It’s been three years since I bought my Speedmaster. It is definitely the most popular watch on my Instagram (I constantly receive offers or “dibs” on it) and it is probably the watch I wear the most. Here’s my review.
I got this watch in 2016 when the hype around the Speedmaster in Indonesia was not too big, so I got it at quite a good deal (at a price that could not even get you a regular Speedmaster Reduced today). After I bought the watch, I took it to the Swatch Service Center (which services Omega as they are owned by the Swatch Group) and had it calibrated and checked for around USD30. I highly recommend this to anybody buying a used Swatch Group watch. You are technically paying for the calibration, but they will inspect the watch and verbally inform you if the watch, in whole or in part, is fake. If it is fake, they will refuse to calibrate it. I should note that this was in 2016. Always call beforehand to be sure.
This Omega Speedmaster ref. 3510.82.00 was produced in 2003 for the Japanese market with a limited production of 1,500 pieces, hence its nickname “Speedmaster Reduced Japan”. As with other Speedmaster Reduced, it’s powered by Omega’s automatic caliber 3220, which is an ETA-based movement with a chronograph module. There is nothing special about the movement, but it has been very accurate and was never been down on power reserve. The real highlight of the watch, however, is of course the dial. It’s a nice sunburst blue, which gives great depth to the color, and features a reverse panda for the subdials. And on this model Omega eliminated the numerals, which gives the dial a very clean look.
In general, the blue dial is bright enough that it adds interest but subtle enough that it never looks out of place. It can be dressed up and down and is very versatile. The 38mm case also lends to its versatility. It is small enough to fit under a shirt sleeve with a suit, but not terribly small that it looks out of place with a t-shirt (bigger watches generally work better with short-sleeved shirts). The only time I would not wear this watch is with a tuxedo, which calls for a plain watch with a black strap or no watch at all. But anything from shorts to suits works very well.
The watch comes with a president-like bracelet with solid end-links. Its center links are polished to a mirror finish and are sandwiched between brushed metal links. The clasp is plain and made out of folded metal as opposed to machined metal. It can be hard to open at first, but after the second time you will get used to it. The clasp is perhaps the one area where the Speedmaster Reduced falls short. Having said this, it seems that it was the industry standard at that time (see, e.g., the clasp on the Rolex Submariner ref. 16610 from the same era).
The bracelet works very well with the watch that I rarely wear it with a strap. When I do wear it with a strap, I find that contrasting the blue dial with a brown strap works best. Black straps don’t work too well as there is too little contrast and blue straps don’t work as they look too matchy-matchy.
In closing, the Speedmaster Reduced Japan Limited Edition is by no means a horologically-significant watch. But it is one of the most beautiful twists on one of the most legendary watch models by one of the most coveted watchmakers. And that, for me, is enough.
To prove how versatile the watch is, here are some pictures of the watch over the years, which also show the moments I've had with the watch. Enjoy.
Bonus pic and vid:
Historically chronographs were used to time race cars around a race track. Well, here’s a picture and video of me sharing a special moment with the watch in a sports car (not race car) on the highway (not race track). Not quite, but still.
Written by: Nikki Krisadtyo