Hardly any other watch invokes such galactic imagery as the Omega Speedmaster Professional. Unquestionably a legend in a league of its own, much like the space faring men that wore it on their famous journey, it became the first watch to traverse the dusty surface of the moon. It is the undisputed centerpiece of Omegas entire collection. At the same time, even though its a great selling point, the Speedmaster doesnt receive its proper due when the series is reduced to the mere label of being just The First Watch Worn on the Moon.
The Speedmaster comes in several versions e.g. the Moonwatch, the Mark II, Racing, the Broad Arrow, and the Speedmaster 57 among others. It still holds the award for the most thoroughly tested mechanical time piece in the world after NASA put it through a series of grueling tests to ascertain its suitability as a space watch. Since 1957, its illustrious and far reaching history also assures its position as one of the oldest chronograph models whose production hasnt ever skipped a single beat. In 2014, Omega gained a lot of attention with the implementation of its Dark Side of the Moon watch together with both of its grey and white spin offs.
Its collection of timepieces, with their recurring moon theme, has captured the spotlight once more with a Chronometer certified movement with a master co-axial escapement and a case measurement clocking in at an exuberant 46 mm. While the Speedmaster isnt an inexpensive timepiece, its still very affordable and ideal for everyone on a tight budget that want to claim a piece of history as their very own. Its also perfect as a classic entry level first watch for all those that have finally found their way to the extraordinary world of mechanical time measurement.
Speedmaster broken down into numbers – Top 5 Facts
11: Apollo eleven
Of course, this list has to open with the event that made the Speedmaster into what it is today. This timepiece isnt just some footnote of history, but rather the pen that wrote upon its pages, because of the importance of time measurement during the Apollo 11 moon mission and the historic nature of the feat.
3: Three sub dials
The first version of the Speedmaster Professional has a third sub dial that displays the elapsed hour. Today, most chronographs have three sub dials, but at this point in time it was only reserved for the most premium and complicated watch models.
14: Fourteen seconds
Apollo 13 almost ended in a total disaster, even before the epic transition to the big screen with Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon in the lead roles. Whats not really known is that the Omega Speedmaster also played a vital part in the crews safe return to Earth, specifically when reentering the Earths atmosphere, the rockets of Apollo 13 had to be activated at just the right time for a total of 14 seconds. While many of the on-board computers had broken down, the Speedmaster took over the calculation for ascertaining just the right timing for this daring spacecraft maneuver. As a result of its vital service, the Speedmaster rightly earned NASAs Snoopy Award. 45 years later, Omega honoured this near disaster by bringing out a special Snoopy model edition. The famous Charles M. Schultz Peanuts Beagle can be found lounging on its dial.
42: Forty-two millimetres
The Speedmaster Professional has a case measurement of 42 millimetres, just like its counterpart during the mission to the moon in 1969. This large dimension (for the time) is due to the fact that the watch had to be as tough as possible and resistant to an extreme environment (space is a dangerous place). Nowadays, the case measurement of 42 mm without the crown is the size of an average sports watch. The Speedmaster Professional represents the modern take on watch tastes, without sacrificing any of the core designs of the original model. Larger case sizes are certainly one of the reasons why the historical Speedmaster model is still a timepiece for everyday and not just collecting dust on shelves around the world.
1: Number one
Its almost a time honoured tradition that watch manufacturers dont show their hand when it comes to the amount of watches theyve sold. However, its an open secret that the classic Speedmaster Professional with the reference number of 318.104.22.168.01.005 is the most popular and equally most sold watch of the Omega series. On the entire market, it is still one of the most easily identifiable luxury watch models in the entire world with the reference number of 3750.50.00. The elegant version of the Speedmaster Professional was expanded upon over the years by other models e.g. the Mark II and the Dark Side of the Moon. The Moonwatch series is rounded out with a co-axial model with a case measurement of just a bit over 44 mm and has secured a spot somewhere between the Professional and the Dark Side of the Moon. Its offered in stainless steel as well as orange gold.
A Chronology of the Speedmaster
1957: The first Omega Speedmaster with the reference number CK2915 is launched. This original Speedy has incorporated the calibre 321 and has been produced ever since 1959.
1959: The successor to the CK2918 is launched. From this point forward, the Speedmaster has a black bezel that still graces its watches even today.
1965: The Speedmaster receives the additional designation of Professional, which honours the first space-walk of Edward H. White.
1968: The reference St 145.022 is presented and would later write history as the First Watch Worn on the Moon.
1985: The Speedmaster Professional is now available with a moon phase and a date display.
2012: The new Omega Speedmaster Racing is presented for the first time.
2014: The legendary Omega Mark series is revived in the form of the Mark II, that just like its predecessors the Mark III, Mark IV, and Mark V, grabs all the attention with its special case form.
2019: The gold “Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 11 50th Anniversary” celebrates the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.