While the Omega Speedmaster was created as a racing watch, with its chronograph function and tachymeter scale, today this has long been forgotten and instead has become more famous for its exploits in space. Known as the ‘Moonwatch’, the Omega Speedmaster Professional made history by being flight-qualified by NASA for all manned space flights and becoming the first watch worn on the moon when it was on the wrists of astronauts during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.
As a result, the Speedmaster has become a cult icon, and it's hard not to see why. Collectors can buy into such a great story and with a generation that grew up idolising space travel and astronauts, this watch would certainly have to be one of the most important wristwatches ever made.
Despite this being the Speedmaster’s claim to fame, Omega also released many Speedmasters commemorating events and individuals over the years with one of them being the Mk 40, a triple calendar chronograph. With its bright colours and complicated dial layout, it is perhaps one of the most recognisable Speedys out there. The Mk 40 was released in the ’90s and it just so happened to be the first watch owned by Ben Clymer, the founder of the largest watch publication in the world, Hodinkee. Gifted to him by his grandfather, it was the watch that started Hodinkee and as a result, when thinking of how to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the company, he naturally gravitated to using the Mk 40 as an inspiration.
Straightway you can see that the colour scheme has been maintained, with accents of blue and red. Though the triple calendar function was omitted, the spirit of the Mk 40 is very evident. Housed in a straight lug Speedmaster case as supposed to the more traditional lyre lug case, this was a nod to Ben’s vintage roots.
Made in an edition of 500, it quickly sold out and I have no doubt that this will be one of the more collectable limited edition Speedmasters in the years to come.