Hey everyone, it’s Nathan with Crown & Caliber and today we’re going to talk about the OMEGA Speedmaster Professional. Well at least for a little bit or at least in context of that watch. The OMEGA Speedmaster Professional is effectively an unchanged design. I mean for over 60 years it has remained unchanged. It is a classic design and it is a watch that many other watches seek to be like. But if it’s not your cup of tea that’s great because today we’re going to be looking at alternatives to the Speedmaster Professional. Today we’re going to look at five watches that did not go to the moon.
So, as we jump into our alternatives, we’ll give some parameters. First these watches had to have a chronograph that was kind of a non-negotiable in coming up with alternatives for the Speedmaster Professional, but after that our connections are, kind of, somewhat more subjective and that’s why this is a conversation. We want to hear in the comments below what you think about our choices. But we felt that each one of these in some way shape or form was connected to the Speedmaster Professional. Whether it was through aesthetics or heritage and history or just the ethos of what it means to be a tool watch. There is some connection. Let’s get started.
So up first we’re going to look at the TAG Heuer Calibre 17 Carrera. Now that is these two watches right here. We’ve got the silver dial and we have the black dial, and these are an update from the 1996 original 1964 Re-Edition. Now what they did with this is they went ahead and increased the case size from 36 millimeters to the 39-millimeter case size you see here. Still maintains that classic Carrera case design. Angular lugs, a very clean stark dial and now on the inside is the Carrera Calibre 17. And what that is, is that’s basically a ETA 2892 with a chronograph module known as the ETA 2894. And there are people that may poo poo a chronograph module, but it definitely allows for a kind of all-in package that’s easily accessible in its price point.
So, you end up with a slightly larger case size 39 millimeters, a well-rounded movement in the 2894 Calibre 17 and that classic Carrera styling, and that’s why we think this one is a great alternative to the Speedmaster is because of that styling. We’re talking about something that effectively looks like it did from 1964 but is now in a more modern case size with an updated movement. So, there you go the TAG Heuer Calibre 17 Carrera.
So up next in our Speedmaster alternatives we’re going to look at the Chopard Mille Miglia. Now we’re looking at a 42 millimeter stainless steel sport watch that has pretty heavy racing inspired heritage, and Chopard went ahead and put inside this their take on the ETA 2894, which if you remember that is the same movement that is inside the Carrera and their take is the Calibre 17. And I think this speaks to Chopard saying hey we’re going to make a chronograph and we’re going to make one with a robust reliable movement. To that point the Mille Miglia means “one thousand miles” in Italian and references a road race. It was about a thousand-mile race that took place in the early 20th century in Italy. If you like the Speedmaster Professional, you may like it because of its heritage because it went to the moon and what we have here instead is a watch that drives around Italy so plenty of heritage. It is a great proportioned watch. So, there you go the Chopard Mille Miglia.
Up next in our alternatives to the Speedmaster Professional is the IWC Pilot’s Chronograph and specifically we’re going to be looking at the IW3717 seen here. Now we went with this one which is a little bit older it’s from around 2010 because of its case size. It’s a little bit smaller than some of the contemporary offerings. Right here this one comes in at 42 millimeters. It’s a little on the thicker side with just over 14 millimeters in thickness but it kind of plays up this aesthetic of being a tool watch. This is very utilitarian. It has a matte black dial stark white indices, stark white hands. It is highly legible, and you can tell that it serves a purpose. Inside it’s powered by an ETA 7750 that has been modified by IWC.
So, truly a workhorse of a movement and that’s why we think this is a great alternative to the Speedmaster. If you like the Speedmaster you may like it because of that utilitarian, kind of, tool focused design. Matte dial, stark white indices very similar here with the IWC 3717 and that is why we think it is a wonderful alternative.
Next up in our alternatives to the Speedmaster Professional is the Breitling Navitimer 8. The watch seen right here. Now this watch may not look like a traditional Navitimer. For starters it’s not nearly as busy or complicated. It is lacking a slide rule, but this is very much a Breitling and the reason that is is because it draws on some serious heritage that many people may not know about. So, the Breitling Navitimer 8 draws upon the heritage from the late 30s in which the Breitling Huit Aviation Department made both onboard clocks and wrist watches for both military use and civilian use. And the name actually came from the fact that those on-board clocks had 8-day power reserves. So, go look at some of those watches and you will see the direct lineage and heritage to the Breitling Navitimer 8 seen here.
Now ,this example the Navitimer 8 is a 43-millimeter watch coming in right at 14 millimeters thick. So, it definitely is a larger watch. It has plenty of wrist presence if that’s something that you are looking for and internally is the Breitling B01. Now this is a movement that was released in 2009 and is Breitling’s in-house automatic chronograph. Now that’s a big deal and especially at this price point. In-house automatic chronographs don’t come along very often. Daytona would be a perfect example of another one, and this can be had for far less than that and it is a workhorse of a movement. But ultimately what you have is a Breitling that most people may not associate with the brand.
So, the reason this is a great alternative to the Speedmaster Professional is because of that heritage and maybe a less direct heritage or lineage than you may know but that’s I think what makes this watch so great and on top of that, again, it has that B01 Caliber that I think kicks the socks off of the 1861 in the Speedmaster Professional. So, there you go, the Breitling Navitimer 8.
So, our last pick for an alternative to the Speedmaster Professional is going to be the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Chronograph. This one right here. Now this watch was pretty controversial when it was released and there are a number of reasons. For starters, it didn’t really fit into any particular line. Yes, it was a Black Bay and it had classic Black Bay styling. From the kind of blocky case, to the snowflake hands, to the dial design, but it’s not wholly a dive watch. It doesn’t have a rotating bezel; instead it has a tachymeter. It also has a chronograph, and I think that kind of upset some people that it didn’t have that direct lineage to a specific watch like a lot of these do. But aesthetically speaking it’s a great watch, and it may not be your first pick and kind of a surprise that it’s up here, but I think sum of its parts work.
Now, inside this watch things get really interesting it is the MT5813 Manufacturer Tudor. It’s their movement and it is based off of the Breitling B01. So, the movement that is in the Navitimer 8 is so good, like I said this is an exceptional automatic chronograph movement, that Tudor partnered with Breitling to create their own version of that movement and that is what is in the Black Bay Heritage Chrono. And I think that also kind of ruffled some feathers when it came out and maybe this watch didn’t get the love that it deserved because of that.
Size-wise it is similar to a standard Black Bay. It is 41 millimeters. It’s just over 14 millimeters thick so it is larger has some wrist presence, but all in all I think that is kind of that Black Bay Heritage design and I think this watch is a great alternative to the Speedmaster Professional and I think it’s because of that aesthetic design. If you like the Speedmaster Professional, chances are you like it because of that design. I mean it’s been unchanged since the 60s and similarly speaking I think the sum of the parts in the Black Bay Heritage Chrono kind of call upon that. It doesn’t have that heritage that we talked about necessarily, but it works. It’s timeless. It’s a classic looking design and it has a stellar movement to boot. So, there you go our last pick and somewhat of a surprise is the Tudor Black Bay Heritage Chrono.
All right guys so there you go there are five of our picks for alternatives to the Speedmaster Professional and like we said these are just a few, and we think these all in some way shape or form draw upon elements of the Speedmaster Professional whether it’s heritage, or the functionality or the aesthetics. They’re all kind of elements that share something with the Speedmaster Professional. We would love to hear what you guys think about our picks let us know what you would pick and let’s get that conversation going in the comments below guys and as always thanks for watching.
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