As a tribute to Gene Cernan, the eleventh and last person to have walked on the Moon surface and whom passed away on January 16, 2017, the new Omega Speedmaster Apollo XVII 45th Anniversary is one of those watches that got very little exposure after its release during Baselworld 2017. Since today is 'Speedy Tuesday' we thought it would be a good idea to bring you our hands-on review of this great looking Speedy in 18K yellow gold. With 1972 pieces released in stainless steel and only 72 pieces in 18K yellow gold, this new reference 322.214.171.124.03.001 is simply stunning thanks to its dark blue ceramic dial and brown alligator strap.
Things You Need to Know
The Omega Speedmaster Apollo 17 45th Anniversary 'Tribute to Gene Cernan' features the same case construction as the traditional Speedmasters measuring 42 mm in diameter and it is fitted with a dark blue dial and tachymetric bezel both made of ceramic.
Besides the yellow gold medallion at the 9 o'clock subdial with the iconic image of the Greek god Apollo —the logo used by the Apollo missions—, at 12 o'clock the dial features '05:34 GMT' written in red. This particular red writing alludes to the exact time at which the Apollo 17 — final mission of NASA's Apollo program— communicated with earth straight from the surface of the moon on December 14th, 1972. With Commander Eugene Cernan, Command Module Pilot Roland Evans and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt on board, the Apollo 17 is the last mission to land on the moon.
Here's the speech from Cernan: “Bob, this is Gene and I’m on the surface; and, as I take man’s last step from the surface, back home for some time to come —but we believe not too long into the future—, I’d like to just (say) what I believe history will record, that America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came and God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17.”
The dial features a running seconds subdial with the Apollo medallion and the number 17, 30-minute chrono register at 3 and 12-hour chrono register at 6 o'clock. The dial features gold applied markers and minute track in gold and white.
The watch is equipped with a brown alligator leather strap with matching gold deployant buckle. The strap is very supple and quite dark looking almost black under certain lighting conditions.
The Movement & Medallion
Like most other modern Omega Speedmaster Professional from 1996 and on, the new Omega Speedmaster Apollo 17 45th Anniversary 'Tribute to Gene Cernan' is powered by the manual wound calibre 1861 which is an updated version of the Omega calibre 861 based off of the Lemania 2310. The case back features a gorgeous medallion in bas-relief with the iconic and legendary Apollo 17 mission patch logo. Of all other Apollo Mission 45th anniversary editions released by Omega, the case back of this new watch is our favorite without a doubt. This 234-part manual wound movement beats at a frequency of 21,600 vph and provides a power reserve of 48 hours when fully wound.
On the Wrist & Price
On the wrist, the Omega Speedmaster Apollo 17 45th Anniversary 'Tribute to Gene Cernan' Limited Edition wears true to its size and with remarkable wrist presence. Once you put this watch on, prepare to be taken back in time with one of the most iconic watches ever designed by Omega. A great celebratory piece that pays homage to the last man to walk on the surface of the moon and that brings the warm of gold to the Speedmaster Professional line-up.
Sticker Price $20,200 USD. For more info on Omega click here.