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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was looking at the Speedy's on the Omega site and took me a while to notice the difference in the movements.

Seems like the 1863 is just a "pretty" version of the 1861, so the watch comes with a clear case back. Kind of cool, since you can see the balance spring spinning and gears working, as well as the action of the buttons on the movement.



At the same time, you lose the metal case back with the engraving stating it is flight certified by NASA.



Both come with the special box and straps.

So, I ask you, if you had a choice between these two, which would you choose and why?
 

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1863.
Not only because of clear back case, but additionally because of non scratching sapphire crystal on the dial with AR coating.

Now a lot of purists will tell you that only 1861/ hesalite version was on the Moon. If you are into NASA history, forget my opinion
 

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1863.
Not only because of clear back case, but additionally because of not scratching sapphire crystal on the dial with AR coating.

Now a lot of purists will tell you that only 1861/ hesalite version was on the Moon. If you are into NASA history, forget my opinion
Mind you, referring to the 1863 vs 1861 is only pertaining to the movements, NOT the crystal in front. The reason why I say this is while the 1863 is used in the modern "Sapphire Sandwich" Speedy Pro model it was also in the previous 3573.50 and 3572.50 Speedy Pro models. The 3573 had a sapphire crystal, but the 3572 had hesalite.

That being said, the 1863 also has a metal brake vs the plastic or delrin part that's in the 1861. Supposedly the plastic piece is supposed to work better, but some think it was a purely economical decision.

But to answer your question, while I love the history of the Speedy Pro I'm also quite vain and like looking at awesome movements so the new Sapphire Sandwich all the way!
 

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1861....there is only one moonwatch...
 

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There are two differences between the 1861 and 1863 movements. The 1863, as has been pointed out, has a metal brake rather than a Delrin brake. Delrin is an acetal homopolymer that Omega incorporated into the standard movement to reduce the wear inherent with metal to metal contact. When Omega added the sapphire display back, a "plastic" brake would have been rather conspicuous so Omega returned to the metal brake for display back models.

The other difference is the addition of "Geneva waves" to the 1863.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There are two differences between the 1861 and 1863 movements. The 1863, as has been pointed out, has a metal brake rather than a Delrin brake. Delrin is an acetal homopolymer that Omega incorporated into the standard movement to reduce the wear inherent with metal to metal contact. When Omega added the sapphire display back, a "plastic" brake would have been rather conspicuous so Omega returned to the metal brake for display back models.

The other difference is the addition of "Geneva waves" to the 1863.
Aaaah. Thanks for the info.

The question remains, which would you choose?
 

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I already picked up a vintage Speedy, but if I was adding a new one to the stable I'd get the sapphire sandwich and admire the movement as often as possible.
 

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If anyone has a definitive comparison picture of both movements, that would be helpful! I also thought long and ahard about it and i just completely disliked how the saphire front looked. That milky ring is really not my thing. I must say I have no regrets. You can install aftermarket see through case backs by the way! Making it hesalite front and saphire back.

Also the 'plastic' brake is in no way ugly... You have to be pretty stuborn to think the plastic brake ruins the view of the 1861 imo


Sent from my mobile
 

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I opted for the 1861 solely for the history associated with the classic look. I also knew I was going to wear my Speedy, a lot, and the sapphire caseback would be wasted on my wrist!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I had an 1863 in sapphire sandwich iteration, but sold it and got the 1861. Hesalite gives it a look I favor more on the Speedy.
 

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The question remains, which would you choose?
I'm a big fan of display backs as evidenced by these four that I owned at one time:





Left to right: Cal. 321, 861, 863, and 1863.

The manual wind Lemania movement is a work of mechanical art that begs to be seen. As someone once said, "A Speedy Pro with a display back is like owning two watches."

But I have two problems with the 3573.50 display back model (OMEGA Watches: Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional 42.mm - Steel on steel - 3573.50.00) which has now been discontinued. The first is the "gray halo" apparent adjacent to the bezel and the second is the engraving on the case back "The First And Only Watch Worn on the Moon." The Speedy Pro was indeed the first watch worn on the moon but it is not the only watch.

Although the 3573.50 has been discontinued, some are still available in the distribution pipeline and your missus knows whom to call. ;-)

You might even look out for a pre-owned 3572.50 which has the hesalite (no halo) crystal and correct wording on the case back.

As to which I would own between the current models, I would go with the steel back as it is truer to the moon watch. There is a source for aftermarket display backs should you desire to view the movement.

My current, and only, Speedy Pro is the First Omega in Space. It has a steel back and sapphire crystal which is contrary to my stated preference. I chose it because of its vintage look and my desire to commemorate Schirra's Sigma 7 Mercury flight with this custom back:





But you can't go wrong whatever Speedy Pro you choose. No other watch has its history and mystery. No serious watch collection is complete without (at least) one.
 

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I bought an 1863 and have never regretted it for a second.

Sent from my SGP311 using Tapatalk
 

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I would say caliber 863, the one on the 3592.50. IMHO the gilt movement looks better than the rhodium on the 1863.
I totally agree, although the early 3572's also came with the 863 gilt/gilded movement. And to make things even more confusing the 863 transitioned from 17 to 18 jewels at some point and sometimes the lettering of "Seventeen Jewels" and "Eighteen Jewels" on the bridge wasn't correct. Nothing like transitional parts bin specials!
 

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I totally agree, although the early 3572's also came with the 863 gilt/gilded movement. And to make things even more confusing the 863 transitioned from 17 to 18 jewels at some point and sometimes the lettering of "Seventeen Jewels" and "Eighteen Jewels" on the bridge wasn't correct. Nothing like transitional parts bin specials!
They're the best kind!
 

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I totally agree, although the early 3572's also came with the 863 gilt/gilded movement. And to make things even more confusing the 863 transitioned from 17 to 18 jewels at some point and sometimes the lettering of "Seventeen Jewels" and "Eighteen Jewels" on the bridge wasn't correct. Nothing like transitional parts bin specials!
Indeed they did, here is my 3572.50 with the 863 movement.

 

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Answering the OP not by 1861 vs 1863 but more of 3570 vs 3573 (let's leave 3572 for this), I'd take 3570. Just can't get past the milky ring on 3573.

Have to admit I like the Geneva waves on 3573 but I look at the watch dial (for time) 98% of the time leaving just 2% on the back so I value hesalite more than Geneva waves, hence my choice for 3570.

For the OP, given that a sapphire caseback can be purchased and fit onto 3570, while swapping sapphire for hesalite cannot be done (yet?), the key consideration might very well be narrowed down to Hesalite vs Geneva waves.
 

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Slightly away from the subject.
For those who hope to wear Speedmaster in old age: will you have strength to wind it daily and to rub the crystal with Polywatch?
 

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Slightly away from the subject.
For those who hope to wear Speedmaster in old age: will you have strength to wind it daily and to rub the crystal with Polywatch?
If I can't wind a watch anymore and am unable to use Polywatch, I'll pass the watches on to my kids and start considering a nursing home for myself. Preferably in Geneva, with a view of the Rolex HQ :)
 
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