Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
There are watches that provoke emotion and that is what we collectors are looking for. Emotion is exactly what I felt while discovering the present example of an Omega Speedmaster Professional «Moonwatch». Everything about this watch is a story in itself.
Here is part of the story that I wanted to share with you. This reference 145.022-69ST introduced on the market in 1968 is fitted with a calibre 861. We owe this calibre to Albert Piguet, an imminent watchmaker from the Piguet lineage, who was appointed Technical Director of Lemania in 1948. Following the success of the previous calibre 321, a new version of it was released under reference 861. It introduces a direct chronograph mechanism (navette) instead of the previously used column wheel. Beating at a new frequency of 3hz, the balance wheel is also adapted to feature a glucydur balance wheel with a flat balance-spring.
Going back to 1968, this was the year right before Neil Armstrong became the very first man to walk on the moon on the 21st July 1969. By being on board the Apollo XI mission is how the Omega Speedmaster Professional became the «Moonwatch».
This so-called «straight writing» is dated 1974 and bears an engraved caseback bearing the following inscriptions: «The first watch worn on the moon – Flight Qualified by NASA for all manned space missions.» Its original condition is remarkable with all parts, including the dial, glass, bracelet, movement, case and caseback being attributed to this model for a perfect match.
The watch bears sufficient signs of wear to attest that it was never polished and as a testimony of it being kept for a long time without being worn. The marvel of it being a mechanical watch, you may revive the sleeping beauty simply by slightly winding the crown.
On top of this example being in a great condition, what I love more specifically on this model is its asymetric case. The lugs are quite distinctive to this model. Their sharp definition confer the watch a distinctive look. The case of 42 mm, quite oversized for the period, renders the Omega Speedmaster Professional very contemporary to wear. A mere delight combining all what one would expect of a great watch.