What’s in the box? Well, it ain’t Gwyneth Paltrow’s head, I’ll tell ya that. Inside, We’ve got another box, a watch and of course, enough paperwork to go around.
I’m getting ahead of myself, Let’s back up: Does the name Walter Schirra ring a bell? He was just some guy, really. Some bright American entrusted as the Pilot in the MA-8 mission of the Mercury Programme in 1962. Know what was on his wrist? The Omega 2998, the first Omega in Space.
50 years later, we’ve got this. A manually wound Omega Speedmaster with straight lugs and alpha hands – one very much so like the one on Schirra’s wrist.
It’s beautiful. From its applied logo and decorated caseback to its crown gaurd-less case and sharp pushers, the watch is simple, solid and detailed where it counts.
Okay, so it’s a reissue? Well, not exactly. I mean, it is. But it doesn’t wear like one. It wears like an extremely well designed modern watch. Unlike the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute to 1931, which I also love, it doesn’t have a vintage feel that most would detect. So yes, it takes most of the major design elements right from Schirra’s wrist but still, it’s very much so a modern speedy.
From a development level, I love how it Balances its obvious respect for its predecessor while still making minor alterations. Same black dial, bezel, stainless case, straight lugs and enchanting alpha hands but the movement, lume and crystal have been modernized.
Powering the watch is the manually wound Omega caliber 1861, a movement very much so based on the famous 321 calibers. It’s got higher bph, fewer parts and actually, it’s rhodium plated. So no, Omega didn’t use a movement that they feel is, at this point, outdated. And no matter how much I, and every vintage geek, loves the 321 – this does make sense.