On April 17, 1970, the world watched as the Apollo 13 Command Module landed in the Pacific Ocean after an unexpected crisis occurred 200,000 miles away from Earth. Apollo 13 was the seventh manned mission in the Apollo programme and the third that was intended to land on the Moon —a goal that was dashed when one of the two oxygen tanks on the Service Module exploded on route. The mission was aborted and the astronauts completed a number of mid-course corrections in order to achieve the trajectory that would allow them to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere. This new Omega —just unveiled at Baselworld 2015— under the name Speedmaster Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award pays homage to that unforgettable mission 45 years ago and celebrates the teamwork, quick thinking, ingenuity and courage that brought Commander Jim Lovell, Command Module Pilot Jack Swigert and Lunar Module Pilot Fred Haise home safely. A closer look at the timepiece shows that Snoopy, the beloved dog from the Peanuts cartoon and a NASA mascot, decorates the dial and the caseback —a small tribute to the Silver Snoopy Award that OMEGA was presented with in 1970 in recognition of its contributions to the entire Apollo program.
The dial of the Speedmaster Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award, inspired by the black and white comic strips printed in newspapers, is at once recognizable as the inverse of its legendary predecessor. The white dial contrasts the black varnished Moonwatch-style hands and the polished black ceramic bezel, which features a Super-LumiNova tachymeter scale. Super-LumiNova is also found on the central hour, minute and chronograph seconds hands. The luminescent material was used to make the indexes and their glow is enhanced by the black varnish that fills the indexes’ top cavities.
Distinguishing this limited edition timepiece are the two inscriptions that decorate the dial. Fourteen small squares between zero and 14 seconds on the dial come together to form a long comic strip, with the words “What could you do in 14 seconds?” written underneath. The question is a nod to the 14-second mid-course correction that the Apollo 13 astronauts timed with their on-board back-up timing device: the Omega Speedmaster. At the center of the dial is the quote: “Failure is not an option.” These inspiring words were spoken by actor Ed Harris who played Apollo 13 Flight Director Gene Kranz in the 1995 film about the historic mission, Apollo 13. A small image of a sleeping Snoopy painted on the dial with Super-LumiNova is positioned in the small seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock and it appears as if he is dreaming of the token phrase that is often used in association with the mission.
Among the most interesting and intriguing features of the timepiece is its alluring caseback. Protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal is a 925 silver medallion that resembles the pin that accompanied the Silver Snoopy Award that OMEGA received in 1970.
The silver Snoopy is mounted on a plate of the same material and is surrounded by dark blue enamel. Silver powder is sprinkled by hand over the enamel of each individual caseback, giving the impression that Snoopy is floating in space. On the case back, the following is engraved: “SILVER SNOOPY AWARD”, “EYES ON THE STARS”, “45TH ANNIVERSARY”, “0000/1970” and “APOLLO XIII”.
The 42 mm stainless steel timepiece is presented on a black coated nylon fabric strap with white stitching and a foldover clasp.
The Speedmaster Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award will be produced in a limited edition of 1,970 pieces. At its heart is the Omega calibre 1861, the same manual-winding chronograph movement that powered the legendary Moonwatch. On the wrist, the watch wears just like any other 'Speedy' and with great wrist presence.
Sticker Price $7,350 USD. For more info on Omega click here.