OMEGA Expert & Watchuseek Moderator Nick McDearis Discusses His Favorite Speedmaster

This is a guest post from Nick McDearis, the OMEGA forum moderator on WatchuSeek and a friend of Crown & Caliber:


How did you become interested in watches?  What’s your favorite Omega?  These are a few of the questions that I frequently hear when I mention that I’m a watch enthusiast to friends, work associates, and family.

I was introduced to Omega through the James Bond franchise.  Being a James Bond fan for as long as I can remember, I was already a budding watch enthusiast at the ripe-old-age of 9 when the film Goldeneye made its U.S. debut on the 17th of November, 1995.  The film starred a new Bond, played by Pierce Brosnan, and a new watch – the Omega Seamaster Professional.

The Seamaster immediately stole my attention and I had high hopes of one day acquiring one. My hopes were dashed when I saw the price tag at my local Omega AD; I’m unsure of the MSRP, but it seemed like an insurmountable sum at the time.

While the Omega Seamaster Professional (model 2531.80) is still near and dear to my heart (I wore mine in my wedding), it’s a close second to my favorite Omega, the X-33.  Ultimately, it was my interest in the Seamaster at the local Omega AD that introduced me to the X-33, a watch that wasn’t even on display at the time.  The salesperson, noting my interest in the watches at such a young age (I was 12 or 13 at the time), graciously offered me a few of the Omega marketing material pamphlets; one of which was a brilliant piece of marketing on the X-33.  The pamphlet was dedicated exclusively to the Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33, a.k.a. the “Mars watch.”

OMEGA Mars watch

OMEGA Speedmaster X-33 Speedmaster Professional X-33

I was sold.  Now, I just needed to come up with the cash.  Not exactly an easy task at that age…

The allure of the X-33 stuck with me and I ended up buying my current X-33 on October 24th, 2010.  (Note – I’m not obsessed enough to remember the day I purchased a watch almost three years ago.  When you’re in the finance field and you buy and sell as many watches as I do, your OCD kicks in and you maintain a P&L of your watches purchases. ) It’s the watch I’ve held the longest in my modest collection and it’s accompanied me on many adventures.

Nick's OMEGA watch

(Hiking around the ruins of Dungeness, Cumberland Island National Seashore, GA).

I moderate the Omega forum of WatchuSeek and acquired this piece of original artwork in February 2012.  The artist, Brad Click, posted a tribute to the X-33 on the forum and I offered to buy the original.

OMEGA watch

The backlight in action:

OMEGA X-33 with backlight

The X-33 remains my favorite Omega in large part because of the appeal that it had on me at a young age, but at the end of the day, it’s a GREAT watch.  The X-33 has a strong backlight, excellent lume, useful features (the countdown timer, chronograph and 80 decibel alarm are used frequently) and thanks to its titanium construction, remains comfortable to wear.  Its cult status in the market is retained due to its uniqueness; there aren’t that many watches out there that are currently in use on the space station and are only available for new purchase from Omega via group purchases for pilots in the armed forces or astronauts.  Furthermore, it’s a watch you don’t see on the street that often – you feel that you’re wearing something special when you know that true professionals rely on the same watch you’re wearing on a day in and day out basis whether they’re timing experiments in space or if they need a watch they can quickly glance at the time while flying a fighter jet.

OMEGA worn by professionals

Omega X-33 Specs:

Crystal:  Domed, anti-reflective coated, scratch resistant sapphire crystal

Case: Titanium, 42.25mm in diameter

Bracelet: 20mm lugs – available with a titanium bracelet or DuPont Kevlar

Water Resistance: 30M (100ft).

Movement: Omega 1666 – Quartz precision movement with a 36-month power reserve.

OMEGA X-33 watch



Images ©: Header; 1-6, 8; c/o Nick McDearis. 7; NASA.

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