Please note that my own humble observations of this particular Omega are just that - I don't claim to be an expert, and what I view as a positive may be someone else's negative. I highly encourage the reader to seek out the opinions that other members here have posted so that you have as much information as possible. For those on the fence on getting the FOIS, I hope this helps in nudging you pick one direction or the other. And by all means, please message me with any questions you may have. THE REVIEW After five days of wearing the First Omega In Space, I elected to put together a small little review for the watch. This is not the traditional type of review where one can obtain case thickness, the weight of the watch, etc - there certainly are no shortages of such articles out there on the web. Instead, this serves more as a source of the personal insights of a current owner. Despite some negatives that have been posted here, let's make one thing perfectly clear - I LOVE THIS WATCH. Unlike the Speedmaster 3366.51 that I traded in for the FOIS (for which a couple of the reasons are listed here), this Schirra-inspired Speedy is definitely a keeper, even if there's a thing or two that I didn't entirely latch onto. And now, to those little particular things about the First Omega In Space that I noticed over the last week. Some are well documented in various reviews (and should be viewed as just another opinion that's been thrown into the mix) while others have not (in which case I hope it answers a few questions that the reviews out there haven't covered). For Smaller Wrists Before we get into how the FOIS looks on the wrist, let’s get one crucial fact out of the way. I’m 5’ 8”, 153 lbs soaking wet, and have those Small-Cause-I’m-Asian wrists that top out at a whopping 6.5 inches. Now I’ve owned the Speedmaster Professional, and while I was happy with how it appeared on my tiny wrists, I’ll readily admit that it was a touch large to my eye (although gladly justified by the watch’s proud history). Not being a fan of the oversized watch market, 42mm is about as large as I’m willing to go with any timepiece. Like A Glove... for me anyways! Blessed be the FOIS! Minus those crown guards and tiny bit of extra lug to lug length, the thing looks perfectly far more proportioned on my skinny wrist than the Speedy Pro. It’s almost silly when you consider we’re talking only about 2.3mm, but that little bit taken off the watch as it sits on my wrist seems to make all the difference in the world. It was this fact that was the top reason why I swapped out my 3366.51 for the FOIS. Vintage Sometimes Has A Price The second reason why I liked the FOIS was the 2998’s Alpha hands – they really lend that great vintage look that screams “Early Speedmaster!” However, I quickly found that vintage comes at a cost – the occasional issue of not being able to instantly tell time. Low Light Legibility - YMMV based on angle. Because the Alpha hands are metal, they will reflect any source of light that hits them. It’s great when they reflect the light off of a bright wall or the sky (where they’ll actually be BRIGHTER than the white chronograph hand), but in the case of reflecting a dark colored surface or a shadow, they tend to start blending in with the black dial. The worse time is twilight or equivalent, where they will be just enough light to render the Superluminova useless, but not enough for the Alpha hands to be clearly visible. The same can be said to be true of the leaf-style seconds hand. In fact, I’d say it gets worse - with no Superluminova coating, that little guy at times flat out disappears. This is NOT a criticism, mind you. I did my homework when considering the FOIS, so I was well in the know that I’d have to play the wrist-angling game at certain times to tell the time. Four days after I first put it on, it's become pretty automatic. But it is something worth noting as a heads-up for those not in the know. The Lesser Known Space Pedigree The third reason for my love of the FOIS is it’s history. It is common knowledge that the first Speedmasters officially endorsed by NASA went into space starting in 1965 (ref ST105.003 if you’re interested) and the current models continue to be the only watch that space-faring organization will acknowledge as being EVA-approved. Oh yeah. There’s also that little tidbit about the Speedmaster as being the FIRST watch worn out on the moon (Aldrin’s ST105.012 on Apollo 11, if you wanted to know). Why Omega considers that such a big deal is beyond me. (totally kidding, folks! ) The Watch That The Was The Inspiration. Some sources cite this was the very watch Schirra wore on Sigma 7, which is telling as to how well it survived that trip - This particular photo was taken just prior to the later Gemini 6A. But not a lot of people know of Wally Schirra’s personal Omega CK2998 that adorned his wrist when he was blasted into orbit aboard Mercury-Atlas 8 / Sigma 7, a full two years before NASA even began to test wristwatches for eventual use by astronauts. He didn’t make a huge deal about it at the time - like others before him, he simply wanted to use something to back up his spacecraft's timer, and he just happened to have an Omega CK2998 that he had bought on his own dime. Not only did it survive the trip, but it survived well enough to where it he continued to keep the track of time with it for decades afterwards. So in essence, that makes Schirra’s CK2998 the granddaddy of all the space faring Speedmasters that have gone into orbit and to the moon. It's that slightly obscure yet poignant bit of history that I simply love, and the FOIS honors it! Lack Of Hesalite Admittedly, I was initially not thrilled one bit about the use of sapphire crystal as opposed to the hesalite one that was on the original 2998’s. Much of that stemmed from my experience with the Moon watch, where I grew to love the warmth that it cast on the dial. Then I saw how the dial looked under the sapphire… and that disdain quickly vanished! A black varnish dial looks dramatically different when viewed under the two respective crystals. The dial on my old 3366.51 looked more brown than it did black (although this could very well have been the result of the liberal use of gold on its dial contributing to the visual effect), but this is not the case on the FOIS – the black dial looks BLACK under the sapphire, and the contrast is so strong that the dial seems to really just out at the gazer! The only other time I felt that a dial had such a strong visual presence was when I once handled a DSOTM - I kind of consider the FOIS it's smaller little cousin due to this similarity. Of course, it doesn’t replace the love I have for hesalite (which in my opinion totally belongs on anything calling itself a Moon Watch); it’s a different kind of love for a different kind of watch. And trust me when I say that the first time I bump my FOIS into something hard enough to leave a mark on the more-durable-but-you-can’t-polish-out-that-mark sapphire, I may find myself singing a different tune. But for now, I'm enjoying the sapphire and the advantages it brings. Strange Inconsistencies The one and only criticism that I will level at the FOIS is the use of two different hands for the sub dials. Obviously, it wasn’t enough of an issue to stop me from picking it up for myself., but it’s strong enough to where I will eventually address it. Schirra’s personal CK2998 had white for the sub dials (note - there is always a chance that he may have owned an earlier-2998 and somewhere down the road the associated leaf style hands swapped out; still, his 2998 that currently sits in an Omega museum in Switzerland has straight ones), so it has always been a bit of an enigma for many as to why Omega used BOTH leaf (for the seconds) and straight sticks (for choronograph functions) on the FOIS. Some theories abound on the web, but no one can say for sure why this was done. All I know is that it definitely is weird for to see two different hand styles present on the same dial. The Stray Leaf Amongst Sticks. Schirra's actually CK2298 is on the left, the FOIS is on the right. And as mentioned in the previous section, the metallic leaf hand has the propensity to disappear when the lighting is just right while the white batons will only disappear in the total absence of light. This will occasionally put you in moment where you are looking at hands on only two of the three sub dials. I imagine there’s a big crowd of FOIS fans who don’t mind the different hands. Unfortunately, I’m on the opposite side of the fence. I see myself one day having that metal leaf hand swapped out for a white straight hand so that it matches it's two other brothers… likely some seven hundred and twenty six days from now, when the warranty expires. And that's it. Again, I hope this helps anyone trying to decide if the First Omega In Space is for them.