Ever since the X-33 was discontinued in Summer 2006 Omega collectors and enthusiasts have been wondering if and when there was to be a replacement for the Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33.
In a recent interview for Japanese newspaper the Yomiuri Shimbun, Omega SA president Stephen Urquhart was quoted as saying,
“Omega is one of the pioneers in the field of watch technology. For example, the Omega X-33 has been certified by NASA [U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration] for space flights. We’re planning to upgrade the X-33 next year and for future space programs. I agree that today every mobile phone and every computer you buy displays time precisely. But we feel our strength is in mechanical watches. So we’ll continue to bring something extra to mechanical watches–history and lasting value.”
My personal take on the matter is that it is perhaps premature to infer too much from M. Uquhart’s comments. Not only are Uquhart’s remarks again couched in commentary about Omega’s mechanical timepieces, but this isn’t even the first time Omega has said offhandedly that a replacement for the X-33 was in the works. After all, we’re still waiting for that watch Omega promised when they previously claimed they were “currently designing a Speedmaster to meet the demands of the next generation of astronauts” — back in Spring 2007.
Frankly, I’m going to believe it when I see it. At present, these meager offhand remarks alone aren’t enough to make me reverse my previous position and think that Omega has indeed finally undertaken a project to replace the X-33 with a new model. The fact remains that the X-33 was something of a retail flop in its first lifetime despite the current fascination with the model, and Omega’s current strategy seems more and more heavily focused on the new co-axial calibers. An ‘X-34’ (especially in the current economic market!) would seem at odds with both of these.