The smart replica Omega Spacemaster Z-33 (ref. 3126.96.36.199.01.001) and featuring stunning (although somewhat controversial) design, the new quartz-powered flight computer clearly belongs to the “love it or hate it” category. As you may have already guessed, the titanium-clad monster from outer space was first demonstrated in flesh earlier this month during Baselworld 2012 event. Here is our first “initial impressions”-style review on this beast.
Featuring much more elaborated finish (the case, which is crafted from hardened grade 5 titanium, boasts brushed, polished and even sand-blasted surfaces,) the case keeps the same proportions being, although it has become significantly larger. According to official specs, the new Spacemaster Z-33 is 53 millimeters long, 43 millimeters wide and almost 20 millimeters thick!
If you are more or less familiar with Omega’s “real” pilot’s watches, you will immediately notice that the generously proportioned body of the new Z-33 is based on the design that we have already seen on their c.910/c.911 series of watches that were in production in late 1960s and early 1970s.
As I have already noted, the timekeeper is powered by a quartz movement that offers just about all functionality that you can expect from an analog-digital caliber. Called Caliber 5666, the new thermo-compensated movement brings you two time zones, UTC time, alarm, perpetual calendar, chronograph, countdown timer and, of course, a log of 10 last flights.
Frankly, I am somewhat disturbed by the size of this thing: although Cheap replica Omega Spacemaster watch implies that this is a true pilot’s watch, which is supposed to be worn with a pressure suit and operated with gloved hands, I have a feeling (and the official water resistance rating of just 30 meters does nothing but reinforce it) that it will mostly be worn by desktop pilots and for many of them the piece is going to be prohibitively huge.
Since the ref. 3188.8.131.52.01.001 is not equipped with a photovoltaic element, the Swiss watchmaker tried to save some energy using a pair of red LCD displays with automatic luminosity control: the displays will dim in total darkness and will achieve maximum brightness under a sun. Must be very handy.
There only two problems with this watch. First, you can find the same functionality in a Japanese timekeeper that, while not looking as stylish and usually not equipped with a scratch-resistant, antireflective sapphire crystal, will cost you five to ten times less (Omega suggests to sell the digital chronograph at a minimum recommended street price of $5900): something to consider if you search for a tool watch. Second, you will never find a Japanese competitor with such a strong character that is sipping like hydrogen through every seam in its case (well, with its water resistance rating of just 30 meters I could actually say that it sips through like usual water, but that wouldn’t sound that cool, would it?)
It’s been years since Omega discontinued its (almost) legendary unique Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33 digital analog watch that directly competed against a similar model from Breitling. Finally, the Swiss made Omega copy watchmaker, which is mostly known for its diving timekeepers, has presented a totally reworked version of the piece.