00.017.xxx has an unusual movement serial number which is typical of prototypes. Indeed, identical movements beginning with 000 have been observed on prototypes of other models (e.g. the Seamaster Ploprof).
The disc wearing the serial does not have the caliber number 1620, unlinke the production examples. To our knowledge, there are no other visual difference from the standard production model. However, unlike the vast majority of production examples, this one is fitted with an Omega leather bracelet, perhaps due to its prototype status.
It is in overall good condition, with the usual nicks on the case, meaning it probably remains unpolished. The batteries have been changed recently, but please not that part of the piece used to hold them is broken.
About the model
In the second half of the 1970s, Omega embarked on the quartz revolution and even decided to fit some Speedmaster models with the LCD calibre 1620 quartz movement.
In 1977, Omega unveiled the Speedmaster Professional LCD, reference ST 186.0004. The display window has the following functions: time (12 or 24 hours), date/day, and chronograph. In addition, pressing the central pusher illuminates the screen.
In 1978, a modified version without the light function, replaced by tritium tubes (caliber 1621), was developed under the name Project Alaska IV and offered to NASA for Shuttle missions. The latter tested them in training but also aboard the Shuttle, but in the end, the Moonwatch remained the best choice. Besides the Alaska IV prototypse, several pre-series prototypes were produced, bearing an unusual movement serial number starting with three zeros.