Tropical Dial ‘Ed White’ 105.003-65 Omega Speedmaster
What is it about most modern Speedmasters that feels quite soulless? Is it the imitation of the vintage world which we so often praise? Or is it the Henry Ford circa 2090 production line that is capable of merely printing perfect watches ad infinitum? Or rather, is there not enough consideration to detail? Each is an excellent watch. But I don’t often feel much when I look at them. Let me put it this way. Buzz Aldrin is a brilliant man. He’s a fighter pilot, astronaut, handsome, and punched a man in the face for suggesting the moon landing was faked. All around class act. But I don’t want to make love to him. The reintroduction of the 321 and its straight lug case feels like a return to form, not limited artificially except by the level of human attention needed. And yet, it pales in comparison to what came first. This is an original flavor Ed White, aged by time and possibly even God’s hand, to achieve what can only be described as soul.
No one can deny the Ed White’s pedigree, being worn during the first historic space walk on Gemini IV, twice. Ed wore two, one displaying Houston and one displaying Mission Time. The production run was short too, bridging a gap between the Moonwatch 145.012 and previous (essentially 2998 with an updated reference) 105.002. It even introduced the baton-styled handset we know today. The last straight lug case before the Professional lyre lug has a lot going for it. Including the same 321 Omega is making today with great effort, unchanged from the mid 60s. There is no higher endorsement.
For watch nerds like us, you see so many Speedmasters so frequently that little changes really stand out. But this isn’t a small change, this is a caramel dial. Originally sold in Christchurch, then emigrating to Scotland, this age is a byproduct of its environment and nothing more. And it still has its set. Like many old tool watches, Subs, Daytonas, or Speedies, this is an object that gets better by the year. It’s the antithesis of an iPhone, requires nothing from the external world to operate, and asks for nothing but a wind in the morning in order to distract you with its beauty for the rest of the day. The time, chronograph, and rather significant history are just a bonus.
This example is great overall. It’s an aesthetic knockout. The dial is an even chocolate-caramel hybrid. Its plots are bit burned, but original. The hands may have been relumed. Its case is full but hard worn, be aware the straight lug never had sharp bevels to begin with, it was always this rounded polish. The DON bezel, pusher, crown and 321 are all original and correct. It’s on a 1035 bracelet with minimal stretch. It comes with its full set from a well-regarded London retailer.