The Speedmaster was originally introduced in 1957 to compete with the chronographs in the crowd-pulling motor racing field, which was becoming ever more competitive as the drivers achieved higher speeds, therefore a need for accurate timepieces became all the more essential. Omega was the first to have the tachymeter on the bezel rather than on the dial. This was later adopted in 1963 by the Rolex Daytona.
Roll forward to 2017 when Omega celebrates 50 years of the Speedmaster. To commemorate this anniversary they introduced this 318.104.22.168.01.001 Omega Speedmaster Limited edition of 1957 pieces. It's 42mm stainless steel case has brushed and polished surfaces with a 48mm lug to lug length for a comfortable fit on the wrist. The bezel has a black aluminum insert with a tachymeter scale. On the right side is a signed crown providing 100m water resistance. Its domed crystal is AR coated scratch-resistant sapphire. The dial is black enamel, a very difficult process to achieve. Omega has been fine-tuning this process since 1946. Enameling is an exacting and delicate form of high art, and fortunately, it is not a lost one. A new generation of enamellers in Switzerland continues this long-practiced craft.
Slim baton markers with SuperLumiNova mark the hours. White fence hands with a chronograph seconds hand are coated in SuperLumiNova. A recessed 30-minute register, a 12-hour register, and a 60 seconds register are evenly spaced over the dial At 12 o’clock we have Omega Speedmaster 0979/1957 indicating the limited number this particular piece is. On the back, a screw-down exhibition case shows off the very special movement inside. A Manually Wound Omega Cal. 3201 featuring a CO-Axial and column-wheel, COSC certified 29 Jewels White rhodium-plated movement with Geneva waves decoration, circular graining, and gold-plated engraving. This movement is actually based on the F. Piguet 1285 which is super interesting.
Fitted on its original 20mm Omega stainless steel bracelet with alternating brushed and polished finishing and folding signed clasp.
Points of Mention
This watch is sold with an original Omega box, however, it is not the original limited edition box sold at retail with this model. The original paperwork is present but does not come with its limited-edition card. The watch comes paired on its original Omega Speedmaster bracelet with a folding clasp. This watch was sold in January 2017 which is a fair while after the official launch of this model, I believe they didn't sell particularly well at retail when released and thus a fair few were "dumped" into the grey market to be sold, here we one of the final ones to sell. The watch comes with our 12-Months NON-Waterproof warranty.
The Speedmaster which is a true "If you know... You know" watch, most look at it and think it's just a Speedmaster "Sapphire Sandwich", but it couldn't be further from that! A super interesting and rare enamel dial, beautiful exhibition case back showing that interesting Co-Axial caliber in all its glory! This is a true hidden gem and one that I still think MANY collectors have never seen and don't even know it exists, let's see for how much longer that lasts?