Take a poll amongst wristwatch collectors, and we'd bet the consensus would be that there might be nothing more important or iconic in a watch collection than an Omega Speedmaster.
This particular Speedy, a Reference 145.022, might date from the 1980's but in spirit and aesthetics it has all the elements of a classic Apollo-era watch.
The movement that powers this watch is a variant of the same calibre that powered the watches worn by Jim Lovell and his crew during the harrowing Apollo 13 spaceflight. The case is the same asymmetrical one that marked the Speedy since the late 1960s. Additionally, the dial uses Tritium luminescent material, and has developed a patina that's as mouth-watering as any Speedy from the 1960s or 1970s.
It should be noted that the Speedy isstillbeing worn by astronauts today, which makes it just as relevant to the history of space exploration as ever.
Simply put, a Speedy looks like a Speedy, and a crisp example like this one strikes the perfect balance between history and balance.
With the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing looming like the Death Star on the horizon, focus is now on space-related ephemera. Major auction houses will no doubt hold sales of anything that an astronaut might have evenbreathedon. Now, with demand for those items soaring high, it might put a damper on anyone’s aspirations to own a piece of history.
But there is a piece of space history that anyone can own: The Omega Speedmaster.
Since 1965, this little machine has been issued to the crew of every manned space mission. Ed White, Buzz Aldrin, Jim Lovell—these are just a few heroes who strapped the Speedy to their wrists as they headed to the final frontier. As one of Omega’s longest-running models, the Speedmaster has seen variants as numerous as stars in the sky, from special editions honoring spaceflights to the simpler black-dialed “Moon watch” that everyone knows and loves.
There's something to be said for the popular appeal of the Reference 145.022. Produced from the late 1960s to the 1980s, the Reference 145.022 straddles the period between the pre-moon and post-Moon landing Speedmasters. Like the references that came before it, the Reference 145.022 represents a pivotal era in the development of the Speedmaster.
While the earlier References of Speedmaster contained the Caliber .321 movement, the Reference 145.022 was the first to contain the Caliber .861. Additionally, the sub-reference 145.022-69ST was the first to feature a caseback that commemorated the 1969 Moon Landing, which still adorns the backs of Omega Speedmasters today. Also, the 145.022 retained the tritium that adorned the dials of previous iterations; it wasn’t until the introduction of the Reference 3570 in the mid 1990s that Omega started using the non-radioactive SuperLuminova.