Today Omega unveiled the latest offering from its iconic sports chronograph stable, the Super Racing Speedmaster. This thoroughbred features Omega’s latest technology for ultimate accuracy, the Spirate System that provides 0/+2 seconds of accuracy. The dial features the brand’s signature racing chapter ring and performance racing inspired honeycomb dial finish, housed in the tried and tested formula of the twisted lug case.
Omega likes to use the Speedmaster to surprise and delight in equal measure. In 2021 they launched a full-on celebration of 1940s chronos with the Chronoscope, with applied Arabic numeral hour markers, mid-20th century printed scale dial and leaf hands. The dial had what collectors refer to as a snail scale featuring all the “big three” scales: tachymeter, telemeter and pulsation. Then in 2022, we were given arguably the biggest launch of the past decade with the MoonSwatch. The quartz-driven bioceramic cased Speedy was super hot at launch, with a manic energy from buyers that stretched way beyond the normal confines of the watch-collecting community. As a side note, recently published figures by the FH illustrate that the near one million sales of MoonSwatches are the only reason that the Swiss watch export levels for 2022 increased by 0.3 percent from 2021. The point being that the Speedmaster is more than just another chrono from a brand. Anyway, back to the Super Racing…
The Super Racing is an expansion of Omega’s Master Chronometer series and is housed in a 44.25mm steel case that is 14.9mm thick. It still has the spirit of its three-register forefathers, but like racing cars that have things removed to make them lighter and therefore better performing, so Omega dropped a dial! The alternating minute track, that first appeared in 1968, is present on a new honeycomb dial with striking yellow accents. The centre seconds chronograph hand is gradiated yellow to grey and the small seconds hand is yellow and black striped. This isn’t the first time that this bold yellow palette has been used, it was used on the Seamaster Aqua Terra 15,000 Gauss watch from 2013. One touch that I love is the Speedmaster font date wheel in, naturally, bold yellow!
The serious business occurs beneath the hood with calibre 9920 Co-Axial Master Chronometer movement. This movement houses Omega’s latest chronometric marvel, the new patented Spirate System. Thanks to this one-of-a-kind mechanism, it is now possible for OMEGA to achieve the stated certified precision of 0/+2 seconds a day. Omega went back to the drawing board in developing this innovative solution with a totally new Si14 balance spring which allows the watchmaker to act on the stiffness of the hairspring’s attachment point through an adjustment mechanism located on the balance bridge.
Revolution Founder Wei Koh is totally blown away by the technology: “So, for the first time you have one of the greatest advances in hairspring technology. Instead of a traditional hairspring or even a silicon hairspring that has come into vogue over the last 15 years there is an all new design for a hairspring that Omega calls the Spirate. This watch has all the advantages of a free sprung balance. And in fact the first step of regulating it relates to addressing the balance wheel just as you work on a free sprung movement. But then you have on top of the transverse balance bridge a micro-adjuster that is capable of increasing or increasing the rate of the watch by 0.1 seconds which is an incredible level of finesse. How does it do that? Well, it actually effects the stiffness of the hairspring. However, this is not just kind of a regulator. Because the spiral features in all new geometry which incorporates a bladed spring into the shape of the spiral, it’s able to actually change the stiffness of the spiral which is a world first. In a watch with the regulator when you change the active length of the hairspring this is easily susceptible to shocks and changing the active length on the hairspring has little to no effect on the watch when amplitude is low. However, with the Spirate, the changing of stiffness affects the watch across all levels of mainspring torque.” Impressive!
The path to this new technology stretches back to 1999 when the Co-Axial escapement was invented by legendary Brithish watchmaker George Daniels. A key element of the Co-Axial Escepement’s success was thanks to the Si14 silicon balance spring that, despite being three times finer than a stand of human hair, is both super shock resistant and impervious to magnetic fields. This led to Omega’s first amagnetic watch in 2013 and then navigating the complex field to achieve a Master Chronometer rated watch in 2015. Now for 2023 the patent-pending Spirate System allows Omega to even more accurate and on time. Don’t believe me? You can see for yourself as the new Spirate System can be seen through the watch’s sapphire caseback!
Omega Speedmaster Super Racing
Movement: Cal 9920 Co-Axial Master Chronometer movement
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph
Case: 44.24mm in steel
Dial: Racing honeycomb dial with yellow accents
Bracelet: Steel bracelet and additional nato strap