The Omega Speedmaster, An Iconic Timepiece
It is hardly debatable that the Omega Speedmaster is one of the most iconic watches ever created. Even casual watch enthusiasts are looking to replicate this iconic look with budget Omega Speedmaster alternatives.
Although it is hard to compete with a watch that has earned the title of “Moonwatch” through its historical usage by NASA astronauts, both in space and on the moon, there are still a surprising amount of quality Omega Speedmaster homages and alternatives.
Of course, there’s still nothing like owning an actual Omega Speedmaster, but we understand that shelling out that much for a watch isn’t reasonable for everyone. (Even if it is worth it.) So we’ve prepared a list of frugal alternatives to the Omega Speedmaster. This list is comprised of what we feel are watches that embody the best Speedmaster homage.
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The Best Omega Speedmaster Alternative
Bulova Moon Watch – Stainless Steel
It turns out Bulova has their own “Moon watch”. This is a functioning replica of the Bulova chronograph used on the 1971 Apollo 15 mission to the moon. It was actually used to replace Colonel Dave Scott’s broken, NASA issued Omega Speedmaster.
After his Omega Speedmaster was damaged, Scott used his personal Bulova prototype watch as a replacement. This was kept a secret for nearly 45 years, until it was uncovered from his safety deposit box in October of 2015. There was another watch worn on the moon!
So in a literal sense, this is a tribute to the Omega Speedmaster Alternative. This watch has the pedigree, the style, amazing accuracy, and a much more affordable price. No complaints here.
Bulova Moon Watch – Leather Strap
This version of the Bulova Moon Watch comes with a black leather strap and a NATO strap. The NATO strap has a tan leather patch with the date of manufacture of the original watch that was worn on the moon (the actual Omega Speedmaster alternative). The NASA astronauts used straps like this to wear their watches over their space suits.
Budget Omega Speedmaster Homage or Alternative
These watches do not share the amazing history of the Bulova Moon Watch but they are fantastic budget alternatives to the Omega Speedmaster, nonetheless. If you’re just looking for a quality, affordable watch with similar design, these are what you want. So here are the budget alternatives to the Omega Speedmaster alternative.
Seiko Chronograph Stainless Steel & Black Leather
The Seiko SSB097 is one of the best Speedmaster homages. The three stopwatch subdials are in the ideal locations and the crown and start/stop and reset buttons mimic the design and placement of the Speedmaster. The case maintains the rounded outer case with angular inner lug design queues. The entire face is flat, lacking the depth seen on the Speedmaster. The addition of the date display is done very subtly, which is a nice touch. The black snakeskin leather band is a stylish touch but it does stray from the original design style. With just a simple black NATO band replacement this watch is easily at the top of the list for budget Omega Speedmaster alternatives.
Fossil Sport 54 Chronograph Stainless Steel Watch
The Fossil Sport 54 shares a very similar black faced tachymeter. Its start/stop and reset buttons share a close resemblance to the original. The crown is a bit more stylized and the guard is much more pronounced. The subdial placement is obviously different but still tastefully done and the case is extremely close to the original Speedmaster. Overall this one of many great budget Omega Speedmaster alternatives.
Seiko Recraft Solar Chronograph Stainless Steel & Black Leather
The Seiko SSC569 is a bit of a departure from the design of the Omega Speedmaster. It is still very similar minus the fact that the tachymeter is missing and the face is not entirely black. This is also a solar watch. This is less of an Omega Speedmaster homage and more of a side-step design wise. It is still one of the best budget Speedmaster alternative.
Citizen Brycen Eco-Drive Stainless Steel
The Citizen Brycen Eco-Drive is an excellent chronograph. The subdial placement, black face, and start/stop, reset and crown all give it similar characteristics to the Omega Speedmaster. The yellow text and outer bezel surrounding the tachymeter are clear and obvious differences between the two. This is still another selection for best budget Speedmaster alternative. It is the Citizen Speedmaster.
Seiko SSB031 Chronograph Stainless Steel
The Seiko SSB031 shares a great number of design queues with the Moonwatch. The obvious difference is the red accent in the second hand at at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 positions. Other than that difference this is one of the best Omega Speedmaster homages.
Fossil Decker CH2573 Stainless Steel & Black Silicone
The Fossil Decker CH2573 is one of the most affordable watches that look like the Speedmaster. For the price it is hard to beat. The silicone band is not ideal but it can be easily, and cheaply replaced.
Seiko Core SSC229 Solar Chonograph Stainless Steel
The blocky numbers of the Seiko Core SSC229 make it one of the sportiest Omega Speedmaster alternatives.
Casio Edifice Chronograph EF-547D-1A1VDF
This Casio Edifice Chronograph is a great Omega Speedmaster lookalike. The differences here would be the subdial configuration, the subdial border colors, and the thick silver hour markers on the dial.
Seiko Chronograph SND367PC
The Seiko Chronograph SND367PC has an unpainted stainless steel outer bezel instead of the black outer bezel seen on the Speedmaster.
Seiko Spirit Solar Chronograph SBPY119
The Seiko Spirit Solar Chronograph SBPY119 is an interesting Speedmaster lookalike. It has a very minimalistic dial except for the two bold rings around the alarm and minute subdials.
Actual Closest Speedmaster to the Original Moonwatch
The actual closest is the Omega Speedmaster Professional 3188.8.131.52.01.005. If you are interested in the real deal, this is your watch.
How to Use a Chronograph Watch
A chronograph watch is a watch that includes a stopwatch function. The stopwatch function will record seconds, minutes, and even hours on most watches. The stopwatch is started with the top button and the register is reset with the bottom button.
The tachymeter is the outermost ring with numbers starting around 500 and counting down until 60, which should be located at the 12 o’clock postion. A tachymeter is present on all of the Omega Speedmaster alternatives listed here (except the Seiko Recraft Solar Chronograph).
The tachymeter is often used to calculate speed. This is where we get the name “Speedmaster”. To calculate speed, start your stopwatch, travel one mile or kilometer, and then stop your stopwatch. The number on the tachymeter is your speed in units per hour.
Or, you can travel a known distance and divide 3,600 (seconds in an hour) by the number of seconds recorded on your stopwatch.
For distance, keep a constant speed, start your stopwatch and when the second hand reaches your speed, the distance traveled is equal to one mile (or kilometer).
The watches listed here should closely match what you’re looking for in an Omega Speedmaster alternative. You really can’t go wrong with any of these watches if you’re looking for a frugal Omega Speedmaster homage.
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