As you guys know, watch collecting is not only about buying the most recent watch novelties released at the SIHH or Baselworld, but also about hunting down that watch that you've always dreamed of owning —new or vintage— or finding that special watch from a very exclusive limited edition, that is still waiting for you at a boutique or authorized dealer. Well, for those of you in love with the iconic Speedmaster Professional, here we have a very special piece that we ran into at the Omega Boutique in Chicago.
We are talking about the Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 40th Anniversary Moon Landing Limited Edition in Platinum ref. 3126.96.36.199.01.001. This coveted limited edition was only released in two models, one in stainless steel with sterling silver medallion —7,969 pieces— and in platinum with 18K gold medallion—69 pieces.
This amazing watch fitted with a solid and ultra heavy 42 mm platinum case weighing an impressive 314 grams —11 ounces or 0.7 of a pound— is part of a very exclusive limited edition of only 69 pieces released by Omega back in 2009 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the moon landing on July 21, 1969. This exclusive timepiece that comes in a shockingly beautiful wooden presentation box with ornamental marquetry with the Apollo 11 Mission insignia —this box could be easily retrofitted by the owner to become a very elegant humidor and not a bad idea at all—, also includes a solid 18K yellow gold coin —measuring approximately 1.65" in diameter— with the Apollo 11 Mission insignia on bas-relief on one side and the inscription of the legend "The Eagle Has Landed" along with the launched, landed and returned dates of the mission on its reverse side.
This exceptional watch that celebrates humanity's biggest milestone after conquering space and setting foot on the surface of the moon is fitted with a gorgeous black matte dial with a solid 18K yellow gold medallion applique with the Apollo 11 Mission insignia at 9 —with the serial number engraved at the bottom and with the running seconds hand in gold—, 12-hour chrono-register at 6, a 30-minute chrono-register at 3 o'clock and platinum hands with the exception of the running seconds hand which is made of 18K yellow gold.
To make the dial even more special, Omega chose to add two red contrasting features to it. The first one, a red tip on the chronograph seconds hand and the second one, a red writing with the exact time —02:56 GMT— at which Neil Armstrong put foot on the surface of the moon and spent about two and a half hours outside the spacecraft while collecting lunar material to be brought back to earth. In his own words: "one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." The 40th Anniversary Limited Edition’s dial is protected by Hesalite, the same robust, shatter-proof acrylic crystal found on the original Moon Watch. Hesalite is ideally suited for use in space as there is no chance that it can break apart and send potentially dangerous fragments into the zero gravity environment. A small, distinctive Omega logo has been etched evocatively inside the Hesalite crystal.
The Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 40th Anniversary Moon Landing Limited Edition in Platinum is fitted with the traditional Speedmaster bracelet with deployant clasp. Because of the precious metal utilized on this limited edition, the bracelet is extremely heavy but still very comfortable. A nice reminder of the value of the watch and the exclusiveness of this limited edition piece.
This exceptional timepiece is powered by the manual-wound Omega calibre 1861 that shares its lineage with the calibre 321 used in the original Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch. The robust chronograph calibre is protected by a solid case back beautifully finished with the Apollo 11 Mission insignia in 18K yellow gold with the words “Apollo 11 40th Anniversary”. Around the platinum outer ring of the case back the following engraving appears: “The first Watch Worn on the Moon”, “PT950” —a reference to the watch’s platinum case and bracelet— and “July 21, 1969”, the date that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the lunar surface.
On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size and extremely top heavy due to its platinum construction. Elegant but sporty at the same time, understated and classic and extremely iconic are the words that come to mind when sporting the piece. This watch is a perfect watch for those seeking to post the most unique Speedmasters on '#SpeedyTuesday' on their Instagram accounts. For the money, you definitely get a very exclusive watch that is definitely worth its 314 grams in platinum. From an horological and watch value standpoint, you get to decide whether you think is worth it or not.
Sticker Price $135,000 USD. For more info on Omega click here.