BREAKING: Omega Calibre 321 ReturnsWritten by Alvin Wong
Resuming production after more than 50 years.
This is one for Omega enthusiasts. The handwound Calibre 321, the first-ever chronograph movement that was used in the Speedmaster in 1957, is being re-introduced (top).
One of the most revered chronograph movements in modern watchmaking, the Calibre 321 with monobloc column wheel was introduced in the 1940s, and is known for its robustness and precision. Needless to say, the movement has powered many significant Omega watches, including the aforementioned Speedmaster ST 105.012, and the Speedmaster ST 105.003, the first watch that was certified fit for use by NASA.
The original Omega Calibre 321
The R&D to reconstruct the next-gen Calibre 321 took over two years, and after the original’s last production run in 1968, Omega is firing up the machinery once again for its reproduction.
To reconstruct the new Calibre 321 as accurately as possible, Omega referenced the second-generation Calibre 321 by using its original blueprint, and even enlisted digital scanning technology to ‘see’ inside the Speedmaster ST105.003 that astronaut Eugene Cernan wore in 1972 for man’s last walk on the moon.
Omega will be producing the new Calibre 321 in a dedicated facility at its Bienne headquarters, and the assembly of each timepiece featuring the movement will be overseen by the same watchmaker from start to finish.
Alvin promises not to be a douche when talking about watches. He may have scoured the Basel and Geneva watch fairs for the past 15 years, and played an instrumental role to the growth of Singapore's pioneering horological and men's lifestyle publications, but the intrepid scribe seeks to learn something new with each story he writes.