OMEGA Speedmaster Steel Caliber 321

OMEGA Speedmaster Caliber 321 Steel

“Most famously, [the Caliber 321] was used in a variety of space-bound models including those that went to the moon,” OMEGA’s website trumpets. “After extensive research and reconstruction in a dedicated workshop, the Calibre 321 has now been reborn in-line with its original specifications.” Behold! The new OMEGA Speedmaster Steel Caliber 321. Formerly . . .

the Caliber 321 was only available only in a platinum piece. The news here: OMEGA’s slotted the 321 into a 39mm steel Speedmaster.

Apollo 1 crew (left to right) Grissom, White, ChaffeeThe OMEGA Speedmaster Steel is a “recreation” of the 1964 Speedy worn by Astronaut Ed White – not the model Buzz Aldrin wore on the lunar surface. (Lieutenant Colonel White died along with Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee in Apollo 1 when the Command Module caught fire on the launch pad.)

The Caliber 321 beating within the new Speedy is actually based on a later model: the 42mm Speedmaster ST 105.003 astronaut Eugene “Gene” Cernan wore on the moon during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. (Cernan was the last man to moonwalk – until the next one.)

Speedmaster 321 caliber

To create a modern Caliber 321, OMEGA updated some of the materials. For example, they substituted their patented Sedna gold for the original gold parts. Otherwise, OMEGA’s boffins hoved as closely as possible to the original design, including the applied OMEGA logo at the 12 o’clock. Close enough?

OMEGA’s decision to use a sapphire crystal in place of the original Hesalite crystal and fit the Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Stainless Steel (as it’s formally called) with a transparent caseback – instead of the original screw-down caseback – won’t please the purists. On the positive side, collectors with the original model are breathing a serious sigh of relief.

OMEGA Speedmaster Caliber 321 Steel

If you want one of these newfangled retro Speedies this year, call your OMEGA authorized dealer immediately. While the new model isn’t a limited edition – a big surprise given OMEGA’s endless series of LE Moonwatches – the Swiss watchmaker won’t be hand-assembling the $14,100 OMEGA Speedmaster Steel fast enough to meet demand.

Is the Speedmaster Steel Caliber 321 OMEGA’s stainless steel Rolex Daytona grail watch? Maybe. It’s certainly close enough to burnish the OMEGA brand to a higher gloss. Will the 321 Caliber go into a steel watch that isn’t a Moonwatch? Watch this space.

[Click here to read the press release on the Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Stainless Steel]

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