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New Omega Moonwatch. Why I went for the Hesalite version!

 
 By: Subexplorer : June 11th, 2021-00:33
Hello friends!!

During my last visit to our local Omega Boutique I was shown (and tempted by) the new version of the Moonwatch introduced at beginnings of this year replacing the previous reference 311.30.42.30 … which had been in production from 2014 through 2020.

This post does not pretend to be a comparison between the old and the new model nor a report about the new Moonwatch but just explain why I finally opted to bring home the Hesalite variant.

Basically there are two models: ref 310.30.42.50.01.001 with Hesalite glass and solid case back and reference 310.30.42.50.01.002 (a.k.a. sapphire sandwich) with sapphire glass both over dial and on case back allowing to view the new beautiful co axial movement 3862 which replaces the venerable 1680 series of previous models.

The Hesalite model is the “standard” version while the “sandwich sapphire” a more de luxe option. 

Both watches offer the new steel bracelet.



My friendly Astronaut greets the landing of this new member of the collection!



(There are two additional options on each version: a nylon and a leather strap instead of steel bracelet is available for each variant standard or de luxe respectively.)

Now I must confess it was not an easy matter for me to decide which version purchase. I know that when confronted with this kind of dilemmas the best solution is… buy both!

But having taken delivery of my Snoopy on that same visit financially limited me to choose just one.

So I examined each of the differences between both equally tempting variants as follows:

Case: both Hesalite and sapphire have identically finished cases.

Dial: both variants offer same beautiful “step” dial a great plus over the old model offering now a similar dial like the first vintage references of the Speedy. I love the step dials and feel it is a great improvement in looks of this new version of the Speedmaster.

Omega logo on dial: painted on Hesalite applied on sapphire. I like the applied logos best… but painted is more authentic in this model inspired I guess in ref 145.012 of around 1967.

Case back.

Though the sapphire offers a transparent back which allows to enjoy the view of the beautiful new 3861 movement I liked so much the closed back of Hesalite with all inscriptions and the “Sea Monster” embellishment. Additionally the new closed back shows the classic bevel of early Speedmaster references.





 (notice the adding of “in 1965” in the classic inscriptions! And the traditional bevel of early references near the opening notches)

Bracelet: 
The new bracelet is beautiful and super comfortable. Its very similar to that introduced in the gold Moonshine model of 2019. The clasp is identical but 15 mm wide while the Moonshine is 14 mm. 

Both variants share the same bracelet but the Hesalite’s is fully brushed finished while the sapphire’s has central links polished in two rows giving a more luxurious looks.







I love both bracelets looks but felt the full brushed gave the Hesalite a more vintage look in a workhorse Speedmaster.

Finally … as much as I like the possibility of viewing the movement of my watches (I own both versions hesalite and sapphire sandwich of the previous model) I love the warmer looks of Hesalite and I don’t like so much the “ milk ring” which surrounds the sapphire. Just a little distracting detail of course and the price to pay for a more scratches resistant glass which many watch owners prefer.

By the way the hesalite model height is 13,58 mm while the sapphire is a bit lower at 13,18 mm.

Well, fact is that after several trials on my wrist and much talking with the manager of the Boutique exchanging opinions I finally opted for the Hesalite version.

Of course it’s just a personal choice and I’m sure that you can’t never go wrong with whichever variant of this classic watch you decide to buy. 

Going with standard hesalite or luxury way with sapphire you are assured to get a first class new version of this famous classic: the timeless Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch!!

Best cordial regards 
Abel












The new Hesalite Moonwatch Master chronometer in the middle and my sapphire (left) and Hesalite (right) previous models.




Time to fit the bracelet at home!!




Love the step dial!!



The “milk ring” surround of sapphire glass is evident on the right side watch. Hesalite at left.




The new bracelet at left. Previous bracelet at right. New bracelet is beautiful and very comfortable.



Also available with Omega's nylon strap with deployant :-)

 
 By: MikiJ : June 11th, 2021-00:46
I find this new strap and buckle to be the most comfortable strap I've ever worn especially on an everyday basis.

Hello MikiJ! That´s correct. As I mentioned there is a variant with the nylon straps and deployant for the Hesalite variant and black leather for the sapphire version.

 
 By: Subexplorer : June 11th, 2021-13:26
They are very comfortable indeed.
Enjoy your Speedy so much! Cheers! Abel

Yes, you certainly did...

 
 By: MikiJ : June 11th, 2021-14:48
Unfortunately I didn't go completely through your most through review. 
As soon as I saw that this latest version, I was sold on the stepped dial and DON Bezel smile

Thank you so much again dear Miki! Agree with you that the stepped dial and DON bezel are wonderful changes introduced in this new version. Hope you are enjoying yours so much!! Cheers! Abel

 
 By: Subexplorer : June 11th, 2021-22:13

I'm really in a conflict with this new Speedy...

