Omega Moonwatch

The first Omega in space was Omega Speedmaster with the reference 105.003, worn by Willy Schirra on 3.10.1962. Omega Moonwatch was chosen by Nasa in March 1965 as an official  Nasa space program watch. Just few days latter Guss Grissom and John Young were the first astronauts who had worn official Omega Speedmaster 105.003 into their space orbit flight. Ed White was the first astronaut which has made space walk (EVA) with Omega Speedmaster (Gemini program). For quite a while it was believed that this was the first chronograph watch with which EVA was done but latter it became clear that that title goes to soviet Strela watch.

For the Apollo program Speedmaster with reference 105.012 was already available, in 1966 this reference number has changed to 145.012. Those two reference numbers were in fact the only two reference numbers that were actually worn on the Moon! First astronaut that stepped into the Moon with Speedmaster was Buzz Aldrin on 20.7.1969 since Neil Armstrong left his one in the lunar module. Michael Collins who stayed on the space ship has already had the 145.012 model. Model 145.012 was for sure in the Moon from Apollo 15 mission and later.

All three models (105.003; 105.012 and 145.012) used Omega 321 movement, chronograph with column wheel based on Lemania 2310. I have in my collection Speedmaster with the reference number 145.012-67 and I am proud to have fully original watch with original bracelet 1039, with box and original papers. Unfortunatly the original dial has been poorly reluminated and I bought an original Omega replacement dial (with applied Omega logo), which is now on the watch. So watch on the picture has an replacement dial on it but I have also the original one.

In 1968 Omega made the biggest modification of the Speedmaster. Movement 321 was replaced by movement 861 based on Lemania 1873 without column wheel. Visible change was also that on the bezel DON (dot over ninety) moved to the middle of the 90 number and applied logo on the dial was replaced by printed one. New reference number was 145.022. "Tranistional" version with reference 145.022-68 also exist, in this version movement is new, but DON and dial are old.

Watch with this reference has never landed on the Moon, however, that is the watch with got the Moonwatch inscription on the back side. After the first landing in 1969 Omega decided to print this fact on the backplate and the name Moonwatch was promoted. First "Moonwatches" were issued at the second half of the 1969 but in the first year "moonwatch" inscription was not yet standardized and three different "Straight writting" inscriptions exist. I have in my collection watch with reference 145.022-69 and the most sommon "straight writting" backplate:

Straight models were only produced about a year, then Omega standardized round writting which is present up to present days. Moonwatch stayed in the production continuosly, several small modifications and different reference numbers were issued. Among modifications the improvement of the Omega 861 was done (better materials), improved version is called Omega 1861. I have one "common" Moonwatch from 2005 and reference number: 3570.5000:

Beside "standard" Moonwatch with hesalite glass also saphire glass versions exist. I don't have saphire version in my collection.

Omega 861 was improved again to 1863 version, but the biggest change happened with the 3861 version of the movement. That movement was first used in 50' Anniversary watch in 2019. Also the very special edition with refurbished 321 movement was issued at the same time. In 2021 the Moonwatch was refreshed "back to the roots", new Moonwaches in two versions follow the original 145.012 version except that movement is not 321 but 3861. I have this new Moonwatch with the hesalite glass version.

Between Moonwatches there is also one "intruder" - Omega X33. It was launched in 1999 and it is the only quartz driven Moonwatch. It was used in Nasa, also some Russian kosmonauts have used it. Even though X33 is totally different, it is officialy part of the Moonwatch collection.