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I agree that it’s the silicon hairspring that is mainly responsible for the accuracy/precision. But I also think the co-axial is a cool feature. Is it significantly better than the Swiss lever and it’s close derivatives, probably not. Will it result in less long term wear and tear? The jurys still out.
The photos that Archer posts of the wear on the teeth of the co-axial escapement strongly suggests that it exhibits more wear in the long term as opposed to less when compared to the Swiss lever escapement.

I find it a little hard to believe, that in an industry where any tiny improvement is shouted from the rooftops, that if the co-axial provided substantially better accuracy, Omega would not market it based on that. It makes no sense.

In terms of service intervals, I can tell you exactly how many watches I get in that are in need of service only because of the lever escapement - zero. We all know that watches can and do run longer than the recommended service interval, so does changing one part of a large system really make the service interval longer? Think about it...

I always find it interesting the claim of no real friction in a co-axial escapement. If there's no friction between the co-axial wheel and the pallet fork, neither should wear, right? Well, they do:



Here's another one:



I see worn co-axial wheels often. I rarely see worn teeth on escape wheels in a Swiss lever escapement watch (the kind that have all that friction). No sliding fiction - watch this video that I took with a Cal. 2500 under a microscope to show the action in one part of the escapement cycle:


I think you will find that if anything, Daniels wanted a slower beat rate, not a faster one, because he knew that faster beat rates would cause more damage to the escapement. People on watch forums spend far too much time connecting accuracy to beat rate. While they are certainly connected in ways, beat rate is not the be all, end all in watch accuracy, as there are a multitude of factors and design considerations that affect accuracy. Every design decision made in a watch is compromise of one kind or another.

Cheers, Al
 
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Forgot to mention. If the “new” Speedmaster Pro is identical to the current model, but only with the updated movement, and “NASA” certified (by Omega doing the tests) will anyone care? This is basically what Rolex has been doing with the Sub and Explorer for decades.
They would probably care if the price doubles for not much (if any) improvement.
 
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You don't have to buy from a boutique in order to benefit by Omega's 5-year factory warranty.

If you want a current model Speedmaster Pro, then talk to the better Authorized Omega Dealers out there (Radcliffe, Timeless, etc.), negotiate the best deal you can for the watch you like (20% off?), and begin enjoying your Speedmaster Pro.

No one here really knows if the current watch is to be discontinued or what the new model will cost.
 

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The photos that Archer posts of the wear on the teeth of the co-axial escapement strongly suggests that it exhibits more wear in the long term as opposed to less when compared to the Swiss lever escapement.
I suspect Al would not want his comments from first-generation coaxial movements to be used to define the serviceability of the much more refined METAS movements Omega uses now. For example, the cal. 8800 is essentially a replacement for the cal. 2500 (the first coaxial, based on the ETA 2892-A2). It has the same diameter as the cal. 2500, but is a half-millimeter thicker. But the differences between the 2500 and 8800 are significant. Only time will tell if the 8800 is prone to the sort of wear-and-tear Al referred to back in 2013.
 
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I suspect Al would not want his comments from first-generation coaxial movements to be used to define the serviceability of the much more refined METAS movements Omega uses now. For example, the cal. 8800 is essentially a replacement for the cal. 2500 (the first coaxial, based on the ETA 2892-A2). It has the same diameter as the cal. 2500, but is a half-millimeter thicker. But the differences between the 2500 and 8800 are significant. Only time will tell if the 8800 is prone to the sort of wear-and-tear Al referred to back in 2013.
That post by Al was posted in 2017, and the 2500 calibre was first introduced in 1999, and the 8500 calibre was introduced in 2007, so surely he'll be able to comment on whether the shift from the two-level to three-level co-axial escapement design addressed the issues he presented.

The three-level co-axial escapement design in the 2500D is pretty much the same as in subsequent calibres, but even this earlier post demonstrates that the idea that the co-axial escapement improves the longevity of a movement is questionable at best. Let's be honest, the co-axial escapement is primarily a marketing ploy used by Omega to justify dramatic increases in pricing.
 

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That post by Al was posted in 2017, and the 2500 calibre was first introduced in 1999, and the 8500 calibre was introduced in 2007, so surely he'll be able to comment on whether the shift from the two-level to three-level co-axial escapement design addressed the issues he presented.

The three-level co-axial escapement design in the 2500D is pretty much the same as in subsequent calibres, but even this earlier post demonstrates that the idea that the co-axial escapement improves the longevity of a movement is questionable at best. Let's be honest, the co-axial escapement is primarily a marketing ploy used by Omega to justify dramatic increases in pricing.
His photo examples were dated 2013, so it was seven years ago, his comments notwithstanding. He is even more cynical than I when it comes to marketing legerdemain, so I know his skepticism about the coaxial movement is well placed. But I'm not sure he would want his remarks to be taken out of context to disparage a movement he hasn't yet overhauled.

