If I were to ask a group of watch collectors what just might be the most iconic watch of all time, I guarantee quite a few will say the Omega Speedmaster. While it was initially intended as a wristwatch for racing, the Speedmaster is most famously known as the moon watch. This is because it was selected by NASA as their official watch, worn during the first American spacewalk as part of the Gemini 4 mission and was the first watch worn on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission.
The selection process NASA went through to select a suitable wristwatch was vigorous. Between Rolex, Omega and Longines-Wittnauer, each watch went through testing in extreme conditions and as we all now know, the Omega Speedmaster came out as the most reliable and durable.
The Reference 105.012 was the first of the lyre-lugged cases, succeeding the straight lugged Ed White 105.003. The 105.012 reference, in particular, is famous for being on the wrist of Buzz Aldrin during the 1969 Lunar Landing and was one of two references used during the Apollo program.
While the 105.012 might look like every other Speedmaster out there, a few subtle traits make it unique, with the most notable one being the stumpy chronograph pushers. Once you compare it to a later Speedmaster, say a 145.012 or 145.022, it becomes very obvious.
This reference is still considered an early Speedmaster as it was still powered by the Omega Cal. 321. The column wheel 321 movement is legendary, developed by Lemania and used as ebauches for big brands like Patek Philippe, it is one of the most celebrated movements and only found on early Speedmasters before they changed to the more economical cam-activated 861 movement in 1969.