The Speedmaster varies so widely between special editions that it can near become a new 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 Revolution, I knew I had to subvert the Speedy to advertise my cause. I would like to formally petition our community to nickname Omega’s 3184.108.40.206.04.001 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. 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. 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.
Actual Alaska prototypes from the moon mission era are extremely rare hundred-of-thousand dollar affairs (that was in 2017). I imagine they don’t trade hands under half a million in 2021. Moreover, most are owned by the government and if fall to private hands, will be retaken. These 2008 editions, limited to 1970 pieces, are gaining in value rather quickly. I had the chance to pick one up a few years back and am kicking myself here. My loss, your gain. This example recently came to market and is one of the better I’ve seen recently. From seller Revolution, it is a complete set. Particularly for Revolution, the 13.5K ask is really quite reasonable. Despite the fact that this Alaska a non-flight reference, they’re heading nowhere but up.
Find this Alaska Project ‘Space Coconut’ here from Revolution for 13500 USD.