The Speedmaster Chronicles #1 – James H. Ragan, The Man Responsible for Testing the “Moonwatch”

ic_query_builder_black_24px | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Brice Goulard | 2 minute read

Here it is: Episode 1 of our series of videos dedicated to the one-and-only Omega Speedmaster “Moonwatch“. Certainly one of the most iconic watches ever created, many stories have been written about this stopwatch. Yet, today, we are proud to have a special guest with us for the first episode of “The Speedmaster Chronicles“. Without him, the Speedmaster would have never been named the “Moonwatch” and all the fame and dreams around this watch wouldn’t exist. Here is James H. Ragan, Former NASA Program Manager and Aerospace Engineer – or the man who tested the Speedmaster and who gave it the “Flight Qualified By NASA For All Manned Space Missions” certification, allowing the Speed to finally make it to the Moon.

Born in 1957 with the Ref. CK2915, introducing for the first time the concept of the outer tachymeter scale (no more printed on the dial), the Omega Speedmaster properly won its spurs on July 21, 1969, when strapped around the wrist of Buzz Aldrin during the Apollo 11 Mission, it made it onto the Moon’s surface. From that historic day, the Omega Speedmaster Professional has been known as the “Moonwatch” – a title that certainly is one of the main reasons behind this chronograph’s success. Yet, if this has been possible, it’s only because NASA decided that astronauts had to wear a backup mechanical wristwatch inside and outside the vehicles.

Behind the “Flight Qualified By NASA For All Manned Space Missions” certification was a series of drastic tests, conducted by one man, Mister James “Jim” Ragan. Far away from the legend that NASA bought watches from a Houston dealer, they indeed decided to procure several watches, which James tested – the series of tests is fully explained here. The only watch that made it through was the Omega Speedmaster, which is since then, the only timepiece allowed by NASA to land on the Moon. And if you want to know the full story directly from the man who made the Speedmaster the “Moonwatch“, look at the video above.


The Speedmaster Chronicles is a series of 5 movies dedicated to the Omega Speedmaster. You can see the 5 Episodes here:

4 responses

  1. Awesome videos! Thanks a lot for the information and congratulations for your effort.

  2. Awesome! Great interview. Love my Seamaster. Someday I’ll get a Speedmaster Moon watch.

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