Omega stands for timeless yet innovative watchmaking. This brand has been involved in several historic events – from sports to movies, Earth to outer space. You can read more about Omega’s history in yesterday’s article. Today we’re narrowing our focus on what’s perhaps their most famous story: the Moon landing, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary on July 20, 2019 (EST). The Omega Speedmaster Professional was part of the Apollo 11 mission’s official equipment. As a result, this model would make history as the first on the Moon. In celebration of this achievement, we’ve compiled some interesting facts about the most iconic models and the brand behind them into an infographic.
From the Racing Watch to the First Watch on the Moon
The first Speedmaster Professional (CK2915), also called the “Broad Arrow” due to its hour hand, first appeared on the market in 1957. This model is not only famous for its unusual hand shape but also for that placement of its tachymeter scale on the bezel – a rarity at the time. Before the CK2915, this scale had always been located around the edge of the dial in chronographs. Racecar drivers were the first group to embrace this change. However, its popularity would soon grow, with the second generation of the Speedmaster (CK2998) finding its way into space. In 1962, Walter Schirra wore his personal Speedmaster during the Mercury-Atlas 8 mission. Three years later, after passing a number of tests, NASA declared the Omega Speedmaster Professional its official timepiece for all manned space missions. This not only confirmed the watch’s exceptionally high degree of technical quality but also made a lasting mark on the brand’s history. And so it came to be that the Speedmaster model with reference ST 105.012 became the first watch worn on the Moon on July 20, 1969 (EST) – but not on the wrist of Neil Armstrong. He’d left his watch on board the lunar module. As a result, it was Buzz Aldrin’s model that would make history.
Then and Now: The Speedmaster Models in Action
Since then, the Moon landing has been inseparably linked to the Omega brand. That being said, if you thought the Speedmaster Professional’s history in space ends here, think again. To this day, both NASA and ESA astronauts still rely on this trusted timepiece. Of course, Omega has continued developing the model over the years. The Speedmaster Professional Skywalker X-33 (PIC 318.104.22.168.01.001) with the multifunctional quartz caliber 5619 is both agencies’ current watch of choice. In addition to this digital model, many astronauts still turn to an analog version of the Speedmaster.
Real Best-Sellers: Omega and the Speedmaster Professional
With such an incredible history, it almost goes without saying that both the Swiss manufacturer and their Speedmaster Professional models are beloved among watch enthusiasts the world over. Omega is easily the second-best selling brand on Chrono24, making up around 11% of all sales. This puts them just behind Rolex. What’s more, the Speedmaster Professional represents 25% of all Omega watches sold on Chrono24, followed by the Seamaster Diver 300M (12%) and the Seamaster Aqua Terra (8%).
The most expensive Speedmaster Professional of all time sold at a Phillips auction in 2018. It was one of the first models, the aforementioned “Broad Arrow” Speedmaster with reference number CK2915-1. Its price? $408,500.
You can download and share our infographic here.