omega speedmaster moonwatch chronograph ck2998 limited edition 03

OMEGA Speedmaster CK2998: the successful reissue of a legend

The Moonwatch is undoubtedly Omega's most iconic chronograph. Yet, reissuing a limited edition was a completely different challenge that the brand pulled off faultlessly

By Benjamin Teisseire

My friend Marco Gabella lent me his Omega Speedmaster CK2998 Limited Edition, introduced in Basel in 2016, for a week-long hands-on test charged with emotions. In fact, he admitted that he was so besotted with the model that he did not have the heart to test and analyze it himself. Let us try to understand the underlying reasons…

Of course, as soon as you lay your eyes on the watch, you immediately feel drawn to it. Could it be because it is a limited-piece reinterpretation of the legendary Moonwatch? Or is it its perfect design and assembly? Or even the original deep blue color that Omega chose? Or the "panda" silver opaline dial and its blue chronograph subdials? The reasons certainly were not lacking.

A doubly legendary watch

The original model has an age-old history. In 1969, it accompanied Buzz Aldrin to the moon; it can hardly get more legendary than that. The perfect symmetry of the dial, its original Alpha hands, the 'lollipop' seconds hand and its tachometer scale bezel have since then become iconic. The two-tone version, more commonly known as the 'panda', is now one of the most prized watches among collectors. This explains the double appeal of the model produced in a limited edition of 2,998 pieces, which is a small number in the Omega world.

A paradigm of balance

All in all, the balance struck by the layout of the three easily-readable chronograph counters and minute track immediately creates a bond, and even a certain complicity, with the model. Every time you look at it, it seems to be smiling. This edition features the same 39.70-mm case as the original model, as well as the straight lugs that confer the watch an accessible and pleasant feel on the wrist. Driven by the hand-wound Omega 1861 caliber – the iconic chronograph movement of the first Moonwatch – the CK2998 is 100% authentic and  is water-resistant to more than 5 atmospheres.

Emotions are in the smallest details

A further analysis led us to the special shade of blue chosen by Omega. Being both a deep and soft color, it added a touch of elegance and refinement to the watch, thus making it perfect for more formal occasions. While the lugs are straight, the two upper beveled parts are mirror polished while the flank is satiny polished to create a better contrasting effect. The ceramic bezel is also polished to make it even shinier. Surrounded by steel, it exudes genuine strength and character. The blue minute track that harmoniously surrounds the silver opaline dial is in sync with the tachometer scale and is further enhanced by the beige topstitching on the crocodile strap, which is also deep blue. All in all, a subtle and effective design. The visually enhanced Super-LumiNova-coated tachometer indexes, the chronograph seconds hand along with the minute and hour hands are yet another reason to admire the CK2998 – even at night.

Furthermore, the hour applique indexes together with the light flange of the three counters at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock add more volume to the dial. The original locket of the Speedmaster Seahorse is engraved on the caseback to give it a high-quality vintage touch.

In short, the watch emanates a harmony that inevitably creates a visceral attachment. Its refinement and elegance along with its strong character and enhanced readability confer the timepiece a unique quality. It is a subtle blend of delicacy and strength, just as if Aston Martin had launched a British green streamlined tractor. All of a sudden, I started having second thoughts about returning it to Marco!

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