About Omega Speedmaster Watches
The Omega Speedmaster is a line of chronograph wristwatches produced in 1957, with many different chronograph models marketed under the Speedmaster name. The current model features hallmarks of the original model such as the triple-register chronograph layout, the high-contrast index markers, and the domed Plexiglas crystal.
The watch features a stunning design. The indexes, as well as the hour and minute hands, are coated in Super-LimiNova. A hesalite crystal protects the dial, which has a 30-minute and 12-hour recorder. The case is stainless steel and can be paired with either a matching bracelet or a black leather strap.
The watch was powered by a caliber 321 movement until 1968 when it was replaced by a caliber 861. Today, the movement remains very nearly the same, and it was this movement that was approved by NASA as ready for flight.
The "Moonwatch" is the best-known Speedmaster model because it was worn during the first spacewalk as part of NASA's Gemini 4 mission. It was also the first watch worn by an astronaut walking on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. Models made before the moon landing and are informally known as "pre-Moon" Speedmasters. These models lack the inscription subsequent models carry ("The First Watch Worn on the Moon").
Although the Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong was first to set foot on the moon, he left his Speedmaster inside the lunar module as a backup. As a result, Buzz Aldrin's Speedmaster was the first to be worn on the moon. Although NASA still qualifies the watch for spaceflight, this wasn't its original purpose. Initially, it was designed as a sports chronograph.
The Speedmaster caught NASA's attention in 1962 when astronauts on a Mercury flight wore there personal Speedmaster watches. By 1964, NASA decided that a certified watch for their astronauts was a real and essential need, and the astronauts echoed this sentiment. NASA procured several chronographs, including the Omega Speedmaster. After an intense, 6-month bout of testing, Nasa declared the Omega Speedmaster operational for space exploration and flight certified.
A watch destined for space exploration carries a heavy responsibility, and this was especially apparent in 1970 when the oxygen tank on the Apollo 13 exploded. The astronauts had to depend on the Speedmaster's precision and accuracy to time a crucial 14-second maneuver that allowed them to return to Earth. All three astronauts wore Omega Speedmaster Watches issued by NASA.
In 2019, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing and the Apollo 11 mission, Omega released two limited edition Speedmaster chronographs. The first limited edition watch was issued in honor of the Apollo 11 crew and the watches they were given following their success. To this day, the Speedmaster is the only watch that NASA has considered worthy of space travel.
The Omega Speedmaster features more than precision and style – it carries a fascinating history that will continue to captivate for years to come. The piece's functionality is evident based on its current purpose, but the most intriguing element of this chronograph is the stories it can tell.