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.
This Reference 105.012-65 features a fantastically clean dial and a strong case. It comes equipped with a black leather strap, making this Speedy super versatile for daily wear. Overall it's a fantastic example of one of history's great timepieces, and we don't expect it to last long - don't miss it!
Omega released theSpeedmasterin 1957, in the midst of a craze for racing chronographs. Over the next few years, the Speedmaster saw several changes in dial and hand configurations. However, at its heart it retained the design elements that would be carried down through the decades, making it an iconic vintage watch: the black dial with its triple-register layout, the domed hesalite crystal, and of course, the tachymeter bezel, signifying Omega's intention for the Speedmaster to be used in automotive sports.
In its nearly six decades of production, the Speedmaster has set benchmarks that, in our opinion, are hard to surpass: the first timepiece to be flight-qualified by NASA for manned space missions, the first watch to be worn by an American astronaut during a space walk, the first watch to be worn on the Moon.
The fact that the Speedmaster came to be used by NASA is somewhat serendipitous. Since the dawn of military aviation, pilots had used chronographs to time their flights. When NASA developed their space program, the first astronauts were, as one can imagine, pilots. The Speedmaster was already known to NASA for its personal use by the astronauts: Wally Schirra wore his own Speedmaster, a reference CK2998, aboard the Mercury-Atlas 8 in 1962.
In 1965, NASA sent formal bids to twelve different brands whose chronographs the astronauts preferred for use in their flights. Chronographs fromBreitling(already by then well-established for use in aviation), Rolex, and even a pocketwatch by Hamilton were considered by NASA. Ultimately a Rolex, aWittnauer and the Speedmaster made the final cut, but the Speedmaster was found to be the most durable and suitable for use in the Apollo missions. The Speedmaster was one of the few pieces of equipment not made specifically for NASA that were included in the astronaut's accoutrements: given the watch’s outstanding quality, Buzz Aldrin went on to wear his on the surface of the Moon.