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2004 Omega Speedmaster Professional ref. 3570.40 "Japan Racing Dial"

The Omega Speedmaster is one of the most iconic sports watches of all time, and it has been a cornerstone offering within the industry for more than half a century! But with a massive production run like the Speedmaster has enjoyed, not all Speedmasters are created equal.

Throughout the years, Omega has produced a number of special variations of its legendary chronograph wristwatch. In this installment of What Is On My Wrist, Craft + Tailored’s CEO Cameron Barr shines the spotlight on a 2004 Omega Speedmaster Professional ref. 3570.40 with a “Japan Racing Dial” and explains exactly why so many collectors are interested in owning these unusual limited-edition variations of the classic Moonwatch.

Although Omega has produced versions of the Speedmaster with the same essential core aesthetic since 1957, the company started to play around with the design of its famous chronograph collection during the late 1960s, and this resulted in the creation of a wide variety of variance within the model range. In the late ‘60s, Omega produced a small batch of around 150 examples of a special version of the reference 145.022 Speedmaster that had the same type of gray, red and orange “Racing” dial that can be found on certain Mark II watches from the same era. Characterized by a matte gray surface with a checkered minute track and bright orange and red accents, this unique style of exotic dial gives this version of Omega’s iconic chronograph a significantly different overall appearance compared to the standard black version of the classic Moonwatch.

This unusual racing style dial made a brief reappearance in 2004 as the Omega Speedmaster reference 3570.40. Produced as a limited-edition release exclusively for the Japanese market, the 2004 version was created as a limited batch of just 2,004 examples, and it quickly picked up a cult-like following among collectors. Just like the 1960s version that serves as its inspiration, the Omega Speedmaster Professional ref. 3570.40 “Japan Racing Dial” features a checkered style minute track with five prominent lines between each minute marker to make it easier to precisely take a reading of the elapsed partial seconds. Additionally, as a final splash of color and to match the accents on its chronograph hands, the Omega logo on the dial of the ref. 3570.40 appears in a bright orange color, which further sets it apart from the other Speedmaster models that offer an identical overall case profile.

Part of what makes the Omega Speedmaster Professional ref. 3570.40 “Japan Racing Dial” such an interesting watch is the fact that it doesn’t shout about being a limited edition release in any way whatsoever. While collectors and Speedmaster enthusiasts will inevitably spot its signature gray, red, and orange racing dial, the average person is likely to be entirely unaware that it is anything special at all, since there aren’t any specific markings or even special packaging materials that denote it as a limited edition release. A big part of the reason why people love studying and collecting the Omega Speedmaster is because alongside truly fanciful limited editions that feature cartoon dogs riding rockets, there are also subtle versions such as the ref. 3570.50 “Japan Racing Dial” that are essentially just funky and high-visibility versions of Omega’s single most famous watch of all time.


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