TWO NEW OMEGA TIMEPIECES MARK THE 45TH ANNIVERSARY OF MAN’S FIRST WALK ON THE SURFACE OF THE MOON
Forty-five years ago, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin achieved one of mankind’s greatest achievements as the first human beings to ever reach and set foot on the moon. The lunar landing was a source of pride for Omega as well, as the astronauts were wearing Speedmaster Professional chronograph watches on their historic journey. Aldrin wore his as he walked on the surface of the moon, while Armstrong kept his on board the Apollo 11 lunar module as a backup for the craft’s timekeeping system.
The Speedmaster Professional, with a manual-winding chronograph movement and a Velcro strap, had been worn on many of the missions leading up to the Apollo 11 landmark, passing exhaustive performance reliability tests in the conditions likely to be experienced during extra vehicular activity (Eva)—when astronauts are outside their craft in the vacuum of space. Inside a pressurised environment the watch was worn conventionally, but during EVA the astronauts wore the watch on the outside of their pressure suits, with the long Velcro strap designed to accommodate the suit’s thickness.
The three interior dials on the face of the
SINCE THE 1960S, OMEGA WATCHES HAVE TAKEN PART IN ALL OF NASA’S MISSIONS
watch provided a seconds counter, a minuteelapsed counter, and an hour-elapsed counter. The bezel was fixed and incremented to act as a tachymetre to measure miles per hour, in conjunction with a stopwatch function activated by a push button on the right side of the case. Since the 1960s, Omega watches have taken part in all US space agency Nasa’s missions, including five more lunar landings.
On the occasion of the 45th anniversary of man’s first walk on the moon, the company has released the Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 limited-edition watch. The first in the series to come in the colours of the moon—a combination of grey, brown and gold—the timepiece features a 42mm brushed grey grade 2 titanium case. A special laser was used to etch out the details of the black PVD dial, with its 30-minute, 12-hour and small seconds counters. The indexes and hands are all crafted from 18K red gold, and Super Luminova coating is used on the hour, minute and chronograph seconds hands and hour markers. A matte black ceramic ring with tachymetre scale enhances the bezel, which comes in 18K Omega Sedna gold.
The case back is embossed with Omega’s Seahorse emblem and the outer circle is engraved in black with: “Flight Qualified by NASA for all manned space missions”, “The First Watch Worn on the Moon” and “Apollo 11, 45th Anniversary, Limited Edition, 0000/1969”. The watch comes with a nylon fabric strap inspired by the Nato straps used by military personnel during World War II.
In 1969, after Aldrin and Armstrong returned from their historic mission, Omega made “moon watches” available to the public in the form of the Speedmaster Mark II, a timepiece fitted with the same movement that powered the watches used in space, but with a more stylish case.
This year, Omega brings the Speedmaster Mark II back, keeping much of the original watch’s details but tweaking just enough to make the piece sharper and more efficient. A much-improved tachymetre scale has been introduced, lit from the back by an aluminium ring with a Superluminova coating, making it readable even in poor light. The hour, minute and central chronograph hands are coated with Superluminova as well. The new Mark II is also equipped with the automatic co-axial calibre 3330—a movement that features an Si14 silicon balance spring and a columnwheel chronograph mechanism.
FIRST STEPS ASTRONAUT NEIL ARMSTRONG BECAME THE FIRST MAN TO WALK ON THE MOON AFTER THE APOLLO 11 LUNAR MODULE TOUCHED DOWN ON JULY 20, 1969
OMEGA’S SPEEDMASTER MARK II IS EQUIPPED WITH A NEW AUTOMATIC CO- AXIAL CALIBRE
LIMITED TO 1,969 PIECES, OMEGA’S SPEEDMASTER PROFESSIONAL APOLLO II HAS A LASER- ETCHED DIAL