Earlier today we promised more pictures and details of the Omega Speedmaster Professional NASA 145.022 with so-called ‘Radial’ dial. No more waiting – ready for take off!
As noted by in the comments section of our previous post, it is indeed the very same Speedmaster that was first featured on FratelloWatches: the one that was once owned by Reinhard Furrer. After his untimely death the watch was given by his family to a friend and fellow astronaut, who now still has the watch in his possession.
FratelloWatches did a rather comprehensive write-up on the history of this watch and the late Mr. Reinhard Fuller. It is worth a read! As their is little to none to be added to the Fratello post, we’ll stick to pictures and a few remarks on the specifics of the watch and it’s design.
A few notable differences
This Omega Speedmaster 145.022 is different from your regular Speedy Pro on two key points: the dial and the caseback. While the dial features the exceedingly rare Radial number alignment, the caseback is engraved with NASA issue numbers.
An example of a Speedmaster with a similar dial can be found in the OmegaMania catalogue. The obvious difference compared to a regular Speedy Pro is the alignment of the numbers of the subdials, but the complete lack of any ‘Swiss’ wording at 6 o’clock is also very unusual – and thus quite notable.
While Ace Photo Studio did an excellent job in the 10 minutes (!) we gave them for this shoot (no Photoshop!), the high-res picture by Antiquorum is really the only way to get a grasp of the fine details. The picture below allows us to fully admire the detailed print of the subdials:
But as stated, while the lay-out of the numerals of the subdials is obvious, it is not the only thing that caught our eye when admiring this Speedy. What about the lacking ‘Swiss’ designation – in whatever form?
Is there any way to make sense of this? While it might seem puzzling, there might be an explanation. Please – do not hesitate to share your views in the comments! Note – we are still looking for ways to verify the segment below;
The Star Watch Case
Something that is often discussed in Speedmaster circles is the ‘Made in America’ rule. Supposedly NASA insisted that the majority of parts -or value- of their equipment should be made in the USA. So how does a Swiss watch company -with the only watch certified for use by NASA at the time- get around this? Omega’s solution was to have the cases made in the USA, and so they did. They contracted an American case maker and had them make Speedmaster cases. While this may seem like a random thought, it actually isn’t: the mark of the Star Watch Case Company can easily be seen in the pic of the caseback below – it is the line starting at 3 o’clock.
While rules for ‘Swiss Made’ or any other designation have changed quite drastically in the last 20-30 years, it is not that much of a leap to think that the 50% value added in the USA (including casing, regulation) would exclude the Speedmaster Professional in NASA-disguise from using such wording on its dial.
It is documented that Omega did contract the Star Watch Case Company for just this reason – if interested, you can read more about it right here.
Below you’ll find a few additional pictures of this stunning watch. Once more: do not hesitate to share your views in the comments!
We would like to thank the following entities for making this happen:
- First of all of course the gentleman collector who owns this stunning Speedmaster. It would not have been possible without your cooperation!
- Ace Photo Studio for the excellent job performed in the very short time frame we permitted – please note, these pics were made in just 10 minutes without any Photoshop! Kudos guys! Their website is not up yet, but don’t hesitate to ask us for details.
- FratelloWatches for finding out about the watch and its whereabouts.
- Antiquorum for the high-res pic as found in the OmegaMania Auction.
- Military Watch Resource and user Camfam for the info on the Star Watch Case Company.
Add.: this watch is the very model being auctioned by Bonhams on December 10th 2014.