It happened earlier this year, at Baselworld 2015, that Omega added not one or two, but four new colorways to their Omega Replica Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon watch, that they originally released in 2013. The “DSotM,” as it is sometimes referred to, has been a resounding success – perhaps apart from the rather long waiting lists customers in some parts of the world had to endure as they anticipated the delivery of their Dark or Grey Side Of The Moon watches. The four new color variants have been hitting the stores around the globe lately, so it’s more than timely to go hands-on with all four of them, as they add some more alternatives for those who had been seeking some new, arguably a bit more niche, color variations of the sci-fi spec Speedmaster theme.
In case you have just recently developed your interest for watches, or had been living in a cave with no WiFi for the last few years, we will quickly wrap up what you need to know about the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon. Released in 2013, it was the first Omega watch with an all ceramic case – that meant all case components, pushers, crown, and even the dial itself was crafted from this old-new material. Zirconium dioxide was used for these parts because of its extremely high scratch resistance.
What made it really special, however, is that Omega did not stop halfway through and compromise when developing this new range of Speedies, but instead put the necessary efforts into refining the material to a level where it accurately mimics the finishing seen on the original, steel Omega Speedmaster. The sloping curves running through the side of the case and onto the lugs, as well as the pushers and crown, have all been shaped and finished in a way that they remain true to the original Omega Speedmaster aesthetics – while also being a modern, high-tech iteration of that.
The movement inside the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon is the in-house Omega 9300 Co-Axial, a column wheel chronograph caliber with an automatic winding two-register dial layout – this fact holds true for the four new versions as well, as we still have to wait a bit before Omega extended its range of Master Co-Axial, highly anti-magnetic calibers. Co-Axial movements by Omega have been around for the better part of 15 years now, and the 9300 really showcases a level of finishing and quality of execution that matches the ingenuity of the late George Daniels’ co-axial escapement.
The Omega 9300 movement also packs Omega’s more recent developments: a free-sprung balance with a silicon balance spring, a series-coupled double barrel configuration that provides 60 hours or 2.5 days of power reserve, and some rather extensive and beautiful finishing on all plates and bridges. These details together render the 9300 a genuinely modern caliber – and also help better justify the considerable premium paid over other the Omega Speedmaster Professional “Moonwatch,” for example.
Now, before we take a closer look at each of them, let us get the administrative side of the business out of the way and take a quick a look at all four new versions, as you see them in the image above from left to right:
– Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon Sedna Black (Ref 3188.8.131.52.06.001),
– Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon Vintage Black (Ref 3184.108.40.206.01.006),
– Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon Pitch Black (Ref 3220.127.116.11.01.004),
– Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon Black Black (Ref 318.104.22.168.01.005).
In short, they are the Sedna Black, Vintage Black, Pitch Black and… Black Black versions, each of them bringing out a unique take on the design of the bold ZrO2 ceramic dials and 44.25mm-wide cases of the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon.
The Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon Black Black, perfectly in line with its rather straight-forward name, is indeed very black, and for that simple reason, it really stands out from the rest of the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon offerings. Apart from the muted sheen of the hands and the index frames, everything from the case, dial, indices, numerals, logos, texts, even the date disc and numerals… everything is in matte black. True, we have been seeing black-black watches pop up increasingly often in recent years, but if there ever was a short-lived trend among luxury timepieces, then this arguably was it. Come to think of it, through 2015, we have seen far fewer black-black higher-end pieces debut than in previous years.
Still, the darkest of all Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon watches, the Black Black looks space-age cool, and given the quick fade of the trend that arguably inspired its creators, it may very well become a collector’s item a few decades down the road – as, at that point, we will reminisce on the time when the Swiss luxury Omega replica watches industry was booming, and anything was possible.
Back to reality, legibility suffers when everything is black – it is no secret that to make things visible, you need both light and shadows, and here, apart from the few reflective surfaces, we are sort of lacking the former. The ceramic dial has been “matted” with laser technology to deprive it of its characteristic, jet-black gloss. Even the luminescent material inside the indices and the hands is black SuperLuminova, rendering the “Blackmaster,” if you like, somewhat legible when you are out there exploring the dark side of the Moon – black lume is not famous for its torch-like brightness. And yet, despite all this blackness, legibility of the base Speedmaster dial design shines through – quite literally so, as when light finds it in a favorable way, the indices and hands “pop” from the black-hole-like backdrop.
The Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon Pitch Black aims at the exact opposite end of the scale when it comes to legibility, regardless whether that concerns day or night time. In fact, the name Pitch Black is the ultimate misnomer: sure, the case parts and dial are black, but this watch has more lumed components on it than probably any other Omega ever made, as it lights up design elements (and some more) that you’d possibly need to see at night.
The hour, minute, and chronograph seconds hands have an off-white colored lume applied to them, which emits a radiant green light when charged by an external light source. The icing on the cake, though, and what makes the Pitch Black really come to life at night, are the lumed tachymeter scale of the ceramic bezel, and the Super-Luminova applied Omega logo on the crown – both are really cool features which would make for some neat details on not just this one, but arguably, on all other Speedmaster watches (excluding the original Moonwatch, of course). Last but not least, the three hands of the two sub-dials have off-white varnish to go with the color of the Super-Luminvova applied to all other components.
Third in line is the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon Sedna Black, which uses Omega’s proprietary 18k gold alloy of palladium, copper, and comprising at least 75% gold. Sedna Gold was specially developed in an attempt to make normal red gold more durable and hence more beautiful in the long run. The indices, hands (except the chronograph seconds hand), as well as the bezel (which sports a ceramic insert for that extra bit of black) are in Sedna Gold, while two splashes of red, used for the Speedmaster script and the tip of the central chronograph hand were added.
From a personal perspective, having seen all four Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon watches “live,” this piece, mixing the yellow-ish color of the gold and the aforementioned spots of red seemed to be a bit out of place among the rest of the Dark, Grey, and White Side Of The Moon watches. The counterpoint is, though, that gold makes it that little bit more dressy and elegant.
Now, the Vintage Black. While the Black Black is sure fun, the Pitch Black is interesting for its lume-craze, and the Sedna Black is a tad more elegant than the rest, the Vintage Black may just be the most coherent and fascinating new design of the lot. In fact, if the brand had released just one new Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon watch in 2015, of the four, I would not have been surprised if this were their pick.
To some extent, the term vintage certainly applies to the style of this reference, as its combination of matte, dark blacks, sand colored lume and text everywhere, plus its brown leather strap all make for an obvious vintage vibe. As the vintage-revival is very much a trend that is well and alive, we see faux-vintage lume used on cheap Omgea replica watches more and more often; there is, however, a major difference between most other examples and this one. Where numerous brands (small and large alike) use it to imitate aging on their newly released “vintage tribute” watches, here, on the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon Vintage Black, that gaudy, “try-hard” sense is gone for the simple reason that one cannot possibly mistake a 44.25 millimeter wide, full ceramic watch of this caliber for a vintage timepiece.
What is left, however, is a strikingly well-balanced look that is as simple and straightforward in its color combination as it is elegant and easy to wear on a day-to-day basis. Much like the Pitch Black, the Vintage Black also features a lumed tachymeter scale on its bezel, and it even sports the lumed Omega logo on its crown as well. All hands, indices, and text are in this color that Omega itself refers to as “Vintage” Super-Luminova – no splashes of red or other colors added, just this restrained mixture of two high contrast colors.