Space Cow­boys

TWO NEW OMEGA TIME­PIECES MARK THE 45TH AN­NIVER­SARY OF MAN’S FIRST WALK ON THE SUR­FACE OF THE MOON

Hong Kong Tatler - - Watches -

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

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