Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial: A Comprehensive Guide

by Barbara Wilson

In the world of horology, few watches hold as much historical significance and technical innovation as the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial. Renowned for its association with space exploration, this timepiece is not only a symbol of precision and performance but also an iconic representation of human achievement. This comprehensive guide will take you on a journey through the history, features, design, limited editions, maintenance, and popularity of the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial.


I. The History of the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial

The Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial is a significant evolution of the iconic Omega Speedmaster line, known for its association with space exploration and its enduring popularity among watch enthusiasts. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the history of the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial:


1. The Speedmaster Legacy: The Omega Speedmaster was introduced in 1957 as a chronograph watch designed for motorsports. Its robustness, precision, and legibility quickly caught the attention of professionals and enthusiasts alike.


2. Moonwatch Legacy: The Speedmaster achieved global recognition in 1969 when it became the first watch worn on the moon during NASA’s Apollo 11 mission. This historic achievement solidified the Speedmaster’s status as the “Moonwatch.”


3. Evolution of the Co-Axial Escapement: Omega introduced its Co-Axial escapement technology in the late 1990s as a significant advancement in watchmaking. This innovative escapement improved the efficiency of the movement and contributed to enhanced accuracy and reduced friction.

4. Introduction of the Speedmaster Co-Axial: The Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial was officially introduced in the early 2000s, marking the incorporation of the Co-Axial escapement into the iconic Speedmaster line.

5. Enhanced Performance: The Co-Axial escapement in the Speedmaster Co-Axial offered improved timekeeping precision, reduced friction and wear, and extended service intervals compared to traditional Swiss lever escapements.

6. Broadening the Speedmaster Range: Omega expanded the Speedmaster Co-Axial range to include various models, materials, and complications, catering to a diverse audience of watch enthusiasts and collectors.

7. New Calibers and Complications: Alongside the Co-Axial escapement, Omega introduced new in-house movements and complications to the Speedmaster Co-Axial lineup, further enhancing its desirability.

8. Notable Models: Notable iterations of the Speedmaster Co-Axial include models with features such as moon phase displays, chronograph functions, tachymeter scales, and various dial designs.

9. Ongoing Legacy: The Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial maintains the classic aesthetics of the original Moonwatch while incorporating modern technology and advancements in watchmaking.

10. Continuing Space Association: The Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial, while evolving, continues its legacy as a watch with space exploration heritage. It remains a preferred choice for astronauts and cosmonauts on missions to the International Space Station.

The history of the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial is a story of innovation, technological advancement, and the enduring legacy of the iconic Speedmaster line. The incorporation of the Co-Axial escapement into this legendary watch added a new chapter to its history, ensuring that the Speedmaster Co-Axial remains a coveted timepiece for watch enthusiasts and a symbol of Omega’s commitment to excellence in horology.

II. The Features of the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial

The Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial offers a range of features and complications that enhance its functionality and desirability. While maintaining the iconic Speedmaster design, the Co-Axial versions incorporate modern technology and innovations. Here’s a closer look at the features and complications found in the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial:

1. Chronograph Function: The chronograph function is a hallmark of the Speedmaster line. It allows users to measure elapsed time intervals with precision using the chronograph pushers and subdials on the watch’s dial.

2. Tachymeter Scale: The tachymeter scale is typically found on the bezel or dial and allows wearers to calculate speed based on time. This feature is particularly useful for measuring the speed of moving objects.

3. Co-Axial Escapement: The Co-Axial escapement, developed by George Daniels and introduced by Omega, is a key innovation in the Speedmaster Co-Axial. It improves timekeeping accuracy, reduces friction, and increases the movement’s longevity.

4. In-House Movements: Many Speedmaster Co-Axial models are equipped with Omega’s in-house movements, which are meticulously crafted and assembled to ensure accuracy and reliability.

5. Moon Phase Complication: Some Speedmaster Co-Axial models feature a moon phase complication, adding an additional layer of functionality and aesthetic appeal. The moon phase display tracks the moon’s phases as they occur in the night sky.

