Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Watch: A Review

Oct 29, 2019
Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Watch: A Review

By Gregory Francis


This year is, indeed, a golden year for Swiss luxury watch brand Omega, as it celebrates 50 years since it moonwalked its way onto the wrists of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin — the first humans to set foot on the moon.


Commemorating this important milestone, Omega — much-touted for its ace level of technical and chronometric standards — recently introduced the Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition watches.

Limited Edition

With only 6,969 pieces across the globe, the innovative 42mm steel body masterpieces pay an ode to the Apollo 11 mission with their ingenious technology and design aesthetics. Crafted in stainless steel and 18K Moonshine gold — a new metal that has a paler tone than the usual gold, the Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary watch certainly deserves a spot in your collection.


Of course, it was a humble steel chronograph Speedmaster that lived the ‘out-in-space’ life. But the new-age Omega Speedmaster succeeds this achievement with cutting-edge watchmaking craftsmanship.

Neil Armstrong, Mission Commander of Apollo 11
US Astronaut Neil Armstrong, Mission Commander of Apollo 11. He is the first person to set foot on the Moon. (Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images)


Ode to the Moonwalkers

This limited-edition Omega Speedmaster is unlike any of its earlier pieces. The tribute it pays to its five-decade-old predecessor is visible in its design aesthetics. The timepiece features distinct elements, including a varnished grey and black dial, highlighting indexes and hands in 18K Moonshine gold.


A unique hour marker stands out at 11 o o’clock — a meaningful tribute to the mission number ‘11’ of Apollo 11. Meanwhile, a distinctive sub-dial at 9 o’clock features the seconds counter encased in an engraved medallion, depicting Buzz Aldrin’s iconic scene descending from the ship.


Caseback of the Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Watch
Caseback of the Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Watch / Photo from Omega

Furthering the historical moment is the caseback, which features a quote by Armstrong engraved on metal: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”. It also proudly displays a footprint mark, commemorating Armstrong’s footprints on the moon.



closer view of Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Watch


The Horological Mechanism

The grey dial features three sub-dials with the 12-hour counter, the chronograph counters, and the seconds movement. The ring crowning the bezel is in pure ceramic, and the tachymeter scale bathes in Omega Ceragold.


in-house Calibre 3861 movement of Omega watches
Omega Calibre 3861 / Photo from Omega

Powered by the Omega Calibre 3861 manual-winding chronograph movement with Co-Axial escapement, the watch is Master Chronometer-certified by METAS. The movement notches up the once augmented mechanism of the 1861 calibre, offering a robust 50 hours of power reserve. The mechanism is further resistant to magnetic fields up to 15,000 gauss.


With such a powerful mechanism, a watch enthusiast can rest assured of celebrating an epic moment of mankind. Exactly right where his watch is ticking.


Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary watch on its storage box
Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Box / Photo from Omega


The Sentimental Value

Every watch connoisseur knows an Omega watch is unlike a luxurious timepiece to gratify one’s private collection. It is a masterpiece with a narrative, driving its mechanism and design. Many may have not been witness to the live streaming of the landing of Apollo 11 back in 1969. But this limited-edition Omega Speedmaster drives a sense of honour in human’s attempt and success to reach the moon.


The Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 or the Moonwatch, as it famously known, validates Omega’s tryst with horology and hi-tech technology at a time when humans themselves are unsure if making a trip to space was even possible.


To top it all, those who intend to invest in this sophisticated watch will also get an elaborate box, complete with a lunar module stand. Inside the box, you will find an additional Velcro strap with black coated cork, two mission patches, two engraved plates with landing site coordinates and landing site and time, and a strap-changing tool.


front view of Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Watch

The Omega Speedmaster

The Omega Speedmaster’s endurance and mechanism have been put to test for over half a century since its existence. Pushing its limits to reach the moon and back, the world-famous chronograph has a special place in the history of NASA. Nicknamed as the Moonwatch, the timepiece is unlike any other chronograph the brand has ever designed. It is proud to be the only watch certified by NASA for use on an Extravehicular Activity to this day.


Ever wondered which watch is better, Omega or Rolex? Read our feature on the controversial topic here

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