The Omega Speedmaster has been an indelible part of the Space Program since Ed White took his monumental space walk in 1965. Buzz Aldrin, Jack Swigert, and even astronauts today have all set forth for the final frontier with Speedies strapped to their wrists. But it’s straight-lug Speedmasters like the kind Ed White wore that hold pride of place in many collectors’ hearts.
We’re certainly not immune.
The Ed White that we offer here boasts everything we love about the reference: strong case with sharp bevels, a Dot over 90 bezel that’s taken on a lovely fade, and a pie-pan Pre-Professional dial with handsome lume. Whether you’re taking off toward new horizons or just on your daily rounds, this is just the sort of watch you need on your wrist.
As Gemini IV flew over Canarvon, Australia, the cabin was depressurized. When it flew over Hawaii, Ed White pulled the handle of his hatch. Nothing happened. Fortunately, Command Pilot James McDivitt had witnessed something similar in a vacuum chamber test. With his help, White managed to shove the hatch open. Tethered to the spacecraft, he floated into space—and into history.
White floated fifteen feet out of the spacecraft. He pitched, yawed, and rolled. All the while, McDivitt took photos of him with a 70mm Hasselblad camera. “Hey, Ed, smile,” McDivitt told White as White maneuvered to the windscreen of the spacecraft. It wasn’t until McDivitt’s photos were developed that Omega realized that White wore an Omega Speedmaster strapped on the outside of his spacesuit.
The Speedmaster carries with it an indelible connection to the U.S. space program, through Ed White and Buzz Aldrin, who wore his Reference 145.012-67 when he walked on the Moon. But it was after Ed White’s spacewalk that the Speedmaster became flight-qualified for all manned space missions. Consequently, examples of the Reference 105.003-65—known by collectors as the “Ed White” after the astronaut who wore it—have become hot commodities in the watch collecting community.
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