6. Date Complication: Several Speedmaster Co-Axial models include a date complication, which displays the date of the month on the watch’s dial.

7. Power Reserve Indicator: Some models feature a power reserve indicator, showing how much energy is left in the watch’s mainspring before it needs to be wound or worn.

8. Sapphire Crystal Caseback: Many Speedmaster Co-Axial models have a sapphire crystal caseback, allowing wearers to admire the movement’s intricate details and craftsmanship.

9. Superluminova Luminescence: Luminescent markers and hands coated with Superluminova ensure optimal legibility in low-light conditions.

10. Water Resistance: While not a complication, the Speedmaster Co-Axial often offers a respectable level of water resistance, making it suitable for various activities, including water sports.

11. Anti-Magnetic Properties: Some Speedmaster Co-Axial models incorporate anti-magnetic materials and components to enhance the watch’s resistance to magnetic fields, which can affect timekeeping accuracy.

The Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial is equipped with a range of features and complications that enhance its versatility and performance. Whether it’s the classic chronograph function, the innovative Co-Axial escapement, or additional complications like moon phase displays and power reserve indicators, each feature adds to the watch’s functionality and allure. The Speedmaster Co-Axial continues to uphold the legacy of the Speedmaster line while embracing modern watchmaking technology.

III. The Design of the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial

The design of the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial pays homage to the classic and iconic aesthetics of the original Speedmaster while incorporating modern elements that enhance its overall appeal. This blend of timeless design and contemporary features has contributed to the enduring popularity of the Speedmaster Co-Axial. Here’s a closer look at the design elements that define the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial’s classic and timeless look:

1. Iconic Moonwatch Aesthetics: The Speedmaster Co-Axial maintains the distinct design elements that have made the Moonwatch iconic, including the black dial, white hour markers, and the familiar “lollipop” seconds hand.

2. Tachymeter Scale and Subdials: The tachymeter scale on the bezel and the subdials on the dial are quintessential Speedmaster features. They not only enhance the watch’s functionality but also contribute to its dynamic and balanced design.

3. Stainless Steel Case: The Speedmaster Co-Axial often features a stainless steel case that embodies the rugged and robust spirit of the original Moonwatch. The case design has a solid and substantial feel on the wrist.

4. Hesalite or Sapphire Crystal: Some models of the Speedmaster Co-Axial come with a Hesalite crystal, reminiscent of the original Moonwatch. Others feature a sapphire crystal, providing improved scratch resistance and a clear view of the dial.

5. Chronograph Pushers and Crown: The chronograph pushers and crown maintain the familiar placement and shape of the original Speedmaster, adding to the watch’s recognizable aesthetics.

6. Co-Axial Logo: The presence of the Co-Axial logo on the dial is a subtle nod to the technological innovation within the movement. This logo underscores Omega’s commitment to watchmaking excellence.

7. Luminescent Markers and Hands: Superluminova-coated hour markers and hands ensure optimal legibility in low-light conditions, staying true to the functional aspects of the Speedmaster.

8. Bracelet and Straps: The Speedmaster Co-Axial is available on a stainless steel bracelet or various strap options, allowing wearers to personalize the watch to their style and comfort.

9. Moonwatch Heritage: The Speedmaster Co-Axial continues the legacy of the Speedmaster line’s association with space exploration. The Moonwatch design and heritage resonate with those fascinated by space history.

10. Versatility: Despite its connection to space, the Speedmaster Co-Axial’s design is versatile enough to be worn in various settings, from casual to semi-formal occasions.

11. Understated Elegance: The Speedmaster Co-Axial achieves an understated elegance through its simple yet refined design elements, making it a versatile choice for watch enthusiasts with different style preferences.

The design of the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial blends classic elements with modern updates, resulting in a watch that pays tribute to its iconic heritage while embracing the present. Its enduring design, combined with its association with space exploration and horological innovation, cements the Speedmaster Co-Axial’s status as a classic and timeless timepiece.

