The X-33:

Specifications :

Movement: ETA 988.431 devellopped exclusivly for Omega caliber number 1666

Type : Quartz multifunction
Dimensions : 13 1/4 ligne, 30mm
Precision : +/- 0.1 seconds per day
Jewels : 9
Power Reserve : 2 year to 3 yrs depending upon use of alarm and light
Battery : lithium
Light : 8 LUX
Sound intensity : 80 dB minimum (that ought to wake the dead!)
Water resistance : 3 ATM
Shock resistance : 3500 g's maximum

Scroll the cursor over the image to light the dial


The functions :

Time :

analogue for hour, minute and seconds functions, with battery end-of-life indicator (lithium, 3 V)

Alarm :

A double titanium caseback makes it possible to reach over 80 decibels for the alarm function + The Mission Time Alarm (MA) function may be prgrammed at any time throughout the mission.


Universal Time (UT)

GMT time, indicating the day of the week, the hour, the minutes, and the seconds, is used to avoid the confusion of time zone changes. The Universal Time Alarm function may also be programmed at any time throughout the mission

Chronograph

Times to 1/100 of a second

Dial Light

A light commanded by a push button makes the display visible in the dark.

Date

perpetual calendar (day, date, month, year)

Countdown

up to 100 hours

Mission Elapsed Time (MT) :

Long chronograph function in days, hours, minutes and seconds up to 999 days

Turning Bezel

Unidirectional with minute scale.


Models :

Ref TS.186.1998 (PIC 3990.50) produced from 1998 up to 2001 : The fist version of the X-33

Ref TS.186.1999 (PIC 3991.50) produced from 2001 to nowdays : "Relifted" version of the X-33

Ref. TS.186.1999 (PIC 3991.52) Special version for the US market engraved with different US squadrons or NASA , pilots , astonauts or cosmonauts names

Ref. TS.186.1999 (PIC 3992.50) : Special version of only 12 pieces, 10 given to the crew of Team New Zealand (sponsored by Omega), "Defender" of the America's cup 2003; main characteristics : without hands : made to time races dial with America's cup New Zealand 2003


Difference between the first generation 3990.50 and the second generation 3991.50

Bezel : The fisrt model have a unididectionnal bezel with polish insert , the second model a bidirectionnal bezel with satin finish and a luminous marker

Pushers : the pushers have been modified to be more secure against lost (problem of the first model) and with a stin finish

Crystal : the sapphire crystal is only AR coated on the inside of the crystal for the second model (double side AR on first)

Light : light duration is reduced on second model to save battery life

Back : new back is engraved NASA approved for manned space missions (only the seahorse on first model)


X33 at the Omega Museum :

The X-33 familly : various prototypes
The X-33 of Team New Zeland, model without hands
Cosmonaut X-33 : Afanasiev's X-33 (616 days on MIR) : prototype N°04 of the X-33
Cosmonauts X-33 : Avdelev and Afanasiev X-33 (616 days on MIR) : prototype N°04 and N°10 of the X-33
Trst Pilot Torman's X-33 , early prototype of the X-33 : 1997

Instruction manual

You can find a scan of the complete instruction manual of the X-33 on Chuck Maddox website : click here


The X-33 at NASA

The X-33 is one of the most common watch seen on astronaut wrist today , it is qualified for space flight with the following other watches :

- Omega Speedmaster Professional (the only one which is qualified for EVA still today)

- The Casio G-Shock

- The Timex Ironman

An astronaut can request to wear a personal watch from home. It will be logged in as crew member personal property, but can't be worn under extreme conditions like space walks or launches. "Personal watches can't be worn in the launch suit because the suit is designed to automatically pressurize in the event of an emergency. That pressurization may cause the watch to rupture, and in an emergency, nobody would have time to take the watch off." (extract from NASA officila website)

Early prototypes of the X-33 have been spotted on the wrist of NASA astronauts early 1998 (see "NASA pics" on this website) : the development of the X-33 was done in colaboration with astronauts and test pilots.


The origin of the "X-33" nickname

The early prototypes of the X-33 where officially named "Flightmaster" but engineers at Omega internally nickname the watch X-33, in reference to the futuristic project of NASA for a new space shuttle : the Lockeed Martin X-33 prototype.

The nickname was very popular at Omega and they have decided to keep it when the watch was realised , changing the "flightmaster" name of the prototypes for "Speedmaster Professional X-33"

X-33 shuttle : click image to enlarge