Tuesday, June 17, 2014

321 PRE MOON SPEEDMASTER OMEGA 105.012 from 1966

With the building up on the small collection of Omega watches, one of the classic Omega speedmaster using the cal 321 is a must for any fans of the Omega moon watch. This is the watch that Neil Armstrong worn to the moon with 105.012. I have met up with my friend Paul this evening and I was happy that I could trade using the Grand Seiko 61 with cash top up for this classic speedmaster.

The first generation is Omega speedmaster reference is the board arrow CK2915 and second 2997, 3rd generation ST.105.003 known as the Ed White speedmaster without the crown guard.

The 4th generation is the ST.105.012-66
Following which is the 6th generation ST.145.012

The speedmaster Zander the Omega seamaster 300 have similar looking case.

Information from the net:

"The Omega Speedmaster Professional, otherwise known as the "Moonwatch", is a manual winding chronograph introduced in 1957 and made famous by its selection by NASA for the Apollo Program. The Omega Speedmaster was the first watch worn on the moon, as Buzz Aldrin wore his Speedmaster 145.012 fitted with the Omega 321 caliber on 20 July 1969. It is the only watch flight-qualified for EVA use by NASA. It is also the watch chosen for use in outer space by the Russian space agencyNPO Energia.

When the step-by-step procedures of the Project Gemini space-walks were first mapped out, NASA realized that they did not have an approved wristwatch for space travel. The normal procedure of soliciting bids for the design, manufacture and testing of special “Space Proof” wristwatches was a time consuming process. To save time, NASA sent two systems engineers into downtown Houston“incognito” to purchase several reputable “off-the-shelf” chronographs to be tested for possible use in space. A manual-winding watch was preferred to an automatic watch, as it was assumed that zero-gravity conditions would render the self-winding mechanism ineffective.

Five different brands of chronographs were purchased and returned to NASA for testing. The Speedmaster passed NASA's numerous tests, which included exposure to extreme temperatures, vacuum, intense humidity, corrosion, shock, acceleration, pressure, vibration and noise, whereas the Rolex, Breitling, Bulova, Longines and Tag Heuer, notably, all failed.

The tests were completed on March 1st, 1965. At the completion of the tests, three of the chronographs from different manufactures were still running, but only the Speedmaster had passed without any of the serious discrepancies encountered with the others. The Omega Speedmaster was adopted by NASA as the “Officially Certified Wristwatch For All Manned Space Missions.” At this point, Omega was completely unaware of these activities.

The Omega Speedmaster was re-certified in 1972 and in September 1978, for the Space Shuttle missions.

Today, all NASA-issued wristwatches are government property and must be turned in once the astronauts return to Earth. Astronauts are permitted to check out the watches before launch and take them home to familiarize themselves with the watch’s operation.

Interesting article:


Interesting note concerning "the moon watch" :

The Omega speedmasters engraved "the first watch on the moon" are fitted with 861 movements , and the previous models have only the sea monster logo : anybody might think viewing thoses backs that the speedmasters fitted with the 861 are "the moon watch"

In fact NASA qualification took place in 1965 at this time the 861 movement was not available and the purchasing for the astronauts speedmasters where bought before the 861 introduction. So the Speedmasters of Apollo missions which goes on the moon where not equipped with 861 movement

Very curiously Speedmasters fitted with "the first watch on the moon" engraving are NOT the moonwatches , the previous ones without the engravings ARE the moonwatches ! , refer to the NASA section of this site for more details

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