IV. The Limited Editions of the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial

Omega has released a variety of limited editions of the Speedmaster Co-Axial, each offering unique features, design elements, and exclusivity. These limited editions pay tribute to historical events, iconic individuals, and significant milestones in both horology and space exploration. Here’s a look at some notable limited editions of the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial:

1. Omega Speedmaster “Dark Side of the Moon” Series:

This series pays homage to the Apollo 8 astronauts who orbited the dark side of the moon. The watches feature black ceramic cases and dials, creating a striking and modern appearance.

2. Omega Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” Editions:

These editions celebrate the prestigious Silver Snoopy Award given by NASA to Omega for its contributions to space exploration. The watches feature a whimsical depiction of Snoopy on the dial, highlighting Omega’s role in space history.

3. Omega Speedmaster “Apollo 11 50th Anniversary” Edition:

Released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, this edition features a unique bezel made from a combination of Moonshine gold, ceramic, and a laser-engraved lunar footprint.

4. Omega Speedmaster “Tokyo 2020” Olympics Edition:

Created for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, this edition features the Tokyo 2020 logo on the subdial and an intricate blue ceramic bezel. It reflects Omega’s role as the Official Timekeeper of the Olympics.

5. Omega Speedmaster “Ultraman” Edition:

Inspired by the Japanese television show “Ultraman,” this edition features an orange seconds hand and the character’s emblem on the subdial, appealing to both watch collectors and pop culture enthusiasts.

6. Omega Speedmaster “Racing” Editions:

These editions draw inspiration from the world of motorsports, with design elements reminiscent of racing dials and tachymeter scales. They often feature vibrant colors and distinctive subdial layouts.

7. Omega Speedmaster “Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award” Edition:

This edition commemorates the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 13 mission. It showcases Snoopy in a spacesuit on the dial, along with the words “Eyes on the Stars,” recognizing Omega’s contribution to space exploration.

8. Omega Speedmaster “Alaska Project” Edition:

Inspired by the prototype designed for NASA’s lunar missions, this edition features a unique red-anodized aluminum outer case, which helps regulate the watch’s temperature in extreme conditions.

9. Omega Speedmaster “Grey Side of the Moon” Editions:

These editions offer variations of the “Dark Side of the Moon” series with different color schemes, showcasing Omega’s exploration of various ceramic materials and finishes.

10. Omega Speedmaster “Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition”:

This special edition, limited to 1,014 pieces, pays tribute to the Apollo 11 mission with a unique design featuring an Earth-inspired blue and gray dial and an engraved caseback.

These limited editions of the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial capture the brand’s commitment to innovation, history, and design. They cater to collectors, enthusiasts, and those seeking a special piece of horological and space history. The exclusivity of these editions adds to their appeal and collectibility within the watch community.

V. The Maintenance and Care of the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial: Tips for Longevity

Proper maintenance and care are crucial to ensuring the longevity, accuracy, and optimal performance of your Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial watch. By following these tips, you can help preserve the beauty and functionality of your timepiece for years to come:

1. Regular Wearing: Regularly wearing your Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial helps keep the movement lubricated and prevents the watch from sitting idle for extended periods.

2. Winding the Watch: If your Speedmaster Co-Axial is an automatic model, wear it regularly to keep the movement running. If the watch has stopped, gently wind the crown a few times to start the movement.

3. Avoid Extreme Conditions: Protect your watch from extreme temperatures, magnetic fields, and shocks, as these factors can affect its accuracy and overall performance.

4. Servicing Intervals: Omega recommends servicing your Co-Axial watch every 5 to 8 years, depending on usage and conditions. Regular servicing ensures that the movement remains accurate and functions properly.

5. Professional Servicing: When it’s time for servicing, entrust your watch to an authorized Omega service center or a qualified watchmaker who specializes in luxury timepieces.

6. Water Resistance Checks: If your Co-Axial model is water-resistant, have its water resistance checked regularly by professionals to ensure its continued protection against water ingress.

7. Avoid Direct Sunlight and UV Exposure: Extended exposure to direct sunlight and UV rays can cause fading of the dial, bezel, and other components. Store your watch in a cool, dry place when not in use.

