Omega Speedmaster: A Giant Leap for Mankind
I have been fortunate to own many great watches, to celebrate accomplishments, anniversaries, memories. Significance may vary, but obsession is the common link that binds this passion together.
However, the watch that today’s blog is about was purchased not for my need to commemorate milestones of my own, but to remember the greatness of others. The watch I am talking about is iconic in simplicity, reliability, and a staple in every watch collection. I am talking about none other than the Omega Speedmaster, the first watch ever worn on the moon.
At first glance the Speedmaster is a nonevent in comparison to the exposed gears and super complicated movements that dominate the modern watch market. However, this watch isn’t one that is purchased to be flashy, as usually only other watch guys will recognize it. The Speedmaster is a purchase in heritage, history and respect. For many guys in their thirties, this is the watch that their fathers wore and will most likely become a family heirloom. It is a timepiece that floated into immortality when Buzz Aldrin stepped out of Apollo 11 and on to the Sea of Tranquility. Now yes, Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon, however he had left his Speedmaster in the lunar module.
To me, the Speedmaster represents a bridge of accomplishment, the veritable milestone of mankind’s achievements. The mechanism of measuring the linear denotation of that which we know as “time” and its transcendence into the previously unmeasured heavens. Man created the concept of the second, then created the instrument to measure this concept, and then used it to travel to the moon… beautiful.
There are many horological approaches to picking a model of Speedmaster that brings connotative sentimental to the owner. Some say that finding a pre 1969 (pre moon) model is best, while others saying the 1969 represents the accomplishment. For me, I chose a combination of retro and modern (like I did with my Tag Heuer Monaco) and went with the model dubbed the “sapphire sandwich” or 3573.50.00 for the uber watch geeks out there. After searching for many months, I found one and received it at my doorstep the morning of my 30th birthday party. It was August 25th, 2012.
I set it, put it on, and remember standing outside looking at it and then looking up, at first it was to remember where this watch had been, but sadly it found new sentiment soon after. That afternoon word came through that Neil Armstrong had passed away. I soon realized that fate had not delivered the watch to my doorstep that day to remind me of my success, but to let me celebrate, along with many others in the world that day, the success and the life of a man that embodied greatness and humility, Neil Armstrong.