Boldly Going Where No Man Has Gone Before – “The First Omega in Space”
The Omega Speedmaster watch has long enjoyed recognition has the model also known as “Moonwatch,” due to its long association with NASA’s manned space missions. First worn during the Gemini 4 spacewalk, and later brandished on the very surface of the moon, the Speedmaster has become synonymous with the exploration of new frontiers. But the Moonwatch, so named in recognition of the vigorous NASA testing it passed time and time again, was not, in fact, the first Speedmaster to journey through the stratosphere. Instead, this accolade belongs to Wally Schirra’s personal Speedmaster, now enjoying renewed recognition as the Moonwatch “First Omega in Space.”
To commemorate 50 years since Wally Schirra’s Speedmaster joined him on the Mercury Atlas 8 mission, Omega have brought his classic model rocketing into the 21st century, whilst still carrying a number of heritage hallmarks that make it stand apart from the other Speedmaster models currently available on the market. Unlike modern Speedmasters, the Moonwatch “First Omega in Space” eschews a stainless steel bracelet in favour of a rich brown leather strap, evoking the dark Velcro fabric of the NASA-certified watches in a more sophisticated form. This legacy approach continues on the model’s stunning under-case, which features an embossed Omega seahorse design and title lettering.
The case itself is formed from polished and brushed stainless steel, at a width of 39.70mm. The surrounding bezel ring, formed from smooth black aluminium, features the Speedmaster’s iconic tachymetric scale, here rendered in its most stylish form through its monochromatic contrast and period font use. As with all Speedmasters, this watch also features hands coated with Super-LumiNova, making it both an attractive and practical item for the horological connoisseur.
Inside, the “First Omega in Space” contains the very same movement that Schirra made use of during his mission of 1962 – the legendary manual-winding calibre 1861, later used in the Moonwatch model that would see many more American astronauts through successful space missions. For those who favour more terrestrial exploration, the watch is water resistant to 50 metres / 167 feet, and features a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal face.
Heritage watches are very much in vogue right now with watch fans, with a number of Swiss manufacturers producing modernised pieces based upon some of their most memorable models. What sets the “First Omega in Space” apart is its use of the original movement seen in 1962, maintaining an air of authenticity that, when combined with the impeccably sophisticated finish, offers a watch that feels and looks absolutely timeless.
This watch is available to buy via TH Baker here…
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