Tag Archives: Apollo 11

A few more details: the Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 310.20.42.50.01.001

Yesterday Omega finally released the much-anticipated Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 310.20.42.50.01.001, a limited edition Speedmaster created in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.

As we’ve come to expect from Omega, the watch is chockfull of details that refer to its raison d’être, new technical wizardry, and hints to the deep history of the Speedmaster in general. Now that the dust has settled a bit, let’s go over a couple;

DON

First seen (again) on the Ultraman, back for the Moonshine 310.60.42.50.99.001, and now on the 310.20.42.50.01.001: the Dot Over Ninety (DON) tachymeter inlay. The DON bezels were found, in various guises, on Speedies produced up to approx. 1970, which explains the historical significance. On this latest Speedmaster it is done in black ceramic.

Buzz Aldrin & the Lunar Module

At 9:00 we find an image of Buzz Aldrin stepping out of the lunar module, based on a photograph taken by astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, commander, with a 70mm lunar surface camera during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity (EVA).

APOLLO 11 ONBOARD PHOTO: ASTRONAUT ALDRIN, EDWIN-E., JR. EGRESSES LUNAR MODULE.

The engraving, done by laser on a plate of Moonshine gold, is particularly finely done – as shown in this close-up by Omega;

Eleven

Another reference to Apollo 11 is found at 11:00, where the stick markers sees itself replaced by an Arabic eleven. I must shamefully admit that I only noticed this today!

More interesting bits are found on the back.

The Footstep – of A Man?

The case back does not offer a view of the new rhodium-plated caliber 3861. Rather it shows an image of an astronaut’s bootprint in the lunar soil, photographed with a 70mm lunar surface camera during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity (EVA) on the moon. It is done on a brass base.

Then of course there’s the A man versus Man debate. I’ll stick to a Wikipedia quote here;

Armstrong intended to say “That’s one small step for a man”, but the word “a” is not audible in the transmission, and thus was not initially reported by most observers of the live broadcast. When later asked about his quote, Armstrong said he believed he said “for a man”, and subsequent printed versions of the quote included the “a” in square brackets. One explanation for the absence may be that his accent caused him to slur the words “for a” together; another is the intermittent nature of the audio and video links to Earth, partly because of storms near Parkes Observatory. More recent digital analysis of the tape claims to reveal the “a” may have been spoken but obscured by static.

NAIAD

Last-but-not-least: the NAIAD-locked case back. Omega introduced this tech on the Deep Black version of the Planet Ocean back in 2016. It basically ensures that the engravings on the case back are always properly aligned. It is similar, if not the same, to what used to be known as a bayonet case back. This is the first Speedmaster Professional to be fitted with such a back.

The Omega Speedmaster 310.20.42.50.01.001 is a tribute to the Apollo 11 mission, but it also very much feels like an exercise in seeing what can be improved on the template that the classic Speedmaster Pro offers – in terms of both tech as well as finish. I suppose in time we’ll see our beloved Moonwatch updated with things such as a ceramic bezel insert, the METAS-certified 3861, and a nice NAIAD-locked case back – plus the price tag to match.

The Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 310.20.42.50.01.001 is available for pre-order at Ace Jewelers.

More information is available on WatchBase.

It’s here: the Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 310.20.42.50.01.001 in stainless steel & Moonshine gold!

It’s finally here: the 2019 Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 310.20.42.50.01.001 in stainless steel & Moonshine gold!

Ever since the March release of the Moonshine gold 310.60.42.50.99.001 there’s been a huge amount of rumours and speculation regarding the stainless steel variation. Well, today it’s finally here! Please welcome the Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 310.20.42.50.01.001!

The Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 310.20.42.50.01.001 has a stainless steel case of 42mm, which is crowned by a bezel in Omega’s proprietary Moonshine yellow gold. The inlay is ceramic with the text and numerals done using the Ceragold technique. The dial is two tone – a grey center with a black outer-rim and black sub dials. It features applied Moonshine gold indexes and has a laser-engraved image of Buzz Aldrin stepping out of the lunar module at 9:00.

Like its gold brother, the 310.20.42.50.01.001 is powered by the brand-new caliber 3861 – though it is finished with rhodium-plated rather than Moonshine bridges. While based on the trusted (1)861, this caliber sports all of Omega’s 21st century tech such as a co-axial escapement, a Si14 hairspring and hacking seconds. It is METAS-certified.

Don’t get your hopes up though: the movement is hidden from view by a closed case back. In the center there’s an insert with an image of Buzz Aldrin’s footstep on the moon plus the famous words THAT’S ONE SMALL STEP FOR A MAN and ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND.

The Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 310.20.42.50.01.001 comes fitted with a new bracelet that’s made to resemble the bracelet found on the watches used for the Apollo 11 mission –  the ref 020STZ011626. A cork-covered velcro strap is included in the package.

As we’ve come to expect from Omega in recent years, the box-set is a work of art. It has goodies such as two patches, a loupe, a strap-changing tool and the aforementioned extra strap. The watch itself is placed on a Lunar Module model.

The Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 310.20.42.50.01.001 is available for pre-order at Ace Jewelers.

More information is available on WatchBase.

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.