That said, the METAS movements are a significant improvement on the first cal. 8xxx movements, and if only a marketing ploy, was pretty successful: At considerable expense, Rolex upgraded their movements, including a new escapement, to match the accuracy of Omega's new movements. So it seems a rising tide does lift all boats (of course, it also lifted Rolex prices 😆 ).
 
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My take is that Omega wants to bring all their watches into the METAS certification and 0/+5 spd accuracy. The 321 is an anomaly for collectors, and kudos to Omega for making that happen.

I agree that it’s the silicon hairspring that is mainly responsible for the accuracy/precision. But I also think the co-axial is a cool feature. Is it significantly better than the Swiss lever and it’s close derivatives, probably not. Will it result in less long term wear and tear? The jurys still out.

IMO Omega is killing it with their high grade mass produced movements.

Forgot to mention. If the “new” Speedmaster Pro is identical to the current model, but only with the updated movement, and “NASA” certified (by Omega doing the tests) will anyone care? This is basically what Rolex has been doing with the Sub and Explorer for decades.
Agree, although there's apparently lot of turnover in the parts count between the two movements, so possible that some of those specified for the 3861 are also higher-tolerance, and that the cumulative effect if to improve accuracy across more positions while improving antimagnetism.

I appreciate the hacking, extra accuracy and anti-magnetism, but I also have a deep-seated appreciation for the 321/ 861/ 1861. My Speedy is accurate enough for my needs -- not sure it'd be worth it to me to pay an extra 2-3k for an improved movement and a ceramic bezel insert.
 

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His photo examples were dated 2013, so it was seven years ago, his comments notwithstanding. He is even more cynical than I when it comes to marketing legerdemain, so I know his skepticism about the coaxial movement is well placed. But I'm not sure he would want his remarks to be taken out of context to disparage a movement he hasn't yet overhauled.

That said, the METAS movements are a significant improvement on the first cal. 8xxx movements, and if only a marketing ploy, was pretty successful: At considerable expense, Rolex upgraded their movements, including a new escapement, to match the accuracy of Omega's new movements. So it seems a rising tide does lift all boats (of course, it also lifted Rolex prices 😆 ).
Again, by 2017, he should have had the opportunity to revise his opinion about the newer versions of the co-axials. In any case, the point I'm making is that there is absolutely no evidence to justify the claim that the use of the co-axial escapement is responsible for longer service intervals. The METAS movements are primarily about the use of antimagnetic materials throughout the movement, and not just the hairspring, which is again a bit of a marketing ploy, since the hairspring is the component that is most affected by magnetism.

As for Rolex's new movements, the price increase is pretty minimal, unlike the doubling we're expecting on the Speedmaster. In any case, the new escapement in the Rolex seems to be more influenced by Grand Seiko's use of MEMS technology than anything that Omega has done.
 

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Agree, although there's apparently lot of turnover in the parts count between the two movements, so possible that some of those specified for the 3861 are also higher-tolerance, and that the cumulative effect if to improve accuracy across more positions while improving antimagnetism.

I appreciate the hacking, extra accuracy and anti-magnetism, but I also have a deep-seated appreciation for the 321/ 861/ 1861. My Speedy is accurate enough for my needs -- not sure it'd be worth it to me to pay an extra 2-3k for an improved movement and a ceramic bezel insert.
I wonder whether NASA would actually go through the hassle of recertifying the 3861 equipped Speedy Pros, as opposed to just stockpiling a bunch of 1861s. In particular, unless Omega pays for the recertification, I seriously doubt it will happen.
 

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UPDATE: I went to another Omega boutique near me and spoke with two other “Key Holders.” They said that the 1861 will be discontinued in 2019 and that collectors are already buying up the remaining watches left. I’m sure you’ll still be able to get one, but any kid of discount from an OB would be highly unlikely. Today, I was offered a 10% discount, which is leading me to go visit an AD and see what they can do (hoping for 20-25%).

The folks at the OB also mentioned that new upgraded Moonwatch will have a 3861 movement and will be METAS certified. This new watch will not be released in 2020, and most likely will drop In the second half of 2021, is what they said. I’d love to see a ceramic bezel and some kind of waterproofing, but have no clue if that will happen. No comment on price from the OB, but from other posts on this topic, I’d expect an increase of ~$1k USD.

This will be my first luxury watch and am debating on buying the 1861 sapphire now or the upgraded version in a year. Thoughts? Hoping to keep this watch and use as a daily driver for many many years.
 

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UPDATE: I went to another Omega boutique near me and spoke with two other “Key Holders.” They said that the 1861 will be discontinued in 2019 and that collectors are already buying up the remaining watches left. I’m sure you’ll still be able to get one, but any kid of discount from an OB would be highly unlikely. Today, I was offered a 10% discount, which is leading me to go visit an AD and see what they can do (hoping for 20-25%).

