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Looking back at the Omega 2001 Automatic Broad Arrow Speedmaster

Le 2 December 2015

The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch. The iconic watch that everyone has heard of. The watch that walked on the moon. Yes, yes, of course… Obviously. However, the prestigious line of the Omega Speedmaster doesn’t stop there, there are many others in the family that are far from dull. Some are rare, others more common, but they all have their own charm and a certain and marked interest.

I had shown you my friend Violette’s vintage Speedmaster Mark II a few weeks ago. Now we’re going to take a look at another member of the family that I was lucky enough to get my hands on. We seldom talk about this watch and it’s such a shame. Let’s take a minute and look back at the 2001 Automatic Speedmaster Broad Arrow.

Omega Speedmaster Broad Arrow

Why this watch? Because even though it didn’t receive much love when it was first released, in my opinion it still has many qualities. Of course, the casing used here is the same as the Moonwatch, which is slightly wider because of its automatic 3303 movement. Big deal? Not really. The watch face has three counters, just like the Moonwatch, along with applied index markers and a little date window at 6 o’clock. Very discreet and practical.

And of course, the watch hand we’ve come to know and love, inherited from the 1957 speedmaster, the one that gave the watch its name: the broad arrow itself. The bezel is also different, this time polished steel with an engraved tachymeter scale, as well as the Omega logo, which is the old-school pre-moonwatch logo.

Another point worth mentioning is the presence of a sapphire watch glass, which replaces the convex plexiglass of the Moonwatch. I can already hear some of you making a fuss… “yuck!” Indeed, just like you, we really appreciate the warmth and the curves of a good ol’ convex plexiglass, however with this sapphire glass from 2001 I say bravo! The glass isn’t flat, it looks like a sapphire “glassbox” of today that would have been flattened a little bit, without the famous “dome”. However, the nice reflections that we’re so familiar with and the slight deformation of the index markers when viewed from certain angles are present, along with the added qualities of the sapphire. Definitely not a bad thing, if you’re not a plexiglass “extremist”.

Concerning the size, this 42mm steel casing is imposing but quite wearable. I must admit that when I tried it on with a black leather Nato band (one of my many weaknesses) with a beige topstitching, this watch oozed excellence without trying too hard to be pretty, just like the pilot’s tool that it is. Of course, this tugged on the heartstrings of my inner adventurer. I naturally started dreaming of a return to the desert, where, endlessly trekking across the Sahara like Saint-Exupéry, the moon would light up my Broad Arrow luminova. Can you feel it yet?

“The Sahara, a desert turban and an old Land Cruiser.”

It’s just you, your friend and guide Aknia, with whom you’ve gone on countless adventures with, and the majestic Oriental Grand Erg dunes as far the eye can see.

I’m getting side-tracked, but I’m sure you see how this watch can inspire many an adventurous spirit!

Omega Speedmaster Broad Arrow

This is a speedmaster not to be ignored, especially if you’re used to having the date and don’t fancy winding up your timepiece every morning. This very model is also available right now over at our friend Stéphane’s Montres Mania, for 3,000€. Don’t hesitate to contact him for more information if you’ve fallen in love with this watch, and you would rather not have the same Speedmaster as your coworker at the office!

Omega Speedmaster Broad Arrow

And a bonus!

Have 3 minutes to spare on your lunchbreak? Want to brush up on your history of the Speedmaster? Lucky you! Take a look…