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Why the Omega Speedmaster is often the watch of choice for Sartorialists

By Tim Mureau -

(Watch courtesy of Juwelier van Willegen


We Sartorialists have a specific view on the world and especially on the things we wear. We like things with a soul and heritage. It needs to have a good story behind it and of course it needs to be well made. We don’t believe in empty status symbols to show to others what we can afford. We want to wear something that we enjoy ourselves because we know what is behind it.
Shirt and Speedmaster
Clearly this is not just limited to clothing, we have a specific view on watches too. One watch manufacturer that fulfils this need for us in many ways is Omega. Many of their watch models have been around for a long time,
are very well made in their own manufacture in Biel, Switzerland and they have a story behind them. Their most iconic watch is probably the Omega Speedmaster, which tells the story of a boy’s dream that many men probably had at some point. Because who didn’t have the dream of being an Astronaut one day?
The history of the Omega Speedmaster
The Omega Speedmaster was first produced in 1957 and of course at that point there was no intention whatsoever that this watch would be worn in space and more specifically on the moon. It was created for what most chronographs are meant for, as a timekeeper for motorsports or other sporting events where timekeeping is important.
Gloves and Speedmaster
It was shortly after introducing a watch that stood out because of it’s easy to read design which was an instant hit since it was so innovative. It was the first watch to have a tachymeter that was separate from the dial and instead on the bezel. This gave more space on the dial and gave a cleaner look. It was the first chronograph in the design as we know chronographs today. And in those days an enormous, big and chunky timepiece as most watches people wore in those days were small and dressy. Good to know is that since that day the Speedmaster almost didn’t change in design and what you buy today is very similar to the original one.
Their first connection with NASA and space traveling came up a couple of years after the watch was introduced. In 1962 the Astronaut Wally Schira wore an Omega Speedmaster during one of the Mercury space missions that the USA organised. Since then, the relationship between NASA and the Omega Speedmaster has continued and even with the Astronauts on the Space-X missions that are launched lately we’ve seen Omega Speedmasters being worn. In 1969 there was a milestone in this relationship between NASA and the Omega Speedmaster. The Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were wearing an Omega Speedmaster during their Apollo 11 mission that would put for the very first time a ‘’man on the moon’’. This made the Omega Speedmaster the very first watch that ever was on the moon. The story of this iconic watch was made and would secure an almost eternal appreciation from not only watch enthusiasts. Meanwhile the Omega Speedmaster celebrated its 60th year jubilee and it’s not unlikely that they will be there for the next 60 years as well in the collection of Omega.
The latest Omega Speedmaster with caliber 3861
Early last year the new Omega Speedmaster was introduced which, thankfully,
Omega Speedmaster on Shirt
didn’t change much in design and that remains typically Speedmaster.
And not changing much means of course a little change. One interesting change is the bracelet that has now five links per row which makes a very elegant and dressier bracelet. It’s also more comfortable and lighter to wear. Another important change is on the inside and there we see the Co-Axial caliber 3861 now. Beside the steel version with a Hesalite crystal there are also three additional models of which one with a sapphire crystal, one in 18k Canopus gold and one in 18k Sedna gold. The Omega Speedmaster lives on.
How to style the Omega Speedmaster with an outfit?
It’s often a good question how to style a certain watch. To what outfit does it suit well? If you are always wearing just a t-shirt and jeans, you don’t have to bother about it since you can put anything around your wrist and the attention is always on that. But if you are a Sartorialist and you enjoy wearing beautifully made garments in smart casual, more formal and very formal, it’s a different story. Let’s start with to which outfits the Omega Speedmaster isn’t suitable at all. I would never wear it with black tie or white tie. But then again, I never wear a watch with black tie or white tie as officially it’s not appropriate. You usually wear these outfits on occasions where you are supposed to forget about time, so wearing a watch is unnecessary.
Omega Speedmaster and jumper
I would not wear the Omega Speedmaster with a 3-piece suit either. In my opinion the watch is just a bit too chunky for that and it can cause the look of a used-car salesman that is just a bit too sleeky.
So, what does it look good with then?  It suits well to what we Sartorialists love so much. More refined and outstanding fabrics like tweed, flannels, checks, and even a blazer look good with it. To give some examples; if you wear a Harris tweed jacket with a tattersall shirt, a woollen tie or a knit tie, paired with grey flannel trousers or a pair of chinos an Omega Speedmaster will look fantastic. The rougher look of the watch suits to the rough look of the tweed and the tattersall.
Another good example would be a navy blazer that you wear with a blue shirt,
Regimental tie and Speedmaster
a regimental striped tie, a pair of chinos and a white handkerchief or a silk pocket square that picks up some colours from your outfit.
Yes, this is a more formal outfit, but on the other hand meant as a smart-casual appearance and the Omega Speedmaster will not be out of tone there. If we stay in the smart-casual topic I should also refer to another outfit including a blazer. Think of a navy blazer, again with chinos, a denim shirt, a cardigan in an earthy tone and a pocket square that picks up the colours in that outfit. To this smart-casual outfit the Omega Speedmaster is like the ideal finishing touch.
And then finally we need to go back to full suits. Because if you can’t wear the Omega Speedmaster with a 3-piece suit. Can you wear it with a suit at all, or is it only a watch for country and smart-casual outfits? Well, don’t worry I assure you it’s not.
Flannel suit and Omega Speedmaster
The Omega Speedmaster can be worn with a suit, but with suits that have a certain ´lightness´ in them. Suits with a bit of Sprezzatura. Think of a double-breasted Flannel suit which you wear with a blue shirt, a printed tie, a silk pocket square and brown suede shoes. This outfit is standing out so much because of the materials that are used that a watch like the Omega Speedmaster suits to it. The outfit has a story and so has the watch. Or think of a summer suit made from Solaro or Fresco paired with a white shirt and a solid navy tie or a linen tie with checks, paired with a pocket square in silk, and brown shoes. Here the Omega Speedmaster will look well because of the lightness that the outfit has, there is no need for strict rules there as it should look relaxed.
Of course, these are just suggestions of how you could style an Omega Speedmaster. In the end you should wear the watch the way you feel comfortable  with. The most important things are to respect and value the history, the quality and the beauty of this watch. But this is for us Sartorialists a natural thing, as this is what we base our choices on of what to wear, drive, use and eat.


Tim Mureau

Tim Mureau – was born in Holland, and has always been travelling around the world looking for the finest artisans. He’s interested in all things handmade, and can’t stop talking about fine watches and menswear. He has worked in various menswear stores, has been a sales representative for various artisanal clothing manufacturers, and is now active as a journalist focused on watches and menswear. Check out his page for more interesting menswear reads and interviews. 

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