Of all the watches in the world, the Omega Speedmaster is amongst the most well understood and iconic regarding its own history and role as an influential piece of history. Famed for being the first watch worn on the Moon, the Omega and the Speedmaster have shared close links with NASA and the exploration of space, a mission in which the Speedmaster Alaska Project was designed with both its aesthetics and functional aspects fine-tuned for the unknown.
While NASA had already famously selected the Speedmaster as the official watch of their space program, Omega's engineers were set on building a watch specifically designed for space travel and the unique circumstances in which it would need to perform. Albeit, the Speedmaster had performed admirably in space in the past - as confirmed by Omega's Snoopy Award. Nicknamed the Alaska Project, Omega created several watches to perform in space, and in 2008, they decided to pay homage to the Alaska II prototype with the Speedmaster Alaska Project as part of a limited edition run with 1970 pieces.
Immediately distinctive in its unique design, the Alaska Project features a modified polar white dial with baton hands for the time and rocket-shaped hands within the sunken chronograph subdials as a reminder of the Alaska Project's raison d’être. Of course, given the harsh sub-freezing temperatures in space, the Alaska Project features perhaps the most distinguishable design feature on any Omega timepiece, a bright red anodized aluminum "thermal shield" that houses the Speedmaster as we know it within. Protecting the hesalite crystal from damage and inscribed with numerals to improve the chronograph's legibility, the thermal shield is functional beyond just keeping the movement at a temperature that it can operate at. So good at its job. the thermal shield enables the Alaska Project to operate in lunar or spatial atmospheres, ranging from a mind-numbing -148C to a rather steamy +260C.
Powered by the Speedmaster's legendary manual-winding cal. 1861 movement, the Speedmaster Alaska Project is a Speedmaster as we know and love it with the same 42mm case design and stainless steel construction, which collectors still adore today. With all the Speedmaster's years of service to NASA and the wider watchmaking industry, the Alaska Project serves to highlight its iconic story and continue to push the boundaries, just like those historical moon-landings in 1969. Furthermore, as a testament to the success of this limited edition, the Speedmaster Alaska project remains one of the most desirable and unique-looking Speedmaster’s on the market today.