The Omega Speedmaster collection has been synonymous with flying and space adventures, and we personally feel that they are rather quintessential and evergreen in the world of horology. This year, Omega has added a new timepiece into their Speedmaster collection: the Skywalk X-33 Solar Impulse Limited Edition. Although it is a little different from the usual Speedmasters that we have featured previously, fans of Omega should not be strangers to the X-33 collection.
The Omega Speedmaster X-33 was launched in 1998, in which it was introduced as a supplement to the Speedmaster Professionals that were used by NASA. This was due to the increasing use of quartz timepieces, as well as the seemingly superiority in terms of capabilities. It did not supersede the “Moonwatches” though, as mechanical pieces face less issues in space as compared to their quartz counterparts. Nevertheless, the X-33 is still an interesting bit in the history of Speedmasters.
Since 2006, Omega had discontinued the X-33 watches, although it still provides these timepieces for NASA and some other military organizations when they require it. Then, in 2014, Omega relaunched the X-33 watch once again. Although it is a little bit different from the original X-33, the original DNA that made the X-33 extraordinary still exists.
In collaboration with Solar Impulse, Omega did a little tweak to the current X-33 watch to give the watch its unique looks. The watch, by the way, is a celebration of a project whose ambitious aim is to circle the globe in an airplane powered only by solar energy, making a bold statement about viable alternatives to non-renewable energy. In terms of aesthetics, the watch comes with a blue and green color scheme that matches the logo of Solar Impulse. Other changes include the matching blue and green “NATO” strap, as well as the bezel in which its numerals and indices will be fully illuminated in the dark.
The watch is powered by Calibre 5619, a highly precised thermo-compensated multi-functional quartz movement, featuring functions developed based on an ESA patent filed by astronaut Jean-François Clervoy and tested and qualified by the European Space Agency. Some functions include a digital and analog time display, a three time zone display, chronograph, alarm, perpetual calendar, Mission Elapsed Time (MET), and Phase Elapsed Time (PET). Interestingly, the hands of the watch can be disengaged to allow the user to tell time from the digital display.
The 45mm timepiece is cased in grade 2 titanium, and the caseback is stamped with the Solar Impulse logo. It also features the following text: “TESTED AND QUALIFIED BY ESA”. Only 1924 pieces of the Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 Solar Impulse Limited Edition will be made available, and the number was chosen to honour the year that the first round-the-world flight took place. The pieces will be available in the boutiques in early March, at the price of SGD$7,600.
For more information on the Solar Impulse Project, you may want to click on the link here to find out more about their endeavors and adventures.