The Omega replica Speedmaster is perhaps the greatest icon in the watchmaking world. For over 50 years, the Speedy has been the gold standard by which all high-end chronos are measured, and the history of the line can fill volumes (in fact we have: check out our series on the history of the Speedmaster here). However, for all that game-changing, moon landing history, and the dizzying array of variants, there’s one line of Speedmasters that always seems to fall by the wayside somewhat: the Speedmaster Schumacher.
It’s easy to forget with the NASA heritage and the Moonwatch designation (which, even as a racing fan, I can’t argue, is the coolest distinction ever awarded to a timepiece) that the Speedmaster line was designed as a racer’s swiss fake watch, and the Schumacher Speedys take that to the nth degree by partnering with the man who, by the numbers at least, is the single greatest racing driver of all time- Michael Schumacher.
He didn’t just push his body, he pushed teams to the limits of their performance as well, logging so many testing laps at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track during his time with the team, that many Ferrari personnel only half-jokingly began to wonder if he was a machine himself, constantly pounding around and feeding the team data about the car. On the other hand, this insatiable desire for victory led him to moves which were called dangerous and unsportsmanlike. In the last Grand Prix of the season in 1997, for example, Schumacher deliberately crashed into his championship rival, Williams driver Jacques Villeneuve, in order to secure the title for himself. This move resulted with Schumacher being excluded from the entire 1997 points standings and Villeneuve being given the title.
Since 1996, replica Omega has commemorated the legendary driver with the Speedmaster Schumacher, and several variants stand out from the rest. The original red variant from 1996 adds a vibrant pop of color while celebrating Michael’s first year at Ferrari, but for my money the most attractive model is the “Legend” variant from 2004, available with white, black or red dial. The black, especially, is a well-executed reverse panda style dial, and the contrast between the elements is stunning. As for size, all Speedmaster Schumachers are Speedmaster Reduced automatic models with a 39mm diameter. While for many, this is improper for a Speedy, as opposed to the Moonwatch’s 45mm size, for myself and many others 39mm hits that apex of wearability perfectly. The Schumachers, especially the Legend series, are versatile enough to dress up or down, fitting all but true dress-cheap replica watch occasions. As for price, well-documented examples range from about $3000-$4000.