 
 By: MikiJ : June 11th, 2021-23:54
If an original 145.022-69 with a 220 bezel, then I'm in trouble ;-(

Well Miki... I feel that vintage and modern play in very different Leagues. Like all modern versions of the Moonwatch this one allows to enjoy the character of a classic and timeless...

 
 By: Subexplorer : June 12th, 2021-01:03
... design like the Speedmaster with peace of mind regarding waterproofness, a modern and high tech movement and availability of service and parts.
Vintage world is like a mine field with many dangers at finding an absolutely original or correct piece. We also have many concerns wearing them afraid or risking these valuable pieces with a knock or robbery of an unreplaceable piece and the problem of service and spare parts. Of course the pro side is the charm of vintage, the historical aspects, and the big satisfaction of wearing them.

A very comprehensive study.

 
 By: MichaelC : June 11th, 2021-00:48
Hard to argue any points.  I had never heard of the "milk ring".  I own the previous generation, sapphire dial, and will look for it!

All brushed bracelet - huge advantage for the Hesalite on the new model.

Congrats on your well informed choice, it is a beautiful watch.

I only recently learnt about the "milk ring". It deserves a chuckle. ;)

 
 By: fernando : June 11th, 2021-02:01

Ha ha ha!! Thank you so much Fernando! I read the name is some internet review. I had noticed the ring in my old Moonwatch sapphire but didn´t know about that name till I read ...

 
 By: Subexplorer : June 11th, 2021-22:15
... that review not long ago. Funny name indeed! Lol!
Cheers! Abel

Thank you so much dear Michael! I had thought about all this matter before visiting the shop but anyway it took a long thinking and talking before the final decision. Both watches are...

 
 By: Subexplorer : June 11th, 2021-13:29
... beautiful and offer nice particular details each.
I call "milk ring to a white ring you´ll observe inside dial between bezel and minutes track which is classic in the sapphire glass but not present in hesalite.
Cheers! Abel

I chose the hesalite too. It's wonderful, especially the new bracelet. :)

 
 By: fernando : June 11th, 2021-01:55




Great shot Fernando! Glad to know we both arrive to same decision. Agree with you about the new bracelet. It reminds me of the Jubilee Rolex bracelet so flexible and comfortable.

 
 By: Subexplorer : June 11th, 2021-22:17
Thank you for sharing your shot and watch! I´m happy to know you are enjoying yours so much. Cheers! Abel

It was my choice too, no regrets, and love it!

 
 By: gregcarraram3 : June 11th, 2021-01:57

Hello Greg! Glad to know we share same choice and that you are loving it so much. Keep enjoying and loving it! Best cordial regards, Abel

 
 By: Subexplorer : June 11th, 2021-22:19

My choice as well

 
 By: Boris : June 11th, 2021-03:25
It’s very hard to argue with the fantastic look of this plexy.





Superbly captured. I can only agree.

 
 By: amanico : June 11th, 2021-05:41

+1

 
 By: Subexplorer : June 11th, 2021-22:23

Hi dear Boris! Another Hesalite lover here! ;) Agree with you that hesalite wins in looks and warmth. You have captured it perfectly in you awesome shot.

 
 By: Subexplorer : June 11th, 2021-22:23
Like your straps too! Great combo!
Keep enjoying so much! Cheers! Abel

Thanks for the superb insights and pics!!

 
 By: agyzace : June 11th, 2021-04:00
A couple of questions:
1. How is the winding feel between old and new. I love the winding feel of the old
2. Do you like more the smaller and more in quantity seconds’ outer track of the previous model’s dial or the new version
3. Is the black color and matt feel of the old dial same in the new
4. Hugely interesting question for me: would the bracelet of the new version fit to the old? I have the chocolate sandwich and thinking to put the bracelet of the Apollo 11 50th anniversary (my preferred option) or of the new version
All the best!
Alex








Hello Alex! Thank you so much for your kind comments. I have the watch since last Tuesday but I will try to do my best to answer you.

 
 By: Subexplorer : June 11th, 2021-23:35
1) In my personal view the feeling and noise at winding is very similar. But it is possible your feel is different because brand new Speedmasters winding stem is usually very tight due to the gaskets being new. Sometimes they are Very tight as it was the case with my brown dial version (same you own) which was so tight it was not pleasurable at all to wind it. In my experience with the constant use and winding of the watch the gaskets get a little worn and they are easier and pleasurable to wind.

To answer these questions I went to my watch box to retrieve my old Moonwatch (well not so old as it is only five years old) to check it against my new Moonwatch Master Chronometer.
Well after five years the crown/winding stem of the old watch feels easier to wind as the new watch is rather tight, but the feeling of the teeth/gear working and its sound is the same to me. So I think that you (and me) will be feeling the exactly the same after some months of use.
 
