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How the Speedmaster “Moon Watch” of Omega Watches Created Space History


How the Speedmaster “Moon Watch” of Omega Watches Created Space History

Since 1969, Omega’s legendary mobile Ultraman Moon Watch has been accompanied by every manned space flight in the United States.

If the watch industry is famous, Omega’s mobile Ultraman is a piece of cake. Celebrating the 60th anniversary of its undisturbed life on Earth and the 48th anniversary of its first moon landing, since the epic moon landing in July 1969, when the mobile Ultraman watch was found to be worn in Buzz Aldrin’s When it’s on the wrist, its gravity doesn’t lose an inch. As an unparalleled record of six moon landings, the mobile Ultraman watch appeared in every manned space flight in the United States, making this timepiece a veritable hero in the history of timepieces and aerospace.

The birth of    icon

The Speedmaster, launched by Omega in 1957, is the first chronograph to display a speedometer scale on the bezel. It has established an aesthetic benchmark that has not yet declined in the field of chronographs. Speedmaster aims to measure the elapsed time and speed through the chronograph and speedometer functions. It is one of the three professional watches jointly launched by the Swiss brand, Haima and Railway, providing easy-to-read and high-precision waterproof watches.

In order to celebrate 60 years of success, Omega launched the anniversary edition of the Ultraman Motor Series, a tribute to the original 1957 watch. In order to capture the symbolic spirit of its ancestors, the 2017 model is equipped with Broad Arrow hands, black tropical dial, retro beige SuperLuminova and original manual winding movement 1861, which is the same as the movement of the American astronaut returning from the moon landing.

space race

In 1958, NASA began to explore manned spaceflight, which led to a technical and patriotic duel between the United States and the Soviet Union to conquer space. President John F. Kennedy’s goals are even higher. In his speech to Congress in 1961, he said: “I believe this country should strive to achieve a goal before the end of this decade, which is to get a person on the moon and return him to the moon safely. Earth. During this period, No space project is more impressive than human beings, or the remote exploration of space is more important.”

Zero-gravity maiden voyage

In 1962, during the orbital flight of Project Mercury, Omega made an “unofficial” space maiden voyage on Walter Sheila’s wrist. The CK 2998 Speedmaster that Sheila wore on the Sigma 7 in 1962 was actually his personal watch. At the time, the astronauts were not equipped with an official NASA clock.

In 1964, after astronauts requested the use of backup timing equipment during missions, all this will change. Dix Layton, Director of Crew Operations, issued an internal memo requesting that “Gemini and Apollo crews use highly durable and precise timers” and start the wheels for a series of tests to select the winner for work. Tested to withstand damage

James H. Lagan is a retired NASA project engineer and the author of “Speed ​​Master” and “Moon Observation Only”. He believes this is the most comprehensive description of the evolution of lunar observation over the past 60 years. The timepiece is exposed to severe temperature fluctuations from 93C to -18c, severe shocks of 40 g, high and low pressure, humidity, corrosive oxygen environment, noise and vibration. The only watch that has undergone torture is Omega’s Speedmaster.

On March 23, 1965, the Ultraman mobile series was declared by NASA as a “flight suitable for all manned space missions” and was worn on the wrists of Virgil Gleason and John Young during the “Gemini III” mission. 6 On the 3rd, the United States once again conducted its first spacewalk, which was performed by astronaut Edward White. In order to adapt to the thick cushioning suits of astronauts, the steel bracelets of the Ultraman series were replaced with long hook and loop straps.

After performing perfectly in space, the mobile Ultraman is ready for the Apollo 11 mission, which will effectively end the space race and achieve President Kennedy’s grand goal of manned landing on the moon.

The eagle has landed

Apollo 11 was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 16, 1969. Four days later, Commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Odlin landed the “Eagle” lunar module on the calm surface of the moon, while Michael Collins stayed in the orbit of the Columbia command module. 600 million viewers on the planet stared at the TV, watching Armstrong descend from the ladder of the lunar module, listening to him say immortal words: “A small step for mankind, a big step for mankind.”

About 20 minutes later, Aldrin rendezvoused with Armstrong on the surface of the moon. He was in awe of the original lunar terrain, which he called “the magnificent desolation.” But they are not alone. Tied to the Aldrin spacesuit is the sturdy and reliable Speedmaster, which has been called the “moon watch” since 1969.

Houston, we have a question

In the troubled Apollo 13 mission in 1970, Omega’s mobile Ultraman watch proved to be a life-saving straw. The explosion of the spare oxygen tank damaged the onboard electronic timing device. Commander James Lovell used his manipulator to wind the mobile Ultraman chronograph to determine the critical launch time of the reentry rocket so that his crew could return to Earth safely. In recognition of the key role played by the Ultraman mobile chronograph in the Apollo 13 mission, Omega received the highest honor awarded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration-the Snoopy Award-in October 1970. Zero gravity diplomacy

Ultraman mobile watch also witnessed another great geopolitical symbolic moment. During the Apollo-Soyuz mission in 1975, when the Apollo rocket docked with the Soviet Soyuz in space, American astronauts were very happy to find that Soviet astronauts were also wearing mobile Ultraman chronographs. With the advent of the Space Shuttle program in 1978, the Ultraman mobile watch was selected as the official watch. In 1984, he drove his space scooter to accompany Bruce McCunders, marking the first wireless spacewalk.

After being worn in space for the first time in more than 50 years, as a loyal companion of astronauts, it is hard to imagine a watch that is more exciting and heroic than Omega’s mobile Ultraman watch. Re-examining his 60 years of life, owning a mobile Ultraman moon watch reminds people of an unforgettable day in 1969, when two people and a mobile Ultraman set foot on the moon’s first step, thus composing the 20th century. One of the most exciting chapters in history.

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