Having been part of all six lunar missions and endorsed by NASA as the first watch on the moon, the legendary Speedmaster family represents Omega’s adventurous, pioneering spirit. It is no surprise then that 50 years later, on its golden anniversary, OMEGA is looking back on its own special role aboard Apollo 11 and the Moonwatch legacy that inspires the brand even today.
How OMEGA moonwalked to the moon?
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the lunar surface on the 21st of July 1969. Their moonwalk lasted just two and a half hours, but their achievements left a defining footprint on the history of space exploration. It was during this iconic moment that the OMEGA Speedmaster Professional became the first watch worn on the moon. Robust and reliable, the Speedmaster soon became known as the “pilots’ choice” and was adopted by those in the U.S Air Force.
By the 1st of March 1965, OMEGA was the only supplier of watches for NASA’s Human Space Flight Program. It was trusted throughout the following Gemini Program, and, of course, the Apollo Program – which had its sights set on the moon.
James Ragan, the NASA engineer who qualified the Speedmaster in 1965 has spoken about the importance of OMEGA by saying, “The watch was a backup. If the astronauts lost the capability of talking to the ground, or the capability of their digital timers on the lunar surface, then the only thing they had to rely on was the OMEGA watch they had on their wrist. It needed to be there for them if they had a problem.” Indeed a moment of honour for Omega
50 years later, omega’s reliability and precision remains unquestionable.
Marking this golden anniversary of the OMEGA watch that was gifted to astronauts in 1969 to celebrate the first moon landing, OMEGA has manufactured this pale gold Speedmaster limited to 1,014 pieces, driven by the manual-winding OMEGA Master Chronometer Calibre 3861.
50th anniversary spells gold. Omega has built a truly warm and classy 18K Moonshine™ gold watch for this commemorative timepiece. Keeping its roots intact, the new Speedmaster Moonwatch Anniversary Special has the original burgundy bezel ring, only this time in ceramic [ZrO2], according to a special patent pending process, with its tachymeter scale in Ceragold™.
A vertically brushed step dial, also in 18K Moonshine™ gold with facetted onyx hour markers, the new Speedmaster Moonwatch Anniversary Special is a faithful rendition of the 1969 version. The new ‘Moonshine™’ alloy, which has also been used on the case, bracelet and other elements of the watch, offers high resistance to the fading of the gold colour and luster over time.
Flip it around and this gorgeous 42mm watch has a matte-finish black background surrounded by some commemorative inscriptions that read, “APOLLO 11 – 50th ANNIVERSARY” and “THE FIRST WATCH WORN ON THE MOON”. The case back also showcases a blue ocean that surrounds a partial world map of America with a glimpse over the rocket’s lift-off site Cape Canaveral (known as Cape Kennedy from 1963 – 1973)
And to add that final touch to the new Speedmaster Moonwatch Anniversary Special, you can see the delicately set domed lunar meteorite inlay representing the Moon in the cavity of the ring.
The new pale gold Speedmaster Moonwatch Anniversary Special is quite a vintage looking speedy and the perfect ode to the golden era.
The new Speedmaster Moonwatch Anniversary Special is now available at Johnson Watch Co. New Delhi, India.