——-Omega Speedmaster Replica Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8
Most of us can recall what a seismic event it was when Omega replica released the first Dark Side of the Moon version of its iconic omega Speedmaster replica Professional “Moonwatch” back in 2013. But few of us probably could have predicted that this very avant-garde take on one of Omega’s most timeless watch designs would catch fire the way it did, especially considering the very passionate fan base of the vintage model and the general resistance to change (there is a reason that Omega continues to equip many of its Moonwatches with basically the same manual-wind movement as their 1969 predecessor). However, the Dark Side of the Moon has not only thrived but has become a legitimate franchise of its own, spinning off from the main Speedmaster family and used as the proving ground for a number of intriguing designs and technical ideas.
In 2018, a year in which Omega devoted much of its marketing muscle not to the Speedmaster but to its dive-watch predecessor, the Seamaster, there was among the flood of Seamasters one very notable return to the Dark Side: the Omega replica Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8, a tribute to the historic 1968 lunar mission that marks its 50th anniversary in 2018. That mission was the second manned spaceflight launched by the United States and the first to leave Earth’s orbit, reach and orbit the Moon, and return safely to Earth. It paved the way for the more famous Apollo 11 mission in 1969, which first landed men on the Moon and from which the Omega Speedmaster, the watch worn by those men on the lunar surface, earned its enduring “Moonwatch” nickname. The watch is, most notably, the first Omega replica Speedmaster Moonwatch to contain a skeletonized version of the watch’s storied movement, Caliber 1861. However, as I realized after having the chance to spend two weeks with this timepiece, my personal favorite of Omega’s 2018 lineup, the skeletonization is just the tip of the aesthetic iceberg.
The case is exquisitely finished, employing both polishing and satin brushing, with the middle curving elegantly into the faceted lugs (though, like most all ceramic cases, it is very susceptible to being marred by fingerprints). The plunger-style chronograph pushers are in polished black, and subtly rounded on the top for tactile comfort. A rather firm push is required to engage the chronograph and halt it with the top pusher and to return the yellow, arrow-tipped chronograph seconds hand to zero with the bottom one. Nestled between the two pushers is the polished black, fluted crown, which does not screw down and is inscribed with the Greek letter Omega replica.
Moving on to the dial, the yellow highlights include the central chronograph hand, which has a varnished finish, the small chronograph hands on the subdials at 3 and 6 o’clock, and the tips of the rectangular, applied indices. Meanwhile, a white varnish is used for the small seconds hand on the 9 o’clock subdial, and white Super-LumiNova coats the hands and hour indices as well as all the indications on the bezel’s tachymeter scale. Between these markers, on a black ring, is a minute scale also reminiscent of the one used on the Omega replica Speedmaster Racing models.