Omega Speedmaster Men's Watch Review: Professional, Broad Arrow, Day-Date
Omega Speedmaster Gents
Probably no other Omega collection associates so powerfully with the brand, and with high-end Swiss precision watches in general, as the Speedmaster men's. The most understated and yet the most important feature of Speedmaster timepieces is their through and through professionalism: it's impossible to conceive less than that from a company that supplies NASA – the forefront of United States engineering and scientific research.
The visual scheme of this timer has been very consistent throughout decades, and relies on robust stainless steel case, usually supported by a matching bracelet, a black dial and, of course, the chronometer chronograph manual-winding movement. Branching models introduce platinum, gold, titanium, rubber, leather, and lighter shades for the face.
Additional complications include elaborations of the chrono function, GMT, day, and date; Broad Arrow watches present a significant shift in dial aesthetic by giving more weight to the moving parts – it is the more aggressive, expressive version of the Speedmaster.
This collection reached an iconic status by entwining its history with the history of U.S. – indeed, of the entire world. And it is very rarely that such remarks can be made without exaggeration about any institution or company.
Professional and Co-Axial
Omega embody the notion of “lean and mean” with the professional timer, especially in the steel-on-steel variations. Painted subdials, linear indexes and long baton hands produce an effective and legible layout (anchored by luminescent coating) that contrasts powerfully with the black background, in a way pushing the wearer into performing the task of reading time.
More relaxed models employ gold and platinum as the primary metal, and will also combine with leather straps – these exploit the classic orthodox design to render the watch a formal business exhibition piece. Completely gold made items veer towards jewelry and collector's territory.
The titanium cast GMT Chronograph provides a bulkier, and more sports (extreme, outdoors) oriented alternative to the classic Professional. It accommodates Arabic numerals and thicker hands on the carbon fibre dial, opting for a direct, somewhat “brutal” attitude. Both the durable materials and the bright orange “tachymeter” sign on the bezel indicate the intended racing purpose of this watch.
Broad Arrow Speedmaster not only upgrades the mechanisms – the chronometer and chronograph movements advance from manual-winding to self-winding – but also notably changes the hands set. Broad Arrow watches contain exactly what the title reveals: two prominent, fat hours and minutes hands that redefine the character of the timer.
On the one hand, it becomes more of an exhibition piece (particularly when outfitted with the white dials and subdials), on the other, it loosens things up a bit, displaying a younger, fresher face. While paying tribute to the scientific and serious roots of the original Professional, Broad Arrow usher in a few touches of fun.
If in Broad Arrow Omega optimized the main design for sports activities, in Speedmaster Day and Day-Date they do the same, but with the casual and dressy occasion in mind. The subdials take a ninety degree turn clockwise, presenting a brisk vertical setup that leaves the 3 o'clock place free for the date window.
The complicated Day-Date timepiece contains a month indicator as well, essentially becoming a calendar watch, and one of Omega's most complicated timers.
Yellow and red gold, joined by stainless steel, and white and blue colors (with the occasional red accent) create a range of two-tone pieces appealing to the fashion sense as readily as the professional Speedmaster appeals to the sense of precision.