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After touching the lander down on the lunar surface, Buzz Aldrin transmitted to Houston control these words, nary more than a whisper, the first communication between human beings not concurrently on the same planet.
When Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon for the first time, his Speedmaster was in the module serving as a backup for its electric timer that had malfunctioned. It was Aldrin who, following Armstrong to become the second human to walk on the moon, introduced the Speedmaster to the lunar surface.
Today, Omega has become synonymous with the Apollo missions, the moon landing and space exploration in general. The provenance of the brand, driven by the incredible reliability and functionality of the watches that they produced throughout the space era is second to none. But at the heart of the moon missions, at the core of their objective, was the intrinsic human desire to explore, to crest the horizon and, undaunted, step forth into the unknown.
NASA approved the Speedmaster for its space missions because it was the best, most accurate timepiece they could find, and testing revealed that it needed no modification in order to remain functional under the duress of space flight. NASA was concerned with accuracy, durability and usability; they didn't care about Omega's history, they needed a tool that could accompany humans on a mission to the moon and help them get back safely. They exposed the Speedmaster to high and low temperatures, blasted it with vibrations, challenged it with g-force and submitted it to high and low pressure. Through all, the Speedmaster ticked on, proving that it could go where no watch had ever gone before.
Ever seeking excellence, Omega scrutinized their Calibre .321 movement, the movement that was inside Armstrong and Aldrin's watches, and decided, in 1968, to introduce a newer more robust execution. The Calibre .861 was largely the same as the .321, but it replaced the column wheel switching mechanism with a cam system and increased the beat rate from 18000 to 21600 vibrations per hour. In all, the .861 proved to be more robust and found its way onto the wrists of numerous astronauts throughout the later Apollo missions, including Apollo 13, where Jack Swigert used his .861 to time the crucial 14-second correction burn which allowed the damaged craft to safely return to earth.
This particular Speedmaster is in wonderful original condition bearing the marks of a watch that was used as it was designed to be. With a folded link 1171 bracelet, an original "dot over 90" bezel insert and a genuine hesalite crystal, this Speedy is ready to accompany its new owner to many new horizons.
Stainless Steel case is 41mm (excluding crown). Ref. 145.022-69ST.
Overall condition: The watch is in good condition over all, with marks consistent with age and use. Original Omega stepped dial is free of scratches and discoloration, with luminous material bearing a slightly uneven patina. Original handset lume has patinated to a rich dark brown. Signed Omega crown and Omega case back with Hippocampus engraving.
Includes one stainless folded-link 1171 bracelet with signed clasp and two 20mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.