For all big fans of Omega’s heritage and its iconic watches, such as the Speedmaster Professional, or just the Moonwatch, for those who want to combine tradition with the latest trends, the Swiss watchmaker produced a modern version of the legend, with a new design and material, and with an advanced mechanism. Besides, the Speedmaster HB-SIA Co-Axial GMT Chronograph with its interesting and mysterious name refers to the first ever, totally solar powered aircraft (the Solar Impulse HB-SIA) which development was partially sponsored and technically supported by Omega.
The plane with two electric prop engines is powered by lithium ion batteries that get energy from solar panels, located all over its surface. This single-seater can store enough power to take off and fly all day and night under its own energy. The constructors of the plane used a customized carbon fiber honeycomb sandwich structure to get highly light wings. This material is also used by the Swiss watchmaker for the dial of the Speedmaster HB-SIA Co-Axial GMT Chronograph, which is pretty unusual for Omega watches.
This Speedmaster is also specific, because its case is crafted in titanium, another rarely used material by Omega. (Actually, it is the first Speedmaster mechanical watch made of titanium.) One variation of this specific model also has a bracelet made from this very light and hard material. Other two versions of the Solar Impulse timepiece come with rubber straps, either in black or orange color.
The dial of the HB-SIA watch, with its 24 hours track is similar to the interface of a Speedmaster Broad Arrow GMT Co-Axial Chronograph. White luminous markers indicate even hours, while Arabic numerals indicate odd hours, from 1 to 23. Central hands are also very bright and easy to read, as well as chronograph sub-dials. Only the date window looks a little bit hidden on the carbon fiber surface. The orange GMT hand with a plane-shaped top that displays time in the second time zone is a really good solution for this model. Besides, it is independently adjustable.
Three Chrono Sub-Dials
The 30 minutes counter is located at the 3 o’clock position, the 12 hours counter takes the 6 o’clock position, while the small seconds counter is at the 9 o’clock. Speaking about functionalities, this is not all. There is also a tachymeter scale, engraved on a black fixed bezel.
Omega Speedmaster HB-SIA Co-Axial GMT Chronograph is powered by an in-house Caliber 3603 automatic movement. This COSC certified chronometer incorporates Omega’s Co-Axial escapement, a column wheel based chronograph and a free sprung-balance. Fully wounded, it provides 55 hours of power reserve, when it is not worn.
The case of Solar Impulse timepiece has 44.25 mm in diameter. It is protected with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatments on both sides. The case-back is covered with an interesting animation of the HB-SIA plane in the center, surrounded by some important information about the watch, such as the one about its water-resistance (100 meters/330 feet).