Tag Archives: 50th Anniversary

Press Release: Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary

It is now 50 years since mankind took its first daring steps onto the moon – a moment that changed history (and the limits of possibility) forever. On this golden anniversary, OMEGA is celebrating the occasion with a brand new Speedmaster that has a very special connection to the astronauts and the legacy of that Apollo 11 mission.

How OMEGA reached 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.

The OMEGA Speedmaster Professional became the first watch worn on the moon.

It was during this iconic moment that the OMEGA Speedmaster Professional became the first watch worn on the moon. The Apollo 11 mission is certainly the most celebrated moment in OMEGA’s considerable space heritage. But the journey to reach that point began more than 10 years earlier, in 1957, when the very first OMEGA Speedmaster was launched.

Thanks to its robust, reliable and easy-to-read design, the Speedmaster became known as the “pilots’ choice” and was adopted by those in the U.S Air Force. Many of those aces became Mercury stronauts in NASA’s first manned space programme and, in 1963, one of those astronauts, Walter Schirra, took his own Speedmaster CK2998 on the Mercury-Atlas 8 mission. Orbiting the Earth six times, his privately-owned model became the first OMEGA watch worn in space.

By 1964, NASA’s space programme was accelerating rapidly and it officially went in search of one watch that it could rely on for all of its manned-missions. Flight Crew Operations Director, Deke Slayton, issued a request for wristworn chronographs from different watch manufacturers around the world. Several brands, including OMEGA, submitted their timepieces for the punishing tests – such as thermal, shock, vibration and vacuum examinations amongst others. Only the OMEGA Speedmaster survived these tests and, as a result, it was declared “Flight Qualified for all Manned Space Missions” on the 1st of March 1965.

From that moment, 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.”

With the eyes of the world on Apollo 11 in 1969, every piece of technology and kit had to be just right. There was no room for error. That’s why it is such an honour for OMEGA to look back and know that its watches were implicitly trusted by everyone involved. 50 years later, we are still incredibly proud to have timed mankind’s greatest hour.

Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition

Marking the golden anniversary of the first moon landing, OMEGA has produced a new Limited Edition Speedmaster of 1,014 pieces, delivered with a five-year warranty. Following the famous design of the Speedmaster BA145.022, this new chronograph has been crafted from an exclusive new 18K gold alloy and is powered by a brand new manual-winding Master Chronometer calibre 3861.

More info via our partners of WatchBase. For inquiries please contact Ace Jewelers!

It’s here: the Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 310.60.42.50.99.001

Just a few minutes ago Omega introduced the Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 310.60.42.50.99.001 – and it’s a stunner!

The Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 310.60.42.50.99.001 is inspired by the BA145.022 of 1969-1973. It has a case, bracelet and dial made of ‘Moonshine’ gold, which is a proprietary 18k alloy which is said to be slightly less yellow than regular yellow gold. The (DON) bezel is made of burdundy ceramic. It is powered by the new caliber 3861 – a METAS-certified version of the (1)861 with co-axial escapement and Si14 hairspring. It is limited to 1014 pieces.

Source of inspiration: the BA145.022. This watch was introduced in 1969 and made for approximately four years. A number of these were offered to astronauts and other VIP’s, while the bulk of the 1014 pieces were sold to the general public.

More info via our partners of WatchBase. For inquiries please contact Ace Jewelers.

Press Kit Apollo 11

The 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 is fast approaching. Of course us Speedmaster nuts are all [im]patiently awaiting even the tiniest bits of information on the commemorative Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 50th anniversary watches. Today I don’t have such info*. I did dig up something else!

*turns out the Apollo 11 50th anniversary watch was actually launched today. What are the odds?

Below are a few cool images taken from the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing Mission press kit by NASA. The full .pdf can be seen and downloaded at this link.

Press Release: Omega Speedmaster 50th Anniversary 1957-2007 Limited Series

Omega Speedmaster Professional 50th Anniversary 311.30.42.30.01.001

Omega Speedmaster Professional 50th Anniversary 311.30.42.30.01.001

OMEGA’s Limited Series launch of the Speedmaster Professional 50th Anniversary is sure to create a stir among Moonwatch purists. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Speedmaster – the first and still the only watch to have been worn on the Moon – a Limited Series of 5,957 stainless steel pieces with a special commemorative design of a golden seahorse on the dial will give collectors a rare opportunity to own a piece of space history.

