The landing of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Watch
A deeper look into the Omega's tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Given that the Speedmaster became world-famous as the watch that traveled to the Moon in 1969, it’s no surprise that Omega would unveil a special tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Of all the different Omega watches, one may wonder which model should they buy and what makes this particular model different. Exceptionally crafted, keen attention to details, and unique presentation has allowed for the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 50th Anniversary Apollo 11 to stand out, quickly grow to be a fan favorite, and a piece enthusiasts are aspiring to get their hands on.
Moonshine and Medallions
Naturally, the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 11 50th Anniversary (ref. 310.20.42.50.01.001) draws from the design language of the standard “Moonwatch.” That is to say, that it’s a manual-winding chronograph that sports a 42mm stainless steel case topped with a black tachymeter bezel. However, as expected, this limited-edition piece is packed with celebratory touches worthy of the moon-landing milestone.
For instance, Omega opted to use Moonshine gold details judiciously throughout the watch. Moonshine gold is Omega’s new proprietary 18k gold that’s notably lighter in color than traditional yellow gold. While the case is made from stainless steel, the bezel is crafted from the pale gold alloy for some contrast. The black polished ceramic bezel insert is furnished with a tachymeter scale in Ceragold—yet another Omega gold alloy, which blends ceramic and 18k gold.
The varnished gray and black dial is also home to Moonshine gold details, including the applied hour markers, hands, and a special subdial at 9 o’clock. Rather than a regular black background, the running seconds subdial features a Moonshine gold medallion with a laser-engraved image of Buzz Aldrin climbing down from the Lunar Module “Eagle.” As many of you will know, Buzz Aldrin wore his NASA-issued Speedmaster ref. 105.012 strapped around the exterior of his spacesuit while walking on the Moon. Also, look closely at 11 o’clock and you’ll see an Arabic numeral eleven as a nod to the historic spaceflight.
Interestingly, and perhaps a disappointment for Moonwatch purists, the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Speedmaster ref. 310.20.42.50.01.001 is fitted with a sapphire crystal rather than a Hesalite crystal. But as far as everyday practicality, it’s hard to fault scratch-resistant sapphire. The caseback is also equipped with a sapphire crystal on top of a laser-engraved image of Buzz Aldrin’s footprint and Neil Armstrong’s famous words in Moonshine gold.
Vintage-Inspired Details and Exceptional Packaging
It wouldn’t be a proper anniversary Speedy if it didn’t come with some vintage details. The most dominant of them all is the bracelet, which is inspired by the one from Buzz Aldrin’s ref. 105.012. Like the original, the new bracelet features brushed center links flanked by polished outer links and it is notably slimmer than modern Moonwatch bracelets. The clasp is also furnished with the vintage Omega logo.
The vintage Omega logo also appears on the winding crown and the dial. Other throwbacks to early Speedmasters include the extended tail of the letter “r” in “Speedmaster” on the dial, along with the dot over 90 on the tachymeter bezel instead of on it being on the right like on current Moonwatches.
The limited-edition Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 11 50th Anniversary watch (limited to 6969 pieces) comes in an exceptional presentation box. Not only does the inside of the box look like the surface of the moon but it also comes with a pair of plates engraved with the landing site coordinates and the landing time and date. The watch sits on a mini Lunar Module and it is accompanied by two patches, a Velcro strap with black-coated cork, a strap changing tool, and a jewelers’ loupe.
Master Chronometer Caliber 3861
Inside the steel Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 11 50th Anniversary is the same new Master Chronometer Caliber 3861 manual-winding movement that debuted in the gold Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Moonshine in early 2019. As an updated version of Caliber 1861 (that powers the standard Speedy Pro Moonwatches), Caliber 3861 offers a long list of enhancements.
Unlike the Cal. 1861, Caliber 3861 comes equipped with the famed Co-Axial escapement and the METAS-approved Master Chronometer certification. The movement is antimagnetic up to 15,000 gauss, includes a free-sprung balance with a silicon balance spring, and supplies a power reserve of 50 hours when fully wound.
With an appealing blend of old and new, the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 11 50th Anniversary in stainless steel is a thoughtfully executed tribute watch with plenty for both vintage enthusiasts and modern watch fans to enjoy.