Fifty years ago we saw the first man walk on the moon and with him was the lesser-known, Omega Speedmaster, the first watch on the moon. It would become known as the ‘Moonwatch’.
The Omega Speedmaster is a chronograph watch that was produced by Omega SA in the 1950s. Chronographs had been around for a long time by then but Omega wanted to make a masterpiece. A chronograph watch could keep time through a start and stop function. The Moonwatch is a manual winding watch that is qualified by NASA for spaceflight and is still the only watch qualified for EVA – outside activity beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.
Chronographs were used for artillery at first but race car drivers and pilots started using them for navigation and monitoring fuel consumption. They were used widely for sporting events as well and Omega even ended up becoming the official timekeeper for the Olympic Games.
The bezel is brushed stainless steel with a tachymeter, used for measuring speed or distance. It introduced the three-dial face to the range and used Plexiglass to protect the watch face. The genuine leather strap gives the watch classic longevity.
The caliber 321 that powered the original Moonwatch came back into production this year due to popular demand. The intricacy of the design work on mechanical caliber watches is where most praise is given. The 321 had 17 jewels that are used to protect the moving pieces from wear and tear and can last for decades.
The Moonwatch will certainly evolve but is more than likely going to be around in some shape and form when your great-grandchildren are talking about time.