Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Apollo 8 Baselworld 2018

Back in 2016, Omega released a whole new line of Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon and Grey Side of the Moon watches that their dedicated following would come to love and enjoy. This year at Baselworld, Omega released yet another Dark Side of the Moon for the Apollo 8 crew and upon looking closer, the similarities to the 2016 Dark Side of the Moon begin to fade and the familiarity to the original Moonwatch begin to shine. 
Omega DSOTM Apollo 8
The Dial
What makes this year's Dark Side of the Moon truly impressive and unique to the other Dark Sides is the beautiful dial created to represent the landscape of the moon's surface from our view from Earth. Up close you can see the textures of the moon with smooth and rough spots to represent the terrain . In some areas of the dial is left skeletonized so that we may appreciate the inner workings of the Calibre 1861 which leaves the 7 and 8 o'clock markers to appear "floating" as well as portions of the small seconds subdial at 9 o'clock and half of the 12 hour counter subdial at 6 o'clock.

From the side you can see the small seconds sub-dial is "orbiting" above the Moon's surface. 
Notice the 30 minute and 12 hour sub dials have a ripple-like wave texture that has incredible play on style & function. Style being that the ripple texture can be interpreted as the "stillness" or absence of life on the Moon, while function as being easily distinguishable from the small seconds sub-dial with the use of yellow hands and markers.

Black Ceramic Case

As with all the Dark Side of the Moon editions, the 44.25 mm case is created with black ceramic. Black ceramic being an interesting material for the Moonwatch to play into the romanticism of the literal Dark Side of the Moon and mysteriousness of space. On the functional side, this ceramic case is crafted from a single block of black zirconium oxide ceramic and is highly anti corrosive, scratch proof and harder.

Calibre 1869 Manual Wind Movement
This is where I believe most Moonwatch fans would come to love the DSOTM Apollo 8 separate from the other DSOTM that we saw in 2016 because it utilizes the famous 1861 calibre instead of the Co-Axial movement. The famous 1861 Calibre Rhodium can be dated back to 1997 (even earlier 861 dated to 1968) and has been used in a large variety of classic Moonwatches in previous years. However this Apollo 8's movement is being called the Calibre 1869 which is a blackened version of the original Calibre 1861. 

DSOTM Apollo 8 Calibre 1869

Original 1861 Calibre
Ref. 3570500

Apollo 13 Snoopy Silver Award Limited Edition

And even the new Speedmaster CK2998 "Panda" with Pulsations scale (will save for another blog) uses the original 1861.

Technical details

The underbelly of the DSOTM Apollo 8 is protected by a sapphire crystal which also allows for easy viewing of the beautiful movement. There are engravings of the words "APOLLO 8, DEC 1968" "WE'LL SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE" and "DARK SIDE OF THE MOON". The significance of the date and message is a reference to Jim Lovell's final words spoken to ground control just before the Apollo 8 team travelled to the far (dark) side of the moon. 

Tachymetre scale is also in black ceramic with contrasted yellow and white colored font. 

Additional details
Reference: 311.
Diamater: 44.25mm
Case Material: Black Ceramic
Dial Color: Black, skeletonized 
Crystal: Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides
Water Resistance: 5 bar (50 metres / 167 feet)
Between Lug width: 21 mm
Bracelet: Black leather strap with yellow contrast stitching 
Price: $9,750 USD
Delivery: August 2018

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