Themed watches are nothing new and some make more sense than others, but the latest NASA-themed watch from Awake Concept finds a perfect balance without going overboard. This isn’t the first NASA piece from the young French watchmaker as we saw a “Mission to Earth” watch last year. In fact, the Mission to Earth series is broken into “chapters”, with Chapter III Time Travelers, from earlier this year also focused on space. And why is this one called Meatball? Early NASA astronauts were Navy pilots and followed a guiding “meatball of light” to land on aircraft carriers. NASA’s famous “Meatball” logo was created in 1959 and is now the inspiration behind the Awake Concept Mission To Earth Meatball Limited Edition.
The 40mm case is 70% recycled titanium and the sapphire crystal features integrated NFC tech, which connects to a smartphone via a simple tap of the glass. Meatball owners can access a variety of space-related experiences, like exclusive NASA broadcasts from the International Space Station (ISS) and an immersive look at asteroids throughout the galaxy. NASA’s Meatball logo is engraved on the case side, while an “astronaut fish” is embossed on the outside of the exhibition back to symbolize 100 metres of water resistance. The screw-down crown is engraved with L (Lock) and O (Open), representing the umbilical connectors on Apollo 11 space suits. The 20mm white strap has a Velcro fastener, Meatball logo and US flag with “Mission to Earth” underneath, all referencing A7L space suits.
The space theme continues on the dial with an outer ring under the indices resembling rover tracks on the moon, hour and minute hands inspired by the oblong shape of rockets and large applied indices at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock that represent the ISS Cupola – the panoramic observation deck. A red aluminium flange just below the crystal shows a countdown before launch and has MISSION TO EARTH printed as well. The centre portion of the dial is a sandblasted matte blue, which is the colour of NASA’s Meatball logo. All indices and the hour and minute hands are filled with white Super-LumiNova BGW9.
Powering the watch is a Miyota 9039 automatic with a custom rotor featuring NASA’s colour logo at the centre, a space engraving underneath and “DARE MIGHTY THINGS” at the bottom. The movement has 24 jewels, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) and has a 42-hour power reserve. Functions include central hours, minutes and hacking seconds. There isn’t a hidden date feature or phantom setting with the crown, which is very pleasant. The movement is well finished with Côtes de Genève (although this is a Japanese movement).
The Awake Concept Mission to Earth “Meatball” is limited to 250 pieces and retails for EUR 825, which isn’t bad at all considering the recycled titanium case, extensive NASA themes and integrated NFC tech. It also comes in a collector’s box with a real meteorite fragment from the asteroid VESTA. The watch is available to purchase as of June 30, 2023, at Awake Concept’s website.