While the Omega Speedmaster was created as a racing watch, with its chronograph function and tachymeter scale, today this has long been forgotten and instead has become more famous for its exploits in space. Known as the ‘Moonwatch’, the Omega Speedmaster Professional made history by being flight-qualified by NASA for all manned space flights and becoming the first watch worn on the moon when it was on the wrists of astronauts during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.
As a result, the Speedmaster has become a cult icon, and its hard not to see why. Collectors can buy into such a great story and with a generation that grew up idolising space travel and astronauts, this watch would certainly have to be one of the most important wristwatches ever made.
Omega released this limited edition in 2010, commemorating the 35th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP). The ASTP was important as it was the first joint US-Soviet space flight and represented an effort to end tensions between the two Cold War superpowers. Furthermore, this marked the end of the ‘space race’ between the US and the Soviet Union, which was sealed when the astronaut Thomas P. Stafford (US) and cosmonaut Alexei A. Leonov shook hands in space in 1975. The mission consisted of joint scientific experiments and provided the foundation for future US-Russian space flights.
The Apollo Soyuz limited edition Speedmaster is made very special by the fact that the dial is made out of slices of an actual meteorite. The result is a beautifully textured dial and because no two pieces of meteorite are the same, every single piece from this series is different.
Just like all iconic designs, not much has changed with the Speedmaster for over 50 years. While the early Speedmasters had a different case, ever since Omega transitioned into their Speedmaster Professional line, it has consistently sported a black dial with rectangular luminous indexes, stick hour and minute hands with an arrow chronograph seconds hand, a 42mm asymmetrical stainless steel case with a black aluminium tachymeter bezel and the iconic 861 movement. While the newer models, such as this Apollo Soyuz edition is powered by the Cal. 1861, it is a direct evolution of the 861 movement that has been used since the late ’60s.
This Apollo Soyuz Speedmaster Professional was made in a limited edition of 1975 pieces.