2022 marks the 65th birthday of Omega’s iconic Speedmaster chronograph, but this historic watch isn’t anywhere close to retirement. Quite the opposite. Omega celebrated this milestone birthday by releasing one of the most unique and luxurious Speedmaster models of all time, the Speedmaster Calibre 321. Better yet, unlike many other previous noteworthy Speedmasters, this one will not be a limited edition and will join the brand’s other mainline models when it arrives in boutiques this spring.
Created in the 1950s for timing motorsport races, and featuring the world’s first tachymeter scale bezel, the Speedmaster rose to fame as the watch chosen by NASA to accompany its astronauts on the Apollo missions, including the first moon landing. Now synonymous with the pioneering space flights of the 1960s and 1970s, the Speedmaster has amassed a loyal following of collectors who appreciate its crisp midcentury design, precision Swiss movements, and of course its interplanetary backstory. As the newest addition to the Speedmaster family, the Calibre 321 is definitely designed with collectors in mind, but there’s still plenty here that will appeal to all fans of luxury Swiss watches — particularly when it comes to its unique case material.
To the trained eye, the Speedmaster Calibre 321 is immediately recognizable as an homage to the very first Speedmaster, a 1957 model known by collectors as the CK2915-1 — and currently the most valuable Omega ever sold. The new Speedmaster Calibre 321 pays tribute to that historic first model by resurrecting key details like a vintage-sized 38.6 mm case, and the resurrected manual wind Calibre 321 movement used in the 1957 Speedmaster, visible through the sapphire case back in all its hand-finished glory. A closer look will reveal even more historical detail, like the NAIAD symbol on the watch’s crown (an early testament to waterproofness), a dot over ninety (DON in collector-speak), and a vintage OMEGA logo at 12 o’clock.
Perhaps the most impressive feature the Speedmaster Calibre 321 brings to the table, however, is its subtlest: the rich, silvery lustre of Canopus gold. Named after the star Canopus, which is 71 times bigger and 10,000 times brighter than the sun and an important astronomical reference point, Canopus gold is a proprietary alloy that’s been in use at Omega since 2015. While traditional white gold consists of pure yellow gold mixed with palladium-copper, Omega’s secret formula adds platinum, rhodium, and palladium, a combination that makes for exceptional longevity, along with unusual brilliance and shine. As one of just a handful of Omega models available in this rare precious metal, and featuring one of Omega’s most famous historic movements, the Speedmaster Calibre 321 is just the kind of 65th birthday present Speedmaster fans around the world have been waiting for. Better still, thanks to Omega’s newly re-opened Vancouver boutique, you won’t have to go to the moon and back to get one. ($110,300 exclusively at Omega boutiques)