondary market in mint condition. Omega lists this timepiece for 39,400 USD, meaning you can save over 7,000 USD.
The white gold Moonwatch (ref. 310.60.42.50.02.001) is more modest and has a silver sunburst dial. You can purchase this timepiece on Chrono24 for around 43,000 USD. Like the rose gold edition, you can get significant savings on the pre-owned market. Omega's official retail price for this model is 51,300 USD.
Rare Speedmasters for Collectors
Limited editions are especially popular among collectors and are highly likely to appreciate in value. For example, the "Speedy Tuesday" from 2017 now costs about 12,500 USD new, a value increase of 40%. Its successor, the "Speedy Tuesday Ultraman," followed in 2018 and sold out almost immediately. Prices increased significantly from 7,100 USD at launch to around 15,500 USD in July 2022. Both models were limited to runs of 2,012 pieces.
Omega also produces Moonwatch models made entirely from their proprietary Moonshine gold alloy, which offers a distinctively paler hue than traditional yellow gold. The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary ref. 310.60.42.50.99.001 is made of 18-karat Moonshine gold and features a matching golden dial. This model was released in 2019 and now costs around 45,000 USD. In July 2020, the same reference sold for closer to 33,000 USD. In 2022, Omega also added a version with a green dial to the lineup.
Prices quickly start to climb when you look at more highly coveted models like the Speedmaster "Snoopy". For example, the ref. 3188.8.131.52.04.003 with a white dial demands roughly 49,000 USD new. In July 2020, this chronograph demanded a significantly smaller sum at around 29,000 USD, meaning it has appreciated by 69% in just two years. This timepiece gets its name from the beloved Peanuts character.
The Re-Created Caliber 321
If historical accuracy is your top priority, you should take a closer look at the two Speedmaster models Omega outfits with the vintage manual caliber 321. The platinum edition bears the reference number 3184.108.40.206.99.001 and was launched to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing. Its dial is black onyx, while Omega crafts its three subdials out of Moon rock. This exclusive watch changes hands for around 69,000 USD on Chrono24 – a fair amount more than its official list price of 59,400 USD. This model has thus already increased in value by 19% since its launch in 2021, making it a sound investment piece.
You can save a significant sum by purchasing the stainless steel ref. 3220.127.116.11.01.001 instead. Omega released this version in 2020 in tribute to the ref. 105.003 "Ed White." As such, its case measures just 39.7 mm in diameter. Once again, the watch's market value far exceeds its recommended retail price. While Omega officially sells this model for 14,100 USD, its actual market value sits around 21,000 USD.
In 2022, Omega presented a new model to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Speedmaster collection. Bearing the reference number 318.104.22.168.01.001, this timepiece is crafted from Canopus gold, Omega's proprietary white gold alloy. This model takes inspiration from the historical ref. 2915 from 1957 and therefore has a diameter of 38.6 mm. This Omega watch is a true rarity, and prices have been rising in line with demand. In July 2022, this timepiece demanded around 130,000 USD on Chrono24. Omega, on the other hand, has set the official list price for this reference at 81,000 USD.
Other Speedmaster Models
In addition to the various versions of the Moonwatch, the Speedmaster collection is home to a host of other interesting timepieces. For example, Omega marked the Speedmaster chronograph's 60th anniversary in 2017 by releasing the '57 Speedmaster chronograph ref. 322.214.171.124.01.001. Unlike the Moonwatch with curved lugs, this model has the same straight lugs as the original from 1957 and is powered by the manual caliber 1861. Omega has limited this classic 38.6-mm timepiece to a run of 3,557 pieces, and new examples change hands for around 9,300 USD. Between July 2020 and July 2022, this model appreciated by approximately 27%.
If you're in the market for something a bit more modern, check out the Skywalker X-33 and Spacemaster Z-33. These multi-functional quartz watches offer a number of complications in addition to their analog and digital displays, including a second time zone, chronograph, perpetual calendar, and an alarm. Plan to spend between 3,600 USD and 4,900 USD for one of these models.
The Speedmaster 38 is primarily a women's watch. Its gold case measures 38 mm across and is adorned with diamonds. These models, such as the ref. 3126.96.36.199.02.003, cost around 16,500 USD.
Features of the Omega Speedmaster
- Moonwatch: the first watch on the Moon
- Limited editions with the potential to appreciate
- Dark Side of the Moon with a ceramic case
- Models with the legendary caliber 321
- Available in a wide variety of materials