To the Moon and Back
The watch that has spent time on that huge hunk of cheese in space turns sixty.
A FANTASTIC JOURNEY EARNED THE OMEGA
Speedmaster a spot in the pantheon of Greatest Watches Ever. In 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin arrived on the surface of the moon, becoming the first men to set foot upon the dusty rock. On their wrists were Speedmasters, the only watch that NASA approved for the historic journey. From that moment, the chronograph has been linked to celestial voyages, having been the model worn on many other moon missions, and then some.
This year, the Speedy turns sixty. That’s six decades of exploration marked by rare editions, prototypes, and tribute models. Most of them riffed off the theme of the moon, while others were fine examples of crazy good design and innovation, which is what really counts for you, a man who will not journey to space anytime soon.
Beyond its lunar connection, the Speedmaster reached iconic status because of its design, a combination of twisted lugs, tachymeter scale, domed glass, and baton hands, all of which results in something distinctive yet timeless. Here, a few of Speedy’s greatest hits, from the the first Speedmaster in 1957 to its new race-inspired model from this year.
1957 BROAD ARROW The wide arrows gave the first Speedmaster a distinct look. This is also the first chronograph wristwatch with its tachymeter scale on the bezel, a feature that makes it easier for race drivers to record time.
1959 FIRST OMEGA IN SPACE Even before the moon landing, Walter Schirra wore the second Speedmaster model on the Sigma 7 mission of the Mercury program in 1962. Observe the change of hand style from broad arrows to Alpha and lollipop.
1969 COMMEMORATIVE EDITION It’s only fitting that the watch that celebrates Omega’s space exploits be the first hewn from 18K gold. The burgundy bezel is also a rare detail.
1965 MOONWATCH This is the first watch to be worn on the moon and the model that has served on the most lunar missions. It’s also the first Speedmaster with an asymmetrical case.