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 3126.96.36.199
… 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.
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)
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
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.