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The Speedmaster is downright one of the most well-known watch especially among watch enthusiasts. Everyone who can afford one, and is into watches, definitely had or have one in their collection. It’s a watch with such an allure and exemplary design makes it hard to say no to it.

But, it’s quite a large watch, by no means its enermous, but as time passes, I prefer watches that sits “proportionally on my wrist”. This means, never wandering over 40mm, ideally 36-39mm. Sizing down, means we have to settle for “less”. Now when I mention less here, is not because it’s less in quality or whatnot, but I’m referencing to a more common ETA movemet (valjoux in this case), and well, less popular for sure.

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Many pursists also say that this is not considered a REAL Speedmaster, but I digress, it has the shape, the lugs, and it’s even written on the dial. So people can say what they want to say I guess. This Speedmaster is for sure for people who has smaller wrists, need a date, and well, doesn’t have the cash to spend on the 42mm Speedmaster professional. I think it’s a very interesting value for money buy, and should be considered highly for anyone looking for a reputable chronograph watch, from a great brand, and have a proven work-horse no-nonsense movement.

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The watch comes in 39mm diameter size, (Omega’s website specify that it is 40mm), but it is not actually 40mm, because Omega measures the non symmetrical case and adds the thickness of the crown guards. Which IMHO is not a “fair” measurement, since when we see is actually the centre circumference of the bezel, which is aorund 38.5-39mm. So I think it is a great size for almost any wrists, unless you have wrists as large as my thigh, then this watch will look dimunitive. As I mentioned before, the case is exactly the same in design like the Speedmaster Pro, but in a smaller scale, it still has that twisted lyre lugs, the asymmetrical case with thicker side on crown, etc. The difference would be the placement of the bezel, when you look it from the side, it has this gap between the bezel itself and the case, I forgot to take a picture of it, but when you see one, you’ll know it. It makes a feeling that the bezel is actually sticking to the crystal, instead of the case.

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The dial that I have here is a silver on silver version. You might think that this will be a difficult watch to read, but it’s not. There’s always some soft of contrast between the dial and the hands, so it’s actually easier than you think. If you look closely there is also different textures on the dial, you can see that the outer rim where the indices are, is with a circular concentric pattern, as you reach the middle it’s a sunburst. You also have a stepped sunken subdial, and a concentric pattern in it. I think it’s great. It’s not always obvious to make it look too busy, but it gives a touch of flash of whats going on in the dial itself.

You can also see that the layout of the subdial is different than the speedmaster pro as well. This one has a common valjoux layout at 6 9 12, and a date at 3. Sure it may not as symmetrical as the pro, but it doesnt make it a bad design. The actual layout is great as you can have the date at 3 o clock. The movement is automatic, great for people who doesn’t want to wind their watches (not that it’s a bad thing).

The bezel is also chrome/polished, with black coloured tachymetre scale, this is probably THE hardest element on the watch to read, due to the polished surface, you need to angle the watch correctly to actually read the scale. But it’s not a problem for me, I never use the scale. For those who wants or need to use it, avoid this watch.

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Despite many people also calling this a REDUCED, I must stress that it is not. The reduced is an entirely different watch, it has a more similiar dial layout to the speedmaster pro, and it has a completely different movement. That reduced has a piggyback chrono module, so the pushers and the crowm is not sitting on the same horizontal axis, as the chronograph module is on top of the base ETA, the pushers are higher than the crown. This one however, due to the modified Valjoux nature, has an integrated chronograph, so it has none of that description. It is also - or so I was told from my watch makers and friends, the Valjoux version is much easier to service and maintain, compared to the piggy back module. So keep that in mind. The chronograph itself on this Speedmaster date is fine to use, like any other Valjoux based movements, has an assured click and jumps back instantly when you reset it. Nothing of note there, and nothing too special either. The date is quick set if you want to know, and that’s that.

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The bracelet is also the same like the Speedmaster pro design, the only notable difference is the width of the bracelet, which is 18mm, and the clasp itself. This one has an integrated hidden clasp, and features a slider when you open it. The use of the slider is a bit uncommon when you do it the first few times, but you’ll soon get used to it. The only reason I can think of why they implement this mechanism, is because you can make the watch looser when you are taking it on or off. Why they go such great lengths for it, while they don’t even bother giving us micro adjustments on almost all their watches from this era. So getting an exact fit with the bracelet is a bit finicky, I suggest you try it out before making the purchase, unless you want to swap it with a leather strap.

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The watch is obviously great on both the bracelet and the strap. And it fits my wrist very well (16.5cm). The reason I take it off the bracelet is because I find the bracelet a bit too dressy for me, and I liked the look with a dark brown croco strap better. I have my OP39 if I’d like to wear bracelet watches. You can also see that the lug to lug length is quite short compared to other watches for the same size, making this watch look/wear a bit smaller. I think it’s both a plus and minus, but I would have preferred a 20mm lug width so I can put on a wider strap and make the watch look larger instead. An added 1mm lug to lug length would be great as well, due to the twist, I find the lug span sometimes feels a bit shorter than I personally would have liked.

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Overall I think this is a great watch. It’s a Speedmaster through and through for me, the only thing that it’s not, is the model that went to the moon. It is also a reliable watch, and has a date and automatic feature, a non-fussy watch in my opinion. The recent going price is around 1400 USD I think with box and papers, and less without it. For those who just ventured into luxury watches, this is one of the first watch I would recommend getting. Or for those with smaller wrists, such as I, and for those who wants an affordable chronograph without paying twice the price for a Speedmaster pro.

Oh of course, like every other speedmasters in Omega’s line up, you can get a ton of combination with this watch, and there is also a “triple-date” version. with all that option, I think you can definitely get one that suits your fancy! Oh they also come in different metals too, steel, combination, and gold.

Thanks for reading!
 

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