Baselworld 2018: Introducing The Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon Apollo 8

Omega’s association with the lunar landings (and the space program in general) have taken the brand far since the late 1960s, and while the manufacture has produced countless innovative and beautiful watches over the years, perhaps none is as well known and revered as the Speedmaster.

New for 2018 is the latest edition to the Dark Side Of The Moon series, the Apollo 8. Launched to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission in 1968, the ref. 311. Speedmaster (say that three times fast) is a tribute to that daring feat of space exploration, and it even features Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell’s famous words—“WE’LL SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE”—before breaking radio contact with Earth for 34 minutes on his way to the dark side of the moon, here inscribed on the back of the case.



The watch features a specially decorated version of the 1861 movement, dubbed the 1869, which has been etched via laser ablation to produce a facsimile of the lunar surface on the bridges and main plate (a skeletonized dial and sapphire case back allow for clear viewing of the movement). For an added touch of elegance, the dial side of the movement has been given a light appearance to mirror the view of the moon from Earth, and the back side has been given a dark appearance in imitation of the view of the dark side of the moon that only an astronaut would be able to see.

For those unfamiliar with the 1869/1861 caliber, it is a hand-wound, 18-jewel caliber beating at 21,600 v.p.h. with a 48-hour power reserve.

The Apollo 8 is made of black zirconium oxide ceramic and features a 44.25mm case with 50m of water resistance. Yellow accents, which first appeared in the Speedmaster Racing model in 1968, adorn the watch in various places, such as the chronograph hands and the strap. The tachymeter scale, indices and hands feature Super-LumiNova.

The watch ships on a special black leather strap that has been perforated in a racing style to give a clear view of the yellow rubber used within.

Though the skeletonized dial and black/yellow theme likely aren’t for everyone, the Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 is certainly a unique take on the Speedmaster, and constitutes a stylish and stealthy update to a watch series that has been ticking away on thousands of wrists for over half a century now. The watch is priced at CHF 9,000. Omega

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Oren Hartov is the watches editor at Gear Patrol, a contributor to several other publications, and a graduate of the Berklee College of Music. He is a reserve paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces and enjoys music, history, archaeology, militaria, scuba diving, languages and travel. He is of the opinion that Steely Dan’s “The Royal Scam” may in fact be a better record than “Aja,” but he’s not positive.