Monday, March 23, 2015

Omega Announces New Ceramic Speedmasters For Well-To-Do Astronauts

When it comes to cool new materials, Apple has nothing on watchmakers. First announced in 2013, Omega has expanded its “Dark Side Of The Moon” line with two new ceramics – a gray and a white – and improved Super-LumiNova at the pips and indicators for legibility at night. The pieces, why decidedly low-tech when compared to smartwatches, are surprisingly high-tech in terms of materials science.
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The 44.25mm case is made of powered ceramic that is formed and heated to bond the material. The company then polishes the cases and engraves the numerals and markings with a laser. The bezel, interestingly, is made liquid metal, the same amorphous metal alloy used in many phone cases.
The watch model itself is famous for being the first watch worn on the moon, a distinction that was actually more accidental than Omega wants to admit. During preparation for the 1965 Gemini flights, NASA sent two engineers to a watch store to pick up a few potential timepieces to be worn by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon. After some testing it was found that the Speedmaster, then priced a heady $82, would survive the trip.
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These new models are following in the footsteps of other ceramic pieces from Chanel and other fashion houses and, ostensibly, you’re going to get a little better wear out of these things. I’d be surprised, in fact, if ceramic didn’t start making its way more actively to electronics over the next few years. As a watch lover I’m definitely intrigued by a watch that doesn’t scuff or scratch as readily as metal. Now for the unsurprising news: these pieces will set you back at least $10,000 which means you might be taking a Casio on your next moon walk.

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