Tag Archives: Apollo 11

Happy 21st of July!

 

Neil Armstrong Omega Speedmaster Moonwalk

Neil Armstrong Omega Speedmaster Moonwalk

 

Happy 21st of July!

It’s been exactly 47 years since men first set foot on the moon. That means it’s also exactly 47 years ago that the Omega Speedmaster skyrocketed itself to wristwatch stardom, reaching heights that very few other watches would ever match. Though originally designed for gentleman racers, the Speedmaster would forever be linked to space exploration – as we’ve demonstrated with quite a few post on our blog.

To celebrate the 47th anniversary of the succesful moon landing, I’ve compiled a small gallery of space related Speedmaster pictures below. Do you spot -or even recognize- them all?

Apollo 11 - Buzz Aldrin on the Moon with Omega Speedmaster

Apollo 11 – Buzz Aldrin on the Moon with Omega Speedmaster

Astronaut Donald K Deke Slayton with gold Omega Speedmaster

Astronaut Donald K Deke Slayton with Omega Speedmaster

How about an X-33 worn while opening a bag of fresh fruit aboard the ISS back in 2015?

NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren with Omega Speedmaster X33 Skywalker

NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren with Omega Speedmaster

Buzz Aldrin with Omega Speedmaster

Buzz Aldrin with Omega Speedmaster

 

Cosmonaut with Omega Speedmaster

Cosmonaut with Omega Speedmaster

Tim Peake, Tim Kopra and Jeff Williams with Omega Speedmaster

Tim Peake, Tim Kopra and Jeff Williams with Omega Speedmaster

Walter Schirra with Omega Speedmaster

Walter Schirra with Omega Speedmaster

Alan Bean with Omega Speedmaster

Alan Bean with Omega Speedmaster

Omega Speedmaster Professional: four aficionado’s talk

Omega Speedmaster Professional 3650.50.00 Apollo XI 30th Anniversary

Omega Speedmaster Professional 3650.50.00 Apollo XI 30th Anniversary

This was written for the The Ace List by Ace Jewelers, in which it first appeared

The Omega Speedmaster Professional is a watch we just love to talk about, due to its interesting background. In 1957 Omega introduced this line of chronographs and since then, many different Speedmaster Chronographs have been produced. Rightly so the ‘Moonwatch’ was the first watch worn by an astronaut walking on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. We have asked four of our dear friends to tell something personal about their own Omega Speedmasters.

Tim Koppelman: Ref. 3560.50.00 ‘Apollo XI 30th Anniversary’, limited edition of 9999, 1999 [pictured above]

“When you grow up you notice that fictional heroes are great but actual heroes like the astronauts on the Apollo 11 moon mission in 1969, are even greater. Knowing that the Moonwatch was actually worn in space by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin was what made me want a Speedmaster Professional. When I found this special, not so limited (9999 were made), edition I just had to buy it. The inscription on the case back says: “Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed.” The exact words Armstrong used to announce the 1969 moon landing. The date and exact time of the moon landing are also engraved on the case-back. How cool is that?!”

Omega Speedmaster Professional 3595.52.00 Apollo XIII 25th Anniversaryv

Omega Speedmaster Professional 3595.52.00 Apollo XIII 25th Anniversaryv

Robert-Jan Broer: Ref. 3595.52.00 ‘Apollo XIII 25th Anniversary’, limited edition of 999, 1995

“The Speedmaster (Professional) has a magical appeal; not just because of its real history with links to the NASA Apollo program, but also because it is a timeless design with a perfectly readable dial. Whether you opt for a brand-new Moonwatch or one that is 50 years old, they are all interesting models and often there is a fascinating story behind the watch, explaining what made the owner choose the Speedmaster.”

Fun fact: Robert-Jan is the founder of leading watch blog FratelloWatches.com and every Tuesday they write about Speedmasters. They even named it #SpeedyTuesday.

