Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

Bezos And Blue Origin Crew Members Wearing Omega Speedmasters On Custom Velcro Strap During Historic Flight

There was not really a better option for a space travel...

| By Brice Goulard | 2 min read |

In just 10 days, the concept of suborbital spaceflights for space tourists (something of a sci-fi dream 20 years ago) made a tremendous jump forward. In fact, it became real, with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin successfully completing their manned test flights respectively on July 11th and July 20th, 2021. The latter, with onboard Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, Wally Funk, and Oliver Daemen, happened to be a complete success marking a new step in this race for space tourism. And as our regular “watch spotter” Nick Gould showed on his Instagram account, there were some cool watches involved in this historic flight. And unsurprisingly, we’re talking Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch, a.k.a the most appropriate watch to travel into space.  


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Une publication partagée par Nick (@niccoloy)

Space exploration was a concept previously reserved for governmental agencies only. But now, with Branson’s and Bezos’ ventures, flying into space, even for a short period of time, becomes something of a reality… even though not yet something of a wide audience reality. Yesterday, July 20th, 2021, mission Blue Origin NS-16, the sixteenth flight of the company’s New Shepard integrated launch vehicle and spacecraft, achieved its goal of bringing 4 crew members into space, becoming the privately-owned company’s first crewed flight, thus opening the door to what’s now known as space tourism. Onboard was American billionaire and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, Dutch student Oliver Daemen and former NASA pilot and Mercury 13 candidate Wally Funk. Funny enough, the first is the youngest person to travel into space, and the latter became the oldest person to go to space.

But now, apart from the great achievement itself, there’s something more to discover, something that has to do with the editorial line of your magazine… watches, of course. And what better watch than a Speedmaster to go to space…? All 4 crew members were indeed spotted wearing the famous space-related chronograph, also known as the Moonwatch – which coincidentally yesterday celebrated the 52nd anniversary of the Moon Landing. Also, this isn’t completely a surprise to see Bezos wearing a Speedmaster, as he’s been spotted wearing his own model on multiple occasions.

The watches in question were customized versions of the new Speedmaster Moonwatch Master Chronometer with calibre 3861, which according to Hodinkeehad casebacks engraved with the wearer’s name, the flight number, and the feather insignia of Blue Origin” and were donated by Omega.

There’s more to the story than just the watches. In addition, Blue Origin NS-16 crew members strapped their Omega Speedmaster around the wrist by the means of the recently introduced Omega Velcro straps, here in silver textile. For the occasion, the straps have been customized with the Speedmaster logo in blue, as well as Blue Origin’s logo.

Images sourced from Getty, New York Times, NTD News, Fortune, CNN, Reuters and The Associated Press.

9 responses

  1. The similarity with Dr Evil and his phallic rocket seems to have already become a meme. The cowboy hat didn’t help diddly squat. Haha!

  2. Thank you for the write up Monochrome, once again a more detailed article than others on this story, particularly in confirming my own theory (set out on another watch website) that the straps are indeed the new Omega Velcro Speedmaster straps but with the Blue Origin logo instead of the NASA “meatball” logo.

  3. I fail to see any ‘great achievement’ here (watch or no watch), except some billionaires blasting ludicrous amounts of climate emissions into the atmosphere, for fun. Isn’t the real achievement of our time to find ways of reducing emissions, to protect the conditions for life on Earth? Space-travel feels today like outdated, mid-20th century stuff.

  4. What utter rubbish about “climate emissions” produced by the Blue Origin rocket. The New Shepard vehicle uses a BE-3 engine powered by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. The only emissions it produces when being used is water vapor. It is not burning filthy diesel! Clearly there is an environmental impact in producing the vehicle and the fuel but there is far less of an impact than producing an airliner like an Airbus A380 which uses Avgas as fuel. As for Mr Bezos’ space exploration program being for “fun” this is rank idiocy. While Mr Bezos can certainly defend himself it is worth pointing out a few things about his ambition for Blue Origin; New Shepard is just the first fully operational lift vehicle for Blue Origin. The next vehicles currently being developed are New Glenn and New Armstong these vehicles are larger than New Shepard and are part of a long term program to establish a permanent base on the Moon. Ultimately Mr Bezos, Mr Musk and Mr Branson recognize a truth that Professor Stephen Hawking set out just before his death – that humans must eventually leave the Earth in order to survive. The only way of so doing is by continuing manned space exploration with a view to establishing permanent colonies on Mars, the Moon and any other planet or moon that is suitable. In addition Mr Bezos’ vision is that industry and power generation should be moved off world to space stations, the moon etc in order to allow the Earth to be free of harmful activities. These goals seem to be the very definition of “environmentally friendly”. This vision of the future is optimistic and exciting rather than being pessimistic, sad and self-loathing like the policies of so-called environmentalists who would like to see a return to a mythical time before industry (incidentally there is no such thing, even before agriculture (which is an industry by the way) was developed humans had “workshops” to produce flints for hunting etc, these were the forerunners of factories) with everyone forced to walk and use hand carts instead of private transport.

