The “(Color) Side Of The Moon” has become a popular phrase at Omega ever since the original Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon (with its sexy black ceramic case) made a splash a few years ago at Baselworld. Omega has eagerly attempted to keep the colored ceramic case trend going with a series of different executions. Even Seamaster Planet Ocean dive watches are available in black or blue ceramic cases. The Omega Speedmaster Blue Side Of The Moon is the newest ceramic Speedmaster for 2017 – and actually the only new ceramic model. The official (full) name for the watch is long as per typical Omega practice and is the Omega Speedmaster Blue Side Of The Moon Co-Axial Master Chronometer Chronograph Moonphase.
All images by David Bredan
Rather than focus on the standard Speedmaster Co-Axial Master Chronometer Chronograph with the in-house made caliber 9900 movement, this new ceramic Speedmaster is based on the Omega Speedmaster X-33 Replica Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronometer Chronograph Moonphase with the in-house made caliber 9904 which I have done an aBlogtoWatch review on here. The Blue Side Of The Moon is more or less the same blue Speedmaster Moonphase watch I reviewed, but with an elegant, rich blue ceramic case. It is quite literally the bluest Speedmaster yet! This is good for fans of the hue, which has been very popular over the last few years in anything from sport to dress watches and everything in between.
Recall that Omega uses ceramic for this Speedmaster Moonphase’s case, pushers, bezel, and dial. Even the moon phase indicator disc is said to be in blue ceramic. The mixture of flat finishes and the contrast between the blue and the 18k white gold hour markers and hands is lovely. This isn’t the ceramic Speedmaster for everyone, but I think the Blue Side Of The Moon has the potential for some cult status in a few years given its distinctive and different, yet altogether familiar looks.
Remember as well that the blue dial and bezel style are different on the Blue Side Of The Moon Speedmaster Moonphase versus the steel-cased one that I previously reviewed and linked to above. Whereas the dial on the steel model is a polished sunray metallic blue, you get a more matte, deep blue given the blue ceramic dial of this model. I personally think that the Blue Side Of The Moon will be the version most people prefer – when trying to figure out what blue Speedmaster to get.
The 44.25mm wide case is large but comfortable. It is 11.7mm thick and feels tall thanks to the box-style sapphire crystal. Omega Speedmaster 8500 Replica does an excellent job at rendering ceramic to look like polished metal. The trick is replicating the contrasting polished and brushed finishing on the case – just as is done with metal cases. This is what makes the original Dark Side Of The Moon Speedmaster so popular, and why now in blue it looks just as lovely.
As we have covered the core Speedmaster Co-Axial Master Chronometer Chronograph Moonphase watch before, I am not going to revisit the movement or the watch’s functionality in detail. Recall that the caliber 9904 movement adds a moon phase indicator to the chronograph and date complications. The symmetry of the movement’s dial layout is impressive and something to desire. Notice how each of the sub-dials has two hands. This is really one of the most interesting and appealing modern Omega movements to date. It, of course, has a co-axial escapement, METAS certification (and all that goes with it), 4Hz operational frequency, and 60 hours of power reserve. The movement can be easily admired through the caseback’s sapphire crystal window.
Omega matches this watch with a blue alligator strap. I do think however, that if you are clever, you could pair the Blue Side Of The Moon with a brown or possibly a deep gray strap as well. Omega’s struggle will be to recapture collector’s hearts who originally fell in love with the Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon, and have them put down the same money on the admittedly similar but not as innovative-feeling Blue Side Of The Moon. In blue, the watch adds a legitimately delicious new flavor, but at the price of a very fine delicacy.
Omega continues to excite us with fashionable variations of their nicest products (such as a blue ceramic Speedmaster Moonphase), but the question remains if the current average Omega consumers want something a bit more conservative from the brand. Omega guys tend to be the type who save up for a really nice Omega, even if their typical budget is limited. They can’t get every pretty Speedmaster or Planet Ocean variation that comes out – even if they want to.
With that said, Omega Speedmaster 105.003 Replica does need new model variation each year – I just wish it didn’t have to cost so much to spice up your collection while enjoying a familiar look and a great tool watch. The Omega Speedmaster Blue Side Of The Moon Co-Axial Master Chronometer Chronograph Moonphase is the reference 304.93.44.52.03.001 and has a retail price of 11,700 CHF. omegawatches.com
Even mechanically, the 1861 movements are extremely much like the 861 moves introduced in 1968. To the untrained eye it is difficult to tell vintage speedmaster’s besides modern. That’s part of their charm and also a part of this challenge in regards to amassing them.Alright, so about a review. This watch has been my constant companion, off and on, for many years now. I have consistently been a fan for several years. It’s just worth you knowing that on front end.The Speedmaster wears larger than you might think. 42mm isn’t a little lookout but by today’s standards it is not a big one either. They make large case sizes for Speedmasters, in particular their coaxial versions, but I am specifically reviewing the “Speedmaster Professional.” With all that said, the Speedmaster wears very nicely. Together with the 46mm lug to lug it is noticeable and with a good wrist presence, but not something which will become a burden to wear.In 1957 when the Speedmaster released it had been utilizing the Omega 321 motion that was a column wheel chronograph, manual wind, motion. In 1968 Omega replaced that with all the 861. The 861 has been a cam operated chronograph that defeat at a faster rate compared to 321. All modern Omega Speedmaster Professionals utilize variations of the movement. The specific Speedmaster I have is a 3573 or Sapphire Sandwich which has a sapphire display back. It’s a 1863 movement difference between the 63 and the 61 is that the 63 is decorated. My experience with the motion has been really terrific. I had it serviced right when I got it, and ever since it has been consistently keeping COSC time.