Among all the watches with interesting histories, Omega’s Speedmaster Professional is one that truly stands out. It was – and still is – the official watch for NASA astronauts performing EVA. NASA chose the Cheap Replica Watches to become the official chronograph watch for astronauts in 1965, after a process that included rigorous test procedures.
As some of you might know, at Fratellowatches we have a weekly recurring item called ‘Speedy Tuesday’. In this series, we put a special Omega Speedmaster Replica Watches in the spotlight. Whether it is the very first Speedmaster from 1957, a collectible limited edition that commemorates the Apollo space program or just a regular Speedmaster Professional ‘Moonwatch’ that has been with the first owner for over 30 years, we love to put these stories online. Ever since we started the “Speedy Tuesday” series, in May 2012, we have come across some very cool and rare Omega Speedmaster watches. For this Fratello Friday, I selected three of the most special Omega Replica that we’ve come across in the past year while preparing our “Speedy Tuesday” posts. While it would have been easier to select 10, or even 20, choosing a top three makes one think harder to determine which are most special or have the more interesting story.
1. Reinhard Furrer’s Speedmaster Professional
This is by far my first choice of Speedmasters that I’ve come across in the last year. The dial marks it as rather unusual, with radial Arabic indexes on the counters. This particular watch was in use by astronaut Reinhard Furrer of the ESA, who flew with the Space Shuttle STS-61A mission in 1985. The son of another ESA astronaut handed it over to me for inspection, as he didn’t knew exactly what he had in his hands. After the Apollo program, NASA decided to hold another competition for an official watch for astronauts. In 1978, after a similar test procedure they performed in the 1960s, NASA chose – again – the Omega Replica Watches to become the official watch for the Space Shuttle program. Omega shipped 56 Omega Speedmaster Professional watches to NASA for use during the Space Shuttle missions. You probably guessed it already by now; this particular watch is one of those 56 watches. I was able to wear it for a week or so, and it is hard to describe the feeling it gave me — wearing a watch that has been on the wrist of astronauts and aboard one of the Space Shuttles. Unfortunately, after taking pictures and sorting some things out for the current owner, I had to give it back.
2. 1969 Speedmaster Professional BA145.022 With Burgundy Bezel
In 1969, just after the Apollo 11 mission that successfully put Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong on the Moon, Omega introduced a gold Speedmaster Professional with a burgundy-colored bezel to commemorate the mission. Omega produced 1,014 pieces of this model. The first 28 went to the White House and the next 26 were given to the NASA astronauts at that time. Number 1 was offered to President Richard Nixon, but he declined it. This particular one is on display in the Cheap Omega Replica museum in Bienne, Switzerland; I had the honor to put it on my wrist when I visited there at the end of 2011. A number of readers and contributors to the Speedy Tuesday series have reported that they own one of these 1,014 gold Speedmaster Professional watches. One of them can be found here and another one can be found in an article that dates back to 2008, long before Speedy Tuesday was initiated. Just recently, Fratellowatches co-organized a small Speedmaster collectors’ lunch in The Netherlands and one of the attendees brought his gold Omega Speedmaster Replica Watches. So, although it is not the rarest of the Speedmaster watches, I would definitely put this gold Speedmaster Professional BA145.022 model in my top 3. The gold dial with onyx markers and black hands are simply stunning. The caseback has a horizontal “First Watch Worn on The Moon” inscription, and each watch is numbered.
3. Speedmaster Professional ‘Automovil Club Peruano’
Here’s a Speedmaster Professional that has a bit of mystery around it. Although Omega keeps good track of historical pieces in its archives and museum, this particular Speedmaster caused a bit of confusion. This Speedmaster Professional has ‘A.C.P.’ on the dial, which stands for “Automovil Club Peruano.” Nothing strange here, as providing special dials to jewelers or certain clubs were not unusual at the time this watch came out. The part that is somewhat of a puzzle is the fact that this watch has “Professional” written on the dial. As mentioned previously, the Speedmaster became the choice of NASA in 1965. Because of that, as the official story goes, Omega decided to have the word “Professional” added in 1966.This particular watch, however, was delivered to the Automovil Club Peruano in 1964, three years before the Speedmaster Professional was officially introduced. It’s possible Omega Replica used an old stock of movements in these particular watches, which were shipped to the A.C.P. in 1964, as I’ve found similar models with official Omega documentation that indicates that. The truth is probably less exciting that we think, but are these details that can keep collectors busy for years.