One of the most interesting debuts from Omega in 2016 was the Speedmaster CK2998 Limited Edition, a throwback to their original reference 2998-1 from 1959. Omega designers borrowed some key design cues from the past, mixed with modern elements, to create a contemporary version of the 2998.
The Lance-shaped hands (Omega calls them “Alpha-shaped”) for the hours, minutes, and all three subdials, are from the original. Straight-lugs (versus twisted-lugs) also pay homage to the past model. Just as seen on the re-edition Speedmaster from 2013. Not to mention, there are no crown guards – another nod to the past models. A few more noteworthy retro features are the “lollipop” seconds hand, and the “BASE 1000” writing on the bezel. Having said that, the bezel is made of ceramic, unlike previous models that featured a black insert.
Surely appealing to collector and purist types, the case measures 39.7 mm x 14.37 mm. A box-type crystal sapphire crystal (with inside anti-glare treatment) protects the dial, with a solid screw down caseback. The caseback features a relief engraving of the original 1959 Seahorse medallion, with the word “SPEEDMASTER” above it, and the Alpha symbol underneath. The limited edition number “0000/2998” is engraved on the perimeter of the caseback, along with “CK2998.”
An evolution of caliber 861, this timepiece is powered by manually wound caliber 1861, which was used in the very first “Moonwatch.” The movement beats at 3Hz (21,600 vph), has 18 jewels, and a 48-hour power reserve.
Unlike its predecessors, this particular 2998 re-edition features an opaline silver dial with blue subdials and a blue minutes track, matching the ceramic bezel. This is, of course, a departure from original 2998s, and the result is a distinctive reverse-Panda aesthetic. Applied index mark the hours, along with a green-emitting lume dot for each. The rhodium-plated hands all have the luminescent material as well. Even the bezel features luminescent material.
Omega has done a good job making a retro-styled timepiece that has some of the flair of the coveted original 2998 (which includes 8 sub references), without directly copying it. And the price is relatively accessible at $5,500. The Omega Speedmaster CK2998 is a numbered limited edition of 2998 pieces. Presented with a matching blue leather strap with beige contrast stitching and a polished steel buckle. (Ref. CK2998)