I am an out and out Omega person and hold on dearly to my Omega Constellation. Which is why I am thrilled to learn the biggest announcement by the watchmakers for this year. As Omega rightly puts it, the one caliber movement that watch enthusiasts would want revive, is the Omega Calibre 321. The movement that powered the watch that went to the Moon, is going into production and we all are awaiting its return. It makes a comeback at the most opportune time; five decades after the Apollo 11 mission, which took Omega to the Moon.
For those who don’t know it, other than being seen in the Omega Speedmaster in 1957, this iconic Calibre 321 was also housed in the Seamaster collection. One of the most astounding part of the Calibre 321 is its sophisticated design. The usage of a monobloc column-wheel (machined from a single piece), is a technical aspect that adds value to a watch. But if you look at the movement from a different perspective, then it has a lot more historical value and milestones attached to it, than any other movement. It has powered the Speedmaster ST 105.003 – tested by NASA and worn by astronaut Ed White during the spacewalk and the Speedmaster ST 105.012 – the first watch to be worn on the moon. These distinctions are hard to match in this era, unless someone lands on Mars with it!
In their bid to build the exact same Calibre 321 used fifty years ago, Omgea commissioned a dedicated team of specialists, who have taken two years to build the movement. Historians, developers and researchers put their heads together and crafted the second-gen Calibre 321. The team also used a digital scanning method called tomography technology, and figured out the workings and mechanics of the Speedmaster ST 105.003 watch that adorned the wrist of astronaut Eugene “Gene” Cernan, when he wore on the moon. This was for the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, and this particular watch is now at the Omega Museum in Bienne. The last Calibre 321 was built in last one in 1968, and now this new generation of hopes to inspire a whole new set of people.