Tag Archives: NASA

Press Release: Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition

PRESS INFORMATION 2019

SPEEDMASTER APOLLO 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition

There were many world-changing moments that defined the first lunar landing in 1969. From famous words to dusty footprints, it was a mission that remains unforgettable in so many ways. On the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, OMEGA is proud to unveil a new Speedmaster Limited Edition that pays tribute to those iconic hours.

Now, you can wear the first watch worn on the moon – and also relive its journey.

STILL A PIONEER

The Speedmaster made watchmaking history on the 21st of July 1969. Today its pioneering spirit still remains through the use of a new material known as 18K Moonshine™ gold. This exclusive patent-pending alloy is a paler hue than traditional yellow gold and offers high resistance to fading over time. As you explore the surface of the watch, you’ll find 18K Moonshine™ gold throughout the design.

ENGINEERING AT ITS BEST

Innovation was key to the Apollo 11 success. OMEGA has followed that theme with a 42 mm case in stainless steel and a polished bezel made from 18K Moonshine™ gold. The bezel ring itself is polished black ceramic [ZrO2] with a radiant OMEGA Ceragold™ tachymeter scale.

Two distinct zones make up the dial, including a varnished central grey zone and an outer black minute track. 18K Moonshine™ gold is used for the bevelled indexes, vintage OMEGA logo and all of the hands – except for the central chronograph seconds hand, which is “PVD-coated” in Moonshine™ Gold.

ICONIC TRIBUTES

Buzz Aldrin was wearing an OMEGA Speedmaster when he climbed down from the Eagle to reach the lunar surface at 03:15:16 UTC. At that second, his timepiece became the first watch worn on the moon. On the 9 o’clock subdial of this new Limited Edition, OMEGA has laser-engraved the image of Buzz on a Moonshine™ Gold plate.

Distinct from all other indexes, the 11 o’clock hour marker is formed by an 18K Moonshine™ Gold number 11, in tribute to the Apollo mission.

Going where no human had gone before. Featured on the caseback is an image of an astronaut’s footprint, which has been laser-engraved onto a black-coated plate with a moon-surface texture.

«THAT’S ONE SMALL STEP FOR A MAN, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND». Neil Armstrong’s legendary words have echoed through time. Now, they are written on the caseback of this watch in 18K Moonshine™ Gold-plated lettering.

THE CASEBACK

Only 6,969 pieces are available in this Limited Edition collection. Proud owners will find their unique number engraved in black on the caseback, along with APOLLO 11, 50th ANNIVERSARY and LIMITED EDITION. Also engraved, yet blending in with the steel, are NAIAD LOCK, Cal. 3861 and CO-AXIAL MASTER CHRONOMETER.

MOONWATCH MOVEMENT

The brand new OMEGA Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861 takes the next evolutionary step for the famous Moonwatch movement. It took 4 years of trial-and-error to create the calibre’s most recent incarnation. OMEGA was determined to produce a movement of the highest standard, yet perfectly match the dimensions of the 1861.

That goal has been achieved. Now crafted with Co-Axial technology, a stop-second function and OMEGA’s superior anti-magnetic innovation, the Speedmaster Moonwatch is resistant to magnetic fields of 15,000 gauss and has been able to reach the Master Chronometer standard, which assures the industry’s highest certified level of precision, chronometric performance and magnetic resistance.

ASTRONAUT KIT

The watch is presented on a polished-brushed metallic bracelet with a vintage Ω on the clasp: a design inspired by the bracelet of the 4th generation Speedmaster (ST 105.012-65).

For the customer’s own mission, however, this new Limited Edition comes with another special option.

Inside the NASA-style presentation box, you’ll find an additional Velcro® strap with black-coated cork. This innovative design is a salute to the Apollo-era “boost protective cover” – a fiberglass structure covered with cork which fitted over the Command Module like a glove, keeping the crew of the Saturn V rocket safe from the intense heat produced at launch.

The box also includes two mission patches (50th anniversary / Apollo 11), two engraved plates (landing site coordinates / landing site and time) as well as a strap-changing tool. Best of all, it houses the ultimate Lunar Model display stand.

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 Caliber 3861 – Rocket Engine

PRESS INFORMATION 2019

Introducing the Master Chronometer Calibre 3861: the driving force behind OMEGA’s Apollo 11 tributes and a movement with its own lunar legacy

An OMEGA was the first watch worn on the Moon; and to mark the 50th anniversary of that golden moment the brand has released a collection of commemorative timepieces powered by the Master Chronometer Calibre 3861, a descendent of the movement that went to the Moon.

OMEGA’s legendary Calibre 321 was the direct descendent of the 27 CHRO C12 that was first designed and produced in 1941. Renamed calibre 321 in 1949, the robust and elegant chronograph movement has been a favourite ever since and is still highly sought-after by watch collectors around the world, as it was the 321 that powered the Speedmaster watches qualified by NASA for use on all manned space missions; and a modified version of the calibre drove the Speedmaster chronographs worn by Apollo 11’s astronauts.

In-line with OMEGA’s continuing commitment to innovation and technical advancements, the Calibre 321 evolved to become the Calibre 861, which was used between 1968 and 1997. This was followed by the calibre 1861, which retained the same frequency as the 861, but was made with rhodium-plating.

It took 4 years of trial-and-error to produce the calibre’s most recent incarnation. OMEGA was determined to produce a movement that could be Master Chronometer certified, yet perfectly match the dimensions of the 1861. That meant finding a way to fit all of the new state-of-the-art componentry into a space more suited to an older movement. A challenge certainly, as the 3861 has 240 components compared to the 1861’s 234, but OMEGA’s engineers were up to the task, improving power reserve, chronometric performance and magnetic resistance. Daily deviations were improved from -1+11 to 0+5 seconds, and a stop second function was added, allowing the wearer to stop the seconds hand with a pull of the crown and reset the time with absolute precision.

Thanks to 21st century machining, it was also possible for OMEGA’s engineers to subtly reshape the teeth of the wheels, which allowed for tighter contacts and smoother running. As a tribute to the 1861, the new movement’s frequency remained the same (21,600 v/h). However, the jewel tally was increased from 18 to 26, as eight extra jewels were needed for the upgrade. Half of them to ensure the smooth running of OMEGA’s revolutionary Co-Axial escapement, which had replaced the more traditional Swiss Anchor – and four more for general technical improvements. Another significant change was the complete removal of the frequency regulator. As a moving part, the tiny lever added to the risk of accidental frequency shifts, so the decision was made to do without it. On the new 3861, this was replaced by four adjustable screws on the balance wheel. Thanks to the inclusion of OMEGA’s Co-Axial escapement and silicon Si14 balance spring, the 3861 offers extraordinary levels of magnetic resistance up to 15,000 gauss, and is able to pass the industry’s toughest tests and achieve Master Chronometer certification.

Aesthetically, the latest movement is closer to the 1861’s more beautiful cousin, the 1863, which featured gold engravings and Geneva waves. To match the case materials of the Apollo 11 tributes, two versions of the 3861 were produced: one with rhodium-plated bridges and main plate; and another in gold with a Moonshine™ goldplated finish. The use of Moonshine™ gold-plated main plate and bridges marks another first for the pioneering brand. The innovative patent-pending material was introduced in 2019 to coincide with the lunar landing’s 50th anniversary.

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.

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!