The Omega Speedmaster celebrates its first 60 years!
The Omega Speedmaster is one of the most iconic wristwatches. Its unparalleled story is so unique and thrilling; no marketing guru ever could have invented it.
Let me present you the history of the Omega Speedmaster in six parts.
Discover the different Omega Speedmaster models and read in brief what´s behind each of the ticking icons ...
With their spacecraft docking together in space in 1975, the Apollo and Soyuz commanders shook hands through an open hatch and signaled a bright future for the two nations. This gold watch was created to mark the 25th anniversary of that landmark event and was limited to 50 pieces. The mission name appears in English and Cyrillic in the counter at 6 o’clock and a special dedication inscription is included on the caseback.
Celebrating the success of Apollo 13
This model commemorates the “Silver Snoopy Award” that OMEGA received in 1970 for helping to get the Apollo 13 crew safely home. The watch has a representation of the “Eyes on the Stars” patch on the subsidiary small seconds dial as well as reverse printed on the sapphire crystal caseback. It was limited to 5,441 pieces referencing the length of the mission – 142 hours, 54 minutes and 41 seconds.
FROM THE MOON TO MARS
Anticipating the future
Built for the next great human destination. This model coincided with the American announcement that they planned to build a permanent space station on the moon before 2020 to act as a launch site for future manned missions to Mars. Celebrating those celestial bodies, the watch has counters printed with images of the moon, Earth and Mars.
Created to mark the 35th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission when the OMEGA Speedmaster became the first watch worn on the moon, this watch was produced in a limited edition of 3,500 pieces. It features the date July 20, 1969 printed in red in the upper half of the dial and the Apollo 11 patch reverse-printed on the sapphire caseback.
In 1965, Edward White became the first American astronaut to walk in space. With a Speedmaster strapped to his wrist, it also became the first time that an OMEGA ventured outside the spacecraft. This Speedmaster was created in a limited edition of 2,005 pieces to mark the 40th anniversary of that Gemini IV mission. The dial of the watch is blue, along with the bezel, and on the other side, the Gemini IV patch is printed on the sapphire caseback.
With pioneering escapement
OMEGA has always been known for its pioneering innovation and dedication to the art of watchmaking. In its quest to perfect the movement, this Speedmaster was the first to include the Co-Axial escapement, which revolutionised precision and reliability. As well as this, the watch saw a return of the iconic “Broad Arrow” hands, a red-tipped GMT hand, and a 1 – 23 GMT hour ring that beautifully fitted between the hour markers.
This Speedmaster was created in a limited edition of 1,971 pieces to mark the 35th anniversary of Apollo 15. It was during this mission that the Lunar Rover Vehicle was used for the first time. Its special details include 18-carat pink gold push buttons and a mission patch etched on the sapphire crystal caseback with three birds representing the astronauts.
50th ANNIVERSARY PATCH
50 years of the Speedmaster
Created in a limited edition of 5,957 pieces to commemorate the birth of the Speedmaster in 1957, this watch has a golden Seahorse printed on the dial, representing the emblem with which the Speedmaster is most closely associated. The OMEGA logo is printed in red and the watch was presented in a black wooden box with a painted 50th Anniversary badge.
Celebrating the XXIX Olympiad
As the Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games Beijing 2008, OMEGA celebrated its role by creating this unique Speedmaster 5-Counters Chronograph. For the first time ever, five counters were displayed on the dial of a mechanical wristwatch, arranged in the form of the iconic Olympic rings. The functions included a small seconds counter, a 7-day chronograph recorder, a day indicator, a 12-hour chronograph recorder and a 30-minute chronograph recorder.
A prototype becomes reality
In this timepiece, one of OMEGA’s most innovative dreams became reality. Created in a limited edition of 1,970 pieces in 2008, the watch is based on the “Alaska II” project which used a “standard” Speedmaster with a modified dial and hands in conjunction with an outer anodized aluminium “thermal shield”. This allowed the watch to withstand temperatures, in lunar or spatial atmospheres, ranging from -148C to +260C.
Built for Solar Impulse
The Solar Impulse project captured the world’s imagination with its ambitious aim of flying around the Earth in a plane powered only by the sun. OMEGA was a Main Partner of the mission and produced this watch named after the Solar Impulse prototype plane. The design took inspiration from the plane itself, with a titanium case and a dial made of black carbon fibre, similar to the HB-SIA’s composite covering. A central GMT hand, which completes one rotation in 24 hours, can be used to read a second time zone.
Made in a limited edition of 69 examples to mark the 40th anniversary of man’s conquest of the moon, this Speedmaster model made in platinum has a unique yellow gold medallion on the small seconds counter representing, in high relief, the mission patch of Apollo 11. This is repeated, again in gold, on the caseback.