Few watches have kept enthusiasts excited for as long as the Omega Speedmaster has, and few have the history and legacy. Though it started life as a motorsport-related timepiece, the Speedmaster earned its iconic “Moonwatch” nickname in 1962 when astronaut Walter Schirra wore one on a Mercury mission.
Today, Omega makes a dizzying number of special editions, limited models, and themed models with ties to sport and racing. The original is still on sale, however, and remains one of the most affordable and wearable models in Omega’s vast catalog.
The Speedmaster Professional honors its heritage by retaining a hand-wound movement and unique Hesalite crystal. The Omega 1861 movement offers a 48-hour power reserve, so you won’t have to wind the watch every day. Hesalite, a brand name for what is essentially plexiglass, was used to avoid the risk of shattered glass or crystal in space. Omega still uses the material today, which gives the Speedmaster Professional a unique vintage look.
Some variants come in case sizes that exceed 44mm, but the classic 42mm size is still alive and kicking. Stainless steel is the traditional Speedmaster metal, but Omega offers precious metal options for those wanting more flash. At the same time, the Speedmaster isn’t a water sports watch, as it only offers a water resistance of 50m/167 feet.
If you’re shopping for an Omega Speedmaster Professional today, you have a few options. Omega has made the watch with a sapphire caseback or solid caseback in recent years, and the “sapphire sandwich” models tend to be more desirable. You also have a choice between a strap or bracelet, though it’s always advisable to get the bracelet up front to save money buying one separately later.