Review: The Speedmaster Moonwatch Co-Axial Chronograph Speeds Into My Heart
In the pantheon of mechanical wristwatches, the Speedmaster holds a high place. Originally built in 1957 as a reaction to the first wrist-worn chronographs coming out of competing houses, the iconic design ? white on black with bold, eminently readable chapter rings and pips ? the Speedmaster cemented its place in history when Buzz Aldrin wore his on the moon in 1969. Omega has been flogging that relationship ever since, much to the brand?s benefit and Speedmaster fans rabidly hunt for new and old models like madmen intent on owning stars.
Decades later the Speedmaster has maintained this original styling and functionality and, barring a few odd turns taken in the 1970s and 80s, hasn?t strayed far from the white on black design. This new model, the Moonwatch Co-Axial, pays homage first to the watch?s importance in the space race and, second, to the contributions of one of the greatest modern watchmakers, George Daniels.
I wore this watch for a week in China, alternating it with another GMT watch I own, in order to assess the legibility and usability of the piece. I was initially taken aback for reasons that should be clear to any Speedmaster fan. The traditional Speedmaster, the Professional, has four registers ? a running seconds hand at 9 o?clock, a minutes register at 3 o?clock, and an elapsed hours register, going up to 12, at six o?clock, as well as a main elapsed seconds hand. To be clear, the main, ?long? seconds hand doesn?t register ?running? seconds but is activated by the pushers on the right side of the watch. There is no date on the Professional and it has standard baton hands with lume running the length. The Professional looks like this:
The model I?m reviewing today looks like this:
To the average watch buyer, the difference is, at best, cosmetic. However, to the Speedmaster purist (and I hold myself in that esteemed aviary of nerds) the reaction is horror. ?What wickedness is this?? you cry. ?Where is the hours register??
Surprisingly, the hours and minutes