The first Alaska prototype
This year saw the introduction of the Moonwatch, which later on, in 1969, accompanied Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on their first steps on the moon’s surface. In fact, this model became the watch that joined more lunar missions than any other model.
The newer Moonwatch, which used the calibre 861, marked a major turning point for the Speedmaster line. And from 1970 onwards, these watches would bear markings that read “FLIGHT-QUALIFIED BY NASA FOR ALL MANNED SPACE MISSIONS” and “THE FIRST WATCH WORN ON THE MOON.”
A rare Speedmaster with an orange seconds hands made its appearance in the (then) popular Japanese TV show “The Return of Ultraman.” Interestingly, Eiji Tsuburaya, creator of the Ultraman franchise, had a habit of including notable watches in his productions.
Continuing a secret project to create “space watches” for NASA that began in 1969, Omega came up with the second Alaska prototype with its signature red heat shield. This model has since resurfaced numerous time, the last occasion being in 2008.
Twenty years after it prepared to go to the moon, the Speedmaster finally came with a moonphase complication with the limited edition Speedymoon model.
Combining a Moonwatch case and an automatic movement, this model remained in production for only two years. An original piece of this model is, without question, the elusive “Holy Grail” for serious collectors.
In 1997, Omega relaunched the Speedmaster with the exact same dial, bezel, hands and logo as the famous “Broad Arrow” of 1957. Naturally, the model also gained the nickname “Replica,” but was still highly sought after.