The folks at the OB also mentioned that new upgraded Moonwatch will have a 3861 movement and will be METAS certified. This new watch will not be released in 2020, and most likely will drop In the second half of 2021, is what they said. I’d love to see a ceramic bezel and some kind of waterproofing, but have no clue if that will happen. No comment on price from the OB, but from other posts on this topic, I’d expect an increase of ~$1k USD.

This will be my first luxury watch and am debating on buying the 1861 sapphire now or the upgraded version in a year. Thoughts? Hoping to keep this watch and use as a daily driver for many many years.
If you are looking to get the 1863 sapphire sandwich version, then I'd wait for the 3861 to come out next year to get the improved movement and potentially upgraded bezel and bracelet. Since you are not after the 'purist' choice of the 1861 hesalite version, I'd rather wait for the improved version with more modern tech.
 

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The photos that Archer posts of the wear on the teeth of the co-axial escapement strongly suggests that it exhibits more wear in the long term as opposed to less when compared to the Swiss lever escapement.
I’ve seen Archer’s pictures of the co-axial teeth. I have a lot of admiration for Archer and his knowledge and willingness to share with us here on WUS. But one egg doesn’t make an omelette (or does it). I guess I’d want to know to things: how common is the occurrence and have later iterations improved the teeth. I strongly doubt that Omega wants to be servicing a lot of their movements so I’d expect them to have fixed the problem, if it was problem.
 

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Agree, although there's apparently lot of turnover in the parts count between the two movements, so possible that some of those specified for the 3861 are also higher-tolerance, and that the cumulative effect if to improve accuracy across more positions while improving antimagnetism.

I appreciate the hacking, extra accuracy and anti-magnetism, but I also have a deep-seated appreciation for the 321/ 861/ 1861. My Speedy is accurate enough for my needs -- not sure it'd be worth it to me to pay an extra 2-3k for an improved movement and a ceramic bezel insert.
I agree. My Speedy is also accurate enough (loses about 4-5 spd) and I doubt that many 1861 owners will be upgrading. I often wonder how many Moonwatches are sold to no WIS ;)
 

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Again, by 2017, he should have had the opportunity to revise his opinion about the newer versions of the co-axials. In any case, the point I'm making is that there is absolutely no evidence to justify the claim that the use of the co-axial escapement is responsible for longer service intervals. The METAS movements are primarily about the use of antimagnetic materials throughout the movement, and not just the hairspring, which is again a bit of a marketing ploy, since the hairspring is the component that is most affected by magnetism.

As for Rolex's new movements, the price increase is pretty minimal, unlike the doubling we're expecting on the Speedmaster. In any case, the new escapement in the Rolex seems to be more influenced by Grand Seiko's use of MEMS technology than anything that Omega has done.
I’d be interesting if Roger Smith, who is still using a variation of the co-axial in his watches and probably the a world authority, could answer.

The hairspring is obviously the most important part to modify for antimagnetic properties but other parts must also be important. Rolexes new escapement is now antimagnetic, or almost so, or is this modification also only a PR scam?
 

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According to Archer, the Co-Axial movement's main weakness is the fact that it keeps performing consistently even when it needs service, while a normal escapement would see noticeable performance degradation in line with needing a service. This is why a Co-Axial is more prone to catastrophic failure compared to a traditional lever escapement because people will be less inclined to service them. In no way does this make the Co-Axial escapement inferior.

The way oil is applied to the Co-Axial is used as a padding, while on a regular lever escapement it is used to lubricate the pallet fork as it rubs against the escape wheel. This give the Co-Axial more room to improve because using lighter materials like SiO4 and increasing the levels all contribute to reduced pushing impact.
 

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Snoopy is good indication it will not be double in price.

Would be great to see the speedmaster pro updated with modern technology. I still don't understand how it's still 5 bar.
 

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Would be great to see the speedmaster pro updated with modern technology. I still don't understand how it's still 5 bar.
Perhaps anything more may entail screw crown and that will make daily winding a bit more annoying. I'm also not sure if anyone makes non-screw pushers with 10 bar water resistance.
 

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Perhaps anything more may entail screw crown and that will make daily winding a bit more annoying. I'm also not sure if anyone makes non-screw pushers with 10 bar water resistance.
The previous (now discontinued) Omega De Ville chronographs were 10bar WR with non-screw down pushers. My even older Chronoscope is also 10bar.

If you want chronograph pushers that are suitable for water then grab a Seamaster or Planet Ocean. Whether a chronograph is 5 or 10bar rated isn't going to realistically alter the risk if they're not designed to be pressed under water. Screw down chronograph pushers make no sense to me, either have them work or not when submerged.

I agree with you that having to unscrew something (including a crown) to perform regular (e.g. daily) operations is incredibly impractical. I wonder how many Rolex Daytona owners actually use their chronograph on a regular basis. I use the one on my Speedmaster almost daily, sometimes many times in a day.
 
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