All astronauts are heroes, but there is none more heroic than Ed White. Among his compatriots at NASA, he was regarded as the highest of high flyers. When it came time for an American astronaut to attempt a spacewalk, it was Ed White—soft-spoken and mild-mannered—who was given the historic task.
And it was he who—along with Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee, fellow crew members of Apollo 1—would give his life for his country on Launch Pad 34 at Cape Kennedy at the age of 35.
As a fitting tribute to his legacy, the watch that he wore during his spaceflight—an Omega Speedmaster Reference 105.003—has gone down in history as the Ed White. This particular particular Ed White (Reference 105.003-64) is truly worthy of his memory, with a beautiful case and a handsomely aged dial.
In 1965, Lieutenant Commander Edward Higgins White shoved open the hatch of his spacecraft, Gemini IV, and floated into history.
On his wrist was an Omega Speedmaster Reference 105.003. Produced from 1964 to 1969, the Reference 105.003 is an important milestone in the history of the model. This is due not just for its participation in Ed White’s legendary spaceflight—the first undertaken by an American—but by the fact that it is the last of the straight-lugged Speedies.
Shortly after the Ed White was released, Omega launched a redesigned reference of the Speedmaster, with curved lugs instead of the straight lugs that had dominated the model since its debut in 1957. The silhouette of the Speedmaster was forever changed, making examples like the one Ed White wore important historical artifacts of man’s conquest of space—and the tools that took him there.