The Speedmaster varies so widely between limited editions and specific references that it can near become an entirely foreign model. At the extreme of that spectrum, there is this: the Alaska Project. It more closely resembles a space coconut than any new Omega. I posted that tagline on Instagram a few years back and it was my most popular post of that year. When I saw this gorgeous example pop up on the watch shop at Coin Watch, I knew I had to subvert the Speedy to advertise my cause. I would still like to formally petition our community to nickname Omega’s 318.104.22.168.04.001 2008 Alaska Project the ‘Space Coconut’. If you’re lucky enough to see one in the metal, wearing its red thermal insulator, you’ll understand.
A shot in the dark, Omega created the Alaska Project Speedmaster for a moon mission that never was. Nothing to do with the northern state, the name was adopted for all NASA and space-related watchmaking internally at Omega. This had been the case for the actual moon landing prototypes, one of which sold through Phillips many years back. The dial was made white to stop solar heat absorption and its red casing was created to insulate against temperature fluctuations on the dark side of the moon. “Landing pod” subdial hands were designed to help facilitate legibility and nod to the marque’s past. The rest barely needed changing, which is a testament to the original 861 speedy. The 1861 inside just received rhodium plating to prevent corrosion. It is a tool watch to the very core, elevated through history.
Given the relatively recent production, the Alaska Project hasn’t seen much patina yet. The dial is clear, superluminova all original. It comes with a full set, including its thermal insulator (critically) from a well-regarded retailer.
Find this Alaska Project here from Coin Watch Co for 25600 USD.