Thursday, November 20, 2008

Omega Speedmaster Professional Chronograph 3573.50.00

Well, I finally broke down and got another Omega. It's been a little over two years since I got my first one, a Seamaster Planet Ocean. I've always been a fan of the Speedmaster, not only for its connection to the NASA space program, but also its connection to motorsports. I've been seriously looking at Speedmaster Professionals for a number of months, trying to decide whether to get vintage or new, and if new, then which one? The 3570.50.00 is the model most like the vintage ones and those worn on the moon, with a Hesalite (acrylic) crystal and solid steel caseback. The 3573.50.00 is virtually identical to the other one but features a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, a sapphire exhibition caseback to view the movement, and a movement that is very slightly modified to look better (a small plastic piece is replaced with a metal one.) Ideally, I would have bought a vintage piece, probably from the late 1960s. Unfortunately, prices for excellent vintage pieces are high, and while eBay has lots of vintage Speedmasters, it's difficult to find one that is authentic, original and in good working condition without spending more than a new one. I was actually leaning towards the more "authentic" Hesalite-equipped model (what Omega refers to as the Original Moon Watch), probably because I saw it as being something closer to the vintage models I wanted, but then I realized I really wanted to see the movement and that I would probably also get a vintage one someday, and none of those have exhibition casebacks. Like my Planet Ocean, it took an excellent deal from a reputable online retailer (the same one I got my Planet Ocean from, in fact) to push me over the edge. It also happened that they had the sapphire-equipped model for less than I had planned on paying for the Hesalite-equipped model. So, I got the watch and it's fantastic. For some reason I expected the sapphire crystal to be shaped differently than the Hesalite one, but it's virtually identical. I'm also very happy with the exhibition caseback since unlike my other automatic chronographs there is no winding rotor to block the view, and I could probably spend hours just watching everything move, engage and disengage as the chronograph is started, stopped and reset. I was a little afraid that I would be disappointed with the size. If you've looked at my other watches you've seen I'm a fan of large watches, but while my Speedy Pro is smaller than my Planet Ocean (42mm vs 44.5mm diameters) it certainly does not feel small. "Sleek" might be a better word. Once again, the lack of automatic winding works well here as it is much thinner than any of my automatic chronographs. It lives up to all my expectations and I don't have any complaints.
















7 comments:

Perpetuelle said...

Congrats. Beautiful watch. Thanks for sharing, and great pics!

David said...

HELP! could really use some advice. going to buy my first Omega and stumbled on your post.

Been leaning towards the new Speedy that you just got (something about it speaks to me). However, I'm haunted by the Planet Ocean which may be a more classic/modern looking watch, except for the fact that it resembles everyone else's Rolex Submariner. Then, I made the mistake of showing my wife the Railmaster chrono I liked, and now I'm really confused.
To make matters worst, I spotted a Hamilton on your site - yet another watch that I happen to really like!
So, since it looks like you've been there before...any advice?

- Speedmaster Professional
- Planet Ocean (42 mm)
- Railmaster (chrono or reg., with Steel bracelet)
- Hamilton Khaki Auto Chrono
- any others you would recommend?
...looking for the one watch that will do it all :)

Help!!!!

aylwin said...

You must be a rich guy to afford so many watches. But like your blog.

Jason said...

David,
I don't see very much resemblance between the Planet Ocean and the Rolex Submariner. Of all the watches you mentioned, it has the newest design. While it did take inspiration from earlier Omega Seamasters, it was an all-new watch in 2005. The Speedmaster is a classic, as is the Hamilton Chronograph (although Hamilton didn't invent that design, it could probably be credited to IWC or Sinn.) Like the Planet Ocean, the Railmasters are a recent design (introduced in 2003) based on Omega classics. They are also dressier than the others you mentioned.

Price-wise, from lowest to highest you have: Hamilton, Railmaster (non-chrono), Speedmaster/Railmaster chrono, Planet Ocean.

So, what's the answer? Well, I don't know, too many factors to consider. Speedmaster has the most history, Planet Ocean is the "modern classic", Hamilton is great value for the dollar and Railmasters are classy and distinctive. It all comes down to what you like, but I don't think any of those choices are wrong. Good luck!

aylwin,
I'm far from rich but I do spend a disproportionate amount of my income on watches. If you want to see rich guys check out some of the Rolex, Panerai or other high-end watch forums. And, of course, most of the truly rich have no time for showing off watches on the internet.

draco said...

Jason,

May I know which online retailer did you use for your omega watches purchase?
I've been contemplating to buy a Planet Ocean... the brick and mortar store's price is too high for me, while the internet is cheaper but their ratings are not too assuring. :(

Ant said...

Looks a great watch. Love the exhibition back. HAve a PO as well thiking about getting this if I can at the right price. Where did you get it from if you dont mind me asking. Cheers

Jason said...

Try Ashford.com and Jomashop.com. I've purchased from both and have had very good experiences. They have excellent prices, and occasionally have coupons or sales. If I see something I like I usually check their sites often to see if the price changes or if it goes on sale.