2) There are several differences in the dial (step is one of course) and in the printing. The seconds outer track had four marks the new only two. Actually the change is a correction of the dial because it is made to exactly follow the markings to the vibrations per hour of the movement. Both the old and new movement have 21.600 VPH that is 3 HZ so the seconds hand can show a more exact reading. This change was already made in previous models of Speedmaster, for example in the Speedy Tuesday model and Snoopy.

Visually, it makes no difference to me but the seconds track seems more "solid" or "tight" in the old model due to having more markings together in same space.

Other differences in the new step dial are the new sub dials, which now have an angle where the numbers and markings are printed instead of the step of the previous dial. Also the markings at "12" are very different between older and new dial.

3) Black color and surface are the same to me ... but...  when viewed at certain angle the new step dial looks more like charcoal. If you examine it under a loupe you see that matt surface have the same very little tight grain and black is identical in both dials. I think that the flat surface of the step dial catches light differently and makes look it charcoal.

4) Truth is I had not tried it because I own the watch since just a few days. But one well known source in internet says: Yes. Also that it will fit the new Snoopy as well.

In the case of the old Moonwatch the new bracelet will fit but leave a very small gap in the end link. It is possible to make it fit exactly and tight if you file just a bit in a small lip on the end link, but the same source says it is not necessary unless you are very picky with details.

The chocolate sandwich is one of my favorite variants of Speedmaster as you know. I feel it would look wonderful with any of these bracelets you mention.
 
I feel you should try the comfort of the new bracelet and which one you like better: all brushed standard or the deluxe version with polished central links vs the Apollo 11 50th before deciding.
I hope these answers will help you.
 
Best cordial regards, Abel.

Dearest Abel!

 
 By: agyzace : June 12th, 2021-07:41
Thank you so much for the greatly insightful and thoughtful inputs.
Unsurprisingly they are superb and so deeply reflected!
This is invaluable input and I hope I manage to make the Apollo bracelet work with the chocolate speedy.
Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy!
Alex

My dear Alex: My big pleasure to answer you and thank you so much for your so generous comments. Appreciate so much.

 
 By: Subexplorer : June 12th, 2021-17:34
I feel you will be very pleased fitting the Apollo bracelet to your chocolate Speedy. Look forward to your post showing it after you get and fit it to your watch.

Hagwe my friend!! 
Abel

I will, dearest Abel!

 
 By: agyzace : June 13th, 2021-04:21
Have a great Sunday!!
Alex

Great Alex! Same to you! Abel

 
 By: Subexplorer : June 13th, 2021-12:58

Congrats on your new acquisitions, Abel!

 
 By: BigAppleBill : June 11th, 2021-04:06
I enjoyed reading about your deliberations. I find these things interesting, what we weigh when deciding on a watch. I look forward to seeing a wrist shot of your new Snoopy.

Hello dear Bill! Thanks a lot for your kind comments on my post. I´m delighted to share these thoughts I weighted while deciding which one to choose and I hope it can help...

 
 By: Subexplorer : June 11th, 2021-23:44
... any potential owner to decide too. In any case, it is only a matter of personal taste as both variants are wonderful. (I know that sooner or later I will go for the sapphire as well! Lol!)
With much pleasure I will post some shots of the Snoopy as well and some thoughts around it.
Best cordial regards, Abel

Huge congrats for this new catch, amigo mio. Well done. I would have gone for the Hesalite as well. It is warmer.

 
 By: amanico : June 11th, 2021-05:23
Now as for the Bracelet, I much prefer the former one. It is funny, but when I saw your last picture, I thought about the Oyster and Jubilée Rolex bracelets. And I much prefer the Oyster. wink 

Aprovecha, amigo mio.

Un abrazo.

Nico

Hello Nicolas! Muchas gracias! Thanks a lot for your kind comments and I´m glad to know you would choose the hesalite as well. And another coincidence: when I tried it for first time...

 
 By: Subexplorer : June 11th, 2021-23:49
... last Tuesday at the Omega Boutique, first impression about the bracelet was: wow! it feels as comfortable as the Jubilee! As much as I prefer the Oyster, I must admit that the Jubilee is more comfortable as it is more flexible. The only model I like better with the Jubilee is the GMT but I know you always prefer the Oyster.
Un abrazo amigo mio y muchas gracias por tus saludos y comentarios! Abel.

I’d normally choose hesalite but i kinda like the shiny bits on the sapphire version. Having said that, i have yet to handle one in person. Really curious about that bracelet. Great read, Abel. Glad to read you enjoying this one :-)

 
 By: Echi : June 11th, 2021-05:43
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