In some sense, Omega’s Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch is like no other watch. Not only is it about as iconic and compelling as any timepiece ever could be, but its base price of $5,250 is relatively reasonable, and makes for a worthy aspiration.
Circa $5,000 is still plenty of money (more like $6,000 for the newest generation), though, so something comparable but more affordable might be what’s right for you. Or, maybe you’ve heard so much hype and seen so many pictures of Speedmasters on Instagram that you simply want something a little different.
The Moonwatch’s history is hard to beat, but its handsome, legible design that’s sporty and technical yet understated is also rare in other chronographs. However, there are alternatives out there. In their own ways, each option below offers an attraction similar to the Omega Speedmaster.
It’s been called the “other” Moonwatch, and it even shares some visual traits with the Speedmaster. Though less well known, the Bulova Lunar Pilot is among a handful of watches that have actual space-mission cred. Bulova collaborated with NASA for decades, contributing the likes of its Accutron technology in a few ways, including in the Lunar Pilot watch. The actual model worn on the moon by astronaut Dave Scott sold at auction in 2015 for no less than $1.625 million. Equipped with a quartz movement, however, this commercial version is eminently affordable and probably one of the coolest watches in this price range.
Movement: Bulova High Performance Quartz chronograph
Water Resistance: 50m
British indy brand Farer released a winning collection of mechanical chronographs in 2019, and of those, the Moritz offers a look and feel that might satisfy a Speedmaster hankering. Its mostly monochromatic face, the layout of its subdials and its tachymeter give it the sort of instrument-like character of the Speedy — and it’s similarly powered by a hand-wound movement that helps keep it thin and wearable. It’s different enough, however, to have its own personality, with various design elements drawing inspiration from vintage chronographs, but also incorporating the brand’s vibrant highlights.
Movement: Sellita SW510 BH Elaboré grade manual
Water Resistance: 100m
The black dial with black tachymeter bezel and typical chronograph dial layout make Bell & Ross’s BR V2-94 aesthetically comparable to the Speedmaster, and perfect for those who perhaps like the Speedy’s look but want something less common. The BR V2-94 also offers luxury-level fit and finish commensurate with a price that’s about $1k less than the (basic) Speedy itself — and on its steel bracelet, it’s all the more Moonwatch-reminiscent.
Movement: ETA 2894-2 automatic
Water Resistance: 100m