The difference between those eight sub-references could be minimum, so we’ll do the best we can to break them down for you.The first 2998, 2998-1, could be virtually identical to some of those 2915-3’s made in the very same season — 1959. We now see, universally, the “foundation 1000” script on a black bezel. Gone will be the broad arrow and minute hands, and in their place are alpha hands. Everything you might see in the 2998-1, however, is is the squat, oval-like “O” in Omega, though that’s not crucial for the 2998-1. The sub-register hands stay “alpha” formed in the 2998-1. In reference 2998-2 we keep the Base 1000 bezel, the alpha hands for the two hours and minutes and sub-registers, but no longer should we see that an oval shaped “O.” The hands and dial stay the same for its reference 2998-3, only we lose the “Base 1000” bezel to be substituted by a “Tachym��tre 500” bezel.By 2998-5, we absolutely see stick sub-register hands, a “Base 500” bezel, a round “O” in Omega on the dial. We retain the crown-guard-less symmetrical case, also applied Omega symbol, and the watch remains relatively static for reference 2998-6, -61, and 62 — the latter two sub-references suggesting year of production.The 2998, with its own black bezel and alpha palms, set the stage for its Speedmaster that we know now. Additionally, it is with this reference the connection to space begins to take shape. Astronaut Wally Schirra made his historic voyage aboard the Mercury Atlas 8 mission in October of 1962 wearing a reference 2998.
WatchPro looks at the significant and obscure Speedmasters that Omega has launched over the past 60 years.
The 1957 Speedmaster Broad Arrow was one of three Omega debuts that year (the Railmaster and the Seamaster 300 were the other two). All three watches were high-precision timepieces designed for professional assignments and offered similar performance and aesthetic features with black dials, very robust cases and stainless steel bracelets.
The 1959 Speedmaster ref. CK 2998 was the first Omega to reach space, when astronaut Walter Schirra wore the watch during the ‘Sigma 7’ mission of the Mercury Programme in 1962. Schirra had purchased the watch for his own use, but two and a half years later, the Speedmaster would be officially certified by NASA for all manned-missions, launching it into history.
For well over half a century, the Omega Speedmaster has witnessed events that have tested the limits of physical endurance and human courage, including the first manned lunar landing in July of 1969 and every one of NASA’s piloted missions since March of 1965. This is the watch that is commonly known as the Moon Watch.
Omega made a very limited number of stainless steel split chronograph prototypes as part of its Alaska IV project. These digital wristwatches with day, date and month, made for the NASA Shuttle were signed Omega, Speedmaster, Professional, Quartz, Alaska IV Model.
Omega celebrated the 50th anniversary of the caliber 321 movement in 1992 with a gold commemorative model limited to 999 units with a caliber 863 movement and an additional 250 units housing the caliber 864 chronometer version of the same movement.
Omega made its first watch for the original NASA Apollo Soyuz mission in 1975, and marked anniversary years of the mission several times, including this 2010 model made 35 years after the first American/Russian project.