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Omega Moonwatch: Professional Vs. Moonphase

Omega Moonwatch: Professional Vs. Moonphase

the omega professional and the Omega moonphase

Selecting a new wristwatch can indeed get tricky. To do this, you need to choose between numerous brands, colors, sizes, styles, and other specifications. Meanwhile, anyone reading this probably already has an interest in the Omega brand and the Omega Moonwatch collection. And for that, we must say that you made the best choice. 

Omega, as a watchmaker, is one of the premier Swiss manufacturers. This watchmaking brand delivers a lot of value in every new time offering. At this point, you have one last decision to make. That final decision becomes which model you’d like to add to your watch collection. 

Meanwhile, what we provide here is a guide to selecting between two celebrated timepieces all in the Omega Moonwatch collection. Will it be the Omega Professional or the Omega Moonphase?

Table of Contents:

  • The Omega Culture Through History
  • Introducing the Omega Moonwatch Collection
  • Key Facts About the Omega Moonwatch Collection
  • Introducing the Omega Moonwatch Moonphase
  • The Case: The Professional vs. Moonphase
  • Movement: Professional vs. Moonphase
  • Dial: Professional vs. Moonphase
  • The Bracelet: Professional vs. Moonphase
  • Value and Affordability: Professional vs. Moonphase

The Omega Culture Through History

the omega professional and the Omega moonphase

As a whole, Omega never stops playing a crucial role in writing and rewriting horological history. Here is one brand that had its place among the highly respected brands for several years. Omega is a major contributor parading a variety of creations in the watchmaking world. Moreover, some of the most sought-after timepieces globally are products of this Swiss watchmaking brand. 

Therefore, as far as the two models at hand, they saw their popularity increase in the 60s. During this time, each of these watches became large and diverse. Besides, the most notable cultural success of all was the Omega Moonwatch collection going to the moon. Here is one bit of history that remains almost unmatched in the watchmaking world. Plus, many find it adorable to own the watch that was a part of such a feat.

Introducing the Omega Moonwatch Collection

watches in the omega moonwatch collection 

The Omega Moonwatch collection is effortlessly among the brand’s most distinguished time offerings. Also, the classic Moonwatch Professional is the ideal example that got flight-qualified by NASA. In addition, it holds the recognition of being the first timepiece worn on the moon. 

Knowing this, Omega broadened the Moonwatch collection over the years. Presently, this collection includes a surprisingly vast array of diverse chronograph wristwatches. More so, for nearly two decades from the late 1980s until about 2009, Omega created a smaller edition of the classic Moonwatch featuring an automatic movement. That automatic movement is what defines the Omega Moonwatch Moonphase.

Nevertheless, it is worth noting that there are many similarities between these two Omega watches which include their similar overall aesthetics. Regardless, the Omega Moonwatch Professional is a very distinct watch compared to the Moonwatch Moonphase. 

Indeed, the main idea and general design language of these two Onega Moonwatch time tools are similar. Yet, every other detail about them is distinct. From their movements to their cases, dials, bezels, and bracelets, you get completely different features. More so, the closer you compare these two, the more evident the distinctions get. 

Overall, do you need to choose between the classic Omega Moonwatch Professional and the more compact Moonwatch Moonphase? Then, keep reading to uncover all of the likenesses and distinctions between these two Omega chronograph timepieces.

Key Facts About the Omega Moonwatch Collection

  • First launched in 1957.
  • Introduced as part of a triad of sport and tool timepieces alongside the first Seamaster 300 and Railmaster editions.
  • Initially built for the world of automotive racing.
  • First watch worldwide to headline an outward tachymeter bezel.
  • In 1962, it became the first Omega timepiece to reach outer space
  • In 1965, it became flight-qualified by NASA for all human-crewed space missions
  • 1969 saw it earn the reputation as the first watch worn on the moon
  • Still utilized aboard the International Space Station presently.

Introducing the Omega Moonwatch Moonphase

the Omega moonphase

The Omega Moonwatch’s glorious history started well over 60 years ago in 1957. That year turned out to be a seminal year for Omega. Also, it captioned the introduction of iconic models. First, we got the model that later gave birth to the first watch to visit the moon. Also, the Seamaster 300 and Railmaster lines came along.

Truly, the Omega Moonwatch Professional parades an extended and well-documented heritage. This heritage stems from the brand spending an enormous amount of time in the press ever since the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Still, there is a short and often-neglected chapter to this story that most watch enthusiasts do not know about: The coming and disappearance of the Omega Moonwatch Moonphase.

For those who haven’t heard of the Moonwatch Moonphase before, don’t worry. This model hasn’t been available for the most part of the last decade as Omega discontinued this model. Knowing this, while it was available, the Moonphase was often recognized as the “lite” edition of the Moonwatch Professional. 

This image was not only because of its smaller size as it measured 39mm wide instead of 42mm. Also, it is due to how it strayed from the original design. These variations came because the brand intended to make the Omega Moonwatch collection less expensive. Omega also needed it to be fitting for a modern market that required automatic-winding watches.

The Case: The Professional vs Moonphase

The Omega Professional Moonwatch comes in a 42mm diameter case. As for the Moonwatch Moonphase, it gets the nickname “Speedmaster Reduced” because of its size. The Moonphase has a 38mm wide case. What makes the most difference here is the reduction down to 44mm lug to lug. With this reduction, the Omega Moonphase is more wearable for a variety of medium to small wrist sizes.

the cases of the  omega professional and the Omega moonphase

At a glance the shapes appear quite alike at a glance but with subtle differences. Omega Moonwatch collectors admire the way the lugs curve and don’t. For the Omega Moonphase, the shorter lugs are not as sharp and pronounced as the lugs on the Omega Professional.

