Omega Speedmaster Professional "Ultraman"

Omega Speedmaster Professional "Ultraman"

Why We Love It

The Space Race, and its glorious culmination, captivated not just those who engaged in it, but the whole world. In Japan, the fascination with space travel resulted in the creation of a TV series called Ultraman. Spanning from 1966 to 1976, Ultraman was a cultural icon in its home country, and even spawned a sequel, Return of Ultraman, in 1971.

And it was in the Return of Ultraman that a Speedmaster Reference 145.012 appeared with a distinctive orange chronograph seconds hand. The presence of that orange hand generated some controversy among vintage Omega collectors, but thanks to some diligent sleuthing on the part of our friends at Moonwatch Only, we have learned that the “Ultraman” Speedmaster is a genuine article. A comprehensive writeup of the “Ultraman” can be found on their site, but we’ll break it down for you: in June of 1968, a few (around 20) of these Speedmasters were produced in Bienne and sent to various destinations. In determining whether an Ultraman is authentic, the dimensions of that orange hand hold the key. While other Omega chronographs, such as the Chronostop, might have orange hands, none have the exact measurements of the one on the Ultraman.

Of course, having an extract from the archives from Omega is crucial—and we have such a document proving that this watch was produced on June 7, 1968 and delivered to France. Aside from that, this watch is an excellent example of a 145.012-68, with a strong case and a stepped dial with gorgeously patinated luminescent materials. And then there’s that hand, of course, which makes this a watch truly deserving of its nickname.

The Story

Not many watches can claim a connection to the greatest achievement in human history, but the Omega Speedmaster Professional can. Since Ed White took his monumental space walk in 1965, the Speedmaster has counted down the seconds of each manned space mission. Such an impressive feat deserves an impressive watch, and the Speedmaster certainly is no slouch in that regard.

“Pre-Moon” Speedmasters like the Reference 145.012 hold pride of place among collectors, because it was this reference that Buzz Aldrin took to the Moon. It was the last of the Speedmasters to carry a Calibre .321 chronograph movement, before the 145.022 would usher in the era of the Calibre. 861. Its asymmetrical case (larger on one side to protect the crown), Dot over 90 bezel, and stepped dial with applied logo all stand out to collectors as the hallmarks of what makes a good example.

Two executions of 145.012 exist, spanning the production years of 1967 to 1969, until the 145.022 would phase them out entirely. In looks and feel the 145.012-67 and 145.012-68 are identical, the only difference lying in the serial number. But, as we have seen, some 145.012’s are more special than others…

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