8. Cleaning and Polishing: Use a soft microfiber cloth to gently wipe away dust and fingerprints from the watch’s exterior. For a deeper clean, use a soft brush and a mild soap and water solution. Avoid abrasive materials.

9. Bracelet and Strap Care: Clean metal bracelets and straps with a soft brush and mild soapy water. For leather straps, avoid exposure to water and moisture to prevent damage.

10. Avoid Chemicals and Acids: Avoid contact with chemicals, solvents, and acids, as they can damage the watch’s finish, seals, and movement components.

11. Store Properly: Store your watch in a watch box or pouch to protect it from dust and scratches when not in use.

12. Avoid Sharp Impacts: Protect your watch from sharp impacts that could cause damage to the case, crystal, or movement.

13. Regular Use of Automatic Watch Winders: If you own multiple watches, consider using a watch winder to keep your automatic Co-Axial watch running and properly wound.

By following these maintenance tips, you can enjoy the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial’s exceptional performance and aesthetics while ensuring that your investment remains in optimal condition for years to come. Always remember that proper care and attention contribute to the longevity and value of your timepiece.

VI. The Popularity of the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial

The popularity of the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial is a testament to its timeless design, rich heritage, innovative technology, and association with space exploration. Its appeal extends to both watch enthusiasts and the general public, making it one of the most sought-after and iconic timepieces in the world. Here’s a closer look at the factors that contribute to the popularity and widespread appeal of the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial:

1. Space Exploration Heritage: The Speedmaster’s historical significance as the first watch worn on the moon during NASA’s Apollo 11 mission in 1969 has created a powerful connection to space exploration and a sense of adventure.

2. Iconic Design: The classic and recognizable design of the Speedmaster Co-Axial, inspired by the original Moonwatch, resonates with watch enthusiasts and collectors who appreciate its enduring aesthetics.

3. Co-Axial Escapement: The inclusion of the Co-Axial escapement showcases Omega’s commitment to innovation and technical excellence, enhancing the watch’s accuracy, efficiency, and longevity.

4. Versatility: The Speedmaster Co-Axial’s design is versatile, allowing it to be worn in various settings, from formal occasions to casual outings.

5. High-Quality Craftsmanship: Omega’s reputation for craftsmanship and precision ensures that the Speedmaster Co-Axial is built to the highest standards, offering a superior ownership experience.

6. In-House Movements: The use of in-house movements highlights Omega’s dedication to creating reliable and high-performance calibers.

7. Limited Editions: Omega’s release of limited editions with unique themes, designs, and commemorations adds an element of exclusivity that appeals to collectors and enthusiasts.

8. Pop Culture References: The Speedmaster’s appearances in movies, TV shows, and media have contributed to its cultural significance and recognition.

9. Investment Potential: The Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial, especially limited editions, has gained a reputation for being a potential investment piece due to its desirability and historical significance.

10. Community and Collectibility: The Speedmaster community is strong and active, with enthusiasts and collectors sharing their passion for the watch, contributing to its popularity and sense of camaraderie.

11. Enduring Legacy: The Speedmaster Co-Axial continues the legacy of the original Moonwatch while embracing modern technology, ensuring that it remains relevant and sought-after by new generations.

12. Association with Excellence: Omega’s history of timekeeping excellence, combined with its contributions to space exploration, reinforces the brand’s association with prestige, quality, and achievement.

In conclusion, the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial’s popularity is a result of its captivating blend of history, design, innovation, and functionality. Its connection to space exploration, along with its iconic aesthetics and technical advancements, have made it a symbol of timeless style and horological achievement. The watch’s appeal transcends enthusiasts and resonates with individuals who value heritage, innovation, and the pursuit of excellence.


The Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial is not just a watch; it’s a symbol of human achievement, precision engineering, and enduring style. From its historical significance to its cutting-edge features, this timepiece has left an indelible mark on the world of horology. Whether you’re fascinated by space exploration, drawn to exceptional craftsmanship, or simply appreciate the beauty of a timeless design, the Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial is a testament to the heights that watchmaking can reach. As a companion for both everyday adventures and historic milestones, it stands as a true icon of timekeeping excellence.


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