  5. @ SPR

    While I share your regard for the mention of emissions in this context being tedious, I would however suggest that the vision isn’t merely optimistic, but fantastical.

    The moonbase would require in reality such high energy expenditure for such little return that it would represent a most unnecessary acceleration of the depletion of dwindling resources, and represent *only* that.
    Hawking’s wide-eyed claim comes to a complete conceptual halt when confronted with the facts of ever leaving our planet for anything more than a trip a little more adventurous than Bezos’.

    As for a more distant and habitable world…

    It’s not so much that people *want* a regression, just the possibility has to be considered. Or at least more careful use of limited energy that can increase our comfort on this planet. A planet that we are married to.

  6. And, now, for charity and the advancement of mankind to the next worlds, what will be the first bid on the entire set of watches (worn once, only)? Bidding starts at US $25 million please.

  7. @Gav

    Point 1: In evolutionary terms a large mammal species such as humans lasts for around 1 million to 2 million years and then goes extinct. Homo Sapiens is now very close to lower of those thresholds.

    Point 2: The Earth has a finite amount of resources and they are running out, this is trite but true. Whether anthropomorphic climate change exists or not the finite amount of resources are not really affected by it in any measurable way. There is only so much iron ore, bauxite, oil etc and once they are used up they are not being replaced whether as climate scientists claim the Earth becomes very hot or (as many of the same climate scientists claimed in the 1970s) very cold.

    Point 3: There are other factors than climate change that could end human civilization. The Sun has flare ups of its magnetic field and its heat output (arguably the Sun is main driver of climate on Earth in any event) and we cannot change that in any way so huge solar storms or flares can be disastrous. A large enough asteroid impact would destroy most of the life on Earth and the chances of such an event are far less than zero. A virus more lethal than Covid-19 could annihilate humanity in months and again the chances of that are, as we have seen with the pandemic, far less than zero. there are many other potential disasters that could befall humanity.

    Point 4: If humans stay on the Earth no amount of “regression” will help change the environment because even if Europe, the USA etc embraced such a retrograde step China, Russia, African nations etc will not and so enormous amounts of capital spent in those countries that want to move backwards to a non-existent pre-industrial idyll will have wasted and potentially those countries will have forfeited their security and development. War is probably inevitable in those circumstances and if such a conflict became nuclear then it matters not if you drive a BEV or a V8 gas-guzzler or a handcart all human life would end.

    Point 5: Vast resources exist in the Solar system for those willing to go and get them. Humans are quite capable of living on other planetary bodies in the Solar System with proper planning and equipment. In order to survive humans must move off world and start to establish themselves a multi-planetary species. This does not mean travelling to another star system (impossible now and probably for a thousand years or maybe not ever) but maximizing the use of the Solar system. This can be done in the lifetime of children being born today provided there are people with the foresight to do it.

  8. Just to clarify, SPR, I’m not really concerned with climate change – the cry of ‘Wolf!’ no longer stirs me – so I absolutely see your initial points clearly. The regression (a poor choice of word on my part, but it’ll serve for ‘adapting to lower resource availability to prolong use for essential human living’) would of course have to be universal, otherwise as you point out it would be foolish in the extreme. I would never condone reduction in one zone only to increase in another; I would rage against it in fact. Unless the increase would be in my zone, then I may strangely mellow on the matter.
    So on points 1 – 4 we are aligned! Point 5 I think comes down to a certain amount of belief and faith, and where your glass in a half-full…mine’s a little less. But that’s OK.

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