Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 3861January 8, 2024
It feels like the new Omega Speedmaster has been with us for years already, doesn’t it? Surprisingly, it was only in January of this year that Omega announced the first major overhaul to its flagship chronograph, outfitting it with the Master Chronometer-spec, Co-Axial escapement-equipped caliber 3861.
This week, unexpectedly, the announcement was on our minds all over again, after we found out Roger Smith had purchased an example for himself (the sapphire sandwich example, no less) and Jack schooled us on why the Co-Axial escapement actually matters. If that wasn’t enough, our pals in the HODINKEE Shop also announced a restock on the caliber 3861 Speedmasters, just in time for the holidays.
With so much positive Speedmaster energy in the air, we figured it was the perfect time to revisit Jack’s A Week On The Wrist with the Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch ‘Master Chronometer’ With Co-Axial Caliber 3861 – you can give it a read for yourself, right here.
Thomas Wolfe wrote, “you can’t go home again” (in fact he made a whole book out of the sentiment), but for watch enthusiasts, the attraction of a number of different watches is that you can. The Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch is a classic example. To paraphrase another fine author, Tolkien on Bilbo Baggins, you could call it well-preserved, but unchanged would be nearer to the mark. The Moonwatch got its last movement update in 1996, with the caliber 1861, but that movement is mechanically almost identical to the 861, which rolled out in 1968-1969.
Sure, the external appearance of the Moonwatch has changed over the years, but the most recent model with caliber 1861 – ref. 3184.108.40.206.01.005, for the steel-on-steel version – is virtually indistinguishable from the previous ref. 145.022. That was the first Speedmaster to use the caliber 861 rather than the 321, and it was introduced all the way back in 1969, and was in production until 1988.
The joy and comfort of the Moonwatch has been the joy and comfort of coming back to your childhood home after years, or decades, of withstanding the moil and toil of being a grownup, and finding your old bedroom as you left it, right down to your worn-to-a-frazzle Steiff bear reposing on the faded counterpane.