This is a review of what is probably the hottest replica watch of 2013. It's certainly based on internet buzz, and when we first put the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon (ref. 318.104.22.168.01.003) down earlier in the year, we knew it would be great. The Omega replica Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon feels like much more than a ceramic version of the modern Omega replica Speedmaster. Omega has cleverly been able to produce another model that really feels like more than just the sum of its parts, but, if you look at the fine details, you'll realize that this is not just another black ceramic case timepiece. It combines the history and mystique of the Speedmaster collection with useful materials in a very satisfying design that is both masculine and cool. What do you get when you upgrade one of the world's most iconic sports watches to a popular product? You get the Omega replica Speedmaster Moon's The Dark Side.
History & Background
Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon, entered lunar orbit on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1968. That night, Astronaut-Commander Frank Bowman, Commander Jim Lovell and Commander William Anders held a live broadcast from lunar orbit where they showed pictures of the Earth and the Moon as seen from the spacecraft. They ended the broadcast and asked the crew to take turns reading the book "Genesis. "Gerry Carr, CapCom's director of mission control, told the three astronauts from more than 30,000 astronauts more than 200 miles away, "Ten seconds. You keep going." Pilot Jim Lovell replied, "We'll see you on the other side," and Apollo 8 disappeared behind the moon in the first mystery in human history. For 34 minutes, you will not know what happened. Unlike the previous Dark Side model, this version comes with a specially decorated version of Omega's famous Moonwatch movement, caliber 1861. The 1861 movement has been partially skeletonized and decorated by Omega in order to make the replica watch movement closely linked to the Apollo 8 Mission. , the movement is known as the 1869 to commemorate the first moon landing. Most impressively, the movement has been laser ablated to produce a realistic image of the moon's surface. To contrast with this dark hue, the brand chose yellow, the color used for the Omega replica Speedmaster Racing models in the 1968 Omega replica Speedmaster collection. Just like the moon, the movement displays two distinctive aspects. One side of the dial is a lighter shade, representing our view of the lunar surface from Earth, while the back of the replica watch delves into the dark side that only astronauts can see.
The Omega replica Speedmaster case is crafted in polished and satin-brushed finishes, with a center section elegantly curved into faceted lugs (although like most ceramic cases, it is vulnerable to fingerprints). The plunger chronograph pushers are polished black and subtly rounded at the top to provide tactile comfort. It requires a fairly hard push to engage the chronograph and pause it with the top pusher, which zeroes the yellow chronograph seconds hand with an arrow to zero the bottom one. Situated between the two pushers is the polished black, fluted crown that does not tighten and is engraved with the Greek letters Omega. turning to the dial, the yellow highlights include the central chronograph hand (which has been varnished), the small chronograph hand on the small dials at 3 and 6 o'clock, and the rectangular applied hour markers. Meanwhile, white varnish has been applied to the small seconds hand on the 9 o'clock dial, while white Super-LumiNova coats all the indications on the hands and the hour hand, as well as on the tachymeter scale on the bezel. A minute scale on the black ring between these markers is also reminiscent of the scale used on Omega replica Speedmaster Racing models. These slightly conical subdials float like satellites on the front of the exposed skeleton movement, which is laser ablated to decorate the blackened main plate and the sides of the bridges with realistic 3D depictions of the moon's surface. Starting from the Omega replica Speedmaster dial side, the effect is executed in a lighter shade of gray and echoes our view of the moon from Earth, while the back (visible through the transparent sapphire caseback window) is a darker gray, similar to the eponymous "dark side" that only astronauts have seen with their own eyes. Something that only astronauts have seen with their own eyes. As one would expect, these realistic lunar details come to life under magnification and add a lot of character to this Omega replica Speedmaster Moonwatch. Easy to read, the effect of all this detail is a mixed bag. The white hour markers and especially the striking yellow chronograph seconds hand are easily discernible in all lighting conditions. At a glance, the running motion of the seconds hand is also immediately apparent, allowing the wearer to check that the replica watch is running - an important feature of a hand-wound replica watch. However, the relative thinness of the hour and minute hands (actually thin enough that they occasionally get lost in the background detail), sometimes even overshadowed by the more obvious central seconds hand, is somewhat unexpected. I expected these hands to be at least as wide as the indexes on which they indicate time. That is, the replica watch is probably the same as any other chronograph.