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 ...
For Switzerland’s 700th anniversary
This Speedmaster model was limited to 50 pieces. Although it celebrated the 700th anniversary of Switzerland, the watch was released exclusively for the Japanese market. As well as the chronograph function, it also includes a Moonphase and a perpetual calendar programmed up to the year 2100. It is often considered to be the most complicated watch OMEGA has ever produced in series.
Rare hand-crafted limited edition
In this captivating Speedmaster model, OMEGA’s hand-crafted excellence is clear to see. The skeletonised design was limited to just 50 pieces, each with a transparent caseback.
The inspiration was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of OMEGA’s 27 CHRO C12 project, which led to the creation of the calibre 321 that was used in the very first Speedmaster. In terms of highlighting innovation and excellence, this timepiece was a wonderful tribute.
First COSC-certified manual-wound Speedmaster
OMEGA launched the 27 CHRO C12 project in 1942 which led to the creation of the calibre 321 that was used in the very first Speedmaster. To mark the 50th anniversary of this occasion, OMEGA produced this unique “Jubilee 27 CHRO C12” model in 1992. It was the first COSC- certified manual-wound Speedmaster and was a limited edition of 50 pieces.
The OMEGA Speedmaster served a life-saving role aboard Apollo 13 in 1970 when it helped the astronauts return safely to Earth. This 25th anniversary model is a favourite among collectors due to it being the first in a long series of Mission models that followed. It includes an Apollo 13 badge and was limited to 999 pieces.
MIR 365 DAYS
365 days on MIR Space Station
In 1990, ten standard Speedmaster Moonwatches were kept aboard the orbiting MIR Space Station for 90 days to test the effects of zero gravity on the watch. Two years later, a second series spend 365 days on the station in a further experiment. 28 of these history-making watches were sold in 1995. On the caseback are the words “365 DAYS ON BOARD SPACE STATION MIR, JULY 1993 – JULY 1994”.
Launched by Michael Schumacher
This striking model is notable for its “younger aesthetics” and was produced in both red and yellow versions. The piece was launched by racing legend Michael Schumacher who had become a new OMEGA ambassador in 1996. As well as featuring a racing-style minute track, the watch had a rubber presentation box that resembled the tyres of F1 cars and featured Schumacher’s signature in white.
Inspired by the 1957 original
With the exact same dial, bezel, hands and logo as the famous “Broad Arrow” of 1957, this watch, sometimes to referred to as the “Replica”, was the first to be included in the “Missions” set of 1997 which marked the 40th anniversary of the Speedmaster. Along with this watch, the set contained 22 other Speedmasters each with a different mission patch on the dial.
“THE GOLDEN PANDA”
Exclusive to Japan
40 of these Speedmasters were created for the Japanese market. Thanks to the silvery-white dial and black minute scale and subdials, the watch closely resembled the face of a panda, which gave it its memorable nickname. Combined with a yellow gold case, it has become a popular collector’s item.
40 years of the Speedmaster
To celebrate 40 years of the iconic Speedmaster, OMEGA released this model in 1997 featuring a cream dial and front glass made from sapphire crystal – which was unusual for the time. Limited to 500 pieces and exclusive to Italy, it was also one of the first models with hands and a dial coated in LumiNova.
Favoured by pilots
Known as the “Mars Watch”, the X-33 was designed for the possibility of man landing on the red planet. It took five years of collaborative development between OMEGA and the world’s major space agencies, as well as the USN “Blue Angels” and the USAF “Thunderbirds”. With its futuristic design, it was worn on board NASA’s space shuttles and the Russia MIR Space Station.
Launched in 1999 to mark the 30th anniversary of Apollo 11, this model was the second Speedmaster Professional to have a moonphase indication and the first Speedmaster Moonphase to be created in gold or, in fact, any other metal other than stainless steel. This white gold model featured a silver dial and was available exclusively on a leather strap that included a white gold buckle.