By Dhananjay Pathak

The Omega Speedmaster celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2017 and looking at the history associated with this watch it would be fair to say that it is one of the most iconic watches that Omega has ever produced. And though there have been plenty of variations of the Speedmaster released since its genesis, it still generates a wave of excitement and curiosity among fans a new Speedy is launched. So, on that note let us present before you the Speedmaster Dark Side of The Moon Apollo 8, one of the brands new releases for Baselworld 2018. This watch as the name suggests pays a tribute to the Apollo 8 mission that was conducted in the year 1968. The major highlight of this watch is the skeletonized dial showing off the Caliber 1869, a beautifully decorated version of the famous Caliber 1861.

Let me begin by admitting that I am not a big fan of skeletonization, as in a lot of the cases the end results are highly underwhelming and the watch ends up looking ugly and highly unreadable. But, then watches like the Apollo 8 Dark Side of the Moon show up and help me soften my stand, making me feel that if executed in the right way skeletonized dials can actually look good. The stunning dial on this watch follows has a layered design approach giving it a nice sense of dimension. The topmost layer comprises of an outer ring containing the applied lume filled indices and the minute markings. This is followed by the subdials which have been nicely executed with only the registers at 3 and 6 having some sort of base while the register at 9 simply constitutes of the chapter ring adding to the level of transparency.

Beneath the subdials lies the focal point of this watch, the Caliber 1869. This is basically the manually wound Caliber 1861 movement which has been blackened and laser ablated to recreate the lunar surface. The outcome is indeed mesmerizing and Omega has even gone to the extent of individually presenting the near and dark side of the moon on the front and back respectively by keeping the dial side a few shades lighter as compared to the back of the movement. The movement operates at a frequency of 21600 BPH and offers a power reserve of around 48 hours.

The case of the watch is made out of black ceramic and has a diameter of 44.25 mm akin to the modern Speedmasters out there.  On top of the case is a fixed ceramic bezel which has the well-known tachymetre scale which along with the Omega signature on the crown at 3 have been filled with white superluminova. Another interesting and touch is the use of the color yellow at different instances throughout the watch, as it really pops against the black background adding just the right amount of brightness to this watch.

All in all, Omega seems to have done a great job in creating yet another unique and interesting variation of the Speedmaster in the form of the Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8. The watch would come attached to a perforated black leather strap with yellow accents and would retail at a price of CHF 9,000. For more info, visit Omega online.