The legendary OMEGA Speedmaster is one of the world’s most iconic timepieces, having played a role in all six lunar missions. Powering this stainless steel model is the famous Calibre 321, the driving force behind the chronograph’s extraordinary space history.
"As a further tribute to Speedmaster history, the Calibre 321 in steel includes the classic ‘Dot over 90’ on the bezel"
OMEGA Calibre 321
The 321 is still highly sought-after by collectors around the world. As a tribute to its enduring popularity, OMEGA undertook extensive research and reconstruction in a dedicated workshop. Now, more than 50 years on from its last wave of production, the Calibre 321 has been reborn, in-line with its original specifications.
Recreating a Legend
"Ask most watch fans to name a famous movement they’d like to own and you’re bound to hear them mention the OMEGA Calibre 321"
A descendent of the 27 CHRO C12, the enhanced chronograph movement, named in 1949, retained the intricate column-wheel feature popular with collectors. The 321 powered the Speedmasters qualified by NASA for use on all manned space missions and drove the chronographs worn by Apollo 11 astronauts.
Used between 1968 and 1997, the 861 had a number of modifications, including a flat balance-spring and the replacement of the column-wheel by a shuttle cam that offered even greater consistency. OMEGA also raised the frequency to 21,600 v/h to improve precision.
The natural evolution of the 861 used in many Moonwatch models, the Calibre 1861, made with rhodium plating for greater stability, retained the 861’s frequency and the same shuttle cam and Delrin® chronograph brake designed to preserve the teeth of the chronograph seconds wheel.
It took 4 years to produce a calibre that could perfectly match the dimensions of the 1861 and achieve Master Chronometer certification. Released in 2019, the 3861 improved on power reserve, performance and magnetic resistance and included OMEGA’s revolutionary Co-Axial escapement and silicon Si14 balance spring.
OMEGA worked for over two years and in total secrecy to bring the movement to life. Using the 2nd generation Calibre 321 as a reference, the expert team’s extensive historical research included the use of “tomography” (digital scanning) to see inside the Speedmaster worn by astronaut Eugene “Gene” Cernan during the Apollo 17 mission.