Omega pays tribute to the era of the Apollo missions with their Dark Side of the Moon series. The chronographs belong to the legendary Speedmaster collection. A large ceramic case, dark design, and the newest caliber technology define these watches.
44.25-mm case and black ceramic bezel
Chronograph with a tachymetric scale
Low-maintenance, precise Co-Axial caliber
Based on the famous Moonwatch
The All-Black Space Watch
The Swiss manufacturer Omega first presented the Dark Side of the Moon in 2013 at Baselworld. It is the modern successor to the famous Speedmaster Professional, the first watch to reach the Moon. Since then, it's become its own collection with many different models. The design of the Dark Side series is very similar to that of the original Moonwatch, but it forges its own path in terms of materials and technology.
The name of the series has many interpretations. Omega dedicated the Dark Side of the Moon to the astronauts who participated in the Apollo missions. The Apollo 8 mission in December 1968 plays a particularly special role in the naming of the series: It was the first time that humans saw the other side of the Moon with their own eyes. Space travel made this possible, as only one side of the Moon is visible from Earth. The Moon makes a full rotation on its axis in the time it takes to orbit the Earth one time. Scientists refer to this as synchronous rotation.
The crew of Apollo 8 hadn't truly uncovered new territory, however, as the Soviet space probe Luna 3 had already photographed the dark side of the Moon in 1959. Furthermore, the dark side of the Moon isn't truly dark; it also receives sunlight.
The phrase "dark side of the Moon" doesn't just refer to space. Mark Twain used it as a metaphor for the dark side of man, and music lovers know it as the name of the popular 1973 album by the British band Pink Floyd.
Omega leaves the doors open to interpretation with "Dark Side of the Moon." The watch has many qualities in common with the Speedmaster Professional, the official watch of the Apollo program. Both watches are chronographs and have a fixed bezel with a tachymetric scale, as well as a small seconds subdial at nine o'clock. Two push-pieces control the chronograph functions: starting, stopping, and resetting to zero. Furthermore, both timepieces are waterproof to 50 m (165 ft, 50 bar).
The watches do differ when it comes to case sizes, however. With a diameter of 44.25 mm, the Dark Side is 2 mm larger than the traditional Moonwatch. The case material is different, too. Instead of stainless steel, Omega used black ceramic for the Dark Side. Even the dial is made of this hard and scratch-resistant material.
A new, automatic, in-house movement, the 9300, powers the Dark Side watches. Unlike the manual 1861 movement, which powers the Speedmaster Professional, the 9300 caliber features a date display at six o'clock.
The Speedmaster Professional has two separate subdials for its minute and hour counters, while the Dark Side relies on a more unique approach: It features just one subdial with two hands for both the minutes and hours at three o'clock.
Are you looking for a watch which combines tradition and modern technology? The Dark Side of the Moon has the classic Speedmaster Professional look from the 1960s, but features new innovations such as a ceramic case and Co-Axial caliber. Black is the dominating color of this Speedmaster collection. If you're looking for a functional chronograph, the Dark Side is a good choice.
You can choose between various versions of the Dark Side. The Pitch Black (reference number 3184.108.40.206.01.004) is almost completely black, except for the light green numerals and index markers on the dial and bezel which are made of the luminous material Superluminova.
The Black Black (reference number 3220.127.116.11.01.005) is completely black and undoubtedly stylish. However, if you're looking for a watch that's easier to read during the day, then the Sedna Black (reference number 318.104.22.168.06.001) might be a better choice. It is all black except for its hands, indices, date display, and the bezel edge, all of which are made of Sedna gold, Omega's in-house red gold alloy. The Vintage Black (reference number 322.214.171.124.01.006) is black except for its brown indices and numerals. It features a brown leather strap, which gives the watch a vintage feel. If you don't find any of these versions particularly appealing, then perhaps the original Dark Side of the Moon (reference number 3126.96.36.199.01.003) would be a better option. Its color palette is also mostly black, but it has somewhat wider hands and indices which are filled with Superluminova. The hands on the subdials are made of 18-karat white gold.
A new Dark Side of the Moon costs around 7,000 to 8,000 euros. An exception is the Sedna Black, which runs around 10,000 euros due to its extensive use of red gold. Even more expensive is a special edition Dark Side of the Moon with a diamond-set bezel and diamond hour indices (reference number 3188.8.131.52.51.001), costing around 20,000 euros.
Increase in worth thanks to materials such as ceramic and gold
44-mm case for larger wrists
Relatively new model, increase in value expected
Modern alternative to the classic Speedmaster Professional
Cordura Straps and In-House Co-Axial Calibers
Omega pairs the base model of the Dark Side of the Moon and the Black Black version with a black Cordura strap. This material is more tear-resistant than nylon; it's used for belts, bags, and protective clothing for motorcyclists. The Pitch Black, Sedna Black, and diamond version all feature a black leather strap.
Sapphire glass protects the Dark Side of the Moon on the dial side as well as the back. The words "Dark Side of the Moon" are engraved in the case back's edge.
The watch's sapphire glass case back gives you a clear view of Omega's in-house caliber 9300. Omega made their own caliber even though they're a member of the Swatch Group and could source their movements from the world's largest ébauche manufacturer worldwide, ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse. ETA is also a member of the Swatch Group and provides manufacturers such as Tissot with movements. The caliber 9300 has a 60-hour power reserve due to its two barrels, and the movement is particularly vibration-proof with low friction thanks to its Co-Axial escapement. Furthermore, Omega chose to use a silicon balance spring to make the watch unaffected by magnetism.