July 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. And while this breakthrough in space exploration conjures images of astronauts, space suits and high-tech equipment, have you ever stopped to consider what Aldrin et al were wearing on their wrists during the Apollo 11 mission?
The answer is, of course, an Omega Speedmaster. To mark its contribution to the 1969 moon landing, Omega has released a limited edition Speedmaster Apollo 11 timepiece. Created in a fitting run of 6,969 pieces, the watch features a steel bracelet and 42mm steel case embellished with an 18k Moonshine gold and black ceramic bezel. Making its debut on this special edition, Moonshine gold is a patent-pending material developed by Omega to offer a sophisticated, paler hue than traditional yellow gold that is also highly fade resistant.
Of course, any timepiece created to recognise a scientific achievement as great as walking on the moon needs a suitably high-tech movement. For the Speedmaster Apollo 11, Omega chose its in-house calibre 3861 – the latest iteration of the Moonwatch movement – which was four years in the making. Master Chronometer certified, the calibre powers 30-minute and 12-hour counters as well as a small seconds subdial engraved with an image of Buzz Aldrin’s first descent to the surface of the moon – the moment the Omega Speedmaster became the first watch to be worn on the moon.
Further aesthetic tributes to the moon landing include a Moonshine gold 11 o’clock marker in tribute to the Apollo 11 mission name. The caseback also features a textured engraving of an astronaut’s footprint along with Armstrong’s famous quote “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.
A must-have for any Omega or space enthusiast, the watch is presented in a NASA-style box containing an additional velcro and black cork strap in homage to Saturn V’s cork protective cover which fitted over the command module to protect the crew from the heat of take off. The set is completed by a Lunar Module-style display stand, two mission patches and two plates engraved with the landing site coordinates and time.
Priced at £7,370 and available only from Omega boutiques, we wouldn’t suggest hanging around – these beauties are going to sell out fast.
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