50 years ago, the Apollo 11 spacecraft landed on the moon. On that journey into the unknown, American astronauts were accompanied by the Swiss watch Omega - the wrist model Omega Speedmaster Professional was put on Buzz Aldrin's spacesuit. The first wrist chronograph with a tachymeter located on the bezel rather than on the dial appeared in 1957. Eight years later, having successfully passed the NASA tests, the "speedmasters" were included in the official list of equipment items for all the Apollo astronauts and thus became the first watches to visit the moon. Since then they have been called moonwatch.
Historical model of the Omega Speedmaster © press service
In November 1969, a gala dinner was held in Houston in honor of a successful space mission, at which astronauts were presented with a commemorative Omega Speedmaster watch in yellow gold with an unusual burgundy bezel. The inscription on the case back read: "In commemoration of man's conquest of space over time, through time and in time." The model became the first numbered Omega series, with 1,014 pieces produced over the next four years. The first was intended for President Richard Nixon (later returned to Omega), while Armstrong, Aldrin and other astronauts received watches with a serial number, starting with the third. Today, original models associated with the conquest of the moon are collectible values.
Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition © Press Service
For the half-century anniversary of the successful space mission, Omega has prepared several premieres. The Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition is an almost exact copy of those very “gift” Speedmaster BA145.022 watches. The designers have retained the 42 mm case, the five-row bracelet and even the manual winding, although the modern caliber 3861 has received the Master Chronometer certificate. The classic 18K yellow gold was replaced with a special Moonshine alloy, and burgundy ceramic was used on the bezel instead of anodized aluminum. The gold chronograph was also limited to 1,014 pieces at a price of 2.3 million rubles.
Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary © Press Office
Another limited edition Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary is made of steel in the number of 6969 pieces. Its design as a whole repeats the previous anniversary model, but is made in black and gray tones. The hands and markings on the dial, including the 11-hour mark (as a reminder of the Apollo 11 mission serial number), are made of the new Moonshine gold alloy. A couple of curious details: on the second counter you can see a laser-engraved image of an astronaut, and on the back cover - a boot print on the lunar surface and a quote from Neil Armstrong: "This is one small step for a person, but a giant leap for all mankind." The watch is delivered in a suitcase with a plate on which the coordinates and landing time of the Apollo 11 spacecraft are read. Their cost is 640 800 rubles.>