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 105.003 is the last of the straight lugged cases before Omega transitioned into the more familiar lyre lug cases. The straight lugged cases are coveted because of its rarity and the 105.003 is one of the most popular. This watch is dubbed the ‘Ed White’ because it was the reference that White himself wore during his historic spacewalk and as he was the first American to do so, the nickname stuck.
This particular example is beautiful for its well-preserved case and beautiful dial that has gone slightly tropical. The ghosted bezel adds a unique touch and overall is one of the nicer examples out there.
Early Speedmasters are the most collectable for several reasons. Firstly because chronographs were not very popular during that period. They just didn’t produce many, making it much rarer than other models of the period. Another big reason lies inside the watch, specifically the famed Calibre 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.
It is no surprise that these Speedmaster are so in demand as it blends historical importance, insane quality, rarity and straight up good looks into one piece. What's not to love?