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Guide The ultimate reference guide for the Omega Speedmaster Reduced  –  All models and detailed comparison to the Speedmaster Professional

Avatar Ferdinand By Ferdinand 4 Comments
For 22 years Omega produced a slightly smaller Speedmaster. This automatic Speedmaster, also known as the “Reduced”, was a canvas for many interesting designs. It’s not the Moonwatch, but it still comes with some heritage. This article shows all models and highlights the detailed differences between the Speedmaster Professional and Reduced.

 

Table of contents

 

Introduction

The Speedmaster Reduced was produced for 22 years from 1988 to 2010. Some neglect the watch as a “budget Speedmaster” but I think these models have their own place in Omega’s collection with the brand having released some very interesting designs. The case dimensions of only 39mm also make this watch suitable for many wrists. The official name is “Omega Speedmaster Automatic”, since it has an automatic movement compared to the manual-wound movement of the Speedmaster Professional. I’ll stick to the name “Speedmaster Reduced” since my impression is that this informal name is more widely used.

Movement

Let’s start with the basics. The Speedmaster Professional is a handwound watch, the energy that you give the watch is what gets used. The Speedmaster Reduced has an automatic movement, that means after initially winding the watch through the crown, there’s a rotor providing the watch with power as long as you move it.

Comparing the Reduced movement to the Professional

There were some overlaps of different movements both in the Speedmaster Professional and Reduced which were in production at the same time. Some movements of the Speedmaster Professional which overlap with the production dates of the Speedmaster Reduced (1988–2009) are Caliber 861 (1987–1995), Caliber 863 (1985–1997), Caliber 1861 and 1863 (both 1997–2021). The Professional’s Caliber 1861 was meanwhile upgraded to the Caliber 3861 in 2019. For the comparison I’ll focus on the latest movement iterations of the Speedmaster Professional and Reduced which were in production at the same time.


Speedmaster Professional

Caliber 1861

Omega Caliber 1861
  • Based on: Lemania 1873
  • Movement: Manual-wound
  • Diameter: 27 mm
  • Power Reserve: 48 hours
  • Frequency: 3 Hz (21,600 vibrations/hour)
  • The seconds hand doesn’t stop when pulling out the crown to adjust the time.

Speedmaster Reduced

Caliber 3220

Omega Caliber 3220
  • Based on: ETA 2892-A2
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Diameter: 25.6 mm
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations/hour)
  • The seconds hand stops when pulling out the crown to adjust the time (hacking seconds).

Movement variations of the Speedmaster Reduced

Over the years there were a few movement changes in the Speedmaster Reduced.

Different alignment of chronograph pushers

Comparison of how the chronograph pushers of the Speedmaster Professional are aligned differently compared to the Speedmaster Reduced
Left: Speedmaster Professional • Right: Speedmaster Reduced

Since the Speedmaster Reduced has the Dubois-Dépraz 2020 chronograph module mounted on the dial side on top of the base movement ETA 2892-A2 the chronograph pushers are not in one line with the winding crown. The Speedmaster Professional on the other hand has the chronograph pushers and winding crown closer to one another and aligned in one line.

Behavior of the chronograph hands

Comparison of how the hands of the chronograph move on the Speedmaster Professional compared to the Speedmaster Reduced
Left: Speedmaster Professional • Right: Speedmaster Reduced

While the chronograph hands of the Speedmaster Professional jump as soon as the whole minute is reached, the chronograph hands of the Speedmaster Reduced engage in a sweeping motion. As with the Speedmaster Reduced sometimes it might be hard to tell what the exact minute is if the chronograph hand is inbetween indices. With the Speedmaster Professional you are always shown the current elapsed time, which prevents this ambiguity.

Dial

Alternating order of sub dials

The Speedmaster Reduced is not just a shrinked down version of the Speedmaster Professional. There are some small differences. As you can see below the order of the 30-minutes chronograph subdial and the small seconds is swapped. All subdials are farther apart, whilst the subdials on the Speedmaster Professional are more centered.

Dial comparison of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch and Speedmaster Reduced
Left: Speedmaster Professional • Right: Speedmaster Reduced

Comparing the Speedmaster Professional and Reduced the arrangement of subdials is exactly inverted. Looking at the subdials counter-clockwise, on the Professional you have the seconds, minutes and hours. On the Reduced you have the minutes, seconds, hours.

