The year of 2021 symbolizes the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing, which is one of the most meaningful moments in the history of the world – and also for watchmaking, as the fake Omega Speedmaster strapped to Buzz Aldrin’s wrist became the first watch worn on the moon. Omega is releasing another stratospheric timepiece so as to celebrate the event that helped make their brand an icon. Now, let’s see more details here.
Omega finds that the long way to becoming the first watch on the moon began with the Speedmaster’s original debut in 1957. Although it was originally made for the automotive racing world, the Speedmaster was soon adopted by ace pilots in the U.S. Air Force, some of whom later became astronauts.
Although the Speedmaster Professional did not get official NASA certification for use during manned space missions until 1965, in fact, the watch was worn in orbit much earlier. Several decades ago, astronaut Walter Schirra took his personal Speedmaster CK2998 on the Mercury-Atlas 8 mission, which orbited the Earth eight times, making it one of the most significant replica watches all over the world.
The 42mm case, bracelet, dial, hour-markers, and hour/minute hands of the 50th Anniversary Speedmaster are all craft from what Omega is calling Moonshine Gold, a “special new alloy whose color is encouraged by the shining moonlight in a dark blue sky.” Described as a “paler hue” than traditional 18K yellow gold, Omega says it “offers high resistance to the fading of color and lustre over time.” The fake watch features the asymmetrical case-band of the 4th generation Speedmaster, as well as a burgundy bezel ring in homage to the 1969 Speedy – this time finished in ceramic with a tachymeter scale in Ceragold, Omega’s particular blend of ceramic and gold.
Limited to just 1,014 pieces and priced at CHF 32,000, the watch is manufactured from an exclusive new 18K gold alloy, and is powered by Omega’s manual-winding Master Chronometer Caliber 3861 movement. It is a faithful if somewhat flashy tribute to the original Apollo 11 edition moonwatch, and one that well-heeled Omega collectors are sure to covet.
The vertically-brushed step dial is marked “Au750” for the use of solid gold, and features faceted black onyx indexes set in polished hour-markers, together with a matching set of black-varnished hands. And of course this wouldn’t be an Anniversary Speedmaster without a particularly engraved caseback, which features “1969-2019” and the limited edition number highlighted in burgundy. As a result, an inner decorative ring, also finished in 18K Moonshine Gold, has “experienced two separate laser ablation processes” and two PVD color treatments in blue and black – which might make this the first Speedy with a more complicated caseback than the dial.