The little big guide to Omega Speedmasters

The little big guide to Omega Speedmasters


The watch that landed on the moon

In collaboration with Franco Tocco.


In 1957 Omega launched the new series of "Masters," three watches, Seamaster, Railmaster and Speedmaster with different technical and sporting characteristics, geared toward a clientele working in advanced technical fields. Speedmaster over the years will be adopted by Nasa, for its endurance and technical qualities, as the watch for the space missions that will take it to the moon.

2915 - The first Speedmaster has reference 2915 (2915-1 to 3) and produced for two years until 1959.


The case is symmetrical with dimensions of 39.5mm and straight lugs with 19mm pitch; the bezel is satin-finished steel with engraved lettering and "Base 1000" (first type) tachymeter scale useful for calculating speed. In reference 2915-3 the bezel is still steel but with black anodized aluminum insert stamped with "Base 1000" scale (second type).

Matte black dial with metal Omega logo (narrow) applied at 12 o'clock and just below the Speedmaster inscription. In later versions (2915-2 and 3) the lettering graphics will undergo some very slight differences.

Hour/minute spheres are chrome-plated with radium luminous applied and named "Broad Arrow," central "straight" chronograph hand (1/5th of a second) and three small "leaf" dial spheres.

Pump chronograph pushers of size 4mm and winding crown 6mm.

Movement is mechanical hand-wound caliber 321 Lemania-derived at 18000 vibrations/hour, with chronograph sorting via column-wheel, incabloc and power reserve of about 44 hours.

Water-resistant to 6 atmospheres, hexalite crystal with characteristic Omega logo center inside the crystal and with gasket at the base. Screw-down case back has Speedmaster lettering engraved in a semicircle on the side step (from ref. 2998-2 in addition to the side lettering, the Hippocampus logo, already present on Seamasters, will later be affixed centrally, from the meaning of water resistance and which will become one of the iconic symbols of Speedmaster as well.

It could be purchased with a leather strap or with a steel bracelet with flat, extendable links (the reference is 7077 and finials No. 6).




2998 - In 1959 Omega made some changes to the chronograph by bringing out the second Speedmaster model with reference 2998 (from ref. 2998-1 through 6 and following 2998-61/62) that would be produced for 4 years until 1962.

The case remains unchanged from its predecessor as do the pushers and crown; the tachymeter bezel is still steel but with a molded black anodized aluminum insert. The "Tachymètre" lettering still has the E saddle accent and is always "Base 1000" (second type), at least until ref. 2998-3, which will henceforth switch to the "Base 500" scale (third type).

The dial will also remain basically unchanged with Omega logo (narrow) in applied metal while the hour/minute spheres have a "Dauphine" or leaf shape with applied radium (there will be small variations on these as well along the span of production), "straight" central chronograph hand (in the first three references it can also rarely be found "Lollypop" i.e., with a "dot" with applied radium at the top.

The spheres of the three small counters are still "leaf"; while from reference 4 (indicatively) up to the latest models 2998-62 they are replaced by "straight" ones. In the dial below the 6 o'clock index the inscription is still "Swiss Made" because still indexes and spheres are radium. The screw-down case back retains the double step but the Speedmaster lettering changes position and is placed in a semicircle over the Hippocampus logo.


The chrono pushers are still the same size and the winding crown 7mm. The movement is still the same caliber 321.

The crystal is and will remain in later references (and again in new references) in hesalite with the characteristic central Omega logo inside the crystal.

Available with leather strap or steel bracelet with extendable flat links (the first references 2998 mount ref. 7077 to move on to 7912 always with finials No. 6).



105.002 - In 1962 the reference 105.002 was introduced, now considered by Omega collectors to be a rare transitional model between ck 2998 and 105.003 because it was produced for a very short period and only for that year.


The early examples do not differ substantially from the later 2998-62 models; the hour/minute spheres are still "Dauphine," those of the counters are straight while the central chrono sphere changes from "straight" to one with a "drop" tail and with tritium drop applied at the head. With reference 105002, Omega exhausts the " Dauphine" spheres typical of ref. 2998 to definitively introduce the "straight" spheres with tritium window, still used today.

The dial is still with the Omega logo (narrow) in applied metal and below the 6 o'clock index, one can still find dials with the inscription "Swiss Made" to change to "Swiss Made T" indicating the presence of tritium and no longer radium.

105.003 - From 1963 the reference 105.002 is replaced by the 105.003 that will be produced until 1966.

Case and tachymeter bezel remain unchanged from previous models.

Chrono pushers change from 4 to 4.5mm and winding crown remains 7mm.

It will be the last model with symmetrical case with straight lugs.

The hour/minute spheres are the "straight" ones, as are those of the counters, and the central chrono sphere is "teardrop" tailed with a teardrop-shaped window with tritium applied at the top.

Also for this reference and the next 3, the movement will not change (caliber 321).

It is the last pre-professional reference." After this reference (later 105.012) in the dial below the Omega and Speedmaster inscriptions will be the Professional inscription.

Dial with Omega logo (narrow) in applied metal.

A very rare variant named "Racing" was produced of this reference, featuring a dial with a black background and red/white/black graphic coloring.

In addition to the above-mentioned model, there is another "special" one with a very special dial of electric blue shade colored with soleil technique called "Blue Moon."

It should be noted that for many of the variants that have been produced of the Speedmaster (Racing, Blue and others) there are no fixed canons (dial for example) as for "normal" productions in which each model has the same characteristics or canons.


