Omega Speedmaster Professional
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Omega Speedmaster Professional

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 Wittnauer and an Omega made the final cut, but the Speedmaster won out and was found to be the most durable and suitable for use in the Apollo missions. The Speedmaster was one of the few pieces of equipment used by the astronauts that was not made specifically for NASA, but given the watch’s outstanding quality, it became the first wristwatch to be flight-qualified for NASA in manned space missions. 

And this Speedy, the Reference 105.012, is the reference that Buzz Aldrin wore on the moon. Aside from this amazing fact, the Reference 105.012 is also unique in that it's the first reference of Speedmaster to bear "Professional" on the dial. The dial of this Reference 105.012 is an elegant pie-pan, reminiscent of that on the Constellation, which has gained a beautiful even patina in the hour markers and hands.  

Of special note is the case, made by Le Centrale Boites or CB. Omega used two case makers for the Speedmaster--the aforementioned CB and Huguenin Frères. The cases made by CB can be distinguished by their asymmetrical shape, slightly thicker on the right side near the crown and pushers. The lyre or twisted lugs also have a distinctive facet in the center that on many examples has been polished out over the years, so it's rare indeed to find one in such excellent unpolished condition. When you add a 1506 bracelet with 16 end links, it makes this particular Speedy very desirable. 

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. 

Details

Stainless Steel Case is approximately 41mm (excluding crown and pushers). Omega Reference 105.012-66, Caliber .321, circa 1968.

Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition with sharp bevels on the lugs and no signs of over-polishing. Case has slight signs of wear and use in keeping with its age, including some nicks and scratches near the reset pusher and on the lugs. "Dot over 90" bezel is in very good condition with slight signs of wear at 6 o'clock. Dial is in excellent condition with crisp printing and a fine even patina. Luminescent elements on the hour markers and hands have gained a fine even patina over time. Omega crown; "Pre-Moon" Omega case back is in very good condition with service case back sticker.

Includes one 20mm Omega 1506/16 bracelet with Omega clasp. Bracelet is in excellent condition. Also includes two 20mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle

SKU: AS01588

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