What is most likely considered the icon watch of the modern age, the Omega Speedmaster Professional is quite simply the most accomplished timepiece of our era. Not satisfied with just being the only timepiece certified by NASA for all EVA (extra-vehicular activities) it is the only watch to be worn on the surface of the Moon by Buzz Aldrin and others who followed him.
It’s a manual wound chronograph that measures 42mm in case size, not including the crown. It uses the Omega 1861 calibre movement, a slight variation on the original movement that accompanied the astronauts in 1969. The manual wound movement was chosen since an automatic movement’s rotor that is required to wind the main spring would be useless in zero gravity. The watch is impressive in size and heft and immediately has presence when wearing it. It’s uses a unique acrylic Hesalite crystal instead of the more modern synthetic sapphire one. This was specified by NASA so if cracked in space, there would not be shards or shattered remains floating in zero gravity. Its raised profile gives it a great retro look and feel. It’s as strong or better than sapphire, but not as scratch resistant and must be worn with care if wanting to avoid unsightly marks.
This indomitable piece of history is still made and sold today, and noted as being quite popular among engineers and astronauts at NASA. It’s celebrated history has been honored many times by Omega with limited edition models.
I’m proud to wear it and honor not only those who pioneered space travel, but those who lost their lives in pursuit of it. It is one of my favorites and is in my active rotation.