“What could you do in 14 seconds?” This question, inscribed on the dial of the latest Omega Speedmaster is the catalyst behind of the extraordinary story linking the Swiss watch brand to Apollo 13. The brand’s new Omega Speedmaster Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award, unveiled during Baselworld 2015, pays tribute to the 45th anniversary of the aborted lunar mission, which nearly killed three NASA astronauts.
The Apollo 13 mission, launched in April 1970, took a turn for the worse after an oxygen tank explosion severely limited the Command Module’s electrical power, and the crew on board had just 14 seconds to correct their course for re-entry on Earth. They famously used their Omega Speedmaster Professional watches to time their mid-course correction, and upon their safe return, awarded the Silver Snoopy Award to OMEGA in honor of the brand’s contribution to the mission’s safety.
Because OMEGA is the only brand with a claim on the watch industry’s very own space race, it has rightly celebrated that heritage with a number of Speedmaster re-editions over the years, some limited and some not. But concern has undeniably grown lately regarding the expiry date of the Moonwatch narrative. After all, we haven’t been to the Moon since 1972. However, the Omega Speedmaster Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award watch proves the brand still has a lot to explore within its own collection. A limited edition of 1970 pieces, to commemorate the year of the Apollo 13 mission, the watch is sure to become a highly prized collector’s item. And it’s been made with them in mind. Collectors love a watch with a few stories, and this one has them front, back and center.
The watch features a monochromatic dial with black-varnished hands, indexes, and a polished black ceramic bezel ring. At the center the words, “failure is not an option,” uttered by actor Ed Harris in the 1995 film “Apollo 13,” are printed. Snoopy looks at home inside a small seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock, as though stuck in a solitary frame of a classic comic strip. Because the watch was previewed at Baselworl 2015, inside a well-lit room, we couldn’t capture the Super-LumiNova paint present on the indexes, tachymeter scale, and on Snoopy himself, but it’s worth pointing out the green light emission looks quite special.
The wristwatch also features a case-back unlike any other. A 925 silver Snoopy medallion, resembling the actual Silver Snoopy Award pin, is surrounded by alluring dark blue enamel onto which a silver powder has been hand-sprinkled, meaning each model is unique. What collectors will appreciate most though is the engine inside the watch. Powered by Caliber Omega 1861, the famous manual-winding chronograph movement that featured on the Speedmaster worn on the moon, the watch boasts a power reserve of 48 hours. Available in Omega boutiques worldwide in September 2015, this limited edition of 1970 pieces is priced at $7,350.