Omega’s new Speedmaster watch marks 50 years of space service

An unlikely connection between a children’s cartoon character and Nasa was initially created when, in the 1960s, Charles Schulz began penning strips depicting Snoopy on the Moon.
So it was then, in 1968, when NASA went in search of a “face” for its safety programme, Snoopy was selected not only as a “safety watchdog”, but a reminder of the power of a degree of levity in serious situations. A “Silver Snoopy” award was even created, given by the astronauts themselves, and awarded to people or companies who contributed significantly to human space flight missions.

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In 1970, Omega received this award. Its Speedmaster had been declared “flight qualified for all manned space missions” back in 1965, but it was the 1970 Apollo 13 mission where the chronograph came into its own. After an oxygen tank exploded on board, two days after launch, the crew was was forced to move into the Lunar Module. This craft, however, was not built to support three astronauts for such a long period. So, to conserve energy, nearly all power was shut down on the module, rendering the digital timers obsolete.

To commemorate 50 years since receiving the Silver Snoopy, Omega has launched this special edition – the Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th Anniversary. The £8,250 42mm stainless steel chronograph sees Schulz’s beagle play a prominent role in the design, appearing as an embossed silver medallion on the blue subdial at 9 o’clock.
On the caseback, there is an animated Snoopy with black and white Command and Service Module on a separate hand. When the chronograph seconds hand is in use, the character moves across the lunar surface decorated on the sapphire crystal using micro-structured metallisation. In the distance, an Earth disc rotates once per minute, in sync with the watch’s small seconds hand.

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The piece is driven by Omega’s Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861. Other details include the watch’s blue nylon fabric strap, which matches the other coloured elements of the watch, with the trajectory of the Apollo 13 mission embossed on the lining.
Jeremy White is WIRED’s executive editor. He tweets from @jeremywired
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