The Horological Hero of Space—Omega Speedmaster

The cornerstone of a new era peculiar to science and technology was laid in 1969 when Neil Amstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first two humans to land on the moon. Accompanying them on this crowning achievement was a watch that will go down in history as one of the most collectible timepieces around the globe, Omega Speedmaster.

Automatic Watch
Editorial credit: Portal Satova / Shutterstock.com

The glorious journey of this watch began in 1957. It was launched as a part of Omega’s trilogy of Professional watches alongside The Railmaster and Seamaster 300. From being the first Omega timepiece to go in space to becoming the iconic Moonwatch, Speedmaster is the undisputed champion of space and horological history. 

Speedmaster’s Love Affair with Space

Although the original model was designed principally for racing car drivers, the watch had a different destiny awaiting. In 1962, Walter Schirra wore CK 2998, the second version of the style, as his personal watch on Project Mercury. And from there on started Speedmaster’s sally into space exploration.

In the coming years, this luxury watch became the only timepiece to be declared “Flight Qualified for all Manned Space Missions” by NASA. It was a part of several space visits before finally landing on the Moon and creating history! 

Omega Speedmaster
Speedmaster Moonwatch 145.022-69 Men’s Wristwatch 42MM

Speedmaster’s celestial romance is still thriving as the brand continues to make commemorative editions from time to time. To celebrate the watch’s 51st anniversary of landing on the moon, Omega introduced Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Stainless Steel, wherein the iconic Calibre 321 that powered the first Moonwatch was recreated. 

“For Men Who Reckon Time in Seconds.”

In the prodigious presence of the fantastic Moonwatch and its spectacular history, the actual intention behind the development of this style has often been brushed aside. It was the first chronograph to have the tachymeter scale on the bezel in lieu of the dial. This technical update allowed athletes (especially racing car drivers) a quicker reference to the scale for measuring speed. A detail that was nothing short of a revelation in the realm of sports watches. 

However, Omega has never overlooked the watch’s racing origins. Some of the coolest iterations of this luxury watch are devoted to its sports heritage. The popular Schumacher Edition launched in 1996 by the racing legend Michael Schumacher, and Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer are a few examples. 

Limited Edition
Speedmaster Schumacher Racing Limited Edition 3519.50.00 Men’s Wristwatch 39 MM

Speedmaster’s latest model, where sky meets the sea, takes its sports legacy forward. In the wake of becoming the official timekeeper of America’s Cup to be held in 2021, Omega has launched a special edition of the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon in partnership with Alinghi. This sailing team won the series in 2003 and 2007.

Gems From The Luxury Closet

Below catalogued are four investment-worthy Speedmasters. They’ll help you understand Omega’s unparalleled art of watchmaking and relive the celebrated tale of this iconic watch. 

1. Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Apollo XI 1969

The first commemorative edition of Speedmaster to honour Omega’s achievement in space was launched in 1969 with just 1014 pieces. This vintage creation from that collection is one of the first Speedmasters to be cast in 18k gold. It proudly carries the signature elements of the edition like the burgundy bezel, 42 mm case, and the comparatively simpler Calibre 821. 

Omega Speedmaster
Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Apollo XI 1969 BA145.022

2. Omega Speedmaster Mark II

Also introduced in 1969, Mark II was the first redesign of the Speedmaster. The paramount modification gifted to this model was the refreshing barrel-shaped case instead of the characteristic round one with a black dial protected by mineral glass. 

Omega Speedmaster
Speedmaster Mark II 145.0014

3. Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonphase 3576.50

The addition of a moonphase complication featuring a painted moon and stars led to the creation of Speedmaster Moonphase. This model 3576.50 is a men’s watch rendered in stainless steel. It has an exhibition case back with “THE FIRST AND ONLY WATCH WORN ON THE MOON” engravings on the contours.

Omega Speedmaster
Speedmaster Professional Moonphase 3576.50

4. Omega Speedmaster 50th Anniversary Moonwatch

To mark 50 illustrious years of Speedmaster, Omega introduced another limited edition of 5957 pieces in 2007. The beautiful countenance of the watch bears the distinctive elements of the style and a notable, gold-tone Seahorse print at 12 o’clock plus an upgraded Calibre 1861.

Omega Speedmaster
Speedmaster 50th Anniversary MoonWatch 311.

Omega is one of the most reputable and successful watch brands globally, which has innumerable accolades in its kitty. From being the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games to arming James Bond with Seamaster and finding fans in the likes of John F. Kennedy, Elvis Presley, and George Clooney, Omega’s heritage is a horological celebration. Hence, only a brand like Omega is capable of inventing watches that become real icons, case in point, the Speedmaster. 

Also Read: How to Spot a Vintage Omega

Discover new and pre-loved Omega watches for men and women. In addition, find pieces from covetable collections like Seamaster Planet Ocean, Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150, and Constellation Globemaster here.

Neelma Tiwari

Fashion Content Executive

Having an affinity for writing about anything that spells Fashion, Neelma likes to infuse figurative expressions in her work as it gives her an opportunity to represent things in a unique light. A reader and a rover, collecting imperfection to create something perfect is her way of doing life!

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