In recent years, Omega has unveiled several iterations of its ceramic Speedmaster timepieces, consistently introducing at least one new ceramic model annually since 2013. For the onset of 2024, they’ve revealed an upgraded version of the Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8, presenting noteworthy enhancements. While Omega has indulged enthusiasts with numerous releases in the past, this year’s early announcement serves as a welcomed upgrade to the Speedmaster initially introduced in 2018 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission.
Unlike the grandiose launches of previous years, Omega has maintained a more subdued approach with the latest Dark Side of the Moon iteration. However, a closer inspection reveals substantial differences from its predecessors. The DSotM Apollo 8 MKII retains the familiar 44.25mm case, featuring a polished bezel and a case back crafted from separate pieces of black ceramic, showcasing a tachymeter scale with bright white “Grand Feu” enamel.
Introduced in 2018 to mark the Apollo 8 mission’s 50th anniversary, the original Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 has now undergone a meticulous refinement process. Returning to its watchmaking roots, Omega has elevated the design with intricate detailing and enhancements.
The new Apollo 8 MKII showcases a calibre 3869 with a laser-ablated Moon relief on the blackened main plate and bridges. This movement mirrors the Moon’s dual perspectives, with the dial side representing Earth’s view of the lunar surface and the back revealing the dark side witnessed only by astronauts. Laser engraving and contrasting surfaces enhance the Moon’s definition, complemented by pronounced features alongside light grey-coated wheels and a dark grey gold-coated balance wheel.
The most visually striking feature of the DSotM Apollo 8 MKII is its open dial adorned with yellow accents. The skeletonized dial, crafted from black anodized aluminum, allows a captivating view of the Moon-decorated movement. The central chronograph seconds hand, varnished in yellow, remains a distinctive feature, while the patent-pending small-seconds hand at 9 o’clock, shaped like NASA’s Saturn V rocket, adds a novel touch. Crafted from Grade 5 Titanium, this 3D structure showcases intricate detailing achieved through laser turning, white varnish, ablation, and laser blackening—an homage to the success of the Apollo program.
Continuing the thematic aesthetics, the caseback of the Apollo 8 MKII features engravings, including the poignant “WE’LL SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE”—the last words spoken by Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell before the Apollo 8 mission disappeared to the far side of the Moon, breaking radio contact for the first time.
The black and yellow theme extends seamlessly to the leather strap of the Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 MKII, incorporating a section of yellow rubber. Micro perforations, created with a milling tool, reveal the vibrant yellow rubber beneath, completing the harmonious design.
The new Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 MKII will retail for £13,500. For more information on this new piece, visit the omegawatces.com.