Characteristic designPremiere: The OMEGA Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer
True to OMEGA tradition, every new Speedmaster carries the spirit and design inspiration of the models that came before. In the new Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer, this is immediately clear when you view the dial. The distinctive minute-track style first appeared on a 1968 Speedmaster model.
Linked to the Speedmaster’s motor racing heritage, it returns again alongside other unique and refined features.
The Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer collection will make its début in 2017. The first model is stainless steel with a matt-black dial, a polished ceramic bezel with a brushed Liquidmetal® tachymeter scale, and distinctive orange wording that matches the colour of the varnished hands and tip of the seconds hand.
The second model has been crafted from 18K Sedna™ gold. The colour blue is used for the dial, the leather strap, and the ceramic bezel with its Ceragold™ tachymeter scale.
Both models feature an “alternating” minute-track in a racing style which gives the models their name. This feature links back to early Speedmaster designs from 1968 that provided better readability for the wearer.
Compared to other Speedmasters of the past, it is worth noting that the 44.25 mm case of the new Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer is thinner than previous versions thanks to the work done on the sapphire crystal in particular.
Other notable features include bevelled arrowhead indexes filled with Super-LumiNova and subdials that have been slightly expanded for improved readability.
On the stainless steel model, there is a black leather strap that contains a section of orange rubber through the middle. A milling tool has then been used to create micro perforations through the constructed strap that reveal the orange rubber inside. This perforated design provides the perfect sporty look and also has the benefit of aerating the wearer’s skin.
These models represent the next Speedmasters with Master Chronometer certification. Driven by the calibre 9900/9901, the watch and its movement have reached the Swiss industry’s highest standard of precision, performance and magnetic resistance, as approved by the Swiss Federal Institute of Meteorology (METAS). The watches come with OMEGA’s full 4-year warranty.
The Origins of OMEGA’s Racing Dial
The racing dial is not a new concept for OMEGA. In fact, it goes back to the very early years of the Speedmaster and has been a design inspiration ever since.
It first began in 1968 with the release of a rare Speedmaster model with an alternating minute-track. It is generally accepted that this “Racing” style, along with the bicolor minute markers and orange hands, was added to make the chronograph easier to read – perhaps for those in the air or on the racetrack.
In the colourful spirit of the 1960s, and to expand its Speedmaster options, several variations of the Racing Dial watch were created. For collectors keen to add to their collection, and who are lucky enough to find one, each unique piece can be distinguished by a different combination of coloured function hands.
Despite great research and theory, the exact origin and purpose of these 1968 models is still shrouded in mystery. But without doubt, the design quickly caught on.
The Racing Dial theme was quickly adopted again for the Speedmaster Mark II Racing watch produced in the early 1970s and appeared again in the 1990s on certain Speedmaster models linked to OMEGA’s partnerships with motor-racing legends such as Michael Schumacher.
Perhaps one of the most popular tributes to the Racing Dial appeared in 2004. This was when OMEGA released the Speedmaster Racing (ref. 145.0022) exclusively for the Japanese market. The pieces were part of an unnumbered series limited to just 2,004 models.
When the new generation of the Speedmaster Mark II appeared in 2014, the Racing Dial was back again and, by now, was firmly ingrained within the Speedmaster’s DNA.
This year marks the latest return. It’s a unique and subtle touch, but as you can see, it has a special heritage that runs deep into OMEGA’s past.