The year 2019 represents a turning point for all watches and history lovers. In a few months, on July 21st , we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first human lunar landing, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the lunar soil with an Omega Speedmaster on their wrist.
Omega introduced its first Speedmaster chronograph in 1957, registered under the reference CK2915, the same year as the Railmaster and the Seamaster 300 models.
From 1962, NASA acquired several chronographs from famous manufacturers such as Rolex, Hamilton, Longines and Omega. It is only two years later that an official call for tenders is launched. Becoming the symbol of the space conquest, the choice of the Speedmaster was therefore the fruit of a long reflection and heavy specifications from NASA.
First, the reference 105.003 had to pass all the required tests by NASA.
Then, the reference ST 105.012 has benefited from these tests. It appeared in 1964 and has an asymmetrical case in order to protect the pushers and the crown.
On one hand, we can assert with certainty that Neil Armstrong worn an Omega Speedmaster reference 105.012. On the other hand, there is still doubt about the Omega reference on Buzz Aldrin’s wrist. It is possible that he had the reference 145.012, which appeared later, in 1967. Anyway… it’s an Omega and it’s a Speedmaster model.
It occured to us that one of the aircraft’s clock broke down, and Neil Armstrong woud have used one of their Speedmaster chronograph to replace the broken clock. Whether it was his watch or Aldrin’s one remains a mystery.
All these events contributed to the reputation and prestige of the famous Speedmaster, which we present two different references, the first vintage and the second modern.
The presented reference is a 145.022-69 from the same year as the moon landing, 1969. It has the classic round stainless steel case of 42 mm diameter with the black epoxy bezel, but contrary to the references worn by the famous astronauts, it has protective shoulders to protect the crown. Its mechanical hand-wound movement is equipped with the caliber 861.
The particularity of this watch is its very beautiful chocolate-patinated dial with tritium indexes, indicated at 6 o’clock “T SWISS MADE T”. This patina of time leaves the watch a unique mark.
In contrast, on our 2005 Speedmaster model, the case back is different: it is engraved the famous inscription “The first watch worn on the moon”. Indeed, since the moon landing, Omega has had this formula engraved on its Speedmasters case back. On the dial, the indexes have been in Luminova since the ban on the use of Tritium in the 1990s. The consequence is that they reflect light longer and more intensely, but no longer enjoy the patina of time. The movement, as reliable as ever, is the famous calibre 1861.
This kind of objects take part in historical events and become icons, and this is the case of the Omega Speedmaster. Don’t buy a watch, treat yourself to a legendary one !