9,5 / 10
Extremely rare limited series, in mint condition
This model is an extremely sought-after Speedmaster Apollo XI 1969 – Tribute to Astronauts.
It was produced in December 1969 and delivered to Japan.
The watch is in mint condition.
About the model
After the historical achievement of the Apollo 11 mission, OMEGA came out with a special Speedmaster Professional model with its case, bracelet and dial in solid 18K gold. The numbered series of 1,014 watches was made as a tribute to the NASA astronauts and represent the first numbered Speedmaster.
OMEGA presented the watches numbered from 3 to 28 to the astronauts at a banquet in Houston on November 25, 1969. The casebacks of these watches are inscribed in the center: to mark man’s conquest of space with time, through time, on time — with the individual watch number. The name of the astronaut and his mission(s) are further inscribed around the edge of the caseback. Watches number 1 and 2, with personalized casebacks were made for the President and Vice-President of the United States, namely Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew. The watches were never awarded, the official excuse being that Nixon and Agnew had declined their gifts because they were too valuable, given the US government strict gifting protocol. The two watches now belong to the OMEGA Museum. Numbers 29 to 32 were given to Swiss politicians and watch-industry leaders. They have the same central inscription as those presented to the astronauts but without an engraved number.
The rest of the production (numbers 33 to 1000) was put on public sale from 1969 with a different engraving on the caseback: – OMEGA SPEEDMASTER – and APOLLO XI 1969 in a central arc, and Ω THE FIRST WATCH WORN ON THE MOON in a straight line in the center. The individual number is also inscribed.
Note that watches numbered 1001 to 1008 were presented in 1972 and 1973 to astronauts who had not yet accomplished a space mission in 1969, in effect those of the Apollo missions 14 to 17. For a yet unexplained reason, the astronauts of Apollo 13, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise do not appear on the list, perhaps because of the failure of the mission. The commander, James Lovell, had received his watch in 1969 for his previous missions. Watches numbered 1009 to 1014 were given to various personalities.
There are three different types of engraving: thin and unpainted for the early pro- duction (about the first 100), then thick and unpainted and finally thick and painted wine-red.
Two main typographical variants can be found on their dials: the same typography as in type A2. Oval O – Low OMEGA of the CK 2915
but with the addition of Professional, and the same as type C1. Medium S – Step Dial of the 145.022-69. The dials with the type A2 typography were fitted at the start of production, while the second half of the production run was fitted with the type C1 dials.