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Rolex are supposed to be some of the most reliable watches out there, their website even states that you can play tennis with them and its a watch “you don’t have to take off”. Can the same be said for a speedmaster?
 

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you should review the abuse NASA put them through
Yep, this.

My question has always been exactly why the Speedmaster was so durable and passed the tests (twice) while other quality brands didn't. I don't know what it is, but it (mainly) survived some real abuse in the NASA tests. I'm talking about the manual-wound Speedmaster Professional. The automatic versions are different watches and I don't know if they share the same robustness.
 

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IIRC the tests on the watches to be qualified for space flight were so extreme that the crystals on some of the watches were shattered
 

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Rolex are supposed to be some of the most reliable watches out there, their website even states that you can play tennis with them and its a watch “you don’t have to take off”. Can the same be said for a speedmaster?
Seriously? I think this question has been asked and answered about a zillion times on all the watch forums, and it was answered for real in the 1960s and 1970s when the speedmaster went to the moon! I should also mention that while the speedmaster passed every test NASA could throw at it the Rolex candidate failed. So I guess perhaps Omega should change its advertising to say that the speedmaster is a watch you can blast off to the moon with and you don’t have to take it off! LOL
 

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I can't remember what brand my friend was wearing when I let him shoot my .44 magnum, but his watch completely exploded with parts all over the floor after the first shot. I'd take off any of my watches off before experiencing that recoil.
 

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you should review the abuse NASA put them through
Indeed!

  1. High Temperature – 48 hours at a temperature of 160°F (71°C) followed by 30 minutes at 200°F (93°C). For the high temperature tests, atmospheric pressure shall be 5.5 psi (0.35 atm) and the relative humidity shall not exceed 15%.
  2. Low Temperature – Four hours at a temperature of 0°F (-18° C)
  3. Temperature Pressure Chamber – pressure maximum of 1.47 x 10exp-5 psi (10exp-6 atm) with temperature raised to 160°F (71°C). The temperature shall then be lowered to 0°F (-18°C) in 45 minutes and raised again to 160°F in 45 minutes. Fifteen more such cycles shall be completed.
  4. Relative Humidity – A total time of 240 hours at temperatures varying between 68°F and 160°F (20°C and 71°C, respectively) in a relative humidity of at least 95%. The steam used shall have a pH value between 6.5 and 7.5.
  5. Pure Oxygen Atmosphere – The test item shall be placed in an atmosphere of 100% oxygen at a pressure of 5.5 psi (0.35 atm) for 48 hours. Performance outside of specification tolerance, visible burning, creation of toxic gases, obnoxious odors, or deterioration of seals or lubricants shall constitute a failure. The ambient temperature shall be maintained at 160°F (71°C).
  6. Shock – Six shocks of 40g each, in six different directions, with each shock lasting 11 milliseconds.
  7. Acceleration – The test item shall be accelerated linearly from 1g to 7.25g within 333 seconds, along an axis parallel to the longitudinal spacecraft axis.
  8. Decompression – 90 minutes in a vacuum of 1.47 x 10E-5 psi (10 E-6 atm) at a temperature of 160° F (71° C), and 30 minutes at a 200° F (93°C).
  9. High Pressure – The test item shall be subjected to a pressure of 23.5 psi (1.6 atm) for a minimum period of one hour.
  10. Vibration – Three cycles of 30 minutes (lateral, horizontal, vertical, the frequency varying from 5 to 2000 cps and back to 5 cps in 15 minutes. Average acceleration per impulse must be at least 8.8g.
  11. Acoustic Noise – 130dB over a frequency range from 40 to 10,000 HZ, for a duration of 30 minutes.
Source: https://www.twentytwoten.com/1574/nasa-testing-regime-omega-speedmaster-moonwatch/
 

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No water on the moon though!! Much more common on earth.

The Speedy’s Achilles heel if it has one.

And playing devils advocate were the watches that Omega made for the space programme “Off the shelf” watches? Or were they specially made to pass the tests?? And would the one that I bought from an AD tomorrow pass these tests??

Kinda like the 150mph top speed of the 1962 E type test car that went out to all the magazines for the reporters to max out.

That one did 150mph but it was only that one that would, all the others were around 130mph flat out.
 
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And playing devils advocate were the watches that Omega made for the space programme “Off the shelf” watches? Or were they specially made to pass the tests?? And would the one that I bought from an AD tomorrow pass these tests??
Legend says that NASA employees went and purchased several Speedmasters from nearby jewelry stores but this is not true.

NASA actually sent out their list of specifications, without any context on how the watches would be used, to several watch brand distributors in the US and some responded, including Omega. "Distributors" is in bold here, because Omega in Switzerland actually had no idea that NASA asked for watches, that's what I read from a reputable source but I cannot find it anymore. So the Speedmasters that were sent to NASA were plain vamilla models, without any modification or improvement of any sort.
 

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Fair play to Omega then, they did a bit better than Jaguar in the early 60’s.
 

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No water on the moon though!! Much more common on earth.
What did they call it when the astronauts came back to earth.....oh yes...



Splashdown...

Unless you don't take proper care of the watch (or have a pool that is deeper than 50m), water resistance isn't any sort of detrimental feature of a Speedmaster.

These watches were not made to go the moon - they were made for racing. The watches that went were stock watches, not some specially made or modified watches.
 

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No water on the moon though!! Much more common on earth.

The Speedy’s Achilles heel if it has one.

And playing devils advocate were the watches that Omega made for the space programme “Off the shelf” watches? Or were they specially made to pass the tests?? And would the one that I bought from an AD tomorrow pass these tests??

Kinda like the 150mph top speed of the 1962 E type test car that went out to all the magazines for the reporters to max out.

That one did 150mph but it was only that one that would, all the others were around 130mph flat out.
Because it had a Le Mans spec D type motor in it.
 

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Not good winding that watch ON the wrist. It would place too much stress on the winding stem.
 

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No water on the moon though!! Much more common on earth.

The Speedy’s Achilles heel if it has one.

And playing devils advocate were the watches that Omega made for the space programme “Off the shelf” watches? Or were they specially made to pass the tests?? And would the one that I bought from an AD tomorrow pass these tests??

Kinda like the 150mph top speed of the 1962 E type test car that went out to all the magazines for the reporters to max out.

That one did 150mph but it was only that one that would, all the others were around 130mph flat out.
American road tests of the time had no problems reaching the low-mid 140s in the 1961 launch cars, but those last few mph were unattainable for most.

To reach 150 mph on production gearing the engine had to be pushed past its power peak and into the red sector. Apparently repeated full speed attempts damaged the engine, running close to 6,000 rpm when the red was 5,5. With longer gearing, very high speeds were easier to achieve but this hurt acceleration of course.

As for whether a special Speedmaster was prepped... I doubt it. But it was a very, very small sample size. No matter - the legend is writ!
 

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I've worn my whist enjoying some 'me time'. All that high speed 'wrist action', didn't cause any problems, whatsoever. ;-)
 

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Pretty solid. I take mine off for showering, pool time, working in electrical panels or working on my cars. Thats about it.
 
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