Omega opens the year, right on the dot yesterday, on the first Tuesday of 2022 with a new Speedmaster Calibre 321, complete with vintage details and a beautiful design in 18K Canopus Gold.
Press Release details with commentary in italics.
Omega offers the Cal.321 in three vary different options. The three watches are in three different materials. This new watch is released in a proprietary white gold which Omega calls Canopus gold case on Canopus gold bracelet. The other two models are in stainless steel on stainless steel, and platinum with a leather strap. Prices range significantly across the board as well. And even the least expensive of the trio: the steel Ref. 318.104.22.168.01.001 Moonwatch, released in 2020 retailing at SGD 20k, a significant premium over the regular Ref. 310.30.42.50.01.001 Moonwatch (equipped with the Cal 3861), which has a retail price of SGD 9k. The Speedmaster Platinum caliber 321 Ref. 322.214.171.124.99.001 released in 2019, the first of the Cal. 321 re-issues, retails at SGD 87k, and is fitted with an onyx dial with meteorite inserts. And this new release, the Speedmaster Caliber 321 Chronograph in Canopus Gold Ref. 3126.96.36.199.01.001. tops it all with a whopping retail price of SGD 118k, raises some eyebrows.
The immediate reaction to the new release was the huge surprise at this pricing level that Omega has set. The other models are still available as none are limited. Neither by a fixed production number, nor by a limited timeframe, though one way or another, the Heritage models are limited. Omega is said to only produce 50 to 100 of the Cal. 321 a year, so this places a natural limit to the number of all 3 references. These watches will remain rare, and we do not foresee any of these Heritage models to flood the market anytime soon.
This is a rather interesting proposition, as all three watches share the same movement for what may seem as vastly different price levels. For many collectors, the Caliber 321 is the raison d’être for this series. But we think that Omega is to be applauded for providing collectors the options at different budgets.. It is also interesting that a vintage movement with classical technology is positioned above the more technically advanced calibers like the Co-axial Master Chronometer caliber 3861 in the standard Moonwatch.
As mentioned, this new Canopus Gold Cal. 321 Chronograph is the only one with the aesthetics of the original CK2915, with the broad arrow hands, the DOM, and is exactly the same size as the originals. We have not yet handled the watch, but expect it to be incredible in every way – aesthetics, attention to detail, finishing, and feel on the wrist.
Omega Speedmaster Caliber 321 Chronograph in Canopus Gold
The Omega Speedmaster Caliber 321 Chronograph in Canopus Gold Ref. 3188.8.131.52.01.001. has a retail price of SGD 118,750 with GST / CHF 75,000.
When this legendary collection was first launched in 1957, it changed the face of chronograph watchmaking forever. Created for professional racing car drivers, the watch was perfectly readable and easy to use, and was also the first in the world to feature a tachymeter scale on the bezel, as opposed to on the dial. This feature was ideal for timing average speeds on the track, and complemented the watch’s sturdy, highly-precise and water-resistant design.
Taking inspiration from that very first Speedmaster, known as the CK2915-1, today’s release marks the collection’s 65th anniversary with a unique 38.6 mm case that has been crafted in 18K Canopus Gold™. This exclusive material is OMEGA’s own white gold alloy and is distinguished by its high brilliance, whiteness and longevity. Watch connoisseurs will also be able to pick out the NAIAD symbol on the watch’s crown, which was specifically used to reference water-resistance in some of the first CK2915 models.
For the ultimate contrast, the watch has been given a deep black onyx dial with an applied vintage OMEGA logo and typography featuring an oval “O” – a detail that was typical for the first CK2915 models. There are also 18K white gold hands and indexes with a Canopus Gold™ PVD treatment and the three classic Speedmaster subdials including a small seconds display, 30-minute recorder and 12-hour recorder, along with the central chronograph function.
Of course, the famous tachymeter scale is there too. On the bezel, it has been filled with black “Grand Feu” enamel, and if you look closely, you’ll also see two of the original Speedmaster’s most collector-worthy details: the famous dot over ninety (DON) and a dot diagonal to seventy.
Perhaps most sought-after of all is the famous movement inside the watch. The Calibre 321 was the original movement used inside the Speedmaster in 1957. It also powered the watches worn during the Apollo missions, including all of history’s six moon landings. Since 2019, OMEGA has brought the Calibre 321 back into production, carefully retaining all the authentic specifications. Adding it to this new release gives the watch added provenance and a genuine connection to the Speedmaster’s heritage.
Turning the watch over reveals a further tribute to the collection’s anniversary. An engraving of the OMEGA Seahorse – a brand icon used on the Speedmaster since 1957 -has been added to the inside of the sapphire crystal glass. Its eye has been made from a sparkling blue sapphire, a precious jewel that traditionally marks a 65-year celebration.
The Speedmaster Calibre 321 watch is set on an 18K Canopus Gold™ bracelet with a comfort release adjustment system and is presented in a special wooden box. Crafted with a Rosewood-like pattern in honour of the collection’s 65th anniversary, the shape and design of the box is inspired by the original Speedmaster boxes that customers would have received in 1957.