WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I came across the following in "Two Sides Of The Moon" by Dave Scott and Alexei Leonov (Thomas Dunn Books, 2004) where Dave Scott is writing about Gemini 8:

"Neil also carried a wristwatch belonging to Jimmy Mattern, who had attempted the first round-the-world solo flight in 1933. He did not succeed - a frozen fuel line brought his plane down in Siberia - but he wanted something of his to make that trip, albeit at speeds he could never have forseen. Neil had the watch strapped round the right arm of his spacesuit."

After describing the splashdown of Gemini 8, Dave Scott comments:

"And through it all, Jimmy Mattern's watch had kept on ticking."

Another watch in orbit...anyone have any details on this mystery vintage watch that Armstrong brought along? :-s
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,411 Posts
I came across the following in "Two Sides Of The Moon" by Dave Scott and Alexei Leonov (Thomas Dunn Books, 2004) where Dave Scott is writing about Gemini 8:

"Neil also carried a wristwatch belonging to Jimmy Mattern, who had attempted the first round-the-world solo flight in 1933. He did not succeed - a frozen fuel line brought his plane down in Siberia - but he wanted something of his to make that trip, albeit at speeds he could never have forseen. Neil had the watch strapped round the right arm of his spacesuit."

After describing the splashdown of Gemini 8, Dave Scott comments:

"And through it all, Jimmy Mattern's watch had kept on ticking."

Another watch in orbit...anyone have any details on this mystery vintage watch that Armstrong brought along? :-s
Very interesting topic, I will hope taht somebody find the watch reference!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I've contacted Chuck Maddox to see if he had any ideas on
how to identify this watch. He wrote...

"I'm forwarding this to Jeff Stein who recently wrote about
John Glenn's Heuer for IW Magazine. Perhaps Jeff and his
people who are in touch with Mr. Glenn can get in touch
with fellow Ohioan Mr. Armstrong? Hopefully so!"


I've searched on-line under "Jimmy Mattern", and there are
several sources for info on the man, but nothing on the watch.
Though we may never know the details, I appreciate Chuck's
assistance in the search for further clues. He is a scholar and
a gentleman. b-)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,411 Posts
I appreciate Chuck's [/COLOR said:
assistance in the search for further clues. He is a scholar and
a gentleman. b-)

This is sure, I have apppreciated many times the complete and professional help of Mr. Chuck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Is it true?
I think that I read somewhere that Armstrong was not wearing his Speedmaster when he stepped onto the moon, having taken it off and left it in the lander as there was a problem with timekeepers used for controls and they wanted to have a reliable watch for the take off.
That meant that Aldrin's Speedmaster was actually the first watch on the moon.
I think that they also had a Hamilton along on that trip. Could that be the mysterious watch you ask about?

Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
You are referring to another mission, that of Apollo 11. Yes, it is true that Armstrong made his EVA without his Speedmaster, as a precaution to insure that a reliable timer was available should the on-board clock fail to operate. Aldrin's Speedmaster was the first watch to be taken on EVA on the moon. Both Aldrin's and Armstrongs watches landed on the moon at the same instant. I have never come across any documentation indicating that a Hamilton watch was ever present on a lunar mission. Nor any other space mission for that matter.

My posting above refers to Gemini 8, where Armstrong and Dave Scott had the roller coaster ride of the century...but that's another story....b-)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,531 Posts
Okay, I think I may have found the answer as to what kind of watch Armstrong brought with him on Gemini 8. :)

Apparently, James "Jimmie" Mattern wore a Wittnauer All-Proof for his flight. According to "The Watch Buff's Book of Trivia", Mattern wrote a letter to the A. Wittnauer Co. in 1933 to congratulate the company on the durability and accuracy of its All-Proof watch, which he had worn during his attempt to make a solo flight around the world. Not only did he praise the watch for its ability to survive the crash-landing, but also for its resistance during the long trek that followed, including several swims across rivers.

From Mattern's letter to Wittnauer
"It personifies mechanical perfection heretofore unknown to me" [...] "It was a sensation with the Eskimos in Anadyr [Siberia] who considered it something super-natural."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
Having read this, I did a little searching and put a post on another site relating to this, as it tickled my fancy and I had found a picture of the landed Gemini 8 module.

It is a high res photo, and clearly shown on the right wrist of Armstrong is a watch, and what is more it does not seem to have the black dial of his Speedmaster, more like a cream dial. Is this Jimmy Mattern's watch?

You can read my other full post here

http://www.atgvintagewatches.com/Forum/tabid/56/forumid/2/postid/1799/view/topic/Default.aspx

but I attach the photo and zooms to illustrate what I believe to be Jimmy's watch
 

Attachments

1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top