Available with leather strap or steel bracelet with extendable flat links (ref. 7912 with No. 6 finials, ref. 1501 with No. 6 finials and ref. 1035 with No. 506 finials).

145.003 - In all respects the same as 105.003, it differs in the reference engraved on the inside of the case back. It is a reference made in very few examples around the end of production of 105.003 so it is very rare.


105.012 - Reference 105.003 is joined by 105.012 which will be produced until 1967.

The tachymeter bezel remains unchanged at "Base 500."

It is the first Speedmaster to have an asymmetrical 42mm case with crown and push-button protection and 20mm pitch helical lugs.

Dial with tritium hour markers and hands and Omega logo (narrow) in applied metal.

The conformation of the entire ball game also remains unchanged from Reference 105.012.

This is the first Speedmaster in which "Professional" is affixed to the dial below the Omega and Speedmaster inscriptions after NASA's space mission successes. In fact, references 105.012 and 145.012 would be on the wrists of the astronauts of the Apollo 11 mission that took man to the lunar surface on July 21, '69.

Over the years of production it will undergo minor changes such as the 1966 change from the double step to the single step of the caseback.

A rare variant called "Racing" can be found of this reference, characterized by a black background dial with red/white graphic coloring.

As with the previous 105.003, there is also a "special" model whose special feature is an electric blue dial tinted with a soleil technique.

Available with leather strap or steel bracelet with extendable flat links (Ref. 1506 with No. 16 finials and Ref. 1039 No. 516 finials).

145.012 - Essentially the same in all respects as the latest models of ref. 105.012, it differs in the engraving of the reference number on the inside of the caseback and by the shape and size of the chrono buttons.

A rare variant named "Racing" can also be found of this reference, characterized by a black background dial with red/white graphic coloring. Available with leather strap or steel bracelet with extendable flat links (ref. 1039 end No. 516).

In 1968 Omega makes a "historic" change to the movement. The old caliber 321 is replaced by the new 861 that is more simplified than its predecessor and consequently more reliable and certainly cheaper. The chronograph part is now shuttle sorting instead of column wheel and 21600 vibrations per hour. Caliber 861 will be produced until 1996.

Between 1968 and 1969 there are models called "transitional" that mount dials from earlier productions (321) and the new 861 movement and caseback reference 145.022-68.


145.022 - Reference 105/012 and 145.012 in 1968 are succeeded by 145.022.

The case is asymmetrical 42mm with helical lugs with 20mm pitch; the chrono pushers are 5mm and the winding crown 6mm.

The major change from previous models is in the inclusion of the 861 movement.

The The hour/minute and counter spheres are "straight," the central chrono sphere changes shape and has a truncated tail.

The Omega logo at 12 o'clock on the dial is now printed (like the rest of the graphics) and has a rounder shape than the previous applied metal one. The tritium markers on the dial are shortened from the previous ones on the dials of the 321 movement versions.

Some minor graphic changes are made to the tachymeter bezel on the inscription "Tachimetre" which loses the emphasis on the E and the number 70 on the bezel which has the "dot" moved next to the number (fourth type).

The case back, at least until the second half of 1969, is basically the same as the previous reference with the engraving of the hippocampus and Speedmaster inscription then for a short period (until '70) they will be produced with 2 types of case backs following the moon landing: one called "straight inscription" and the other "commemorative" for the American market with Apollo XI inscription.

Of the latter version, a numbered limited edition of 1014 gold pieces would be made (including 39 with still different and personalized case backs - number 1 of these intended for the then sitting U.S. President, Richard Nixon).

Since 1970, with a few exceptions for special models, the case back has remained unchanged and features centrally the bas-relief hippocampus and externally, placed circularly, the words "Flight-qualified by Nasa for all manned space missions - The first watch warn on the moon." It is still in production today.

The glass is hexalite with the characteristic Omega logo in the center inside the glass.

Some extremely rare and interesting "prototype" or limited edition versions can be found with this reference.

The prototype named "Alaska Project II" a Speedmaster with a white-colored dial, created apparently secretly to further improve the watch already tested by NASA missions. The watch was flanked by an outer case made of aluminum

anodized red that could contain it to protect it from radiation and extreme temperatures of both heat and cold.

In 1976 a version of the Speedmaster named "Apollo-Soyuz" was released in a limited numbered run of 500 for the Italian market to commemorate the success of the space mission between the U.S. and USSR. This Speedmaster has some peculiarities that only this version can be found compared to others.

Another very rare version is the 1978 version with a dial named "Radial" that falls under the third Alaska project for the space program "Space Shuttle." This model was the inspiration for the 2017 reissue of the phenomenon known as "SpeedyTuesday."

Reference 145.022 was available with a steel link bracelet (ref. 1039 finials No. 516, ref. 1171 with finials No. 633, ref. 1175 with finials No. 640, and from about the mid-1980s ref. 1447 with finials No. 805).


The table below shows the Speedmaster references and indicative ranges of their production serial numbers.





numeri seriali in milioni


CK 2915


14.0 - 16.6


CK 2998


17.3 - 19.8


ST 105.002


19.5 - 20.5


ST 105.003


20.5 - 25.4


ST 105.012


20.5 - 25.4


ST 145.003


24.9 - ?


ST 145.012


25.0 - 26.5


ST 145.022 *


25.0 - 26.5

1968 - 1996

ST 145.022


26.0 - 48.3

* refers to the model called "transitional."

Below are diagrams of the two chronograph calibres adopted by Omega to equip Speedmaster from 1957 to the present day.




Cal. 321                                                          Cal. 861



Thanks to our friend Franco Tocco for the collab. to this fantastic guide

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