Fifty years ago the Omega Speedmaster became the very first watch to be worn on the moon when Apollo XI landed, and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped on the lunar surface. This is the stuff of legends, as it was a defining moment in the history of humankind. To celebrate this major achievement in 1969 Omega created the BA135.022, the first limited edition of the Speedmaster dedicated to achievement in space exploration. It was a precious watch, crafted from yellow gold, with a yellow gold bracelet, and a distinct burgundy bezel, made from anodised aluminium and powered by caliber 861.
Now, fifty years later, Omega is once more commemorating this event with a very precious watch. The Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition also features gold case and bracelet, yet this time made from a brand new alloy, called 18K Moonshine Gold. Its color is slightly paler than that of the yellow gold BA135.022, and also has certain qualities that ensure that it maintains its natural lustre and color as time passes.
Not only the case and the bracelet are made from 18K Moonshine Gold, but the dial as well. It combines this with hour markers made from black onyx, which are faceted and set into gold before attached to the dial. The bezel on this new watch is also burgundy, but not made of anodised aluminium anymore. Instead, Omega opted for ceramic, with the tachymeter scale in Ceragold.
The caseback reveals quite an exciting surprise as this Speedmaster is fitted with caliber 3861, a brand new movement to join the Omega line-up! It is still manual wind but now features a co-axial escapement with a silicon hairspring. More so, it is also awarded a METAS Master Chronometer certificate and the text on the movement resemble that of the bezel on the front of the watch. On the ring around the movement, we find both the earth represented by a partial world map featuring Cape Canaveral, as well as the moon, represented by a piece of meteorite.
The original of 1969 came in a unique crater box, and for the 50th-anniversary edition, Omega outdid itself. The packaging is now made from 3D printed ceramic, resembling the lunar surface, which always differs and makes each box unique. The top, however, shows an image of the Sea of Tranquillity and the landing spot of the Apollo 11. A more than fitting box to house a very precious and special Speedmaster of which Omega will make, just like the original, 1014 pieces.