The OMEGA Moonwatch

The OMEGA Speedmaster Professional Chronograph is an iconic and truly unique timepiece, which we are proud to include in our range of OMEGA watches at Leonard Dews.

The OMEGA Moonwatch

In 1969, Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the surface of the moon, wearing his OMEGA Speedmaster, which has been known as the “Moonwatch” ever since.

In 1962, NASA began the task of finding the best watches for their astronauts. The OMEGA Speedmaster, along with various other models from other watchmakers, was subjected to rigorous testing to qualify for space flight for the Gemini mission. It was imperative that the watch could withstand the following extreme conditions:

– High temperature: 48 hours at 160 °F (71 °C) followed by 30 minutes at 200 °F (93 °C)
– Low temperature: Four hours at 0 °F (−18 °C)
– Temperature cycling in near-vacuum: Fifteen cycles of heating to 160 °F (71 °C) for 45 minutes, followed by cooling to 0 °F (−18 °C) for 45 minutes at 10−6 atm
– Humidity: 250 hours at temperatures between 68 °F (20 °C) and 160 °F (71 °C) at a relative humidity of 95%
– Oxygen environment: 100% oxygen at 0.35 atm and 71 °C for 48 hours
– Shock: Six 11 ms 40 g shocks from different directions
– Linear acceleration: from 1 to 7.25 g within 333 seconds
– Low pressure: 90 minutes at 10−6 atm at 160 °F (71 °C), followed by 30 minutes at 200 °F (93 °C)
– High pressure: 1.6 atm for one hour
– Vibration: three cycles of 30 minutes vibration varying from 5 to 2000 Hz with minimum 8.8 g impulse
– Acoustic noise: 30 minutes at 130 dB from 40 to 10,000 Hz[6][14]

Out of three contenders, OMEGA stood out as victorious, and was selected in 1965 as the watch which would accompany the Gemini astronauts into space. The Moonwatch has been used subsequently in all of NASA’s piloted space missions.

The slick yet bold design of the Speedmaster is indicative of OMEGA’s ingenuity and adventurous nature. The 42mm chronograph features a black dial and tachymeter scale, with Super-LumiNova coating on the indexes, central hour and minute hands. The black dial is enhanced with a 30 minute sub-dial, 12 hour sub-dial, and a small seconds sub-dial, protected by a hesalite crystal lens. The beautiful stainless steel case can be secured with either a matching bracelet, or black leather wrist-strap.

The OMEGA Speedmaster is an iconic timepiece with a vibrant history, and one which will bring the spirit of adventure to its owners, whether it’s worn in space or on Earth.