I devoured review after review when I was anticipating my purchase of the Speedmaster Professional. To be honest, so much great text and photos are out there representing this fine piece that there’s not that much I can add to the wealth of opinion and observation, but I haven’t been successful in couching my urge to write about this historical timepiece anyway. This quick review is about the 3573, also called the “Sapphire Sandwich” because the front and back crystals are sapphire.
I love how the watch hasn’t changed much since its inception. It’s 2012, and you’re buying what feels like a brand new vintage watch manufactured in the 1960s. New watches don’t come with crystals that sit so high above the bezel like this one. The case has strong polish contrasted with grainy brushed surfaces and straight lugs that don’t curve and hug the wrist like contemporary alternatives. If that’s not enough to convince you of its vintage feel, it’s a handwind mechanical, which has no practical value in the 21st century. It’s my favorite part of the watch, though. I look forward to the ritual of winding the watch every morning. Omega has updated the Speedmaster with an in-house movement and high quality bracelet, and that piece is nice, but it’s not the same as the moonwatch.
The dial is full of bold contrast. The white hands and markers against the black dial make it one of the most legible faces I’ve seen as well as emphasizes its position as the “moonwatch.” All my watches have a date window except for this and the Timex Weekender, and I’ll tell you what: I love the clean look of a symmetrical dial. I’ve just grown accustomed to learning the date in different ways, and it’s not all that important that I write it constantly throughout the day.
Although the 3570 with the hesalite crystal and steel case back is true to the model Buzz Aldrin wore on the moon, I love the sapphire exhibition case back. One look at the movement and I was hypnotized, and this is the standard against which I judge all other display case backs. I’ve seen pieces from even A. Lange & Sohne whose see-through case backs cannot hold a candle to this work of art.
Accuracy is good. I’d say I need to adjust the time back about one minute every two to three weeks, so it’s averaging about +3 to +4 seconds per day, which is within COSC specifications despite it not being a certified chronometer. I’m pleased.
Here’s a great link to WUS where a forum member has posted some incredible photos that really show off the dial and case back: http://forums.watchuseek.com/f20/my-new-saphire-sandwich-313160.html
If you have any reservations about picking up this watch, put them aside because this won’t disappoint you. It’s a great watch for serious watch collectors and for those who are not serious collectors but want a watch that commands respect from those who are.