Omega Speedmaster Professional 3578.51.00 Snoopy Award

Omega Speedmaster Professional 3578.51.00 Snoopy Award

Systke Hermans: Ref. 3578.51.00 ‘Snoopy Award’, limited edition of 5441, 2003

“Watches have only been a serious obsession with me for the past two years or so. When my husband bought his first Omega Speedmaster I was sold as well! My first ‘Speedy’ was the 57 Co-Axial with blue dial and red hands. But I already had my eye on the Moonwatch Snoopy Award, too. As a girl I was a fan of Snoopy, so I just had to have it. After a long search I found one, number 2125/5441. In all honesty, I think the case-back on this watch is even more beautiful than the front and I would prefer to wear the ‘Snoopy’ the wrong way round. I was ‘over the moon’ when Omega announced the Silver Snoopy Award at BaselWorld. Of course I ordered it right away, because you can never have enough ‘Snoopys’.”

Omega Speedmaster Professional 311.30.42.30.01.004 Racing / TinTin

Omega Speedmaster Professional 311.30.42.30.01.004 Racing / TinTin

Gerard Nijenbrinks: Ref. 311.30.42.30.01.004 ‘Racing / Tintin’, regular production, 2013-2015

“The design of a watch dial is very important for its attraction to me. It’s the interface with the human wearing and using it. For me the dial of the Omega Speedmaster Professional is simply perfect. There’s a lot of information available, however there’s nothing excessive (luckily not even a date) and the most important function, telling the time, is extremely easy to read in all light conditions. Almost equally important is the presence of the handwound Lemania-based chronograph movement. It’s right up there with the greatest chronograph movements in the world.”

Press Release: The ten most representative OMEGA Speedmaster models

Omega Speedmaster CK 2915

Omega Speedmaster CK 2915

1. Omega Speedmaster – 1st generation (1957) 


The OMEGA Speedmaster is a definitive candidate for the most famous chronograph in the world. Without any doubt it also is the world’s most important one. Selected by astronauts, tested and certified by NASA and worn on the moon – it has credentials that no other watch can boast. 

It all started rather inconspicuously in 1957, the year OMEGA introduced its “Professional” line of watches that included the Seamaster 300, the Railmaster and the first Speedmaster. Conceived not for extra-terrestrial use but rather for an earthly desire – speed – the very first Speedmaster, the CK 2915, was intended for and marketed to car enthusiasts, motorists and racing drivers. Its tachymetric bezel placed – for the first time ever – outside the dial and crystal and designed to form part of the exterior case design, was yet another world premiere in OMEGA’s long list of achievements. Powered by the legendary manual-wound calibre 321, defined by the graceful lines of its symmetrical case design and proudly displaying time with hands featuring a “Broad Arrow” hour-hand, the Speedmaster became an instant bestseller.

Omega Speedmaster CK 2998

Omega Speedmaster CK 2998

 
2. Omega Speedmaster – 2nd generation (1959) 

1959 saw the introduction of a revised Speedmaster model, the CK 2998. While the symmetrical case and the calibre 321 were retained, new “Alpha” design hands replaced the ones found on the first model. The tachymeter bezel was also standardized in the black aluminium version still in use today. The CK 2998 was the very model purchased by Mercury astronauts Walter “Wally” M. Schirra and Leroy G. “Gordo” Cooper in 1962 as their private watch. It was worn by Schirra during his Mercury-Atlas 8 (Sigma 7) mission, becoming the first OMEGA Speedmaster worn in space, a full two years before NASA’s now-famous tests that led to the official selection of the Speedmaster for use in all of NASA’s manned missions. 