April 19th 2007 – read more below the picture

Omega Speedmaster Professional 50th Anniversary 311.30.42.30.01.001

Omega Speedmaster Professional 50th Anniversary 311.30.42.30.01.001

The physiognomy of the 42 mm Professional Chronograph Moonwatch with its black dial, chronograph counters and tachymeter scale bears the DNA of the original hand-winding 1957 Speedmaster and its heart is powered by the famous Calibre 1861 that accompanied the watch into zero gravity. Launched in 1957 and designed to measure speed with chronograph and tachymeter functions, the Speedmaster has proved time and time again an invaluable and life saving partner to pilots, astronauts and explorers as they defy boundaries and push to ever-higher limits in the exploration of the universe. With an impressive track record of 11 NASA tests and 6 Moon landings, the Speedmaster has been on every US manned space flight and is currently on board Russia’s ISS International Space Station making this manual-winding timepiece a cornerstone of horological and space history.

OMEGA’s Speedmaster Chronograph was officially “flight-qualified by NASA for all manned space missions” in 1965 although the Speedmaster had already been to space on the wrist of astronaut Walter Schirra on board the Sigma 7 in 1962. Able to withstand extreme temperature changes and zero gravity, the Speedmaster touched down on the moon with Apollo 11 astronauts in July 1969 and subsequently became known as the Moonwatch. During the troubled and dramatic Apollo 13 “Houston, we’ve had a problem here” mission of 1970, the Speedmaster saved the day. An explosion of a reserve oxygen tank compromised all the time keeping mechanisms on board: except one. Commander James Lovell relied on his Speedmaster Chronograph to time, within a fraction of a second, the extremely critical firing of the re-entry rockets allowing for the safe return of his crew to planet Earth. In recognition of the crucial role that its Speedmaster chronograph played on the Apollo 13 mission, OMEGA received the “Snoopy” Award in October 1970 – the highest honour awarded by NASA astronauts. The Speedmaster was present for yet another decisive moment in space history during the 1975 joint USSR-USA Apollo-Soyuz docking. The symbolic handshake in space at the height of the Cold War revealed that both crews were wearing the Speedmaster Chronograph.

To celebrate its half-century of life, the words ‘50th Anniversary’ crown the golden seahorse featured at 12 o’clock on the dial. The hour and minutes hands, the central chronograph seconds hand and baton indexes have been highlighted with Super-LumiNova for maximum legibility in any conditions -on earth or in space. Although the original 1957 Speedmaster featured the iconic “Broad Arrow” hands, these were replaced in 1963 with “Dauphine” hands. Being slimmer, they create more space on the dial for a clearer view of the three counters with 12 hour, 30 minute and 60 second totalisers that proved vital on the Apollo 13 mission. As a tribute to its space legacy, the hands on this watch are white, just like those on the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon. The Arabic numerals on the counters and on the characteristic black aluminium tachymeter scale on the bezel have been designed with maximum clarity and legibility in mind. A scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment protects the dial of this Limited Series Moonwatch.

Purists will appreciate the respect shown for the original Speedmaster in the manual-winding movement. In fact, the Limited Series Moonwatch is powered by OMEGA Calibre 1861, the famous movement that accompanied man on the moon and a tribute to its resilience. The 42 mm stainless steel case of the Limited Series Moonwatch has inherited dominant Speedmaster family traits with its iconic curved and facetted horns and its large push buttons to activate the chronograph. A seahorse medallion has been embossed on the stainless-steel case back as well as the number of the Limited Series 0000/5957 and the words: “FLIGHT-QUALIFIED BY NASA FOR ALL MANNED SPACE MISSIONS. THE FIRST AND ONLY WATCH WORN ON THE MOON”.

Space enthusiasts will remember the original ‘Velcro’ strap designed to fasten the Speedmaster to the exterior of the astronauts’ spacesuits during their missions. Inspired by the first solid link bracelet of the 1960’s, this Limited Series Moonwatch is fitted with a stainless steel bracelet that straps to the wrist with a foldover clasp. With a 45-hour power reserve and water-resistant to 50 metres/167 feet, the Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch has proved it can withstand extreme atmospheric conditions on Earth and in space and, with this limited Series release, is destined to become a coveted collector’s item.