Comparing the chronograph hands

Comparison of the chronograph hands on the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch and Speedmaster Reduced
Left: Speedmaster Professional • Right: Speedmaster Reduced

Characteristic for the Speedmaster Professional is the chronograph hand with the little “tear”, which glows in the dark. The Speedmaster Reduced does not have any luminescent material and lacks the tear shape.

Bezel

Comparison of the bezels on the Omega Speedmaster Professional and Speedmaster Reduced
Left: Speedmaster Professional • Right: Speedmaster Reduced

The letter È of the word “TACHYMÈTRE” doesn’t have the accent grave on the Speedmaster Reduced. Both feature a kilometer-based bezel making it possible to determine speeds of 60–500 km/h. The number 1 is just a line on the Speedmaster Professional whilst the Reduced’s number 1 has a little hook at the top. Otherwise the typography seems to be the same but spacings of indicators and labels are different.

Crystal

The Speedmaster Reduced used Hesalite for the longest time, which is a plexiglass material that started to become popular in the 1940s. Later editions in the 2000s with the Caliber 3220 got a sapphire crystal which is much more robust but also looks different. An example is the black and white reference 3539.50.00 that has the sapphire crystal.


Case

Case dimensions

Visual dimensions comparison of the Omega Speedmaster Professional and Omega Speedmaster Reduced
Left: Speedmaster Professional • Right: Speedmaster Reduced

Caseback

The caseback of the Speedmaster Reduced is pressed, the Speedmaster Professional’s caseback is screwed in.


Bracelet

The Speedmaster Reduced comes on a steel bracelet. The gold variations of this bracelet are built identical. Typical for that time was a simple folding clasp, that was stamped out of a sheet of steel, not milled out of a block of metal like later Speedmaster clasps. The links of the bracelet make an iconic rattling sound and feel light. But it’s very comfortable and fits similar to Rolex’ Jubilee braclet. Either you like this vintage style and feel or not. Some versions of the Speedmaster Reduced were delivered with a leather strap matching the dial color, for example the Michael Schuhmacher editions with a red, yellow and blue leather strap.


Bracelet comparison

Speedmaster Professional

Bracelet and clasp of the Speedmaster Professional
  • Width at case: 20 mm
  • Width at buckle: 18 mm
  • Clasp: Milled clasp. Fine adjustment “on the fly” possible without additional tools, although some older clasps didn’t have this.
  • Pushers on the side of the clasp to release the bracelet.

Speedmaster Reduced

Bracelet and clasp of the Speedmaster Reduced
  • Width at case: 18 mm
  • Width at buckle: 16 mm
  • Clasp: Stamped clasp. Fine adjustment possible through 6 additional holes in the clasp, additional tools needed.

Collection overview

The Schumis

German Formula 1 race driver Michael Schumacher was a brand ambassador for Omega from the mid-1990s to around 2010, when he started working with Audemars Piguet. During this collaboration quite a few racing inspired Speedmasters were released.

The Plain Joes

The Goldies

This category is a bit difficult since the same reference numbers show completely different models. The information on this variation of the Speedmaster Reduced is therefore inconsistent. It also seems that a lot of dials have been swapped so that I’m not sure if those are references that Omega produced this way. Please see the following model overview as a draft.

The Japanese

The Mothers of Pearls

These dials were often times also available with a diamond bezel. For simplicity sake I will just list the base models without the diamonds.

The Others

4 Comments

  1. southslope.nyc 12.11.2023

    A lot of great research here! I would just add that the 3539.50 also came with an improved bracelet with solid end-links and milled clasp. Thanks for putting this together! 🍻

  2. eastw_atch 05.05.2023

    what a great resource!! thankyou for taking the time to write it! will definitely help me in hunting one down, as good examples are hard to come by now.

  3. TheRenaissanceTinker 04.05.2023

    I’m curious why you did not mention the Triple Date Automatics. Are they not considered part of the “reduced” family? Excellent article regardless.

  4. Phill MWU 04.05.2023

    The Omega Speedmaster automatic has been worn during spaceflight missions. For example: space shuttle Columbia STS-94 by astronaut Michael Gernhardt who wore an Omega Speedmaster automatic triple date #MoonwatchUniverse

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