Alongside a slew of new watches released earlier this year at Watches & Wonders, Omega showed off three new straps exclusively for the Speedmaster. These three straps were a bit different than the abundant NATO or leather options offered, however; these are 2-piece VELCRO straps, featuring the NASA ‘meatball’ insignia and the Speedmaster logo, all constructed in a way that looks right in line with space suits worn by the Apollo astronauts. There’s no denying the fun factor here, but are these viable for everyday use?
As you’re no doubt aware, the Speedmaster is what the kids refer to as ‘a strap monster’. It looks good in all manner of strap material and color, and if you own one you likely have a drawer full of fun straps that make the rounds. And until recently, the Speedmaster hasn’t exactly had a great bracelet from the factory, so it really begged for other options right out of the gate. With that in mind, Omega has delivered with some great OEM options these new Velcro straps are a welcome addition.
Now, it’s worth noting that these Omega straps, officially Omega signed, are considerably pricier than the kind of straps you’ll find from other sources, and at $190 these Velcro straps are no exception. Unlike some of the NATO options however, these are quite unique and I suspect you’d have a very tough time finding anything similar from a third party if the NASA and Omega branding is important to you. If that’s not a big deal, there are definitely other options out there.
The strap itself consists of two separate pieces: a very short piece that gets the NASA logo affectionately known as the ‘meatball’ which was designed by NASA employee James Modarelli in 1959; and a second much longer piece that loops through the polished steel keeper of the short piece. That long piece folds back over itself, meaning the inside is covered with the Velcro material from nearly end to end (the fuzzy stuff, and the stiff stuff that sticks to it). The are that folds over gets a prominent ‘Speedmaster Moonwatch’ labeling, while the underside gets the Omega insignia at its end.
The shiny material is soft to the touch and quite comfortable on the wrist. Upon folding over the strap, there is a bulk of material thanks to the thickness of the Velcro, but it sits directly on the side of your wrist, mostly out of the way when viewing from top down. If you can stomach the NATO foldover this shouldn’t bother you, but it’s not quite as tight as a pure fabric strap. Looping the strap back on itself allows you to fine tune the fitment to a much greater degree than a buckle would allow, and making adjustments on the fly is super easy, it’s Velcro afterall.
I’d be curious to see how these straps wear in over time, and just how well they’d clean up, given the Velcro material along the inside. If not properly cared for I could see these getting pretty gnarly over the years, but at the same time I can’t imagine many owners wearing their Speedmaster exclusively on these straps. Rather, these feel like a fun addition to add to the rotation for occasional wear. They’re loud, colorful, and a smidge ostentatious (not that I’m judging), but they will absolutely bring a smile to your face every time you check your watch.
At the end of the day, I cannot justify the price of these straps, but I also kind of want one for my own Speedmaster, and wouldn’t judge owners in the slightest for buying one (or all three). Both the black and the silver look great on the watch and really lean into the space angle of the Speedmaster (to state the obvious).