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Thread: Omega Speedmaster SKYWALKER X-33 Review - 318.90.45.79.01.001

  1. #1
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    Omega Speedmaster SKYWALKER X-33 Review - 318.90.45.79.01.001

    Review of the Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33



    Model number: 318.90.45.79.01.001

    This review comes from someone who is a massive space fan, so do bear that in mind

    History and Introduction
    This is the third edition of the X-33 to be in production the previous production models are generally named as the Generation 1 and Generation 2. The have been prototypes leading up to the design used in testing. Some history is given here:

    (pages kindly photographed from the huge Omega book at my local Omega AD at the Royal Exchange, London):





    External aesthetics
    The watch case and bracelet are made from Titanium (Grades 2 and 5 links for the bracelet). The bracelet cover and opening pushers are grade 5 titanium, the inner folding clasp is grade 2.



    The case back is engraved with the familiar Speedmaster Hypocampus but also includes an inscription indicating it is tested and qualified by esa (European Space Agency).



    It has an unusual crown design that unlike a 'standard' watch, has no function when turned – rather all settings are made using the four pushers equal spaced on the four quadrants of the case. And it is designed to be pushed IN rather than pulled OUT like the earlier versions



    The case is stated as being 45mm in size but after looking carefully at the website this is the dimension across the watch including the pushers - if the pushers are not included I estimate the diameter more like 42mm. It sit very comfortably only 6 3/4" wrist in a similar size to the Gen2 X-33 that is meant to be smaller. There is a slight size difference but it is marginal.



    This edition has a black face with very legible LCD with three registers allowing for a variety of information to be displayed - and if that is not enough a quick double push of the crown shows a second page of information -

    For example on the standard day display the LCD shows:

    Page 1: MM.DD. YY HH24:MM:SS
    where MM=Month in digits, DD=Day in digits YY=Last two digits of the year (YYYY is actually stored) and time 24H format

    Page 2: NNN WNN DAY HH24:MM:SS
    where NNN=day number since the beginning of the year, WNN= Week number since the beginning of the year



    The red second hand moves each second and the minute hand moves in 30sec increments - and hit the markers precisely - Omega have done a good job here!



    I have yet to get a total lume shot, but I can confirm the markers, hands, and 12 o'clock bezel marker are all illuminated. The hands are baton style rather than the previous broad-arrow style of the Gen 1.2.



    Water Resistance
    This is not designed as a dive watch. However Omega documentation has some interesting notes on this. The echo chamber which enable such a loud >80dB alarm (designed to be heard over cabin and engine noise) is also a weakness and liable to buckling under increased negative pressure. Apparently without the echo chamber it might have been rated at 10bar. Nevertheless, it is noted to have been rigourously tested for water resistance and is listed at to be water resistant to 3ATM negative pressure. I have already worn mine in my local sauna - probably the harshest environment I will ever be in.

    Documented tests (Omega / ESA)
    The Skywalker has passed rigorous testing at ESA’s technical heart, ESTEC, in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, where many ESA satellites are put through their paces before launch.

    The timepiece proved itself capable of surviving anything an astronaut might experience – and more. First, it displayed ruggedness by surviving ESTEC’s shaker simulating the intense vibrations of a launch. Then it was spun in a centrifuge to reach seven times the gravity we feel on Earth, just like an astronaut might endure when returning to our planet.

    The next step was to analyse its performance after sitting in a vacuum chamber with temperatures ranging from –45°C to +75°C, a far greater range than an astronaut would ever have to endure.

    Finally, the watch was blasted with radiation in Sweden under supervision by France’s ONERA/DESP aerospace centre to simulate space radiation. Each watch was inspected visually and its functions were reviewed before and after each test.



    Function
    Omega Caliber: 5619

    I really can't go into all the functions of this watch - according to one site's description - this is how the movements functions are given: "Having flown in space three times in the 1990s, Clervoy came upon an idea for improving wristwatches so they could track mission events in a way suitable for astronauts.

    The Skywalker's Mission Elapsed Time (MET) and Phase Elapsed Time (PET) allow astronauts to set mission time or the time for a task for any date in the past or future and calculate how much time remains or has elapsed.

    In addition, there are 19 functions including multiple alarms with different ringtones, time zones, perpetual calendar, chronograph, and countdown functions."
    ref: http://www.gizmag.com/esa-omega-spee...ywalker/35197/

    I have notice you can set dates way into the future - I kinda gave up after the year value went past 2500!

    Everything s referenced from UTC (Universal Time Coordinates). Once that is programmed everything else falls into place.

    Features I use.
    Multiple TZ - T1 is my local time = UTC+1 = BST ; T2 is office time in Hyderabad as in UTC+4:30H - is not affected by summer or winter times - I have programmed the MET to be from Jan 1st this year - 6hours relative to T1 (my local time) for CDT or CST in winter. I have one of the 3 PETs set to 1.1.2016 00:00:00 so I can see how many days to new years day. Also - Countdown Timer is also useful, Day alarm for waking me up in the morning.

