Moonshine Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary
Historically speaking, when Omega gets it right, they get it really right. There have been solid gold Speedmasters before and there have been solid gold Speedmasters since. But the Apollo 10 50th, and BA145.022 it references, are surely high-water marks. I will always remember the first time I saw a BA145.022 in person at a California watch nerd meetup. If you love a Speedy, the red, onyx, and 18k confluence will burrow into your soul. This is due partly to its obvious beauty but also the history, of which there is a considerable amount.
You’ll know the Apollo XI story, we’re all watch people here. What you may not know is that to commemorate the moon landing, the US government hosted a dinner with President Nixon and the Apollo 11 astronauts. All were presented with a BA145.022, the first-ever gold version of the Speedmaster Professional that had seen them to the moon (well, not Nixon but you know what I mean). That original watch was a limited run of 1014; in series, numbers 1 and 2 went to President Nixon and VP Mr. Agnew respectively. 3-28 went to NASA astronauts, 29-32 went to Swiss friends & family, and 33-1000 were offered to the public. Interesting, 1001-1008 went to Apollo 14 & 17 crews, with 1009-1014 going to ‘other personalities’ (no one knows). It’s a sort of luxurious trophy-tool-watch, taking the chronograph that helped land man on the moon and giving it deserved nobility.
Reissuing that was always going to be tricky, a bit like the second coming of Christ where Speedmaster nerds are concerned. The execution didn’t stray far from the original. Its 42mm case has its own alloy known as ‘Moonshine’, a bit pale compared to yellow gold thanks to palladium. The bezel is red in a nod to the original, but now ceramic. Onyx indices remain. But the back is where things differ drastically. The METAS Co-Axial 3861 is ringed by commemorative text with two interesting reliefs. The first, the Americas shown on Earth in gold and blue. Second, in realistically correct proportion to the Earth image, an inlay of domed, true Lunar meteorite. That’s just sick as Easter eggs go, and I’d even argue a little more tasteful than a Snoopy automaton (sacrilegious as that may be here). It’s quite the watch, but then it’s quite the saga it echoes.
This example is perfect. I mean, really. The case shows nothing, bracelet either. I will still hold my small gripe against people saying a watch is unworn and then photographing it on wrist but, hey, I’m nitpicking. It comes with a full set from a well-regarded London retailer.
Find this Moonshine Apollo 11 50th here from Subdial for 34250 GBP.