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.
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. 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.
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.
The success of Apollo 11 was fervently celebrated around the world in 1969. On the 25th of November that year, a special “Astronaut Appreciation Dinner” was held in Houston, Texas, in tribute to the moon landing heroes. The dinner was especially notable for a certain Omega Speedmaster that was presented to the astronauts in NASA’s space program. The watch, Speedmaster BA145.022, was crafted from 18K yellow gold and included a rare burgundy bezel, as well as an inscription on the caseback that read, “to mark man’s conquest of space with time, through time, on time.” This gold Speedmaster housed the calibre 861 and was Omega’s very first commemorative numbered edition, with only 1,014 models being produced from 1969 to 1973. The very first of these was created for US President, Richard Nixon, with number two allocated to the US Vice President Spiro Agnew. These watches, however, were later returned to Omega due to the US government’s strict gifting protocol.
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.
The case, bracelet, dial, hour-markers and hour-minute hands have all been created in 18K Moonshine™ gold a unique new alloy whose colour is inspired by the shining moonlight in a dark blue sky. Remaining true to the historical piece of 1969, Omega has included a burgundy bezel ring this time in ceramic [ZrO2], according to a special patent pending process, with its tachymeter scale in Ceragold™. For fans of Omega history, there are a number of vintage Omega logos to be found throughout the design including on the dial, crown and bracelet clasp.