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Omega Speedmaster Co‑Axial Master Chronometer Chronograph 42mm

It's no secret that we're big fans of OMEGA's Speedmaster here. As fashiontourbillon.com founder Ben Clymer has put it, "without it, there is no current version of me, there is no fashiontourbillon.com." As the watch that went to the Moon, the Speedmaster will forever be a part of the collecting world, be it vintage, pre-owned, or modern - however those terms are identified today or 50 years down the road. The great thing about the Speedmaster is the stripped down, functional, utilitarian feel it exudes. While the story behind the model transcends watch collecting, the Speedmaster, as an object, speaks for itself.

In 2019, for the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing in 1969, OMEGA released a novel, limited edition model known, appropriately, as the Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition, of which we have an example, here, out of a total of 6,969 produced. While not the purist’s Speedmaster in color, per se, it nonetheless marks an important moment for the brand, with a little gold and commemorative design elements to help get the job done.

The watch uses a signature 42mm Speeedmaster case, complete with its slightly twisted lugs, substantial pump pushers, and Omega signed crown, being differentiated via its polished 18K Moonshine Gold bezel complete with a polished black ceramic [ZrO2] with an OMEGA Ceragold tachymeter scale. On the wrist, the watch wears the same as previous iterations of the Speedmaster, which is to say extremely well balanced both in terms of physical weight and emotionally-appealing style.

On the dial, the use of black and gold accents continues upon a primarily varnished grey background. The colorway helps add to the peculiar intrigue of the limited edition, as does its most prominent commemorative aspect via its running seconds sub-dial at the nine o’clock position, where a laser-engraved image of Buzz Aldrin climbing down onto the lunar surface is found. The dial also features a unique hour marker at the 11 o’clock position differing from each of the other indices, the stylistic choice another commemoration to the Apollo 11 mission.

Notably powering the watch is the OMEGA caliber 3861, the movement first introduced in 2019 via another anniversary model, the solid gold Speedmaster Apollo 11 Anniversary Limited Edition, and now the standard mechanism used within the flagship line. The 3861 is an updated version of the previous caliber 1861 (and before that, caliber 861, and before that, the caliber 321). It's a certified Master Chronometer (which means you can expect 0/+5 seconds per day accuracy and magnetism resistance up to 15,000 Gauss) and features OMEGA's proprietary co-axial escapement and a silicon balance spring.

The caliber, while quite good looking on exhibition, is nonetheless protected via a solid case back. Here, upon the steel and underneath a sapphire window, a laser-engraved motif of an astronaut's footprint upon the lunar surface is framed by Neil Armstrong's legendary quote, transmitted from the lunar surface back to the earth at 10:39 EDT on July 20, 1969: "THAT'S ONE SMALL STEP FOR A MAN - ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND."
The Speedmaster was originally introduced in 1957 as a racing watch, and it wasn't until 1969, when the hand-wound chronograph accompanied the crew of Apollo 11 onto the surface of the Moon, that it received the legendary status that it holds today. Two known Speedmaster references were worn by the crew of Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong wore a 105.012 and Michael Collins wore the later 145.012, whereas Aldrin's watch - the timepiece that was actually worn on the surface of the Moon - is currently missing, as it was presumably stolen on the way to the Smithsonian in 1970.

This model, the Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition, was released in 2019 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of this first mission, in effect commemorating both that great moment in history and the now iconic watches that helped ensure its success.

This particular OMEGA Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition is in overall excellent pre-owned condition, meaning there are very light signs of wear and some small scratches on the case and bracelet that come with being lived with. The case is crisp with strong lines and has been professionally refinished. The bracelet is tight with little stretch between the links. The rear of the seven o'clock lug is engraved with the serial number "82418XXX." The caseback is marked with the limited edition number "30X/6969." During our quality control check, any necessary adjustments are made to ensure the watch is functioning as intended.
In 1894, La Generale Watch Company developed a system for interchangeable movement parts, which it marketed as the OMEGA brand from La Generale Watch Company. This brand proved to be very successful, and in 1903, OMEGA was spun off into its own company. In the following decades, OMEGA went on to become not only one of Switzerland’s largest and best-known watchmakers but also one of the world's most recognizable global brands. The most pivotal period for OMEGA came in the 1960s when America's National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) chose the OMEGA Speedmaster for the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon. This achievement, paired with its regular timing of both the summer and winter Olympic Games, has bestowed upon OMEGA a global reputation as a maker of precision timekeepers trusted to perform when performance matters most.

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