The European Space Agency and Omega just announced a new Speedmaster X-33 model. You might be wondering, “Isn’t that a Skywalker?” and you wouldn’t be totally wrong, it has been designed in the mould of the Skywalker. This model is called the Marstimer because, you guessed it, it has something to do with the planet Mars.
How can you tell it has something to do with Mars? The red hue on the bezel of course!
It isn’t just the red bezel, though. There is an actual function that relates to Mars. This comes in the forms of an MTC function (Mars Time Coordinated) developed under an ESA patented license. A whole complication has to be added because, if you know your astronomy, you will know that Mars time is not the same as Earth time. A day on Mars is approximately 39-minutes and 35-seconds longer than an Earth day. Hence the MTC function takes into account this difference. In addition to the MTC function, there is also a solar compass because what happens if you get lost on Mars? How will you ever find your way back? All these functions are in addition to those already found on the Skywalker.
What is more interesting is that to make all these functions work, a new movement was required, the Omega 5622. This movement is a thermo-compensated movement tests and qualified by the ESA. It even says so on the caseback.
The rest of the watch is more typical. The case is the same size as the Skywalker X-33 at 45mm made from grade-2 titanium with a titanium bracelet as well.
The only thing that’s really new here, aesthetically, is the red hematitie colour bezel that is an anodized aluminium coloration meant to evoke the red sand of Mars. It’s also on the upper left pusher, and in a gradient on the second hand.
What you have to ask is, who is this for? We all know that Omega went to the moon (they will never shut up about it), but it’s not like this watch has actually gone to Mars, only that it will (probably) work on Mars. It doesn’t even seem to be aimed at the ultra-rich who might (in theory) be able to visit Mars given that it’s priced at just $6,400 USD. So who is this for?
A guess would be hobby astronomers but considering that the X-33 is quite popular amongst astronauts and space explorers it stands to reason that they will enjoy this the most (all 500 of them). But again, it’s not only useful for those actually in space, but those in mission control working on unmanned Mars mission. Still, how many people does that really encapsulate? Granted, this watch probably isn’t intended to appeal to the masses, but rather the select few who care about this kind of functionality.
In saying all that, it’s not like it is a bad looking watch. The red adds far more depth and intrigue to the watch to make it much prettier than regular X-33s. The added functionality is legitimate too considering it came from the ESA so maybe it will be given to those that actually might get use out of its added functions. For the rest of us, it’s a pretty watch with a few functions we may or may not use.
At A Glance
Model: Speedmaster X‑33 Marstimer Chronograph
Reference Number: 3188.8.131.52.01.003
Case Material: Grade-2 titanium
Dial Color: Black
Indexes: White markers
Water Resistance: 30m
Strap/Bracelet: Bracelet and NATO strap
For more Omega, check these limited edition James Bond watches on auction at Christie’s.
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