Can you put a different bezel on Omega Speedmaster?
If you have an Omega Speedmaster or an Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch, you have probably often wondered whether or not you could change the bezel. Well the answer is yes you can. However, you must have the knowledge, proper tools and experience to know which bezel you can and cannot use for the change. It has taken me years to know which bezels will work on the different Omega cases. So it is best to ask before buying. Don’t try this at home.
This simple change or swapping of bezels on your Omega Speedmaster can make a dramatic difference in the way your watch looks. Although there are not a great number of Genuine Omega bezel colors or styles to choose from it is still a great way to get an interesting new look for your Omega Speedmaster. The three main colors of bezels are Polished steel, brushed steel, blue, black and a few red and copper.
Don’t be Fooled by Omega Bezel Inserts for sale on the Web
Don’t be fooled by the so called genuine Omega bezel inserts you see on Ebay or the web. Omega does not sell just the inserts for Omega Speedmaster bezels and on that note, Omega does not sell inserts for Seamaster Professionals(I will get into the Omega Seamaster professional bezel in another blog post). Anyone telling you different simply does not know and/or is providing false information. Most, if not all of the inserts you see on the web are aftermarket, cheaply made and invariably the wrong dimensions. You can find some used genuine inserts for sale on ebay or the web, but it is very difficult to tell if they are genuine because there are no markings to suggest otherwise. The speedmaster bezels themselves also do not have any markings, so buyer beware.
One other note on the speedmaster inserts is that is very difficult if not impossible to remove the insert without damaging the insert itself as well as the bezel. So, my advice do not try it. Most of the speedmaster inserts are held in place by adhesive, so trying to pry out the insert is a recipe for disaster. However, if you want to try(this really only applies to the speedmaster professional moon watch bezels) and the bezel is removed from the watch, turn it over and you should see that the insert overlaps somewhat. Gently push with your fingers on the exposed underside of the insert. If it doesn’t came right out leave it alone. Your only other option would be to use a ceramic hot plate to release the adhesive. Here again, you have to know what you are doing. Leave it on to long or at to high a temperature and you will damage the insert.
Changing Bezel on Omega Speedmaster Reduced
There are really only two options for the speedmaster reduced when it comes to swapping bezels, Black or Brushed steel. I personally do not do this swap very often, but it is an option and can dramatically change the look of your Omega Speedmaster reduced.
Changing Bezel on Speedmaster 39mm
Here is where it can get fun and there are a few options. This is probably the most common request I get and one that I do myself quite often for some of the watches that I sell. As you can see in the above pictures a bezel swap or bezel change can make a dramatic difference in the way the watch will look. Granted I also changed the hands in the first picture. In the above examples I changed out the original 37mm polished steel bezel with a 37.5mm black bezel. The size difference does not sound like much, but the shape of the 37.5mm bezel makes the watch feel and look much more substantial.
The case size for most all of the Omega speedmasters produced in the 90’s and up until 2006 is 39mm, however the bezel sizes are different. There are two bezel sizes that were produced for the majority Speedmasters during that time period. , 37mm and 37.5mm. The 37mm bezel is tapered and is solid with no insert. The 37.5mm is tapered as well but has an insert. Unfortunately, the 37.5mm only comes with a brushed steel, polished steel or black insert. If you are interested in swapping the 37mm for the 37.5mm or vice versa, you will also need to change the crystal and crystal gasket. The crystals on these two bezels are not interchangeable.
If you are wanting to change or swap bezels on your Omega speedmaster there is not one particular way of doing this. First, you need to make sure the new bezel you are purchasing is going to fit. It is not simply just a matter of measuring your current bezel. Only sure way to know if a bezel is going to fit properly is trial and error, which is not really an option for the individual. So, my advice is to ask someone who has the experience and knowledge.
Most bezels are fairly easy to remove and you can accomplish this with your basic watchmakers knife. This is what I use for removing most Omega speedmaster bezels, but be warned, it takes a practiced hand to remove a speedmaster bezel without marring the watch case. You basically place knife under bezel between one of the lugs and pry up. Make sure that you have some type of barrier between knife, bezel and lug such as a polishing cloth. This will keep you from damaging the case. Bezel should just pop off. If the bezel does not pop off easily the first couple of tries, you are better off taking it to a watchmaker. There are quite a few bezel removers or extractors on the web, but I would advise you not to waste your money. Most do not work and can really cause a lot of damage to the watch case. The bezel removers or extractors that do work cost a small fortune and is not worth the investment for the individual.
Finally, it may seem that such a simple change can be quite challenging and involved, but it really can be worth it in the end if you are wanting to change the look of your Omega speedmaster. Bottom line, always ask someone who has the knowledge and expertise before trying to change the bezel on your speedmaster yourself.
I will add the 40mm Omega Speedmaster and the Omega speedmaster professional moon watch to this blog post in the near future.