Writing about the Omega Speedmaster is like trying to write about a classic muscle car. Words fail you and you fall back on cliche – classic, understated, collectable, impressive. In short it’s one of the most important timepieces in horology and also one of the most accessible.
I owned the Speedmaster Reduced for a while and sold it because I wanted a Professional. The Speedmaster Professional is the moon watch, the one work by Buzz Aldrin on the first moon walk. The Speedmaster Reduced Automatic is the post-moon watch. It is a beautiful reduction of everything we love about the Pro with none of the manual winding hassle. With a stark black face and beautiful white baton hands, the Reduced allows you to own a piece of history while making the leap into a new era.
Made of brushed and polished stainless steel, the case is beautiful wrought and the white lettering and chapter ring make sure no one misses a beat. Both models look look great on a band or steel bracelet. The crystal, made of acrylic to mirror the original, scratches easily but can be buffed out without problems.
The watch has two pushers, one at two and another at four, and a crown at three. The movement handwinds but it is completely automatic and lasts about 40 hours when not on the wrist. The dial is eminently readable and the sub-registers offer an instant read on elapsed time.
The bezel has a tachymeter scale and the chapter ring marks second and split second intervals. It is comparatively waterproof, but don’t go diving in it.
The bracelet consists of polished and brushed links with a solid, if unadorned, clasp. While the Pro often benefits from a leather band, the Reduced looks great with its attendant bracelet.
Cons? Not many. The case may be a bit small for some big watch fans and the hours register only goes up to 12 and the sub-registers are not lumed. Big whoop, right? The time is extremely readable in the dark and if you need to time something for more than 12 hours, maybe try a sundial.
Priced anywhere from $4,000 to $1,800, the Speedmaster is the definitive first Grail watch. It is full of history, aesthetic beauty, and absolute utility. That’s why it is one of our favorite watches.
You can pick one up here on a steel bracelet – our favorite style.
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