Risk-taking in the watch world is one thing. Fun is something else entirely. To be honest, it’s the harder of the two to come by.
Omega, with its near two centuries of watchmaking heritage, still knows how to party. It experiments with bold colors and wild limited editions (hello, Mr. Bond) all the time.
This time, the brand has put a cartoon beagle into a rocket ship and sent it flying through space.
We’re talking, of course, about the Omega Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th Anniversary – a watch that pays direct homage to the very first Silver Snoopy award presented October 5, 1970, after the infamous Apollo 13 mission.
This is the latest evolution in the Omega Silver Snoopy lineage with one caveat: the prior two models were limited editions, whereas this is a regular production model. You read that right – though “regular production” doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be easy to get your hands on one. Hey, what else is new?
Well, in the case of this watch, a whole lot. For one thing, this chronograph doesn’t just time morning and nightly tooth brushing sessions (get those two minutes in!); it also sets the mechanism in motion to allow Snoopy to achieve liftoff on the caseback.
Omega’s gone with a silver and blue motif for this watch. The dial is silver and laser engraved Ag925. It has a stepped configuration, a vintage-inspired design cue where the inner dial and minute track are split by a circular ridge. This separation is enhanced by varying shades of color and texture. The inner dial appears brighter and flatter, while the outer dial has an almost sunray finish.
In addition, this watch has a blue ceramic ZrO2 bezel. One thing about Speedmaster ceramic bezels is that, due to how relatively thin they are, they don’t come across as flashy, or shiny, like they might on a dive watch with a larger bezel. The obvious benefits here are the scratch resistance (if you’ve ever seen a gnarled up aluminum speedy bezel, you see why this is a welcome feature).
The blue then carries over into the subsidiary dials. They’re all blue, but they’re not all the same. Both the hour and minute counters have a radial pattern and sunken effect with silvered hands. In contrast, the running seconds counter is flush with the dial. It houses the illustration of Snoopy in full astronaut garb, as well as the words “50th Anniversary.” This sub-dial has a moon-like texture as well as a raised array of stars around our favorite beagle. Since white is a prominent color here, the running seconds hand is blue for enhanced legibility.
From there, blue abounds. The markers are a reflective blue, the applied logo and wordmarks are blue, the chronograph seconds hand is blue. Even the two dots beside the 12 o’clock marker are surrounded in blue. The nylon strap is also, yes, blue.
In terms of profile and case dimensions, this is a Speedmaster through and through. It clocks in at 42mm with a sapphire crystal on the front and the back, and the signature crown and pusher guards to boot. It looks great on the wrist, though the strap is a bit stiff. It fits tightly on the sides, but large gaps at the top make the watch appear taller than it is. I imagine this will break in over time.
Now, it would be wrong to say this watch has an exhibition caseback because it would undersell everything going on back there. Instead, we will refer to this as an “expedition” caseback. When you turn the watch over, you won’t see the movement parts. Instead, you will be looking at the vastness of space with a vivid depiction of the Moon in the foreground, and the more distant Earth – rotating with the small seconds hand – farther beyond. Turning the watch in different directions enhances the three-dimensional effect of the moon as if you could see behind it if you tried hard enough (for the record, you can’t…I tried).
And it gets better from there. Engaging the chronograph function starts a chain reaction that sends Snoopy across the caseback to the far side of the Moon in a white spaceship – to be specific, in a Command and Service Module (CSM). That’s right, the chronograph seconds hand works in tandem with a mechanism on the movement side of the watch. As the chronograph goes, so goes Snoopy. Omega simply calls this the “magic hand.”
While this sounds like some sort of party trick, it’s really quite a sight to see in the metal. For one thing, it is a marvel of mechanical watchmaking and goes back to the idea that Omega just knows how to have fun. Mind you, all of this is happening on the back of the watch, which is hidden 99% of the time while worn, but it’s the kind of value-add that separates this watch from the pack. It’s a little secret between you and your watch.
This watch is powered by the well known METAS-certified OMEGA Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861 – the very movement you’ll now find in the updated Moonwatch. This movement brings massive value to a watch that already punches far above its weight in nearly every other category.
The Speedmaster has become something of a throwback design over the years. Sure, Omega iterates and improves the movement and materials, but it always maintains that vintage Moonwatch look and feel. That doesn’t change even when you slap a Peanuts illustration on the dial. The Omega Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th Anniversary takes the Speedy to delightful new heights, without giving up an inch of what makes a Speedmaster a Speedmaster.
The Omega Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th Anniversary Reference 310.32.42.50.02.001. Stainless steel case measuring 42mm in diameter and nylon strap. Blue ceramic bezel. In-house Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861 with a power reserve of 50 hours and 26 jewels, beating at 3 Hz. Silver-colored dial with blue applied markers and lume on hands and plots. Special Snoopy illustration on dial. Decorated caseback with Earth, Moon, and “magic hand” powering Snoopy in the CSM. Water resistant to 50 meters. Price: $ 9,600 For more, visit Omega.
Photos: Kasia Milton