With the likes of amazing pictures from the James Webb Space Telescope, private space exploration and NASA’s DART Mission just last night, space nerdery is going mainstream. And Omega is bringing you more cool science-non-fiction with a new watch that tracks time zones on Earth and on Mars.
Long the official watchmaker of NASA, Omega famously outfitted its many missions including those to the Moon with the likes of the Speedmaster Moonwatch, but the new Speedmaster X-33 Marstimer was made in partnership with the European Space Agency.
Yes, the Omega Speedmaster X-33 Marstimer is also in Omega’s Speedmaster collection, but it lives within the sub-collection referred to as “Instruments.” Whereas the Moonwatch is a traditional chronograph featuring a manually wound mechanical movement, the Instruments Speedmasters feel like the kind of watch a modern astronaut would wear — though they have a bit of a retro-futuristic aesthetic, with a design dating to the 1998.
Like other watches in the collection, which include multiple variations of the X-33 (as well as the Spacemaster Z-33), the Marstimer operates on a highly accurate, thermocompensated quartz movement powering an analog-digital (“anadigi”) display. Its case is appropriately made of lightweight titanium and measures 45mm, keeping it relatively wearable for your day-to-day missions on Earth. Its new ochre-colored bezel distinguishes it within the collection and has a cool look as well.
In addition to the functionality found on other Omega Speedmaster X-33 Marstimer watches, such as various timers, alarms and a perpetual calendar, the Marstimer can also track time on Mars. With a day that’s 39 minutes longer than on Earth, that requires some totally different horological calculations (which has even been accomplished in a mechanical watch, as well).
The announcement feels well timed to piggyback on enthusiasm after the DART Mission. Last night, in case you missed it, earthlings were transfixed as NASA live-streamed a test of its planetary defense technology in which it dramatically crashed a satellite into an asteroid. It was a successful simulation of how we might deal with a giant space rock threatening collision with Earth. I mean, c’mon, even if you’re not a space nerd, that’s pretty incredible.
Omega acknowledges that a manned mission to Mars is still years away and that a watch like this is of more use to Earth-bound scientists. But, like other functions on watches that you’ll never use (from moon phase displays to helium escape valves) there’s also a strong cool factor for us civilian geeks. And though it’s not yet available for purchase online, the Omega Speedmaster X-33 Marstimer can be yours for $6,400, and it comes on a titanium bracelet with a NATO strap included.