Omega Speedmaster CK2915

« Le temps met tout en lumière » Thalès


Before discussing an iconic model, let’s go back to its historical context and the history of OMEGA to better understand the Speedmaster reference CK2915.

Originally, in 1848, Louis Brandt opened a small watchmaking workshop in the Swiss village of La Chaux-de-Fonds. Passionate about his craft, he set out to create the most precise watches in the world. He passed on a family business to his sons, Louis-Paul and César, who modernized it, marking a decisive turning point in the history of watchmaking.

In 1894, the Brandt brothers, being ahead of their time, decided to market a 19-ligne movement, produced in series using revolutionary methods. This innovation not only allowed for the interchangeability of parts by any watchmaker, which already placed them as pioneers before the industrial age, but also introduced a new feature: the winding and setting of the time were now integrated into the crown and stem. This revolution was considered an achievement for a movement whose name and essence are now: OMEGA. The achievement was such that the movement gave its name to the brand.

From 1903, OMEGA established itself as the largest Swiss manufacturer.

In 1905, OMEGA became the official timekeeper for sixteen sporting events in Switzerland and around the world, which increased its popularity. The brand’s success allowed it to increase production and refine its precision. Facing growing demand, OMEGA developed its distribution network across six continents.

Known for its precision records, OMEGA continued its journey in sporting competitions, with the key date being 1932 when OMEGA became the first watchmaker to time the entirety of the Olympic Games, later becoming the official timekeeper for all the Olympics.

OMEGA thrived over the years, bolstered by its success, reputation, and technical advancements. During World War II, in 1940, it became the supplier of watches for the British armed forces and their allies, contributing to the brand's enrichment in terms of water resistance, anti-magnetism, and shock resistance.

After the war, the Seamaster was marketed, the result of military innovations. An extraordinary test was conducted in 1956: OMEGA technicians attached the watch to the fuselage of Canadian Pacific Airways flight 302 during a polar route from Amsterdam to Canada, a nine-hour non-stop flight exposed to various elements. Upon arrival, the watch suffered no damage or disruption, remaining in perfect working and accurate condition.

In summary, OMEGA enjoys a global reputation thanks to its achievements in precision and efficiency. It is a tool watch, renowned for its reliability and association with the world of sports.

We arrive in 1957 when OMEGA introduced its professional range: the Seamaster 300, the Railmaster (resistant to magnetic fields of 1,000 gauss), and the Speedmaster.

Historically, the 1950s marked the post-war era, with a boom in industrialization affecting the mechanical world and motorsports. The development of industries and the multiplication of exchanges in Europe and the world marked a rapid and flourishing economic expansion, as well as the birth of the consumer society. It was also the era of space exploration.

The United States, spared from the ravages of World War II, entered a new era known as the "Fifties." This period was marked by cultural icons like Elvis Presley and the emergence of motorsports, with prestigious competitions like the Laguna Seca Raceway or the Grand National race on the sands of Daytona Beach, whose fame surpassed continental boundaries.

WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, November 9, 1957 - with the courtesy of RACER

In this context of passion for speed and precision, several watch brands such as Rolex, Universal Genève, Breitling, Eberhard, and the Swiss army were already on the starting line to meet the growing demand for high-performance chronographs. It was then that Omega entered the race with the Speedmaster, a model specifically designed for motorsports, as its name suggests.

Omega distinguished itself from its competitors with a renowned movement: the calibre 321. This movement, introduced for the first time in 1942 during World War II, was the result of a joint project between Lemania and Omega under the aegis of SSIH (Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogère). Marketed from 1946, the calibre 321 was equipped with protections against magnetic fields and shocks, features that would prove crucial during NASA tests.

The calibre 321 is renowned for being one of the best examples of a chronograph with a lateral clutch and column wheel. This complex system, which regulates the time measurement functions (start, stop, and reset), requires a thick movement, extremely precise components, and meticulous adjustment during assembly. This movement was used by prestigious brands like Breguet, Patek Philippe, and Vacheron Constantin for their chronographs.

The calibre 321 is highly prized by collectors due to its limited production and iconic history: it is the movement that powered the first watch to land on the moon, worn by the astronauts of the Apollo XI mission in 1969.

Interestingly, the movement was also used in the Seamaster 300 and the Railmaster, the two other models launched the same time.

Riding on the popularity of the Seamaster, the Seamaster 300 and the Speedmaster were designed to meet the same strict criteria of water resistance and durability, sharing several stylistic features:

* Pre-beveled lugs
* Crown without guards
* 39mm diameter case
* Matte black dial with white print
* Metallic dauphine hands for the minutes and "Broad Arrow" hands for the hours

These elements explain the presence of the seahorse on the case back of the Speedmaster, originally associated with the Seamaster case back, symbolizing continuity in the range.

The design of the Speedmaster was conceived by Claude Baillod, in collaboration with a team from Lemania, under the supervision of Pierre Moinat, head of creation at Omega. The prototype was made by Georges Hartmann and the execution entrusted to Désiré Faivre, as detailed in "La Bible Omega" by Marco Richon.

The Speedmaster CK2915 also stands out with its steel tachymeter bezel, the first watch to externalize this scale for better readability. Produced in three series between 1957 and 1959, its signature on the dial features a very oval "O."

The versions 2915-1 and 2915-2 are characterized by their steel bezel, the large "Broad Arrow" hour hand, and the "Speedmaster" inscription engraved diagonally on the case back.
The 2915-3 version marks the transition to the CK2998 model, with mixed characteristics of previous versions and elements like the alpha hour hand and the black bakelite bezel, as well as the "Speedmaster" inscription above the seahorse.


From 1959, the succeeding CK2998 reference marked a turning point in the history of the Speedmaster, putting an end to its run in motorsports. Indeed, it was on the wrist of astronaut Wally Schirra, who wore his personal Speedmaster CK2998, that Omega crossed a new frontier by orbiting the Earth six times during the Mercury Sigma 7 mission.

Two and a half years later, following a series of rigorous tests conducted by NASA, the Speedmaster was selected and certified for all manned space missions and extravehicular activities of the space agency.

In 1969, during the Apollo XI mission, the Speedmaster "Professional" reference 105.012, equipped with the calibre 321, cemented its iconic status in watchmaking and beyond, becoming known as the "Moonwatch."

Author: Fiona Galati