SIXTY YEARS OF SPEED. For six decades, Omega’s Speedmaster line of chronographs have carved a rich history, spanning from the race tracks to the space race and beyond
A Gemini 4 astronaut wearing two Moonwatches on each arm
Some watches become especially memorable—and desirable or collectible—for having a unique story, for being a limited edition or for introducing a new innovation in either technology or design. When it comes to purely being memorable, though, you won’t find a larger concentration of this quality than in Omega’s celebrated Speedmaster line of chronographs. In its 60 years of existence, these watches have journeyed from racetracks all the way to the surface of the moon. And we mean that quite literally.
The 2013 Snoopy limited edition Speedmaster
Today, as the Speedmaster embraces the connected generation without taking the connected or smartwatch route (look up #SpeedyTuesday on Instagram for more on this phenomenon) and celebrates its 60th anniversary, let’s take a stroll through memory lane and revisit some of the most important milestones of this legendary collection.
The first Speedmaster, called the Broad Arrow made its debut as the first chronograph with a tachymeter scale on the bezel. Naturally, this was a boon to racecar drivers, and it cemented the watches first steps in an incredible journey.
The second Speedmaster model became the first Omega watch to leave the Earth. Specifically, a Speedmaster was worn by Walter Schirra, one of the original seven astronauts chosen for Project Mercury, United States first effort to put humans in space.
The third generation Speedmaster survived NASA’s rigorous testing for flight qualification, beating candidates from various brands vying for the position as the official timepiece for America’s space missions. These watches became part of several Gemini and Apollo missions.