Lunar Speedmaster is the most unique watch in Omega series. On the one hand, the Omega Lunar Speedmaster has a history of entering the space and landing on the moon; on the other hand, the Lunar Speedmaster is a very rare hand-wound chronograph in the same class of Omega watches. . Veteran players will know that for a long time, Omega Speedmaster / Lunar Speedmaster and Patek Philippe both use the ‘same’ manual timing movement.
Astronauts wear Omega Lunar Speedmaster when they go to the moon.
Omega: From 1957 to 1968, Omega used the Omega 321 manual chronograph movement on the Speedmaster / Lunar Speedmaster chronograph.
Patek Philippe: Since the mid-1980s, the 3970 chronograph perpetual calendar and the 5970 chronograph perpetual calendar have used the Patek Philippe CH27 manual chronograph movement.
The Omega 321 movement and the Patek Philippe CH27 movement are actually the same movement. (Due to different brand positioning, polished and decorated movements, different structural details, but essentially the same movement). Except for Omega and Patek Philippe, which are both world-renowned watch brands, they have different positioning and different pricing. There seems to be no overlap. Why use the same movement, there is a story in it, everyone looks down.
Omega’s Speedmaster Chronometer (top) and Patek Philippe 3970 chronograph calendar (bottom) launched in 1957. They use essentially the same movement.
In 1930, in order to strengthen its strength, Omega and Tissot jointly established a watch group called SSIH and began to share technology and markets. This Omega and Tissot combined group is the predecessor of today’s Swatch Group. Two years later, Lemania, a well-known watch / movement maker, joined the group (Lemania is now a movement factory under Breguet), becoming an alliance of Omega, Tissot, and Lemania. After that, Omega and Lemania began to develop a new chronograph movement, project code CH27 C12. After technical research by Omega and Lemania, they were finally completed. Omega calls this movement the Omega 321 movement, and Lemania refers to the new movement as the Lemania 2310 movement. Because of the excellent performance, structure, and appearance of this new manual winding chronograph movement, major brands have begun to use it, including Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Vacheron Constantin. Among them, Patek Philippe further decorated and modified the movement to become the Patek Philippe CH27-70Q movement, which is used on the 3970 and 5970 chronograph calendars.
Omega 321 (top) and lemania2310 (bottom) are actually the same movement.
Although Omega was the developer of the 321 movement, in 1968, Omega stopped using this movement on the Lunar Speedmaster, replacing the 321 with a 861 manual winding movement (currently used on the Lunar Speedmaster on sale). It is an upgraded model of the 861 movement, the 1861 movement, which shows the historical inheritance and pedigree of the Omega Lunar Speedmaster). In 2011, Patek Philippe launched the self-made CH29 manual chronograph movement instead of the CH27 movement.
What kind of movement is the Omega 321?
The Omega 321 movement is a hand-wound movement that combines durability and beauty. When Omega and Lemania jointly developed this movement, the code was positioned as CH27, where 27 represents the movement size of 27 mm. The Omega 321 movement has a diameter of 27 mm and a thickness of 6.74 mm. Like today’s 7750 chronograph movement and El Primero chronograph movement, the dimensions are all 30 mm, so the Omega 321 movement is a relatively small chronograph movement.
Omega 321 movement, because the main plate of the movement is not rhodium-plated, so it shows a red copper color, which is also a major feature of the antique Omega movement. Has a high degree of recognition.
The Omega 321 movement uses the most traditional manual chronograph construction, uses column wheels to control, and uses horizontal clutches. The petal-shaped shape of the columnar wheel reduces the friction stroke of the lever movement when the chronograph starts / stops / returns to zero, and the chronograph operation feels smooth. At the same time, the shape of the cylindrical wheel is more beautiful. The horizontal clutch structure of the Omega 321 movement is also very classic and very beautiful. The running seconds wheel and the chronograph second wheel are meshed / disengaged by the clutch gear. The Y-shaped splint of the fixed chronograph second wheel and chronograph minute wheel has a very high recognition. Various levers, splints, and gears are intertwined and have a strong ornamental effect. It is precisely because of these characteristics (mainly beautiful) of the column wheel and the horizontal clutch that the top chronographs generally use a configuration combination of the column wheel and the horizontal clutch. This movement takes into account both performance and beauty, so all brands including Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet will use this movement one after another.
The Omega 321 movement uses 17 jewel bearings with a swing frequency of 18,000 times per hour and a power reserve of 44 hours. There are small seconds, 30 minutes, 12 hours, 3 small dials. Another technical detail is that the 321 movement uses an instantaneous minute chronograph hand, and every 60 seconds in the timekeeping, the minute chronograph hand jumps one grid to point to the next minute. Although in today’s chronographs, instantaneous minute chronograph hands are not uncommon, in the era of 321 movements, most chronograph minute chronograph hands are slowly crawling (referring to the minute chronograph hands moving slowly instead of Jump directly from 1 minute to 2 minutes).
Omega 321 movement
What is the difference between the Omega version and the Patek Philippe version.
Lemania2310, Omega 321, Patek Philippe CH27, although all are essentially a movement, but different brands, according to their own circumstances, have modified the movement. Someone made a special comparison between Omega 321 and Patek Philippe CH27. By marking different colors on the picture, it can be clearly seen that the structure of Omega 321 and Patek Philippe CH27 is different. The Omega 321 movement is mainly used on the Omega Lunar Speedmaster. The Lunar Speedmaster is a professional watch on the universe. It pays attention to performance and has a solid bottom cover. The movement takes performance and durability as the primary task. , 5970 chronograph perpetual calendar, 5070 chronograph. For positioning reasons, Patek Philippe has the Geneva mark and the current PP mark, plus a transparent bottom. The movement is most important to be beautiful and polished.
Patek Philippe CH27 movement (top) and Omega 321 movement (bottom). Although the two movements are essentially the same, pay attention to the differences in details.
From the comparison chart, we can clearly see that Patek Philippe changed the splint with a fixed second wheel and clutch size to an S shape, and Omega used a thick splint (pink part). Patek Philippe has made the splint and zero-reset lever of the fixed chronograph second wheel thinner, and Omega is thicker (green part). At the same time, Patek Philippe put a cap on the column wheel, and Omega kept the column wheel as it was. Patek Philippe has replaced the card-free fine adjustment weight balance. Omega uses the original fast and slow needles. The Omega Lunar Speedmaster and Patek Philippe 3970/5970 have different functional directions (the times are also different), so that there are two completely different versions of the same movement. very interesting. This also reflects the strong strength of Omega and Patek Philippe in their respective fields.
Omega 321 movement
Finally, I want to tell you something unexpected. Just yesterday, Omega announced that it will resume production of movement 321! This is also after OMEGA stopped using the 321 movement in 1968, after 51 years, restarted the 321 movement again. Omega said that in order to re-produce the 321 movement, the research and development team of Omega has secretly researched and developed for 2 years, and based on the last moon landing Super Speed 321 movement on the moon in 1972 as the model for the new generation of 321 movement design .
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the human landing on the moon, and also the 50th anniversary of the landing of the Omega Lunar Watch. Omega’s restart of the 321 movement will inevitably make a big deal and launch a new heavyweight watch. Let’s look forward to it.