As a follow up to last year’s Speedy Tuesday limited edition release from Omega and Fratello Watches, we have the Speedy Tuesday Ultraman, a tribute to the original so-called Ultraman Speedmaster. The original Ultraman Speedmaster was identical to a standard Speedmaster, except for a distinctive orange center chronograph seconds hand. The model’s name is thanks to its appearance on the TV show, “The Return Of Ultraman,” which aired in 1971 – Ultraman himself was a highly popular TV character who originally appeared in 1966-67. The show is sometimes described as a kaiju show thanks to the inclusion of giant monsters in every episode (kaiju is Japanese for “strange beast”) which in turn is a subcategory of the tokusatsu (“special effects”) genre. In the show, Ultraman is a benevolent alien superbeing who co-inhabits the body of a human, who has the ability to transform into the giant-sized, super-powered Ultraman to battle monsters threatening the Earth. The catch was that Ultraman could only fight for three minutes before his energy was depleted.
The new Speedy Tuesday Ultraman Speedmaster (named for the recurring series of Speedmaster articles, posted on Tuesdays on Fratellowatches.com) is the second partnership between Omega and Fratellowatches; the first Speedy Tuesday Speedmaster launched in 2017. The Ultraman has been controversial in the past, with many Speedmaster aficionados expressing doubt that it was authentic – it would be an easy piece to fake by simply adding the center seconds hand from a Speedmaster Mark II to a standard Speedmaster. However, Omega has confirmed that it is an authentic Speedmaster variant, though the company also says that “it is unknown how many genuine pieces still exist.”
In addition to the orange center seconds hand, the new Ultraman also has orange hour markers, and a black and orange tachymetric bezel; the word “Speedmaster” is in orange as well. Another tribute to the original watch, and the TV series that inspired its name, is the hidden silhouette of Ultraman’s head in the small seconds subdial at 9:00. Shining a UV light on the dial will make the silhouette appear (a UV light is attached to one end of the included strap changing tool, which is modeled after the “Beta Capsule” which Ultraman’s human host used to transform into the superhero). A final nod to the original series is the minutes register – the first three minutes are marked in orange, reflecting the 3 minute time limit on Ultraman’s super powers.
There’s a shout-out to vintage Speedmaster enthusiasts in general as well – the bezel features a dot positioned above the number 90, in tribute to the “dot over 90” bezel used on pre-1970 Speedmasters. Omega has included both a black and orange NATO strap, and a leather strap with orange stitching. Packaging is scifi-flavored as well,
The first Speedy Tuesday Speedmaster sold out very quickly and by the time you read this, the Speedy Tuesday Ultraman will be gone – all the watches were reserved in exactly 1 hour, 53 minutes, and 17 seconds according to Omega.
If the speed at which these and the original Speedy Tuesday is any indication, the appetite of enthusiasts for vintage-inspired Speedmasters with a perceived strong connection to interesting vintage models. The Speedy Tuesday Ultraman will sell for a premium over the cost of a standard Speedmaster Professional: $7,100, and you can still register for one in hopes that someone who reserved theirs already will pass.
While the numerous Speedmaster limited editions inevitably are the target of a certain amount of snark, it’s also true that it’s a commercially savvy way for Omega to keep the Speedmaster, in all its Moonwatch and non-Moonwatch iterations, part of the current narrative of the company, rather than part of its past. The original Speedmaster Professional remains one of the last great bargains of modern mechanical horology, at $5,250 in steel but of course, as a single model the Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch would be a charming oddity rather than an ongoing part of the modern company’s identity.
Model: Speedy Tuesday 2 “Ultraman”
Reference Number: 3188.8.131.52.01.001
Case Material: stainless steel
Dial Color: black/orange, aged lume plots
Water Resistance: 50 meters
Strap/Bracelet: leather with orange stitching or black and orange NATO
Functions: time; chronograph with seconds, minutes, and hours totalizers
Power Reserve: 48 hours
Frequency: 21,600 vph
Additional Details: lateral clutch, cam-and-lever controlled
Pricing & Availability
Availability: all pieces reserved
Limited Edition: yes, 2,012 pieces worldwide.
Join the ever-lengthening queue, right here.