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Omega recreates the original Speedmaster worn in space

Commemorating the first Speedmaster to orbit the Earth

Omega Speedmaster Watch

First Watch in Space

A couple years after Wally Schirra wore his store bought Omega Speedmaster on his 1962 spaceflight, NASA set out to determine the official watch for spaceflight. They gathered up watches from around the world and beat the hell out of them.

Space.com gives you run down of just how grueling these tests really were:

The trials were designed to literally test the timepieces to destruction. The different brand models were subjected to temperatures topping 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and then frozen. The watches were put through shocks of 40 times the normal force of gravity, exposed to high and low pressures, high humidity and a highly corrosive 100 percent oxygen environment. They were exposed to high decibel noise and vibrated at nine times the force of gravity.

In the end, only one of the models survived: the Omega Speedmaster. After each test, the watch would settle to an average rate within NASA’s specifications for use.

As a result, NASA declared the Speedmaster “Flight Qualified for All Manned Space Missions” on March 1, 1965. Just three weeks later, the Speedmaster made its first official flight strapped to Virgil “Gus” Grissom’s and John Young’s wrists on the Gemini 3 mission.

Here we are 50 years after the first Omega Speedmaster orbited the Earth and Omega is releasing an exact replica of Wally Schirra’s original watch.

The new Speedmaster watch is as much a piece of art as it is nearly indestructible:

The Speedmaster “First Omega in Space” edition recalls the watch that Schirra first bought at a Houston jeweler 50 years ago. The 2012 model features a black aluminum bezel ring that is smaller than the modern Speedmaster Professional, “Alpha” hands similar in style to the original, and is presented on a brown leather strap.

The commemorative edition trades the NASA-approved Hesalite plexiglass crystal for a scratch-resistant sapphire, but faithfully reproduces the classic varnished black dial and three sub-dials on the face below.

The stainless steel caseback is embossed with Omega’s original seahorse insignia and is inscribed “First Omega in Space” and “October 3, 1962,” the date of Schirra’s flight.

This watch is a must-have for all space enthusiasts as well as any space travelers. And you know if NASA tested it to withstand the rigors of space, the Omega Speedmaster Watch will definitely be able to handle any issues that pop up at your desk job on a day to day basis.


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