After the Moonlanding in 1969, Omega launched the Speedmaster Apollo XI BA145.0220 yellow gold limited edition model. It featured a stunning burgundy bezel and dramatic black onyx hour markers. Fast forward 50 years and we now have a recreation of this exceedingly beautiful timepiece. The Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition watch. It speaks directly to devoted Omega lovers, Speedmaster aficionados and luxury wristwatch collectors in general. Since gold is customary for 50th anniversaries, the finish on the watch makes for a particularly poignant design, especially since it incorporates so many recognisable and well-loved characteristics of the iconic Speedmaster design.
Apollo put mankind on the moon, but Omega equipped mankind with an exceptionally accurate and robust timekeeping instrument to accompany them on this special expedition. The celebratory timepiece that was made in the same year as an homage to this world-famous venture, was limited to 1,014 pieces – the first two of which were presented to President Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew.
In terms of style, Omega has broken no moulds in this exemplary 50th anniversary limited edition model, but what the brand does do is demonstrate how innovative materials and a flawlessly-structured internal engine really does make an already perfect design even more perfect! The case, bracelet and some other smaller elements of the watch replace Omega’s original 18ct yellow gold material with its legendary “Moonshine Gold”. What’s this alloy, you ask? Well, it mixes palladium with the gold to create a patina that’s a shade paler than the traditional hue of yellow gold, plus it helps the gold retain more of its original character for longer, fighting against discolouration.
Let’s take a look at some other modifications of the 50th anniversary limited edition Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11…
The model’s burgundy coloured bezel is rendered in ceramic with a Ceragold top scale. In this design, vintage elements are certainly considered important by Omega, as is attention to detail. The tachymetric scale extends to 500 units, framing a solid gold vertically-brushed dial. Then, Omega applies onyx black hour markers and matching varnished chronograph hands to echo the original design concept of the Omega Speedmaster Apollo XI BA145.0220 special edition.
Omega showcases an expression of a special movement through its sapphire glass lens on the underside of the watch. Upon flipping the timepiece over you’ll instantly catch sight of a METAS certified Master Chronometer movement with a Co-Axial escapement and Si14 balance spring. The beauty of this Calibre 3861 is elevated even more by commemorative text and some interesting design elements, like a blue and gold cutaway of Earth showing the Americas, and a moon design using an inlay of domed lunar meteorite. Both features orbit the movement effortlessly on its gold caseback. Suffice to say, this Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 Limited Edition watch couldn’t feel any rarer if it tried.
Omega has done an exceptional job of making this timepiece look and feel as special as it deserves to. You’ll more than likely be torn between whether you’ve fallen more in love with the front of the watch or the back. Either way, this Omega Speedmaster is worthy of its price tag of £26,480, and will surely make for an exquisite investment piece in years to come. As mentioned before, you don’t need to be the world’s biggest Speedmaster devotee to own this sublime Speedy. It’s an enthralling mix of old and new manufacturing methods that, if nothing else, certainly pays tribute to the journey Omega has taken from 1969 until now, both as an ambassador for NASA’s timekeeping technology and as an independent manufacturer of some of the world’s most beautiful watches.
The Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition watch also boasts a well-balanced dial. A few moments on the wrist and you’ll not only have connected with that unmistakable Speedmaster feel, but you’ll also realise the importance of a really well-made chronograph movement. Not all watch lovers use the chronograph features of a watch – sometimes it’s more about the sporty look that a Chrono brings to the wrist, but with the case of this limited edition Omega watch – it would be a crime not to want to play about with the watch’s butter-smooth push-pieces whilst watching the shining onyx black chronograph hands glide over their gold backdrop.
Just a couple more details…
The watch’s “Moonshine Gold” case is a very reasonably-sized 42mm in width. Its’s also integrated with 50-meter water resistance, and the sapphire glass lens you see sitting flush with the surface of the case is flat in design. It’s also integrated with anti-reflective treatment to both sides. The in-house made Calibre 3861 is made entirely from start to finish in Omega’s manufacturing house. It’s capable of a 50-hour power reserve which certainly takes the guesswork out of figuring out how long this watch would run on its own once fully wound. The watch, like the original Apollo XI limited edition yellow gold model, is limited to 1,014 timepieces worldwide, so it would be a wise move to register your interest with our Berry’s watch team as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.