Omega Speedmaster ST 105.003

Omega Speedmaster ST 105.003


3. Omega Speedmaster – 3rd generation (1963) 

The next development within the Speedmaster family was a decisive one. Introduced in 1963, and powered by the manual-wound calibre 321, the ST 105.003 is the exact model delivered to and tested by NASA. Responding to a request for wrist chronographs in October 1964, OMEGA’s North American agent furnished NASA with the required number of ST 105.003 Speedmasters, without knowing exactly what they would be used for and without informing OMEGA headquarters in Biel, Switzerland. These watches, as well as models from other competing brands, were tested almost to destruction in a series of tests that can justly be described as the toughest trials a watch had ever endured. Emerging victorious and functioning within the required specifications as the sole watch that had not suffered catastrophic failures in the strenuous trials, NASA declared the OMEGA Speedmaster as “officially certified” equipment for its manned space program. Following the successful trials, NASA procured further examples of the ST 105.003 and officially equipped its astronauts with the Speedmaster. This model reached further fame when it was worn for the first time outside the space capsule: on the wrist of astronaut Edward White, this model became part of America’s first “spacewalk” (extra-vehicular activity, or EVA) on June 3rd 1965 during the Gemini 4 mission.

Omega Speedmaster Professional ST 105.012

Omega Speedmaster Professional ST 105.012


4. Omega Speedmaster Professional – 4th generation // The original “Moonwatch” (1964) 

While the brand had no knowledge of what was going on in Houston – indeed NASA’s selection process was carried out without involving the respective companies’ headquarters – the Speedmaster’s design was steadily evolving. In order to offer additional protection to the chronograph’s pushers and its crown, OMEGA designed a slightly altered watch case. Its right side was slightly enlarged, thus enhancing the protection. As it turned out, this “asymmetric” case would be identified the world over as one of Speedmaster’s trademark design-elements. It was introduced to select markets in 1964 with the model ST 105.012 that also featured the mention “Professional” on the dial, as it was indeed prominent part of OMEGA’s professional line of watches. Powered by the same movement, the calibre 321, the model further evolved in 1967 to the reference ST 145.012, with the addition of a slightly improved method of attaching the pushers to the chronograph’s case. This model proved to be the last one to use the brand’s calibre 321, the very movement that guaranteed perfect timing during all six lunar landings up to and including the very last mission to land on the moon: Apollo 17. 

Omega Speedmaster Professional ST 145.022

Omega Speedmaster Professional ST 145.022


5. Omega Speedmaster Professional “Moonwatch” (1968) 

In 1968, one year before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the Moon, OMEGA introduced yet another milestone in the Speedmaster’s evolution: a new movement. Bearing the reference ST 145.022, the new model was powered by the OMEGA calibre 861, the successor of the storied calibre 321. The new manual-wound movement featured several new design elements and reflected OMEGA’s advances in watchmaking technology. Incorporating some production-related improvements as well, the new movement and its succeeding versions continue to power the Speedmaster “Moonwatch” to this very day. 

Omega Speedmaster Professional Mark II Racing

Omega Speedmaster Professional Mark II Racing ST 145.014

 


6. Omega Speedmaster Professional Mark II (1969) 

This model marked the first redesign of the classic Speedmaster Moonwatch case, thus introducing a new or second generation of Speedmaster models into OMEGA’s catalogue. Its birth year was 1969 and the name chosen was “Mark II” to signify that it was in fact the second generation of the manual-wound Speedmaster. Offered in various distinct iterations (stainless steel with black dial, stainless steel with grey and orange “racing” and “yachting” dials, gold-plated with a gilt dial and a very rare version in 18K yellow gold) and powered by the calibre 861, the Mark II’s barrel-shaped case, also referred to as the “Pilots’ Line” case, has its roots in a rather secret (at the time) project that OMEGA was working on: a further enhanced and strengthened version of the Speedmaster for prolonged EVA-use on the lunar surface. One version of this ambitious research project that spanned more than ten years and was code-named “Alaska” featured a strengthened and well-rounded watch case with hooded lugs and protected crown and pushers. When the research project shifted directions, some of the original ideas formed the basis of the “Pilots’ Line” cases and were introduced commercially in the form of the Speedmaster Mark II and the Flightmaster. 

Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo XI BA 145.022

Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo XI BA 145.022


7. A gold Speedmaster to celebrate the successful Apollo 11 mission (1970) 


Created especially to commemorate the most important event of modern times, this model was manufactured be¬ginning in the autumn of 1969, first in a special series of 28 num¬bered pieces. Bearing a different inscription (“To mark man’s conquest of space with time, through time, on time”) along with the receiver’s name, it was offered to each of the astronauts active at that time at a gala dinner on November 25, 1969 at Hotel Warwick in Houston. Due to its success, a total of 1,014 of these watches were produced up until 1972. 

Omega Speedmaster Professional ST 145.0031 Snoopy Award

Omega Speedmaster Professional ST 145.0031 Snoopy Award


8. Omega Speedmaster Professional “Snoopy Award Limited Edition” (2003)

A special model produced as a series limited to 5441 numbered pieces to commemorate the Silver Snoopy Award presented to OMEGA by NASA in recognition of the brand’s contributions to the Apollo program. 

Omega Speedmaster Professional 311.32.42.30.04.003 Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award

Omega Speedmaster Professional 311.32.42.30.04.003 Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award


9. Omega Speedmaster “Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award” (2015) 


In 2015, OMEGA introduced the OMEGA Speedmaster “Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award”, a watch that pays homage to the unforgettable mission 45 years ago and celebrates the teamwork, quick thinking, ingenuity and courage that brought Commander Jim Lovell, Command Module Pilot Jack Swigert and Lunar Module Pilot Fred Haise home safely. 
A closer look at the timepiece shows that Snoopy, the beloved dog from the Peanuts cartoon and a NASA mascot, decorates the dial and the caseback – a small tribute to the Silver Snoopy Award that OMEGA was presented with in 1970. 

Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Vintage Black 311.12.44.51.01.006.

Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Vintage Black 311.12.44.51.01.006

10. OMEGA Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon “Vintage Black” (2015) 

Inspired by the incredible discoveries NASA astronauts made while exploring space, OMEGA launched a statement-making timepiece in 2013 that caught the attention of watch fans and collectors around the world: the ceramic Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon. Combining the brand’s commitment to quality and innovation with its space legacy, OMEGA’s collection of ceramic watches includes now nine stunning models, one of which is known as the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon “Vintage Black”. These stylish timepieces are emblematic of OMEGA’s passion, pioneering spirit and keen sense of what the watch world wants.

Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 45th Anniversary on Bracelet

Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 45th Anniversary 311.62.42.30.06.001 Bracelet

Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 45th Anniversary 311.62.42.30.06.001 Bracelet

 

How about this Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 45th Anniversary 311.62.42.30.06.001 on original Omega titanium bracelet?

Whoops – it’s been over two months since we last posted on SpeedyWatches.com! We’ll make it up soon and that’s a promise.

On a small note, we’ve been busy integrating a big part of our research and picture archive to WatchBase.com, where great things are happening!

Full details on the Speedmaster Apollo 11 45th Anniversary on WatchBase

Apollo 11 at Monochrome-Watches.com

Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 45th Anniversary 311.62.42.30.06.001

Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 45th Anniversary 311.62.42.30.06.001

Celebrating the 45th anniversary of the moonlanding, our friends over at Monochrome-Watches.com did a nice write-up on the Speedmaster Apollo 11 45th Anniversary. A must-read with pictures supplied by SpeedyWatches.com!

“That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” These words from Neil Armstrong still resonate in the heart of everyone on earth, even 45 years after the Apollo 11 team landed on the Moon. Of course, Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins had tons of the best equipment with them but the one that clearly appeals most to us is the small, rudimentary, basic, old-fashioned mechanical Omega Speedmaster strapped onto each of their wrists. Omega can be proud of this history; and to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Apollo 11, they introduced a new limited edition of the Speedmaster Professional. Today’s photos, made by our friends at SpeedyWatches, makes a perfect way to celebrate this monumental milestone in men’s history. 

Jump over to the Monochrome blog for the full story – Weekly Watch Photo: Omega Speedmaster to celebrate 45th Anniversary of Apollo 11