The New Speedmaster For The 21st Century
Unboxing Review: Omega Speedmaster X-33 Skywalker Solar Impulse [3220.127.116.11.03.001]
Initially, when opening the box for the Omega X-33 Skywalker Solar Impulse [318.104.22.168.03.001]. I was a little apprehensive: this, is a quartz movement watch, from a company that increasingly wants to be seen as a truly luxury brand, by making more mechanical watches. The bright green and blue colours are strong and catch the eye, but lacks a little sophistication in my option. But over time it’s a design that has really grown on me.
You Can Buy This Omega Speedmaster X-33 Skywalker Solar Impulse [322.214.171.124.03.001] Here.
The casing is built from dark looking grade 2 titanium with an excellent matte brush finish, which maintains its crispness around stylistic detailing, and reminds the wearer of its status as a tool watch. It is a comfortable 45mm wide with two buttons on either side of the face keeping multiple lines of strong symmetry.
The Omega Speedmaster X-33 Skywalker is a modern updated edition of the original. Where’s the Moonwatch contains relics of the 60’s with a manually wound movement, constructed of stainless steel and a hesalite crystal face. The contemporary X-33 Skywalker uses the vastly more accurate ‘Omega calibre 5619’, a quartz TCXO (temperature compensated quartz oscillator) movement. And modern updated materials, currently better suited to the job. It is built from a light and strong titanium variety, a sapphire crystal protects the dial of the ana-digi face, and has a scratch resistant brushed blue ceramic bezel. The watch has also had significant input from real astronauts like Jean-François Clervoy to give it the functions that astronauts require on a mission in space. And as such has enjoyed adoption by genuine aviators and astronauts alike.
This is not a watch built for the masses but a precision engineered piece built with a specific goal in mind. Some of the functions that it has are a ‘Mission Elapse Time Function’ (MET) which can tell astronauts how much time has passed or time remaining on their mission. Three time zones are set by calibrating the primary time at GMT + 0, and adding or subtracting time from this for the two secondary time zones. It also features:
- 24-hour time display
- Day of the year
- Date (perpetual calendar)
- Week of the year
- Chronograph (stopwatch)
- Count down timer
- 3 Phase Elapsed Times
- 3 Alarms
- Energy saving setting
- And backlighting for excellent dial legibility
The X-33 Skywalker Solar Impulse watch comes in a large matte black presentation box, with green accents, and a Solar Impulse badge emblazoned on the insert opposite the watch. The lightweight NATO strap follows this further, by taking its two shades of green and blue directly from the badge, to live on its wearer’s wrist.
The watch keeps focus on its goal and is rated as 30m water-resistant. This is not a diving watch and was not designed to come anywhere near water, but instead to endure the vacuum of space. The ESA have measured the watch’s performance in a laboratory vacuum chamber, in temperatures ranging from -45°C to 75°C (228°K to 348°K). An environment that would be unlikely for any astronaut to ever endure. And a centrifuge to subject it to the high levels of g-force that astronauts will need to endure during take-off.
The solid case back protrudes out of the base of the watch more than you would initially expect. This is due to the location of the alarms vents being on the back of the watch as to keep it concealed from view, and to not impede the projection of its audible alarm.
The Bi-Directional Rotating bezel is a ceramic blue that matches the NATO strap well with Arabic numerals and indexes in green emission Super-Luminova. On the first ledge under the sapphire crystal dial are sub-second markers in white, contrasting with its green background. On the next rim are running second markers being broken up by subtracted hour indicators. Again all printed in white but on a matte blue background.
The face is constructed of three horizontal LCD lines, a green tipped seconds hand, and white-tipped minute and hour hands. With the Omega Speedster Professional’s signature between the centre and three o’clock hour indicator.
Ultimately the Speedmaster X-33 Skywalker (Solar Impulse) is a success in that it’s created for real astronauts and pilots as a useful tool that they will want to use without compromisations, other than as an expensive gimmick. It was created for a very specialised environment that few people will venture into. The watch is a rare glimpse of the future of watches, and their part in the exotic affair of space exploration.
This watch, the ‘Omega Speedmaster X-33 Skywalker Solar Impulse’ is a limited edition of only 1924 pieces.
Buy the Solar Impulse edition here from our shop while stock lasts at a discounted price (ref. 3126.96.36.199.03.001 Solar Impulse).
Or buy the standard edition with a titanium Oyster strap from our shop here. (ref. 3188.8.131.52.01.001)
|Series||Speedmaster Skywalker X-33|
|Model Number||3184.108.40.206.03.001 Solar Impulse|
|Clasp||Push Button Folding Clasp|
|Crystal||Anti-Reflective Scratch Resistant Sapphire|