OMEGA has space travel in its bones, with its legendary Speedmaster doing its fair share of inter-orbital travel over the years. We’re sure that you know the story – OMEGA was selected by NASA to provide astronauts with a watch for the 1969 moon landings. And so, the OMEGA moonwatch was born – a modern classic that is still a fan favourite 50 years later. The newest addition to the Speedmaster family takes things a step further, arguably into the realms of science fiction. The Speedmaster X-33 Marstimer is crafted for use on Mars, pre-empting man’s next great leap.
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As you can imagine, it’s taken a lot of inspiration and innovation to design a watch for use in an environment that no human has ever experienced. The Speedmaster X-33 Marstimer is cut from a different cloth to its more famous sibling, and understandably, continues the themes and functions of the X-33 series, a watch built for astronauts and pilots.
Make no mistake, this watch looks like the tool that it is. As expected from a watch built in partnership with the European Space Agency, functionality trumps form. The distinctive case is forged from grade 2 titanium and comes in at a robust 45mm. The lightweight titanium reduces the heft somewhat and there’s an option to swap out the titanium bracelet for a traditional NATO strap. Of course, where this watch excels is in its range of functions, some of which are specific to the planet Mars. There’s a feature to track Mars’ solar day as well as a compass to find the planet’s true north. These functions are managed by OMEGA’s own 5622 thermo-compensated quartz movement.
To show such an array of cutting-edge tech, the Marstimer’s design incorporates both analogue and digital displays, with handy Earth and Mars symbols to highlight which planet is being referenced. The dial is a simple black, has contrasting white markers and is bordered by an oxalic anodized aluminium bezel. There’s an unusual crown and a handsome Seahorse motif on the case back. According to OMEGA president and CEO Raynald Aeschlimann, producing the Marstimer was a must for a brand with space travel in its bones.
“Anyone interested in space, or even science fiction, is obsessed with Mars. It has generated so much curiosity, so many incredible stories,” Aeschlimann said. “We have even created a name for its imaginary inhabitants. It’s so close yet so far. We long to walk across its surface. To be here on Earth and able to track its movements, gives the term timepiece a whole new meaning. I’m thrilled with this new addition to the famous Speedmaster family.”
For fans of OMEGA’s famed Seamaster and Aqua Terra watches, the style of the Marstimer may be jarring. But remember, this is a tool. A watch conceived to go where no watch – or man – has ever ventured. The watch is presented in an attractive watch roll, decorated with an image of Mar’s Hebes Chasma canyon. It’s available now for AUD$9,750.
Omega Speedmaster X-33 Marstimer 3126.96.36.199.01.003
Strap: Titanium Bracelet
Case: Grade 2 Titanium
Movement: Omega Quartz 5622 Calibre
Glass: Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 30M