Saturday, May 24, 2008

Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33

Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33
Ref TS.186.1998 (PIC 3990.50) produced from 1998 up to 2001 : The fist version of the X-33


Movement: ETA 988.431 devellopped exclusivly for Omega caliber number 1666
Type : Quartz multifunction

Dimensions : 13 1/4 ligne, 30mm
Precision : +/- 0.1 seconds per day
Jewels : 9
Power Reserve : 2 year to 3 yrs depending upon use of alarm and light
Battery : lithium
Light : 8 LUX
Sound intensity : 80 dB minimum (that ought to wake the dead!)
Water resistance : 3 ATM
Shock resistance : 3500 g's maximum

Basic Functions:
Hours, Minutes, Seconds
Day, Date, Month, Year. Perpetual calendar to 2099AD
Battery end-of-life indicator (second hand jumps in 5-second intervals)
Countdown Timer
Chronograph - 1/100sec up to 99h59′59″99/100
Special Functions designed for NASA Mission Requirements:
Mission Elapsed Time (MT) - up to 999 days
Mission Elapsed Time Alarm (MA)
Universal Time (UT) - including day number or “Julian” date
Universal Time Alarm (UA) - second alarm for a specific time & date only

X-33 in Space
The X-33 is used by NASA and many space agencies for in-flight mission requirements. It is issued as one of four watch models approved by NASA for mission use. The others are the original Omega Speedmaster Professional, a Casio G-shock, and a Timex Datalink. The original mechanical Speedmaster Professional remains the only watch authorized for use during EVA "spacewalks." The X-33 is most often seen worn on the black kevlar strap, though the titanium bracelet appears sometimes as well. Rarely it can also bee seen worn on a one-piece white velcro strap similar to (or the same as?) that used to fit around the spacesuit. The watch is issued to NASA astronauts and is often worn on the ground as well to build familiarity with the interface and operation of the watch, much like the astronauts of the Apollo program in the 1960’s and ’70s wore their NASA-issued Speedmaster Professionals on the ground.

X-33 Cancellation
In the summer of 2006 Omega announced that the Speedmaster Professional X-33 would be discontinued for regular retail sale, but shortly thereafter it was determined that the X-33 would still remain available to space agencies like NASA and to military aviators under under the Military Pilot Program.
While Omega never provided any definitive reasons for the cancellation, there was much speculation (as always!) among enthusiasts and collectors. Its namesake NASA X-33 program had already been cancelled in awkward embarassment years previously, and unfortunately for Omega it was probably getting increasingly hard to maintain credibility selling a watch bearing the same tainted name. Moreover, despite its aviation and space pedigrees the X-33 was sadly never a blockbuster seller in the retail market, with pricing being perhaps among the biggest reasons. At its price point (MSRP about US$3400) it was relatively expensive for a sport/tool watch when similarly featured models from the competitors like the Casio G-Shock could be had at a fraction of the price. And though technically superior and well-matched to its intended flight/space applications, quartz technology can be a hard to sell at those prices. Though very functional it lacks the prestige and nostalgic tradition of a mechanical movement, something consumers who would spend such a sum on watches still seem to want in a "luxury" watch.

based on info from and

1 comment:

TotalAxcess said...

The X-33 was obviously not very popular in the retail world.