As one of the longest certified Omega service centres, we were delighted by the announcement of the Omega Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award” 50th Anniversary watch, the first watch to be worn on the moon. This prestigious Speedmaster, the third of which pays homage to NASA presenting the Silver Snoopy Award to Omega following the Apollo 13 mission on 5th October 1970, was announced to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this momentous occasion.
For those of you who already happen to be Omega fans or just interested in the horological realm, we’re sure you know of the Speedmaster and the significant role it played in the space race. Omega was groundbreaking in that their watch was deemed flight qualified for all manned space missions in 1965 by NASA, thriving where the watches of Rolex and Longines failed in the rigorous tests posed by the scientists at NASA.
After its first foray into space flight on Apollo 11 in 1969, it played a vital role during the Apollo 13 mission in the fateful few moments after the second oxygen tank exploded. The speedmasters mechanical chronograph was integral to Houstons rescue, having to time a 14 second thrust in order for the shuttle to reenter the earth’s atmosphere at the correct angle or otherwise bounce back into the depths of space.
For this, NASA awarded the Speedmaster with the Silver Snoopy Award on 5th October 1970.
But what is the Silver Snoopy Award?
The Silver Snoopy Award
During the 1960s, Charles Schulz, the creator and illustrator of the Peanuts cartoon, started to draw his lovably cantankerous beagle, Snoopy, as being obsessed by the moon. The Peanuts comics were at the height of their popularity during this time and Schulz caught the zeitgeist of a nation’s fascination with space travel perfectly in his cranky canine.
Enamored by this unofficial mascot to the space race, in 1968 NASA decided to make Snoopy an official mascot, creating the Silver Snoopy Award for achievement in the field of space flight safety and mission success. This Award has only ever been given to companies that have ensured the safety of the men and women on the space shuttles.
Suffice it to say, this is a wondrous achievement!
Now let’s talk about the 50th Anniversary edition Speedmaster. It’s safe to say that this watch is a celebration in and of itself.
Presented in the classic 42mm Speedmaster steel case, this Speedmaster is dazzling. With the new cobalt blue accents on the bezel, hands, markers and Omega insignia, not to mention the stylish blue strap, the watch is certainly a striking timepiece. As seen, Snoopy takes pride of place on the seconds subdial at 9 oclock, shown in the full Silver Snoopy Award regalia that is shown on the Awards pin of the spacesuit as a nod to the 50th Anniversary. The tachymeter of this piece is shown in white on the aforementioned blue ceramic bezel and includes a lovely nod to Speedmaster history with a dot over ninety.
Among numerous references to the Apollo 13 mission, one of our favourites is on the inside of the watch strap, embossed in the lining is the Apollo 13’s journey trajectory, complete with the infamous ‘slingshot’ around the moon as well as an expertly crafted caseback featuring Snoopy making his own way around the moon.
The 50th Anniversary speedmaster boasts the newest on movements with its OMEGA Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861, a chronometer based largely on the Lemania 1873 but reintroduced for the 50th Anniversary watch. As Omega state, “It took 4 years to produce a calibre that could achieve Master Chronometer certification, while also matching the dimensions of the previous Moonwatch movement – the 1861”
As an official certified Omega center, here at Michlmayr whilst we aren’t all rocket scientists, we certainly excel when it comes to watch restorations and repairs. Should you require any of our horological services then give us a call today on 01603 403 687 and a member of our expert team will be happy to assist.