FLOWATCHES: “HOUS­TON, WE HAVE A PROB­LEM”

HOW THE OMEGA SPEEDMASTER CHRONO­GRAPH SAVED LIVES

Executive Magazine - - Executive Life - Words by Walid Younes

two days, seven hours and 55 min­utes into Apollo III’s ight to the Fra Mauro crater on the lu­nar sur­face, the shut­tle’s se­cond oxy­gen tank ex­ploded. This caused the grad­ual fail­ure of tank one, which sup­plied elec­tric­ity, light and wa­ter to the shut­tle. In an e ort to put the shut­tle back on the right path at the cor­rect an­gle, Mis­sion on­trol de­ter­mined a plan that would re­quire 1 sec­onds of fuel burn­ing for course cor­rec­tion, fol­lowed by a free fall re­turn to earth. Since the Align­ment Op­ti­cal Te­le­scope (AOT was out, om­man­der James Lovell had to use Earth’s hori­zon and the Sun as an align­ment star to guide the cra back on course. Mean­while, Lu­nar Mod­ule Pi­lot Fred Haise’s task was to en­sure the Lu­nar Mod­ule would not dri side­ways, and since the clock on board was not work­ing, John Swigert, the om­mand Mod­ule Pi­lot, timed the burn of the rock­ets us­ing his Omega Speedmaster hrono­graph. Three hun­dred and twenty thou­sand kilo­me­ters away from earth, the three as­tro­nauts ex­e­cuted this life-sav­ing, pre­cise course cor­rec­tion man­u­ally. Although the ma­neu­ver was suc­cess­ful, the mis­sion was classi ed as a “suc­cess­ful fail­ure.” Six days into its ight, on April 17 1970, the world watched as the Apollo III crew landed safely in the Paci c Ocean. As a re­sult, in Oc­to­ber 1970 ASA pre­sented Omega with the Sil­ver Snoopy Award, a spe­cial honor be­stowed upon em­ploy­ees and con­trac­tors for out­stand­ing achieve­ments re­lated to mis­sion safety and suc­cess. In March 2015, pay­ing ho­mage to the 5th an­niver­sary of this his­toric event, Omega re­leased the “Speedmaster Apollo 13 Sil­ver Snoopy Award” watch in a lim­ited edi­tion of 1,970 pieces. This time­piece tells ust one of the sto­ries of Omega’s ded­i­ca­tion to pre­ci­sion and ex­cel­lence, as well as the brands’ role in space ex­plo­ration. ith a pric­etag of around 7,000 this watch never even made it to the shelves of Omega bou­tiques; the highly sought a er time­piece was pre-or­dered by watch col­lec­tors and en­thu­si­asts world­wide be­fore it could be dis­played. Let’s take a closer look at the spe­cial fea­tures of this ex­cep­tional wrist­watch.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lebanon

© PressReader. All rights reserved.