In anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing, many horology enthusiasts were already expecting Omega to release some impressive commemorative timepieces. After all this event served as the inception that led to the mythology behind the Omega Speedmaster that would be nick named “Moonwatch”. So, let’s zoom in on one of the new arrivals, the “Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Moonshine”.
Previously we also reviewed the “Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 Limited Edition 50th Anniversary” (Ref#: 310.60.42.50.99.501) completely made out of their “Moonshine” gold, which you can read more about here. This was the first watch to introduce Omega’s 18k Moonshine™ gold, which is a patent-pending alloy with a paler hue than traditional yellow gold that offers a high resistance to color fading.
The 42mm case on this new release is made of stainless-steel with Omega’s patented NAIAD screw-down case back, which ensures a correct alignment when attached.
This flipside has been finely decorated with the famous moon “footprint” on a brass base structure created via laser, followed by a black galvanic layer with Moonshine gold plated on top to fill in the surrounding inscription that contains Neil Armstrong’s historical “One Small Step For A Man, One Giant Leap For Mankind” quote. Omega has taken the level of detail to the point of including small cross marks, inspired by the original Zeiss lens that took the iconic photograph.
Mounted to the watch is a Moonshine gold bezel with a polished black Zr02 ceramic insert and a Ceragold tachymeter scale. It comes equipped with stainless-steel pushers and a setting-crown in-between them that has been adorned with the vintage Omega logo.
The case has also been crafted with the characteristic twisted lugs that gives it that robust and consolidated shape. All covered by a sapphire crystal, instead of hesalite like the original Moonwatches were conceived.
Time is exhibited on a varnished grey center, while a wide black minute’s track with Moonshine gold applied hour indexes markers circle the periphery. Omega has only place one Arabic numeral among the index marker at the 11 o’clock position, which serves as a subtle highlight to this watches “Apollo 11” theme.
There are also three black sub-dials: a 30-minute counter at the 3 o’clock position; a 12-hour counter at the 6 o’clock position; and a sub-seconds at 9 o’clock. This decorative sub-seconds has been adorned with Moonshine gold outlining the silhouette Buzz Aldrin climbing down the lunar module’s ladder.
The Omega logo seen on the upper-half of the dial and the central chronograph hand have also been PVD-coated with the patent-pending Moonshine gold. The central hands and hour index markers have all been fitted with a luminescent filling, for an enhanced legibility.
Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Moonshine
This “Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Moonshine” (Ref#: 310.20.42.50.01.001) is powered by the hand-wound mechanical movement, caliber 3861 with 26 jewels and 21,600 vph. It is an updated version of caliber 861 / 1861, which features a co-axial escapement, a silicon balance spring and is a Master Chronometer certified METAS. Instead of Moonshine gold as seen on this movement when it debuted, for this edition it received a Rhodium plating on the bridges. Power reserve on this watch can last up to 50 hours, when fully wound.
Mounted to the watch is a new stainless-steel bracelet made to resemble the original 1039 used by Buzz Aldrin’s ref.105.012. It can be distinguished by its brushed center links and polished outer rows, while secured to the wrist by a folding clasp embossed with the vintage Omega logo. Plus this edition also includes an extra black Velcro strap with black cork covering, secured to the wrist by a steel buckle.
Also worth mention is the elaborate packaging that accompanies this watch. A while back we were impressed by the box-set that came with the “Ultraman” edition (Ref#: 3184.108.40.206.01.001), as you can re-see here.
But, Omega may have surpassed that benchmark with this new release. The case is a NASA-style box with handles and two fastening straps on its outside, while on the interior the watch itself is placed on a removable Lunar Module model.
Settled alongside this lunar surface are two engraved plates with the: landing site coordinates; plus the landing date and time. Plus two patches linked to the “Apollo 11” and the “50th Anniversary”.
This is a limited edition watch with only 6,969 manufactured pieces. For more up to date information visit the official Omega website here.
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