This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11th mission, the successful mission to send man to the moon. Omega has long been associated with the Apollo 11th mission, as the Omega Speedmaster was the official watch of NASA’s Apollo 11 crew. When man first walked on the moon in 1969, the Omega Speedmaster came along for the journey.
Omega has released numerous Moonwatch models over the years to celebrate their association with the Apollo 11 mission. So on the year of the mission’s 50th anniversary, it came as no surprise when the Swiss watch brand announced some exciting limited edition Apollo 11 releases.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at these two new limited-edition releases: the Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary and the Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Moonshine Gold Limited Edition.
The New Apollo 50th Anniversary Omega Watches
Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary
First, let’s take a look at the Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary model. This variation of the classic Speedmaster design boasts numerous design elements that pay tribute to the Apollo 11 mission, as well as some innovative new technology.
On the black and gold dial of the Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary watch, you’ll find two tributes to the Apollo 11 mission. This model’s 9 o’clock subdial features an image of Buzz Aldrin, the astronaut who wore his speedmaster while exploring the moon, climbing down onto the lunar surface. Then, the 11 o’clock dial marker is the only marker to bear a number, with the number “11” set in 18k Moonshine Gold.
The back of the Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary also pays tribute to the Apollo 11 mission. This watch features a decorative inner casebook with a laser-engraved footprint. It also features a gold inscription of Neil Armstrong’s famous quote from the mission, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Inside the watch, the famous Moonwatch movement has gotten an update. The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary watch features the new Omega Master Co-Axial Calibre 3861, which boasts Co-Axial and anti-magnetic technology.
There are 6,969 pieces of this limited edition model available for public sale. Each watch comes with an Astronaut Kit Box and an additional Velcro strap in blackened cork with golden marks. This strap pays tribute to the Apollo-era boost protective cover, a fiberglass and cork structure that protected astronauts from intense heat during their launch.
Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Moonshine Gold Limited Edition
Alongside the Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary model, Omega has released the Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Moonshine Gold Limited Edition. This timepiece pays tribute to the original gold Speedmasters that were presented to astronauts at a gala dinner in Houston in 1969. At this dinner, Omega presented 26 gold Speedmasters to NASA’s serving astronauts. That year, they made a total of 1,014 gold Speedmasters to commemorate the launch. This year, they are releasing 1,014 limited edition versions of the Moonshine Gold Limited Edition watch.
The Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Moonshine Gold Limited Edition is largely faithful to the original design of the gold Speedmaster from 1969. However, it features some new modern materials, a new movement, and some tributes to the watch’s lunar history.
The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Moonshine Gold Limited Edition is crafted from Omega’s 18k Moonshine Gold, a new gold alloy that has a paler hue than traditional yellow gold. Inside the watch, the Moonshine Gold is outfitted with the Omega Calibre 3861, the same calibre used in their Apollo 11 50th Anniversary model.
Like the original gold Speedmaster from 1969, the Apollo 11 Moonshine Gold is almost entirely gold in construction, with black onyx accents on the dial and a burgundy ceramic bezel. The burgundy bezel includes the classic Omega “Dot over 90” marker as a tribute to Speedmaster history.
Upon the back of the limited edition gold Speedmaster, you’ll find several tributes to the Apollo 11 mission. The caseback features several inscriptions that mark the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary. It also features an image of a world map overlooking Cape Canaveral and a piece of domed lunar meteorite that represents an image of the moon.
Each Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Moonshine Gold Limited Edition model comes complete with an updated take on the 1969 model’s crater box. This grey ceramic box features a 3D printed depiction of the lunar surface to, in the words of Omega, “truly evoke the spirit of the moon.”