Fans of watchmaking giant Omega will know that the brand carries the distinction as making the famous “moonwatch” – the first watch worn by an astronaut on the moon with the Apollo 11 mission of 1969.
The Swatch Group brand recently released a limited edition reinterpretation of the iconic CK 2998, which was made available in 2016 in a sporty blue-white combination dial.
After the success of the 2016 release, Omega has come back with yet another reissue of the classic. But this new release has some notable differences.
For one, the dial on the new reference 322.214.171.124.02.001 of the CK 2998 is a true “panda dial” meaning that it’s defined by a white and black (rather than white and blue) colourway.
So in place of the blue subdials we have more contrast with the black subdials, as well as a black and white minute track and black pulsometer bezel.
With regard to the pulsometer, the scale is meant to help measure a person’s heartbeats per minute – something that would be no doubt useful during space missions in the 1960s but is less relevant today (my phone, for example, can also check my pulse).
Nevertheless, the original models of the CK 2998 allowed customers to select from among 4 timing bezel options - tachymeter, pulsometer, decimal, or telemeter – which makes this new release a historically accurate reissue with its pulsometer bezel.
The new watch also sports the same alpha-shaped hour and minute hands that were found on the 2016 model, except their edges have been blackened with this model. The same goes for the applied baton-shaped indices.
One slight difference is the change to a needle shaped seconds hand - rather than a lollipop shape in the earlier model - which I think makes the new model look a bit sharper.
- Omega ref. 3126.96.36.199.02.001
Running the show is the same accurate movement that powered the 2016 limited edition: the caliber 1861. The manually wound movement beats at a relatively high 3Hz, and promises a 48-hour power reserve. It is packaged in a stainless steel case that’s as well proportioned as ever, measuring in at just shy of 40mm across.
The new Speedmaster Pulsometer Panda Dial will retail for $5,850 USD and will be available online and at US boutiques. With its small tweaks and a relatively accessible price point, expect this new limited edition to fly off the shelves.