Say Hi to the Omega Speedmaster X-33. Introduced in 1998, this is one amazing watch. Omega literally flight (and crash) tested it with NASA and military pilots, experimenting with several design iterations before settling on and shipping two commercial versions. It was designed for pilots and space flight, and is rated by NASA for the mission to Mars. Without a doubt, this is one of the coolest and most interesting analog-digital watches ever made.
But of course, something this good just couldn’t last. Unfortunately, the X-33 was made unavailable to the general public last year, and now you can only buy them if you work for NASA, or you’re in the military. And if that weren’t enough, rumor has it that you need to assemble an order of ten or more at once.
Features of the Omega Speedmaster X-33 include:
- Titanium case and bracelet (for light weight).
- Domed anti-reflective sapphire crystal, coated on both sides.
- Omega quartz movement developed specifically for this watch (caliber 1666), temperature compensated, rated to ± 0.1 seconds per day.
- 26-month battery with low-power indicator.
- Water-resistant to 30 meters (about 100 feet).
- 80dB alarm — incredibly loud for use in a cockpit environment. (Finally, a watch that you could actually use for an alarm clock.)
- 8 lux backlight — practically flashlight-bright.
- 42.25mm diameter case.
- Day, date, stopwatch, GMT, and a countdown timer.
- Standard daily alarm, and a second programmable alarm.
- Mission elapsed time (up to 999 days).
- Mission time alarm.
- Shipped in a box covered with spacesuit material (nice touch).
- Bidirectional 120-click ratcheting bezel for timing with the analog hands.
- Luminescent “bezel pearl” for night visibility.
- LCD “stealth” mode. (Clean up the dial by turning off the curved LCD display.)
List price for the X-33 was about $2,600, and they show up on eBay and on watch forums every now and then for about $1,500 – $2,000, depending on their condition.
- The Omega X-33 Product Page.
- A Pilot’s Impression of the Omega X-33.
- Review of the Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33.
By Paul Hubbard