Omega Caliber 321 Revival

The Omega Speedmaster has a long history of accompanying astronauts during space explorations. The most important of these are the Gemini and Apollo missions, which were designed to test maneuvers in space, and bring humans to the Moon and back to Earth safely.

More than 50 years on, Omega is making history come alive with modern interpretations of their famous creations from this era. One of them is the Omega Caliber 321, a Lemania-based hand-wound movement from the 1950s with a copper finish.

In 2019, the brand revived the movement but with contemporary upgrades. It also powers the new Speedmaster MoonWatches in production, including the modern-day “Ed White” model. Here’s a closer look at the new Omega Caliber 321 watches.

 

Omega Speedmaster Caliber 321 Canopus Gold / Omega Speedmaster Caliber
321 “Ed White”

 

What is the Caliber 321?

The Caliber 321 is the first-ever movement used inside the Speedmaster. Known for its robust and intricate design, it drove every Speedy that went to the moon. This lateral clutch chronograph mechanism also stands out for its monobloc column-wheel — a feature that is machined from a single piece, requiring attention to detail and careful precision in design.

 

The original Caliber 321

 

Its most notable appearances were in the Speedmaster Ref. ST 105.003, the model first tested and qualified by NASA, and worn by astronaut Ed White during the first American spacewalk, and the Ref. ST 105.012, which was the first watch worn on the moon.

 


 

The Caliber 321 Project

Omega ceased the production of Caliber 321 in 1969, only to be brought back in 2019, in a modern version that is as close to the original as possible. To do this, the brand created the Caliber 321 project, which consists of researchers, historians, and watchmakers, who worked together for two years in secrecy to bring the legendary movement back to life.

 

The reborn Caliber 321

 

The Caliber 321 project team used “tomography” technology to view the inside of the Speedmaster ST 105.003, worn by Eugene Cernan during the Apollo 17 mission. The movement that runs inside this historic watch became the reference for the reconstructed Caliber 321 that came out in 2019.

 


 

Today, the new 321, which features a Sedna gold finish and a 55-hour power reserve, appears in three modern Speedmaster editions  – the Platinum, the “Ed White”, and the Canopus Gold.

 

Omega Speedmaster Caliber 321 in Platinum (2019)

A powerful take on the classic Speedmaster, the opening salvo of the new 321 has platinum with gold construction and a combination of brushed and polish finish. Launched to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, this watch takes inspiration from the Ref. ST 105.012, produced in the 1960s.

 

Omega Speedmaster Caliber 321 Platinum Ref. 311.93.42.30.99.001 

 

This model has a 42mm asymmetric case, a black ceramic tachymeter bezel, and twisted lugs. To emphasize the watch’s lunar history, its black onyx step dial features three meteorite registers, an applied vintage Omega logo, and baton indices with 18k white gold surrounds.

 

Omega Speedmaster Caliber 321 Platinum’s caseback

 


 

Omega Speedmaster “Ed White” in Stainless Steel (2020)

Next, we have the contemporary Speedmaster “Ed White,” which is a re-creation of the famous Ref. 105.003 watch worn by Ed White during the Gemini missions. Boasting an old-school charm, this watch is crafted from 316L steel and measures about 39.7mm only.

 

Omega Speedmaster Caliber 321 “Ed White” Ref. 311.30.40.30.01.001 /
Omega Speedmaster MoonWatch 2021 Ref. 310.30.42.50.01.001

 

The new Ed White looks identical to the original model which it pays homage to, but what gives it away is the zirconium oxide bezel insert, the hour markers and hands with beige lume, and the sapphire caseback that allows wearers to admire the high-performing Caliber 321 at work.

 


 

Omega Speedmaster Caliber 321 in Canopus Gold (2022)

The latest addition to the Caliber 321 series is the Canopus Gold, unveiled in 2022 as an ode to the original 1957 CK2915-1 Speedmaster. This chronograph remains faithful to the distinguishing elements of its predecessor with its broad arrow hour hand, NAIAD symbol-engraved crown, flat-link bracelet, and straight lugs.

 

Omega Speedmaster Caliber 321 Canopus Gold Ref. 311.50.39.30.01.001

 

Crafted in Canopus gold — Omega’s special white gold alloy with platinum, rhodium, and palladium elements, the watch has a Seahorse-engraved sapphire caseback and a “dot-over-90 bezel with Grand Feu enamel. The glossy onyx dial with white gold hands and vintage-inspired fonts provides a lustrous touch to the watch.

 


 

With their sleek looks, robust performance, and innovative features, all Omega Speedmaster 321 watches deserve a spot in any collection. Explore our selection of Omega Speedmaster Caliber 321 timepieces at SwissWatchExpo.com.

PHOTO CREDITS: Omega and NASA

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