Despite the fact that the Speedmaster's design has become nothing short of iconic, it's by no means rigid. To the contrary, it's imminently adaptable, and lends itself well to a variety of special editions that Omega has released in the model's decades-long run. Perhaps the most desirable are those that commemorate the release of the Speedmaster itself.
In 1997, Omega released an edition of Speedmaster in honor of the Speedmaster's 40th anniversary. This watch, the Reference 3593.20, featured a sapphire exhibition case back to showcase the Calibre 1863 movement. Additionally, it would be the first edition of Speedmaster where Omega would use a sapphire crystal rather than the traditional acrylic.
And viewed through that sapphire crystal is perhaps the most appealing aspect of the watch: the dial.
Omega had experimented with the dial color of the Speedmaster with the first special edition, released in 1969 to commemorate the Moon Landing. With a gold case and dial and a burgundy bezel, the 1969 Special Edition was a regal departure from the classic black-on-white dial design. However, it wasn't until the 1980s that Omega would completely subvert that color scheme with the introduction of the white-dialed Reference BC 345.0802, followed by another white-dialed variant (the Reference BC 348.0062) in the 1990s.
However, compared to those two references, whose white dials are almost antiseptic in their starkness, the dial of this particular Speedy is something else entirely.
Its delicate, cream-colored complexion has caused collectors to dub this particular Reference as the "Italian albino." The nickname derives from the fact that this Speedy was released only in Italy. Furthermore, the "Italian albino" was only released in a limited run of 500 pieces, making it as rare as it is distinctive.
Another small but no less important detail is the use of SuperLuminova on the dial and hands. This mandate came on high from the upper echelons of the Swatch Group, who decreed that all watches produced by the group would have SuperLuminova instead of the radioactive tritium. The "Italian albino," therefore, is the first Speedmaster to bear SuperLuminova.
Bearing a production number of 110 out of 500, this Speedy comes complete with inner box, instructional manual, certificate of authenticity (in Italian), and spare links for the bracelet.
Rare and desirable, it only proves that a classic is a classic, no matter the color.