Friday, August 1, 2008

Omega Speedmaster Professional Moon & Mark II Watches

Here are my favorite 2 watches, an Omega Speedmaster Professional moon watch on the left, circa 2001 and an Omega Speedmaster Professional Mark II with the 861 movement on the right, circa 1969. The Omega Speedmaster Professional was the only watch approved for spaceflight by NASA, after passing some incredibly brutal tests.

The first Omega Speedmaster worn in space was Wally Schirra's on his Mercury Sigma 7 mission. The only other watches worn in space that weren't Omega SMP's, were Scott Carpenters Breitling Navitimer, Gordon Coopers Bulova Accutron as a backup to his Omega SMP, Jack Swigert's Rolex GMT and Dave Scott's Waltham Chronograph that he wore on the moon for his 3rd EVA, when his Omega SMP crystal popped off.

Interestingly, Neil Armstrongs Omega SMP wasn't the first watch on the moon, that honor went to Buzz Aldrin. When a lunar module timer stopped working, Neil left his Omega SMP in the lunar module so the crew would have a timer on board, in case anything happened to Buzz's watch. Buzz sent his Omega to the Smithsonian, but it was stolen on it's way there and has never surfaced.

Bulova badly wanted to be an offical NASA flight watch, but after many brutal tests that the Omega passed, the Bulova wasn't even close to being as well made and accurate, as the Omega. Still Bulova sued, lobbied, complained, campaigned and bitched to everyone that would listen, that Bulova should be on the moon. The only problem was that the Bulova was so poorly made, that it couldn't take the stresses of spaceflight.

The Bulova watch pictured here is a 1st year 1963 Accutron Astronaut with the coffin link bracelet and it's in mint condition.

I'm currently looking for an Omega SMP X-33, so if you know of a clean used one for sale, please let me know.

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