In July of ’69, two brave men, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, set foot on the moon, a feat distant to mankind not long before. With the pressure of a nation on these astronauts, all they could rely on was the brilliance of NASA, their own expertise, and a dependable timepiece. Of every company that vied for their watch to go on that mission, only Omega proved worthy.
Yesterday, Omega commemorated the 45th anniversary of this mission with the Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 45th Anniversary Limited Edition wristwatch. Just because of my veneration for the Speedmaster, I just had to see this one for myself.
In the flesh (or metal, I should say), the Speedmaster Apollo 11 is completely different than I expected it to be. Sure, it’s supposed to be lightweight, considering the case is titanium, but it’s so light that keeping the watch balanced on my wrist is an earthly challenge. Aesthetically, Omega literally did the perfect job. The dial is a rich taupe that blends incomparably with the senda, or rose, gold hour markers and hands.
Omega used the in-house caliber Omega 1816, an updated version of the 321, the movement housed by the original moon watch. With a 48-hour power reserve and with NASA’s current technology, you won’t have to do much winding in space.
And how could Omega celebrate the moon landing with a watch without a NATO strap? In all honesty, they couldn’t. No mundane strap would do this watch justice; Omega fitted the 45th Anniversary Speedmaster with a handsome, brown-coated NATO that’s just like the original: long enough to wrap around your spacesuit’s cuff.
Omega limited this wristwatch to 1,969 pieces (in honor of 1969) and all priced at $7,700. Wouldn’t a $1,969 price tag have been fabulously retro?
Luke Rottman (Executive Editor: thewatchadviser.com)