Omega Introduces a New Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 with a More Detailed Lunar Surface Inspired Dial and a Saturn V Seconds Hand

A January launch of a new Speedmaster (on a Tuesday, of course) has become a bit of a tradition for Omega over these past few years. Today, Omega has announced a new Dark Side of the Moon Speedmaster, which at first glance (and maybe a second and third glance) will look a whole lot like an earlier iteration of the popular ceramic version of the chronograph. The newest addition, though, has a few little updates that are likely to appeal to the most hardcore Speedmaster collectors. “Little” is the operative word here for at least one of them, which also might be the most technically impressive.

The Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 is a follow up to the first edition of this watch, which was released in 2018 to mark the 50th anniversary of the mission. That original Apollo 8 watch was an immediate hit. It combined a lot of the modern tech and materials of contemporary ceramic Speedmasters with the familiar and highly regarded manually wound movement that is so much a part of the Speedy’s DNA. The rendition of the lunar surface on the dial was also particularly well executed and impressive. 

The new Apollo 8 features an updated movement, Calibre 3869, which is analogous to Calibre 1869 used in the previous version. This new movement has been specced to match Calibre 3861, the manually wound caliber at the heart of the current Moonwatch. It’s a significant upgrade from the older movement, and has been fitted with a co-axial escapement and meets all the requirements of a Master Chronometer through METAS testing. Calibre 3869, like its predecessor, features a laser-ablated image of the lunar surface on its main plate and bridges, visible through the display caseback and, partially, through the skeletonized dial. The laser treatment and rendition of the moon on the new watch has been enhanced, according to Omega, and appears more detailed and defined than on the original Apollo 8. In keeping with the watch’s theme and the Apollo 8 mission, the dial shows the “light” side of the moon, and the backside shows the “dark.” Apollo 8, notably, was the first crewed spaceflight to leave low earth orbit, and the first to orbit the moon. 

Besides the increased definition of the lunar surface’s representation and the new movement, the other big change from the 2018 version of the watch is a new running seconds hand in the register at 9:00. It’s really more of a very, very small model of the rocket than a traditional hand, and is made from titanium through a laser turning process. Omega actually has a patent pending on the small seconds hand – it might seem like a small detail (it is) but it would also seem to represent Omega overcoming some significant technical hurdles. 

The black ceramic case measures 44.25mm in diameter and uses separate pieces of ceramic for the bezel and caseback components. The bezel’s tachymeter scale is infilled with bright white enamel for additional contrast and a premium, luxurious touch. You’ll want it to feel luxurious, because the retail price is, well, demanding of it. The new Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 comes in at $14,500. Omega

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.