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In horology there are certain indelible associations. Perhaps the most enduring and the most iconic is the association with NASA and the Omega Speedmaster. The Speedmaster has set benchmarks that, in our opinion, are hard to surpass: the first watch to be flight-qualified by NASA for manned space missions, the first watch to be worn by an American astronaut during a space walk, the first watch to be worn on the moon.
Despite this extraterrestrial heritage, in the beginning the Speedmaster was only intended for terrestrial pursuits. Omega released the Speedmaster in 1957, in the midst of a craze for racing chronographs. The name "Speedmaster" followed the naming trend set by the Seamaster and Railmaster models, and was also a subtle nod to the innovative brushed stainless steel tachymeter bezel. The first reference of Speedmaster, the CK 2915, contained the Lemania caliber 321 movement, developed by famed movement-maker Albert Piguet in 1946. Over the next few years, the Speedmaster saw several changes in dial and hand configurations, but at its heart retained the design elements that would be carried down through the decades: the black dial with its triple-register layout, the domed hesalite crystal, and of course, the tachymeter bezel, signifying Omega's intention for the Speedmaster to be used in automotive sports.
Who knows--had NASA not pinpointed the Speedmaster for use in manned spaceflight, perhaps it would only be regarded among the great racing chronographs like the Heuer Autavia or the Tudor Monte Carlo?
The fact that the Speedmaster came to be used by NASA is somewhat serendipitous. Since the dawn of military aviation, pilots had used chronographs to time their flights. When NASA developed their space program, the first astronauts were, as one can imagine, pilots. The Speedmaster was already known to NASA for its personal use by the astronauts: Wally Schirra wore his own Speedmaster, a reference CK2998, aboard the Mercury-Atlas 8 in 1962, and Ed White donned his Reference 105.003-64 for America's first EVA (extra-vehicular activity) on June 3, 1965.
In 1965, NASA sent formal bids to twelve different brands whose chronographs the astronauts preferred for use in their flights. Chronographs from Breitling (already by then well-established for use in aviation), Rolex, and even a pocket-watch by Hamilton were considered by NASA. Ultimately a Rolex, a Longines and an Omega made the final cut, but the Speedmaster won out and was found to be the most durable and suitable of the bunch for use in the Apollo missions. The Speedmaster was one of the few pieces of equipment not made specifically for NASA, but given the watch’s outstanding quality, Buzz Aldrin went on to wear his on the surface of the moon.
And this Speedy, the Reference 105.012, is the reference that Buzz Aldrin wore on the moon. Aside from this amazing fact, the Ref. 105.012 is also unique in that it's the first reference of Speedmaster to bear "Professional" on the dial. The dial is an elegant pie-pan, which has gained a beautiful even patina over the years, echoed in the delicious creamy color of the hour plots and hands.
The result is an icon among icons, a chronograph with an impressive heritage that deserves to go with its wearer to frontiers unseen by mankind.
Stainless steel case is approximately 39mm (excluding crown). Ref. 105.012-66. Calibre .321 Manual-Winding Chronograph Movement.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition, with no signs of over-polishing and only light signs of use or wear in keeping with its age, including some light scratches and one deep tool mark on the case back. Dial is in excellent condition, with no major blemishes or signs of discoloration, and has gained a beautiful patina over time. Luminescent elements on the hour plots have gained a creamy patina that is matched on that of the hands. Do90 (Dot over 90) bezel is in good condition, with some light flaking, primarily from 11:00-2:00 and 5:00-6:00. Signed crown; signed case back.
Includes one 20mm green suede analog/shift strap and two 20mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle
Analog/Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
We back each Analog/Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states. We are happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
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