A footprint, a famous phrase, and a timepiece: there are many moments that defined the first lunar landing on 21 July 1969. With the OMEGA Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Edition, the Swiss watchmaker has executed what is perhaps the most encompassing tribute, in a watch that provides much to adore to the moon and back about.
Granted, it feels like OMEGA is really milking the anniversary of the moon landing, what with the Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 8 launched earlier, and an anniversary limited series available from this year too. But we need to give OMEGA a little credit. The Speedmaster was the first ever watch to be worn on the moon, and even with this new rendition of the Speedmaster Apollo 11, there are plenty of beautifully executed design accents that make it a watch worth swooning for. It boasts a completely new material, a master chronograph standard, and a dreamily romantic design, all at a fair and relatively affordable price tag of THB 335,000. From moonshine to engraving, we’re actually really crushing on this one. Here’s why.
Doused in Moonshine
From the get-go there’s something about the Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary that feels different. In large part, it’s the glow of a new material OMEGA has employed called 18k Moonshine Gold. The exclusive patent-pending alloy shines in a paler hue than your traditional yellow gold, with a high resistance to fading over time. Used on the beveled indexes, the vintage OMEGA logo, and all of the hands (bar the central chronograph seconds hand), it contrasts well with the dark dial in a curious glimmer. It keeps a sense of mystery alive. Also, we can’t quite get over how the OMEGA team never employed the amazing ‘moonshine’ name ever before. Really fun.
She’s a beauty
Beyond innovative material, the Speedmaster Apollo 11 evokes a sense of power with a large 42mm stainless steel case, and a polished bezel made from 18k Moonshine Gold. The bezel ring is made of polished ceramic, with a radiant OMEGA Ceragold tachymeter scale. Two distinct time zones adorn the dial, powered by the OMEGA Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre. The watch has also reached master chronograph standard, but we’re just tapping into the surface of things here.
Tributes to tug at your heart strings
What really flirts with the watch lover’s heart in this timepiece is the detail. At 9 o’clock on the sundial of the new OMEGA Speedmaster there is a laser-engraved image of Buzz Aldrin on a Moonshine Gold plate. It’s a small wink towards the moment at exactly 03:15:16 UTC when the astronaut first climbed down from the Eagle to reach the lunar surface.
At 11 o’clock, the hour marker is represented by an 18k Moonshine Gold number 11, as a tribute to the Apollo 11 mission. It may not be apparent to the naked eye at first, but the “aha” moment that follows is a great one.
And it doesn’t even stop there. On the caseback, the OMEGA Speedmaster Apollo 11 features an image of an astronaut’s footprint, which has been laser-engraved onto a black-coated plate with a moon-surface texture. This motif is accompanied by Neil Armstrong’s extremely famous quote from fifty years ago: “that’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Of course, the words are written on the caseback in 18k Moonshine Gold-plated lettering.
A kit fit for an astronaut
The new OMEGA Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Edition is available in a limited edition series of 6,969 pieces, with a unique number engraved on the caseback of each piece.
This subtlety is sweet, given that there is nothing subtle about the way the watch is actually presented. Seated within a NASA-style presentation box, the timepiece is accompanied by two mission patches, two engraved plates, and a strap-changing tool to use with the additional Velcro strap with black-coated cork. There is very much a sense of kit and gear in this presentation, yet probably the best gimmick of all is reserved for the watch itself.
A countdown waiting to happen, and a moon journey ready to relive, the OMEGA Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Edition is displayed on a mini lunar model stand, just like what a miniature rocket could stand within. Endlessly charming. You see why we’ve caught feels.
OMEGA Boutique Central Embassy, G/F, Central Embassy, 1031 Phloenchit Rd., Lumpini, Bangkok, +66 02 160 5959.