Omega recently released its Speedmaster Apollo 8, marking 50 years since the first steps towards journey towards landing on the moon.
For the crew of Apollo 8, part of the ambitious plan was to become the first ever humans to orbit the moon. To do this, and return safely, they were given just a 50% chance of success.
To make their pioneering orbit, the spacecraft would have to travel to the dark side of the moon, a secret hemisphere that had never been seen by human eyes. During this time, all communication with ground control would be lost. The crew knew they would be absolutely alone with no radio contact at all.
Apollo 8 astronauts: Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders
With just seconds before transmission fell silent, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell gave his final words to Earth: “We’ll see you on the other side.” For the next 35 minutes and 52 seconds, nobody on the ground heard anything. It was a nervous wait, but finally, the voices of Apollo 8 reappeared on the radio, and the first voyage to the dark side of the moon was complete.
The spacecraft made 10 successful orbits over 20 hours, during which time the crew witnessed the moon’s mysterious distant surface, a rugged terrain covered in deeps craters and impacts.
Apollo 8 was praised as an incredible success. The crew was named Time Magazine’s “Men of the Year”, and even today, 50 years later, OMEGA is proud to honor their bravery and, of course, their words.
Appropriately, Omega’s new piece is named the Dark Side of the Moon, the watch has been released to pay tribute to many of the team who wore a Speedmaster in the Apollo mission.
The skeletonized blackened movement on the piece pays homage to the moon and has also been laser-ablated to precisely decorate the bridges and main plate with realistic imagery of the lunar surface.
To mirror the moon, the movement has two different sides, the dial with a light shade and back with a darker shade.
On the case back, a message of the same words spoken by the Apollo 8 pilot, ‘We’ll see you on the other side’, has been engraved.
The new version of the Calibre 1861 which powers the watch has been renamed ‘1969’ as a tribute to the first moon landing, a move which the company hopes can act as a reminder of the original Moonwatch movement and Omega’s story in space.