It has been 50 years since man took his first steps on the moon, changing history – and the limits of what is possible – forever. And as we all know, Omega has an intimate relationship not only with space travel in general, but also with the moon landing in particular since the Speedmaster was right there, on the astronauts’ wrists.
For the 50 year anniversary Omega has now launched a brand new Speedmaster chronograph that reaffirms the relationship with the astronauts and the legacy of the Apollo 11 mission.
With Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, the first humans entered the moon’s surface on July 21, 1969. And with them they brought the Omega Speedmaster Professional. This makes the Apollo 11 mission one of the most spectacular moments in Omega’s history.
It all started 10 years earlier when Omega launched the first Speedmaster. The model was chosen by the pilots as the model for the U.S. Air Force, from whose pilot pool the astronauts of the Mercury mission came. When NASA’s space program accelerated rapidly in 1964, the active search for an all-suited chronograph that could withstand the necessary tests began. The Speedmaster was officially declared airworthy for all manned space missions in 1965. The rest is, as the saying goes, history, because from that time Omega was the official watch supplier for NASA’s Human Space Flight Program.
And the chronographs had a responsibility that cannot be overstated: they acted as a backup in case the radio contact to the ground should break off or the digital timepieces on the lunar surface should not function.
Omega presented the first commemorative edition at the “Astronaut Appreciation Dinner” in November 1969. By 1973, only 1014 copies of this watch had been produced. It is and remains – also in its unmistakable combination of gold and Burgundy red – one of the great highlights in the legendary history of this chronograph.
And now to the Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition: This chronograph is made of a new, exclusive yellow gold alloy, based on the design of the Speedmaster BA145.022. “Moonshine” is what Omega calls it, and its color is inspired by moonlight.
The case is brushed in parts, polished in parts and equipped with a diameter of 42 mm. To remain faithful to the historic 1969 model, this Limited Edition also features a ceramic burgundy bezel ring with a tachymeter scale. In the style of the tachymeter scale of the first Speedmaster generation, which had up to 500 units per hour, this model has a dot at 90, known as “Dot Over 90” or “DON”.
The dial is vertically brushed. The hour and minute hands are filled with black lacquer, while the chronograph hands and totaliser time are painted black. Faceted black onyx indices and polished bezels complete the look.
The watch is powered by the new Master Chronometer calibre 3861 with manual winding and Co-Axial escapement.
The Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary is completed by an asymmetric wristband of the fourth Speedmaster generation.