5Posted by Robert-Jan Broer on Apr 15, 2014
It’s Speedy Tuesday! We’ve been waiting to publish an article on this new Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33 reference 318.104.22.168.01.001, also called Skywalker. It was a surprise to us actually, that Omega was developing a 3rd Generation model of the Marswatch. We’ve been a big fan of the Speedmaster Pro X-33 and covered it many times. We actually did a write-up on the Speedmaster X-33 1st Gen ref 3290.50 right before BaselWorld 2014 started where the new 3rd Gen Speedmaster X-33 was introduced.
Omega developed a new version of the discontinued Speedmaster Pro X33 (2nd Generation) together with the European Space Agency (ESA). According to the Omega press release, it was even developed based on an ESA patent filed by astronaut Jean-François Clervoy. This is also why the case back has been engraved with ‘Tested and certified by ESA’. The Speedmaster X33 1st Gen 3290.50 had nothing engraved except for the famous Seahorse logo, the Speedmaster X33 2nd Gen 3291.50 had the same inscription as the normal Speedmaster Professional 3570.50 family, ‘FLIGHT-QUALIFIED BY NASA FOR SPACE MISSIONS’.
Since we had our own Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33 with us during our meeting with Omega in Baselworld, we took the opportunity to take photos of the Speedmaster Pro X33 3rd Gen next to the 1st Gen model.
As you can see in the photos above, the Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 has a large titanium case but it still has the same interesting design as the former Speedmaster X-33 models. The case diameter is 45mm and the case and bracelet have been crafted out of Grade-2 titanium, like the older models. The Grade-2 titanium tends to become darker over time, which will give it an interesting look. The bezel on this watch has a ceramic ring with a chromium nitride scale coated with white Super Luminova. The bracelet is a combination of Grade 2 and Grade 5 titanium. Grade 5 titanium has a high polished finish.
The biggest (optical) change is perhaps the dial, where the 1st Gen and 2nd Gen Speedmaster X-33 models had a large aperture for the round digital display, the new 3rd Gen Speedmaster X-33 has a more ‘cut-out’ dial in black that exactly fits the horizontal digital printing.
Omega has a few new features compared to the former X-33 Speedies. One of them is the PET or Phase Elapsed Time and it also has an extra TimeZone compared to the 1st and 2nd Gen Speedmaster X-33 models.
In total, the Speedmaster Pro X-33 ref 322.214.171.124.01.001 has the following functions: hour, minute and seconds of up to three different time zones, three alarms, chronograph and countdown functions, and a perpetual calendar with day, date, month, year and week number indications. In addition to its analogue and digital displays, this timepiece is prepared for space exploration with two functions: mission elapsed time (MET) and the aforementioned phase elapsed time (PET). The display can be lit in the dark and gives a cool green bright printing of the characters, see here.
The Skywalker nick name is an interesting choice, as it has been unofficially used before for an Omega Seamaster in the 1970s by the legendary Chuck Maddox. This Anakin Skywalker Seamaster has been discussed here on Fratellowatches.
Just for fun, we show you the new ESA certified Speedmaster Professional X-33 together with an Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33 that was actually used by a former ESA astronaut. It also shows the differences between the Speedmaster X-33 3rd Gen versus 1st Gen quite clearly. The Broad Arrow hands have been replaced for baton hands as well as the second-hand that has a more straight shape. We already read some comments somewhere on the OmegaForums platform that the printing of the Omega Speedmaster Professional wording on 3 o’clock is not to everyone’s liking. However, we see no other way with the new lay-out of the dial to be honest.
The new Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33 reference 3126.96.36.199.01.001 will be priced at approx. 4000 EUR and can be pre-ordered here.
Click here for the other Omega novelties from BaselWorld 2014, presented on a special page on the official Omega website.
p.s. Did you know you can use the titanium bracelet of the X-33 for the new Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 45th Anniversary Limited Edition reference 3188.8.131.52.06.001. Another cool article on the X-33 Skywalker can be found at aBlogtoWatches by Ariel Adams.