omega speedmaster apollo 11 50th anniversary limited edition

Luxury watchmaker Omega is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing this year with a brand new "Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition" timepiece. This comes after the brand celebrated the 1968 Apollo 8 mission with a "Dark Side of the Moon" Speedmaster back in December.

As a background story of the new timepiece, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and the crew of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission were equipped with the Omega Speedmaster Professional. Omega became NASA's official supplier of watches after the model emerged among other watch brands as the survivor of several punishing tests. Upon the return of the crew, Omega commissioned commemorative Speedmaster Professionals crafted from 18-karat gold. The watch, model number BA145.022, was limited to 1,014 pieces. Omega says that the first two in the series were given to President Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew, with the remaining given to NASA astronauts, Swiss watch industry leaders and politicians, as well as being sold to the public.

Just like its predecessor, the Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition stays true its 1969 counterpart, as the watch's burgundy bezel, vertically brushed dial, black onyx indexes, and black varnished hands are all inspired by the classic BA145.022 model.

The 50th Anniversary edition does boasts a number of improvements over its 50-year-old predecessor, however, like the utilization of an 18-karat "Moonshine" gold, a new alloy which Omega says can resist color fading and evident in the case, bracelet, main plate and dial. Additionally, another striking element is a transparent caseback that reveals a manual-winding Master Chronometer calibre-3861 movement, which is based on the original's calibre-861 movement.

The caseback's inner ring is emblazoned with the words "Apollo 11 - 50th Anniversary" and "The First Watch Worn on the Moon," and includes a partial image of the American continents opposite an actual piece of lunar meteorite.

Just like the original model, this Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition is limited to 1,014 units only and will be available beginning July for CHF 32,000 or about $31,789.

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