Earlier this year, Omega introduced a new limited edition of the Speedmaster… but not any kind of edition, since this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing and thus, the 50th anniversary of a Speedmaster worn on the wrist of astronauts while walking on the Moon! And while we thought this Moonshine Gold version was the end of the story, we were wrong. So… Say hello to the OMEGA Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition, in STEEL!
In March 2019, Omega presented a (very appealing) limited edition of the Speedmaster to mark the half-century anniversary of the Moonwatch’s Lunar landing, with the Moonshine Gold and burgundy Speedy 310.60.42.50.99.001, a watch available in just 1,014 pieces and priced at CHF 32,000 (excl. VAT)… Price apart, the watch was inspired by the vintage reference BA145.022 produced from 1969 to 1973, easily recognizable thanks to its full yellow case/bracelet/dial and its burgundy bezel.
This new version was certainly vintage-inspired but nonetheless innovative, with its unprecedented Moonshine gold alloy and a dramatic evolution on the classic hand-wound Speedmaster movement with the incorporation of the calibre 3861, a Master Chronometer version of the calibre 1861. And while we thought that the 50-year celebrations were limited to this watch, we were wrong: Omega has a new watch to continue the party.
The Steel Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary
To commemorate the historic 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped off the Eagle to become the first humans to stand on the Moon, Omega introduces a second limited edition in steel – and thus more accessible…
The basic principles of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch are kept alive with this new reference 310.20.42.50.01.001. The case still measures 42mm in diameter and retains the classic asymmetric Speedy design, with its protected crown and pushers, lyre lugs and alternate polished and brushed surfaces. New to the model, however, is the bezel that is made from polished 18k Moonshine Gold (an exclusive new patent-pending alloy with a paler hue than traditional yellow gold). The bezel ring itself is polished black ceramic with a Ceragold tachymeter scale – and for aficionados, it’s a dot-over-90 bezel.
The dial of the OMEGA Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Steel retains the classic layout of the Moonwatch, however, it introduces new colours and specific “commemorative” decoration. The dial features two distinct zones, including a central varnished grey zone and an outer blackened sector for the minute track. Moonshine gold has also been used for the applied and bevelled hour markers, the vintage applied Omega logo and the hands – except for the central chronograph seconds hand, which is PVD-treated in Moonshine Gold. All the dial inscriptions are also gold coloured.
However, these details are not what truly makes the Steel Speedmaster Apollo 11 special. For instance, the hour marker at 11 o’clock has been replaced by two “1” markings in 18k Moonshine Gold – a clear reference to the space mission. More notably, the 9 o’clock subdial features the famous image of Buzz Aldrin climbing down the ladder onto the lunar surface. This sub-dial is crafted from 18k Moonshine Gold and is blackened and laser-engraved.
Powering the OMEGA Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary is the new hand-wound Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861, an evolution of the iconic Calibre 1861. Now crafted with Co-Axial technology, a stop-second function, a silicon Si14 balance spring and superior anti-magnetic innovation, the Speedmaster Moonwatch has now been able to reach the Master Chronometer standard. For the rest, the movement is similar to the older 1861, with the same architecture and 48-hour power reserve. The movement is rhodium-plated.
The caseback of the OMEGA Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary features, as you can imagine, references to the Moon Landing. The blackened decorative inner caseback is a laser-engraved footprint representing humankind’s first step on the moon. Neil Armstrong’s legendary quote: “THAT’S ONE SMALL STEP FOR A MAN, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND” is also visible in gold-plated letters.
New to this watch is an unprecedented bracelet with a vintage look, inspired by the one featured on the 4th generation Speedmaster ST 105.012-65 (the one worn on the Moon). It has much flatter links with polished outer links and a brushed central link. it is also adorned with a vintage Ω on the clasp. An additional Velcro strap in blackened cork with golden marks is also included. “This innovative design is a salute to the Apollo-era “boost protective cover” – a fiberglass structure covered with thick cork ablator which fitted over the Command Module like a glove, keeping the crew of the Saturn V rocket safe from the intense heat produced at launch,” says Omega.
The OMEGA Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Steel will be delivered in a NASA-style presentation box. The box includes two mission patches (50th anniversary/Apollo 11), two engraved plates (landing site coordinates/landing site and time) as well as the spare strap and strap-changing tool. Best of all, it houses the ultimate display stand – a Lunar Module.
The Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary reference 310.20.42.50.01.001 is limited to 6,969 pieces and will be priced at EUR 8,400 or CHF 8,900. More details at www.omegawatches.com.