In addition, another more significant distinction in the Moonphase is the design of the flanks. You find the chronograph pushers set high and the crown set low. That might be a tiny detail, but purists find it careless. Nonetheless, we see it as a necessity. One reason they sit offset is due to the stacked movement.

On the Omega Moonphase, you see a case height/thickness of 12mm. That measurement is similar to the wider Moonwatch model. More so, the proportions of the diameter do not heed in height. What you get consequently is a subtle divergence from the initial design. One that can be difficult to grasp with caliper measurements. Here is one more misinterpreted knock against the Omega Moonphase. 

Meanwhile, the FOIS (First Omega in Space) and the CK2998 also share a chunky and tall case size. They never feel too tall or hang up on a shirt sleeve or however you wear them.

Movement: Professional Vs. Moonphase

Under the hood, the Moonphase employed an automatic ETA base caliber (2890-A2). It later got upgraded to feature chronograph functionality by way of a dial-side module. It is the brainchild of Dubois-Dépraz. Then, it became the Omega Caliber 3220. 

the movement of the  omega professional and the Omega moonphase

That was a significant distinction from the Omega Professional. The latter popularly features a hand-wound caliber with an integrated chronograph system. Truly, some purists may not consider the Moonphase to be worthy of true Moonwatch status because of this. Still, the difference in the movement did yield a few intriguing effects on the aesthetics. These effects are worthy of consideration when choosing which version of the Omega Moonwatch collection to go for.

Additionally, whenever a bolt-on module like the Dubois-Dépraz 2020 comes in as in the original Moonphase models released in 1988, it affects the arrangement of the pushers and the winding crown. Hence, if you look at the Moonphase model side-on, you will see that the pushers sit barely higher than the winding crown. This is not like the usual being in a straight line, as is common with an integrated timepiece. 

This is because the pushers and the crown get engaged with two distinct mechanisms geared to run on the same power source. That is most times one of the tell-tale indications of a modular chronograph movement.

Dial: Professional Vs. Moonphase

the dials of the omega professional and the Omega moonphase

Away from the distinct pusher and crown arrangements, the sub-dial layout is also varied on these two Omega Moonwatch collections. To start with, the Moonphase is apparently a part of the Omega Moonwatch collection from first look. But, exactly how much it differs from the basic Professional model doesn’t really become noticeable until the two watches sit side-by-side. When this happens, the distinctions are striking and there are also quite a few of them.

Starting with the sub-dials of the Moonphase placed far closer to the boundary of the dial than the tri-compax cluster of the Professional. That gets even more striking due to its smaller case size. Here is an update in the aesthetic that gives the feeling that the movement of the Moonphase tries to bust its way free of the case. 

Meanwhile, many collectors like the calm serenity of the Professional. Here, you get all of the registers completely in their natural place. There is none extending over with any of the hour markers.

One other stark distinction between the two dials of these similar Omega watches is the existence of five-minute numerals on the original Moonphase model. That is one feature you cannot find on the Professional. Joined with the smaller dial, these extra numerals make the display of the Moonphase appear a bit more jumbled. However, not in an unappealing way. 

Overall, whether or not this resonates with you comes down to personal preference. Are you looking to add an Omega Moonwatch to your collection? Do you like smaller diameters, automatic movements, and “active” dials instead of clean and simple displays? Then, what you need is the Omega Moonwatch Moonphase. 

The Bracelet: Professional Vs. Moonphase

the bracelet of the omega professional and the Omega moonphase

The bracelet appears very similar to other Moonwatch timepieces complete with a pressure locking clasp. On the Moonphase, the lug width is only 18mm. Truly, that’s only 2mm less than the Moonwatch. Still, it should be considered. More so, there isn’t much taper from 18mm which makes it wear a little bigger.

Moreover, watches in the Omega Moonwatch collection are strap monsters. You have a chance to try out a couple of distinct options to uncover the perfect pairing. We advise a thicker leather strap to make it appear a little more robust. Also, you have a NATO style strap as one of your options. Here, the folded tail makes the 18mm seem larger as well. 

Finally,, it is harder to find a la carte OEM Ref 1469 bracelets in good condition. Plus, they are more expensive. It is not the best option to try and save on the initial purchase by choosing a Moonphase that doesn’t come with an OEM bracelet.

Value and Affordability: Professional Vs. Moonphase

This is possibly the single most impressive aspect of this discontinued model for collectors. The Moonphase is more affordable on the pre-owned market compared to the Omega Professional. That fact is, in part, a result of the movement that powers the watch. Also, there is a more likely reason being its lack of provenance. 

the omega professional and the Omega moonphase

Meanwhile, it is highly unlikely that Omega will ever find itself in possession of the sort of PR gold that the moon landings dropped into its lap. Therefore, the Omega Professional will forever occupy special status within the Omega range.

Nevertheless, the Omega Moonphase is a really interesting exception. This watch existed in the collection for slightly over two decades. It was in production from 1988 to 2009. The Moonphase features a self-winding movement. Plus, there are a few neat special renditions like the Schumacher editions, panda dials, and even a blue dial released in Japan. More so, it fits the modern trend of smaller-sized timepieces. 

So, note that we have some of these models out there on the pre-owned market and priced considerably lower than a standard Omega Professional. Therefore, a Moonphase makes for a delightful addition to any collection of watches.


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