The Omega Speedmaster Professional Has Gone Two-Tone (Or, Bi-Color)

Is two-tone back? Is it on its way back? Has it returned and then left again? I feel like for as long as I’ve been involved in watches as a hobby, people have been saying all of the above regarding multiple metal watches. I think the most common shared perspective is that two-tone watches (that’s usually, but not always, watches made with both steel and gold) were a staple in the 1980s, fell out of favor, and have been threatening a comeback pretty consistently for the better part of a decade. But I think maybe two-tone is as back as it’s ever going to be, meaning just about every signature (“iconic,” if you must) watch collection has a two-tone example. This week, we add the Speedmaster to the list, with two new references featuring Moonshine (yellow) and Sedna (red) gold. 

The new two-tone (or “Bi-Color” in Omega terms) Speedys are from the Professional line, meaning these are Moonwatches at their core, even though they have just a bit of bling. That means a manually wound 3861 caliber with METAS certification, and the classic 42mm Speedmaster case. These references see gold applied to the bezel, crown, pushers, center links of the bracelet, and throughout each dial. The Moonshine Gold reference has a silver dial with gold tone subdials, while the Sedna Gold version has a dial coated in Sedna PVD with black subdials. Of course the most immediate question at hand is which one do you prefer, aesthetically? For me, it’s the Sedna Gold reference every day of the week. The dial and subdial combination here just looks a lot better to my eye. And I’m a sucker for red and rose gold alloys. I know they are not currently in favor, and everyone is on team yellow gold, but I like what I like. 


It’s interesting to consider these watches in the larger context of Speedmasters and two-tone watches in general. Two-tone watches exist for a number of reasons, one of which is versatility. The thinking is that a watch that is neither entirely a white metal or entirely gold can be worn more easily in a variety of situations, and for women in particular these watches were sold, once upon a time, as being pairable with many different kinds of jewelry. This is not my area of expertise, and I’m willing to bet that thinking along these lines may have changed in the last 40 years, but it at least partly explains two-tone’s rise in popularity decades ago. 

Another factor in two-tone’s rise to prominence in the “Greed is Good” years was that it gave watch consumers of more modest means a little taste of precious metal without having to shell out exponentially more for the full gold version. The luxury industry being what it is, you can be sure that brands were still able to make a huge margin on two-tone watches even at a more competitive price point. And of course many two-tone watches of the 1980s were merely plated gold anyway and still carried a premium. 

But the Speedmaster Professional has never really had a true two-tone option until now. There have of course been full gold Speedy Pros (as well as platinum and white gold options) and we’ve seen two-tone Speedmasters with automatic movements. The Pro is different though, and the fact that we now have two-tone options in what many argue is the quintessential sports watch might be an indicator that at two-tone really has made a full scale comeback after all these years. 

Something that’s not coming back, however, is the idea that a two-tone watch represents a value proposition of any kind. These new references are expensive, with each coming in at $18,100. For the record, that’s about a $10,000 premium over the stainless steel version, and less than half the cost of a full gold Speedy Pro on a bracelet. If your pricing ninja mind can work that into a value play, Omega boutiques are ready to take your call. 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.