By Rebecca Doulton
Ever since that epic day in July 1969 when the Apollo 11 Lunar Module touched down on the surface of the Moon with a 1957 Speedmaster chronograph strapped to Buzz Aldrin's wrist, these iconic Omega watches earned the nickname "Moonwatch".
The Moonwatch is one of the most enduring Omega watches and has appeared in various guises over recent years, each rendition inspired by something to do with the Moon. We've had the ceramic Grey Side of the Moon inspired by lunar dust, the wildly successful all-black ceramic Dark Side of the Moon in honour of the Apollo 8 astronauts, and this year Omega welcomes the White Side of the Moon, capturing the brilliance of a full Moon in white ceramic. And as you will see, the white is very white indeed.
Ceramic is one of the most resilient, scratchproof and hard-wearing substances, and this new Omega chronograph is made from white zirconium ceramic with contrasting brushed and polished surfaces. The ceramic bezel has a matte chromium nitride tachymeter scale - a hallmark Omega Moonwatch feature - and the legible physiognomy of the 44.25mm timepiece, with its bi-compax chronograph display, lets you record elapsed times while enjoying a slice of space history on your wrist. The white gold applied indices, the central hour, minute and chronograph seconds hands, and the two dots at 12 o'clock, glow with white Super-LumiNova. Fitted with Co-Axial calibre 9300, the first in-house movement to feature a chronograph function, this new Omega Moonwatch comes with a four-year warranty and a white leather strap to consolidate its pristine white character.
Technically, we are always getting the same view of the Moon from Earth due to a phenomenon called tidal locking. The far side of the Moon, or the dark side, is the portion of the Moon's face we cannot see from Earth but which astronauts can view in orbit. Mysterious, magical and celebrated in Pink Floyd's 1973 album, the Dark Side of the Moon has inspired another four ceramic watches in the Speedmaster line-up: Black Black; Sedna Black; Pitch Black; and Vintage Black. All four 44.25mm Omega watches share an automatic Omega Co-Axial calibre 9300 with its 60-hour power reserve, and an identical layout to their white ceramic counterpart.
The Pitch Black ceramic model is distinguished from the other three by the Super-LumiNova, which coats all of the elements on the matte black ceramic dial. The stealthy Black Black model has a polished and brushed black ceramic casebody, applied black Super-LumiNova, and comes with a black-coated nylon fabric strap. The Sedna Black combines Omega watches' ceramic technology with its exclusive rose gold alloy, Sedna. The contrast of the brushed black ceramic case and Sedna gold bezel ring, indices and hands confer great visibility to this model. And last but not least, the Vintage Black model is recognisable thanks to its brown indices and hands, the use of vintage Super-LumiNova, and its brown leather strap.
With so many ceramic shades of the Omega Moonwatch, one of the most iconic watches in the world, the problem now is deciding which one will accompany you on your next orbit.