    The movement is thermo-compensated for added accuracy - I am expected a few seconds variance a year. My Gen2 is also (now) equiped with a TC movement and measures up to this standard.

    Conclusions
    I am throughly enjoying this watch - hours of fun. It is quite a stealth watch due to it's 'matt' finish it remains unnoticed. Great to see it being used in the ISS and I can only dream of counting down the mission take off time while I sit stationary on my commuter train.

    Thanks for reading.

    The page from Omega



    The 'box'



    Martyn

  2. #2
    Craftsman Euan Begbie's Avatar
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    Great review !

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    Superb review. Thanks for taking the time. I tried one on at CS Bedford in Ruislip and loved it. It's the water resistance that really spoils it for me. :-(

  4. #4
    Lovely looking watch and a great review.

    I had a play with the limited edition version but I have to say I was very disappointed with the bezel. The action was very jerky and felt "cheap". Certainly not what I expected for a £3500 Watch by Omega, titanium or not!

  5. #5
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    Good review. I am also impressed with how the second hand hits the markers precisely. It's this attention to detail that really makes a difference.

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    Excellent review Martyn and echo s.dog comments on the second hand hitting the markers, nice to see. Whenever I look at a watch that's always something that I look for (thought I had ocd but looks like I'm not alone).

    Bezel did seem a bit easy to rotate but nonetheless a lovely piece all-round and worth a serious consideration, would also like to see it on bracelet as well.

  7. #7
    Journeyman luwe's Avatar
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    I love those watches with digital features...

    Own a Tissot T Touch and a TH Chronotimer...

    Maybe... oneday I will buy me an Omega too!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by s.dog View Post
    Good review. I am also impressed with how the second hand hits the markers precisely. It's this attention to detail that really makes a difference.
    Passed an Omega AD today and noticed they had the solar X33 and steel bracelet X33 side by side. The steel was absolutely spot on with the second hand lining up on the markers whilst the solar model was offset, if one purchased the watch that was running offset would this be something that the Omega service centre would be obliged to rectify as this would be something that would eventually drive me nuts.

    By the way they are 2 beautiful looking watches.

  9. #9
    Master Toshk's Avatar
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    Brilliant review. Thanks for sharing.
    Why they never make dials like this on more casual watches?!? Just so clean and symmetrical.....

  10. #10
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrpippen View Post
    Superb review. Thanks for taking the time. I tried one on at CS Bedford in Ruislip and loved it. It's the water resistance that really spoils it for me. :-(
    Agree with you about the water resistance. Stops it from being the perfect travel watch if you can't wear it in the pool!

  11. #11
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    Actually I really like that

  12. #12
    A fantastic review.
    Just picked one up but yet to figure out how to set time!

  13. #13
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    Excellent review, Im just a little concerned that this might be on the big size.

    Thanks for the effort here.

  14. #14
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    I think if the 2nd hand is offset better not to buy and ask the Seller to get You another stock with the 2nd hand properly hitting the markers... It's not worth buying new watch if You already spotted a fault on it...

    The review is excellent... Big thanks

  15. #15
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    Thank you for taking the time to write this thorough review.

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    Thread revival here! Great review by the way.

    I've had this watch for a couple of years now. I have had many high price watches and have only kept a few. This is my most worn. The comments made in the original review about water resistance are spot on. This watch has very good sealing against water ingress. The 30M limit is due to the potential for high pressures to affect the alarm speaker not because is might leak. The seals are standard Omega spec - so comfortably over engineered. Mine has been worn for all water sports, hot tubs and saunas for the two years. Never had any issues. There is also a limited edition Americas Cup version designed for sailing teams (who are soaked in sea water all the time).

    If you are thinking of getting one as the ultimate travel watch do not hold back, they are perfect for that role.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by petespendthrift View Post
    Thread revival here! Great review by the way.

    I've had this watch for a couple of years now. I have had many high price watches and have only kept a few. This is my most worn. The comments made in the original review about water resistance are spot on. This watch has very good sealing against water ingress. The 30M limit is due to the potential for high pressures to affect the alarm speaker not because is might leak. The seals are standard Omega spec - so comfortably over engineered. Mine has been worn for all water sports, hot tubs and saunas for the two years. Never had any issues. There is also a limited edition Americas Cup version designed for sailing teams (who are soaked in sea water all the time).

    If you are thinking of getting one as the ultimate travel watch do not hold back, they are perfect for that role.
    Hi Pete, One query I have is how well does the titanium hold up to regular wear? I have the HB-SIA Solar Impulse and I am really nervous about the titanium case or strap marking up.
    cheers,
    Tom.

  18. #18
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    Mine has marks but I don't think it would have faired any better if it was steel. It carries the marks well and does not look scruffy as they tend to blend in with Titanium. It has similar wear signs to my Rolex GMT2c. I wear it as a workhorse watch. I'm not deliberately careless but don't worry about minor scratches at all. So if it gets rested on a metal or stone surface whilst I'm wearing it or banged on a stair rail or similar, as tends to happen in normal life, it's not a problem. I would only worry if it picked up a big gouge or dent. It has a lot of swirls on the lower wrist links, the clasp and some light marks around the buttons and lugs. The bezel has a couple of tiny nicks. It has received some fairly hard hits.

