|Year of production (circa)||
Omega Speedmaster Ref. 145.022
Look at those beautiful vanilla-colored tritium markers!
Back in 1957, Omega unveiled the first Speedmaster, initially intended as a racing chronograph. Little did they know that the Speedy would eventually attain global recognition and achieve legendary status for an entirely different reason…
During the 1960s, NASA embarked on rigorous testing of numerous watches for their space missions. These tests subjected the timepieces to extreme shocks, rapid temperature fluctuations, and various other arduous challenges. Against all odds, the Speedmaster emerged victorious, proving its resilience and earning the prestigious distinction of being selected as the official watch for the Apollo missions. Remarkably, Omega remained entirely oblivious to these developments; this was not a strategic commercial endeavor like the later James Bond collaborations, but a genuine recognition based solely on its exceptional merits.
The Speedy accompanied astronauts on all Apollo moon missions and continued to serve on subsequent projects. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin proudly wore their Speedmasters during the historic moon landing, although Armstrong famously left his watch in the cabin during those iconic first steps we have witnessed countless times. The Speedmaster even played a pivotal role in the safe return of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, for which it was honored with the prestigious Snoopy award.
Since those days, the Speedmaster Professional has remained virtually unchanged. While the 321 movement was replaced by the 861 in the late sixties, the watch has retained its functional and aesthetic purity. Astonishingly, its appearance remains just as contemporary and timeless today as it did back then—a testament to its enduring and exceptional design.
The model available here hails from 1985. Despite its 42mm diameter, this particular timepiece visually appears smaller, making it suitable for almost anyone.
Owning a Speedmaster Professional is an absolute guarantee of satisfaction. Could this be the one for you?
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The Omega Speedmaster was introduced in 1957, as a racing chronograph. Little did Omega know that a different fate altogether awaited their creation.
When John F. Kennedy announced that the USA would put a man on the moon before the end of the 1960’s, NASA went into overdrive. The Gemini and Apollo missions would all culminate in “One small step for man…” in 1969.
One detail within that endeavor, is the selection of a proper watch for the space missions. NASA started putting a number of chronographs from different brands under extreme stress. Shock, temperature change, vibration, humidity, the watches were spared no horror. The Speedmaster came out on top in 1965 and was selected as the watch of choice. No slick marketing deals here. Chosen on merit alone.
Coincidentally, astronaut Wally Schirra already wore his personal Ref. CK2998 Speedmaster on a Mercury mission in 1962. In 1965, Ed White would go on the first ever spacewalk wearing a NASA-issued Ref. 105.003-65.
From 1965 onwards, all Apollo astronauts wore Speedmasters. Including Buzz Aldrin when he set foot on the moon, wearing his Ref. 105.012. Neil Armstrong had left his Speedy in the lunar module when setting those legendary first steps.
In 1970, Apollo 13 got into serious trouble after a service-module oxygen tank ruptured. With most systems down, the astronauts had to manually time 14-second rocket bursts in order to get back to earth. They used Jack Swigert’s Speedmaster for the job. Omega was awarded the Snoopy award in recognition of the crucial role of the watch in a safe return. A comic character featured on many special editions since.
Aesthetically, the Speedmaster Professional has not changed much since those days. A rough division can be made between pre-moon and post-moon Speedies. The transition point is the inclusion of the “Flight qualified by NASA” inscriptions on the case back, although some people erroneously mark 321 caliber Speedies as pre-moon and 861 caliber variants as post-moon.
For the keen-eyed, there are tons of subtle variations within the Speedmaster line. And that is before we look at the broader Speedy-scope, with all its special editions and interestingly-shaped Mark models. You can really go deep on Speedy-specifics. Regardless of which precise variant you settle on, you will have an iconic watch with the single best backstory ever.
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