Affordable Alternatives to the Omega Speedmaster “Moonwatch”
 

Affordable Alternatives to the Omega Speedmaster “Moonwatch”

4 min read
Charlotte Harris

Brands

Omega

Categories

WatchGecko Top Choice Series

Charlotte Harris

Brands

Omega

Categories

WatchGecko Top Choice Series

There are certain timepieces in watchmaking history that will forever be known as icons. The Rolex Submariner is one and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is another. But possibly the most famous watch of them all is the Omega Speedmaster “Moonwatch”.

Omega Speedmaster "Moonwatch" on Simple Handmade Italian Leather Watch StrapOmega Speedmaster "Moonwatch" on Simple Handmade Italian Leather Watch Strap

 
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Simple Handmade Italian Leather Watch Strap - Chocolate Brown
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Simple Handmade Italian Leather Watch Strap - Reddish Brown

The Omega Speedmaster is a holy grail for many watch collectors.  It’s a design steeped in history, tradition and innovation, famously termed the “Moonwatch” for being the first watch worn on the moon. It was originally launched in 1957, designed first and foremost as a racing watch with a sporty black chronograph dial and tachymeter bezel. But unexpectedly, the watch became destined for space and not the racetrack.

In 1969, during the Apollo 11 mission, it was strapped onto Buzz Aldrin’s wrist and catapulted into space, later joining him on the first ever spacewalk across the moon’s surface. From that moment, the Omega Speedmaster was known as the “Moonwatch” and has become a coveted model for many watch enthusiasts.

The design of the Omega Speedmaster has remained fairly unchanged over the years, boasting the same black chronograph dial with white markings and black tachymeter scale. There’s also been several special and limited edition variants hitting the market. But, with prices starting at £5,000, it’s clear the Moonwatch isn’t accessible to all of us.

So instead, for those of you with limited budgets but a love of the chronograph’s overall aesthetic, here are some affordable alternatives to the Omega Speedmaster watch…

Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SSC819P1

One of the most affordable black-dialled chronograph watches on the market comes from Seiko with their Prospex Speedtimer watch under SSC819P1. Like the Omega Speedmaster, this watch was originally created for the sports world and is inspired by the world’s first automatic winding chronograph watch launched in 1969. This modern-day iteration presents a comfortable 39mm wide stainless steel case, black tachymeter bezel and matching black chronograph dial with retro blue subsidiary dials and beige-coloured Lumibrite. It also retains its futuristic personality with a solar-powered movement charging automatically from both natural and artificial light.

The Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SSC819P1 watch retails for £590.

Hamilton Jazzmaster Performance Auto Chrono H36606130

Hamilton Jazzmaster Performance Auto ChronoHamilton Jazzmaster Performance Auto Chrono - Credit Hamilton

If you still want a black-dialled chronograph but one that is proudly Swiss made, then the Hamilton Jazzmaster Performance Auto Chrono watch under reference H36606130 is a fine choice. It has a very similar, 1970’s-esque aesthetic like the original Moonwatch with an onyx black dial, brightly polished hands and indices and three snailed subsidiary dials. The must-have black tachymeter bezel remains, topping the 42mm wide steel case with a 100 metre water resistance and solid steel bracelet. The design runs off the H-31 automatic movement with a powerful 60 hour power reserve.

The Hamilton Jazzmaster Performance Auto Chrono H36606130 retails for £2,190.

Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph CA4540-54E

Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph CA4540-54ECitizen Eco-Drive Chronograph CA4540-54E - Credit Citizen

Our most affordable Omega Speedmaster alternative is the Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph under reference CA4540-54E. The flowing lines of the 43mm stainless steel case are aesthetically comparable to the Moonwatch as is the jet black dial with its tri-compax layout. In this instance, the tachymeter bezel is finished in bare steel and the metal bracelet has five links adding to its vintage look. It also boasts sapphire crystal glass, a 100 metre water resistance and luminous markings on the dial’s hands and markers. The Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph is another solar-powered watch utilising the Japanese watchmaker’s sustainable Eco-Drive technology.

The Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph CA4540-54E retails for £429.

Rado HyperChrome Chronograph R32259153

Rado HyperChrome ChronographRado HyperChrome Chronograph - Credit Rado

 
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Vintage Highley Genuine Leather Watch Strap - Light Brown
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Vintage Highley Genuine Leather Watch Strap - Reddish Brown
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If you appreciate the sporty origins of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch then you’ll probably enjoy the Rado HyperChrome Chronograph R32259153. This Swiss made, quartz-powered timepiece delivers plenty of familiar visual characteristics but with some added motorsport-inspired colourings. The 45mm wide stainless steel case arrives with a matching three-row link metal bracelet, sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflective coating and a black ceramic tachymeter bezel. For an added bit of colour, the black chronograph dial is punctuated by bold red accents on the first quarter of the minutes track, the three subsidiary dials and the tip of the chronograph seconds hand.

The Rado HyperChrome Chronograph R32259153 retails for £1,550.

Bulova Lunar Pilot

Bulova Lunar PilotBulova Lunar Pilot - Credit WatchGecko

Finally, we can’t talk about affordable alternatives to the Omega Speedmaster without mentioning “the other Moonwatch”: the Bulova Lunar Pilot. Those of you with a real appreciation for space exploration deserve a watch that has been to space, and while the Speedmaster sits with several zeros at the end of its price tag, the Lunar Pilot does not. And even better, this watch was worn on the moon during the Apollo 15 mission in 1971, strapped to the wrist of astronaut Dave Scott. As you can tell, there are a lot of visual similarities here; it comes with a 43.5mm steel case, black chronograph dial, black tachymeter bezel and a smooth-sweeping 262 kHz quartz movement.

The Bulova Lunar Pilot watch retails for £599.

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Charlotte Harris

About the Author: Charlotte Harris

Writing and watches are two of my biggest passions in life so being able to unite them on a daily basis is a wonderful thing. I hope through my writing that I can bring a fresh, feminine perspective on the watch space and encourage more men and women to get excited about all that’s happening.

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