    I am confident that a service would easily return it to 'as new' condition. I've been wearing it as my main watch and for work for a couple of year now. It's a very comfortable and easy to wear watch and not worrying too much about it means I can really enjoy it. As a casual style and a high end Quartz with Anadigital display it should be a daily wearer not a 'best watch'. The first couple of scratches hurt a little but once there are too many to count it's both liberating and relaxing wearing it. Whilst everyone has different tastes, there is nothing that I don't like about the watch or would change. I have more confidence in it's ruggedness than any other watch I have owned. It's my third Titanium watch (after an Aerospace and an Attessa). They have all faired quite well and I am considering adding a Tudor Pelagos as I really like Titanium now.

    Tom, I think your HB-SIA is a more refined watch but it's still a sports watch so I would probably wear it the same as my X33 if it were mine. One of my philosophies is that the more expensive something is the more I need to use/wear it to make is cost effective - so I wear or use my most expensive things the most and the cheap stuff is occasional. It makes sense if you think about it. Requires an adjustment in our desire to maintain the value and pristine condition of things but makes owning them a lot more enjoyable. Everything is a consumable and nothing is forever.
    Last edited by petespendthrift; 3rd July 2017 at 01:37.

  19. #19
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by petespendthrift View Post
    One of my philosophies is that the more expensive something is the more I need to use/wear it to make is cost effective - so I wear or use my most expensive things the most and the cheap stuff is occasional. It makes sense if you think about it. Requires an adjustment in our desire to maintain the value and pristine condition of things but makes owning them a lot more enjoyable. Everything is a consumable and nothing is forever.
    I admire your attitude.

  20. #20
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    Omega Speedmaster SKYWALKER X-33 Review - 318.90.45.79.01.001

    Quote Originally Posted by petespendthrift View Post
    Mine has marks but I don't think it would have faired any better if it was steel. It carries the marks well and does not look scruffy as they tend to blend in with Titanium. It has similar wear signs to my Rolex GMT2c. I wear it as a workhorse watch. I'm not deliberately careless but don't worry about minor scratches at all. So if it gets rested on a metal or stone surface whilst I'm wearing it or banged on a stair rail or similar, as tends to happen in normal life, it's not a problem. I would only worry if it picked up a big gouge or dent. It has a lot of swirls on the lower wrist links, the clasp and some light marks around the buttons and lugs. The bezel has a couple of tiny nicks. It has received some fairly hard hits.

    I am confident that a service would easily return it to 'as new' condition. I've been wearing it as my main watch and for work for a couple of year now. It's a very comfortable and easy to wear watch and not worrying too much about it means I can really enjoy it. As a casual style and a high end Quartz with Anadigital display it should be a daily wearer not a 'best watch'. The first couple of scratches hurt a little but once there are too many to count it's both liberating and relaxing wearing it. Whilst everyone has different tastes, there is nothing that I don't like about the watch or would change. I have more confidence in it's ruggedness than any other watch I have owned. It's my third Titanium watch (after an Aerospace and an Attessa). They have all faired quite well and I am considering adding a Tudor Pelagos as I really like Titanium now.

    Tom, I think your HB-SIA is a more refined watch but it's still a sports watch so I would probably wear it the same as my X33 if it were mine. One of my philosophies is that the more expensive something is the more I need to use/wear it to make is cost effective - so I wear or use my most expensive things the most and the cheap stuff is occasional. It makes sense if you think about it. Requires an adjustment in our desire to maintain the value and pristine condition of things but makes owning them a lot more enjoyable. Everything is a consumable and nothing is forever.
    Thanks. Looking for an excuse to add an X-33.


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  21. #21
    old thread sorry to comment but thanks for the review . Keep picking one up at the AD to admire the regular model not the Skywalker.


    Sent from my iPad using TZ-UK mobile app

  22. #22
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    Image1653115114.786419.jpg

    Having sold my X-33 gen2 a few years back, I was looking for another. Loved the Solar Impulse, but also the titanium bracelet of the Skywalker. This is the result.



    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  23. #23
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattOz View Post


    Having sold my X-33 gen2 a few years back, I was looking for another. Loved the Solar Impulse, but also the titanium bracelet of the Skywalker. This is the result.
    That is my preferred configuration as well.




    Incidentally, it is possible to fit a Gen.1 bracelet to a Skywalker.

    Inform - Educate - Entertain

  24. #24
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    It’s definitely the way to go. I looked for a few months for a gen1/2 bracelet, but they’re like rocking horse poo. Naturally I ordered a Skywalker version from my AD and within a week there was a pre-owned gen1/2 bracelet on ebay. Typical. However, it sold for a lot, and the cost of the new one wasn’t that much more. I do like the screwed link tubes on the Skywalker bracelet too.

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