Spot On - Omega Japan Racing Speedmaster Ref. 3570.40
The Omega Speedmaster has become one of the most iconic and collectible sports watches not just from Omega, but also across all brands. Vintage pieces have skyrocketed over the past five years and collectors are now becoming obsessed with the details in a similar way that Rolex has been forensically studied. Like all vintage timepieces, the devil is in the detail and a large part of that detail and interest can be found in the dial. Tropical, painted logo vs applied, long markers and exotic; its all there to be discovered. Today’s Spot On pays tribute to a homage to one of the most eye-catching and collectible of all Speedys…the Omega Japan Racing Speedmaster.
The late 60s was a time for brands to experiment with colour and layout on its dials. No other watch type got more colourful than racing chronographs. Perhaps inspired by the bright and memorable colours of racing teams’ car paint jobs and drivers’ livery, the late 1960s and early 70s was a time for exotic offerings from the world’s leading horological heavyweights. The most famous examples are the Rolex tri-colour ‘Paul Newman’ dial, Tudor’s iconic ‘Homeplate’ and Omega’s ‘Racing Dial’ Speedmaster. Compared to regular dial versions, all three were eye-catching, daring and different in their own ways. This has been reflected in both the high interest these pieces garner from collectors and also their market values!
Omega’s Racing Dial
The so-called ‘Racing Dial’ is most commonly seen in the Mk2 Speedmaster, with its 70s case shape which was a departure from the more traditional form of the Speedy. The dial was also used in reference 145.xxx with its asymmetrical lugs, pronounced pushers and powered by the caliber 861 manually wound movement. The version that we are focusing on is the 145.022 that had a grey dial with orange, red and white accents. This watch has now become highly prized as highlighted in the Phillips ‘Start-Stop-Reset’ chronograph-themed sale in 2016 when a nice example sold for approximately 50k Euros!
The Mk2 Speedmaster from the 70th.
The 145.022-68 Racing Dial Speedmaster
Released in 2004 as a limited edition of just 2004 examples, the Omega Pro Racing reference 3570.40 was launched for the Japanese market and it was incredibly faithful to the original. Like the Tudor Heritage Chronograph that so faithfully recalls the best bits of the original 1970 Homeplate, the so-called ‘Japan Racing’ retained the main stylistic elements of the 145.022-68 Racing Dial Speedmaster watch. The updated version is in a larger 42mm case with 20mm lug width and is powered by the descendent of the mighty 861, the 1861.
The 2004 limited ref. 3570.40 Racing Dial Speedmaster
The bright orange accents are one of my favourite aspects of this stunning watch. The grey dial has a red outer ring that sits below an outer seconds track that alternates on an axis in one-second (with four sub second hashes) blocks. The red ring is then punctuated by bright orange hour markers with corresponding luminous hashes further into the centre of the dial. The orange theme continues with the painted OMEGA logo, stopwatch second hand and hour and minute sub dial hands. The running-seconds sub dial hand (at 9 o’clock) is white as per the original. It’s a great combination!
Every Speedmaster just loves to be worn on a nato strap. Perfect combo between sporty elegant dial and tool watch feel.