Some of us have been around long enough to remember that 50 years ago, mankind in the form of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took its very first steps onto the surface of the moon. We watched it unfold on grainy black and white TV.
The OMEGA Speedmaster was there, strapped to the wrists of the astronauts, and this year, OMEGA is paying tribute to the mission’s lasting legacy, with the new Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition comprising 1,014 pieces.
Four months after Apollo 11 reached the moon in 1969, OMEGA held a special “Astronaut Appreciation Dinner” in Houston, Texas, where the gold Speedmaster BA145.022 was presented to NASA’s astronauts. Only 1,014 of these models were produced between 1969 and 1973, and to this day they remain hugely sought-after by collectors. The first two were intended for President Richard Nixon and his vice president, Spiro Agnew, but with some prescience, they declined as they were deemed too valuable to accept.
The next 30 were gifted to NASA astronauts, administrators, and a few Swiss industry figures, and the rest were made available to the public. The watch featured a different case back that read: “Omega Speedmaster”, “APOLLO XI 1969” and “Ω The first watch worn on the moon”.
Recreating the design of the famous BA145.022, OMEGA has produced a new 42mm Limited-Edition model in a new alloy known as 18K Moonshine™ gold. There is also a bezel in burgundy ceramic and a vertically-brushed gold dial with hour markers in faceted onyx.
The watch is powered by the manual-winding OMEGA Master Chronometer Calibre 3861, complete with burgundy markings and several 18K Moonshine™ gold parts.
On the case back, the outer ring is engraved: “1969-2019” and the Limited-Edition number highlighted in burgundy. The inner decorative ring, also created in 18K ‘Moonshine’ gold, offers a matte-finish blue ocean surrounding a partial world map of the Americas (with Saturn 5’s lift-off site, Cape Canaveral) and a matte-finish black background accentuated with the words, “Apollo 11 – 50th Anniversary” and “The first watch worn on the moon”.
The watch will be available from July 2019, which was exactly 50 years ago since the Apollo 11 launch.
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