Together with another regular Time Zone Omega Forum-poster, we (Robert-Jan Broer and Bas van Dorp) decided to make an article on the bracelets and straps that would fit a Speedmaster Professional. The most common bracelets and a few different straps, including non-Omega straps ofcourse. We did some photoshooting a while back and ended up with a collection of nearly 110 photos of Speedmasters with all kind of bracelets and straps. We selected the nicest pictures to present to you in this article.
First a short overview of the bracelets that Omega used since their first Speedmaster (pre-Professional) with 20mm lugs. The very first Speedmaster (pre-)Professional watches had 19mm lugs, I won't discuss the bracelets used on those models.
The first Speedmaster Pro bracelet was the ref.1039. It had some sort of mechanism at the last few links near the clasp that could extend the bracelet a bit. A sort of fix-o-flex effect. Most of these bracelets are gone, and that will become logical when you hold of of these old bracelets on your hand. They are not very solid and they don't make a very good impression qualitywise.
When Omega introduced
the Speedmaster Professional with cal.861 (the successor of the cal.321
columnwheel movement) they also introduced a new bracelet. The ref.1171,
which was more solid than the ref.1039 and was more durable too. The
ref.1171 can still be ordered at Omega in Switzerland to 'restore'
your vintage Omega Speedmaster Professional.
The ref.1171 bracelet was used from 1968/1969 till about 1980. In 1980, Omega sold the Speedmaster Professional with a ref.1450 bracelet. It looked just like the ref.1171 but had links that were more 'round' and looked like the Rolex President bracelet. The clasp had 'Speedmaster' engraved, something that was still missing on the ref.1171.
This ref.1450 bracelet was used till 1991. In 1989 the 20th Anniversary (to honor the moonlanding) model of the Speedmaster Pro also used one. Below you will find a scan of a 1989 brochure which shows the ordinary Speedmaster Pro with ref.1450 bracelet.
Around 1991/1992, Omega sold the Speedmaster Pro with a new bracelet. The links in the middle-row had polished ends, so it looked if it had 5 links next to eachother.
The ref.1479 was used till around 1995/1996. The predessor was the shortlived 1499. I can't actually determine what the difference is between the 1499 and the 1498 (from 1997 till 2000). For the people who doesn't like wide clasp of the ref.1498, ref.1499 and ref.1998 could try to obtain this bracelet. Sometimes jewelers still have them in stock.
Update: The difference between the 1498 and 1499 is the engraving in the clasp. The endpieces also have different numbers, 840 for the 1498 and 842 for the 1499. The words in the clasp are the same, but the engraving is just different. It looks somewhat 'sharper' in a 1498 clasp.