The dynamic member of Omega's iconic Speedmaster collection, the Racing Chronograph, is under the spotlight with its pros and cons.
It's one heck of a long name, huh? I call it the Omega Speedmaster “Panda”. And yes, it is because of its well-known opponent, Panda. Well, let's see if it make the best of its nickname, shall we?
Omega Speedmaster Collection is one of the legendary series of traditional luxury watchmaking industry with a long history. Nowadays, the Omega Speedmaster models are considered to be among the strongest players in their category thanks to the brands maximized research and development processes providing much more appealing designs and technological features. The Speedmaster Racing Collection, a timeless model family, is introduced once again to the likes of watch enthusiasts with contemporary designs and cutting-edge technology.
The model we have here offers a pretty bold wrist presence with its 44.25mm diameter and 16.25mm height. The largish dimensions boost the sporty character of the watch while taking away some of the elegance. I wish it was a tad smaller, without chancing any other spec of course. The case is equipped with scratch resistant sapphire crystals on both sides that increase the total thickness of the case with their raised form. This is also one of the details that I do not like. The model is water resistant to 50 meters. Although this figure seems less for a sporty model, the increase in pressure resistance brings some ergonomic problems. Therefore, I can give up waterproofing for the sake of having non-screw type chronograph pushers and a sapphire crystal display case back. The black ceramic bezel with tachymetre scale immediately attracts attention.
Bi-Compax Chronograph lay-out and the orange accents used in a healthy dose deserve appreciation in the dial side. The green Super LumiNOVA phosphor material applied hands and indices are also exceedingly successful for a timepiece in this segment. I have to admit that the gray tone surrounding the chronograph sub-dials, indices and hands has contributed tremendously to the general appeal of the model. The harmony between the white dial and white background date disk approves the design deparment has successfully fulfilled its mission.
The model is powered by the manufacture Caliber 9900. METAS certified self-winding chronograph movement offers 60 hours power reserve when fully wound and is magnetically shielded up to 15.000 Gauss. I wish the chronograph pushers have a softer feel, but I do not think that this is of great importance to the end user. The lucky minority will have the privilage to enjoy the movement through the sapphire crystal display case back.
The bracelet that comes with the watch is visually satisfactory, but there are some problems with the solid feel side. The links that are not securely tied up to each other and the soft closing feel of the clasp are the facts that reduce the high-quality perception. Even though it is unimportant for some, one can wonder why Omega did not offer a better design as there are obviously better ones out there. On the other hand, the same model with black leather strap and folding buckle can be considered as an attractive option.
Let's get to the "Panda" part. As you know, contrasting black sub-dials on white background style dials are called Panda in the world of watches. Leaving the obvious king aside, I think Omega Speedmaster Racing Co-Axial Master Chronometer Chronograph 44,25mm is a decent option to be in the shopping list with its very high material quality, a high level of mechanics, effortless availability and a price tag that has not sky rocketed yet.