Few watches have the power to inspire like the Omega Speedmaster. The first watch ever worn on the moon, it has become an enduring symbol of the ingenuity and skill that took us into space. On the sixtieth anniversary of the Speedmaster’s release, we look back with space-enthusiast and brand ambassador, George Clooney, at the heady days of the Apollo program and reflect on why the Speedmaster was able to go where it did.
While he’s played an astronaut more than once, few people know about George Clooney’s love affair with space exploration. Clooney grew up in the sixties and was eight years old when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first set foot on the moon. Like most children of his generation, astronauts were his heroes and going into space was his dream.
Thinking back to that moment in his life, Clooney says, “It was the most exciting time to be a kid. We knew all the astronaut’s names. We even ate the food that the astronauts ate… During one of our vacations, we drove through Neil Armstrong’s hometown, simply because we wanted to drive through his hometown. The astronauts were that big a deal to us.”
In 1961, U.S. President John F. Kennedy set a bold challenge for the American people. He stated, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.”
“In just 60 years, we’d gone from inventing cars to [talking about] landing a man on the moon,” says Clooney, “It felt like the ultimate in optimism, the ultimate in forward thinking. It made us feel like anything could be done.” When Apollo 11 touched down on the moon on July 20th, 1969, and Kennedy’s challenge was answered, the young Clooney watched from his suburban backyard. Standing with his father, looking up at the moon, he felt a special connection with his heroes as they took their first steps into a new world. Like the astronauts they were straining to see, Clooney’s father also wore an Omega.
While it is impossible to know which frontier we will cross next, we can be sure, as is Clooney, that we will continue reaching for the stars. And if there is one thing that we can take from the 60th anniversary of the Omega Speedmaster, it is that with the right tools, achieving any challenge is possible. Omega is proud to have played a role in one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century – the moon landing – and looks forward to the many great accomplishments humans will make in the next 60 years and beyond.
It is instantly recognisable and universally admired. Watch buyers are drawn to it. Collectors are driven and inspired by it. But what has made the OMEGA Speedmaster perhaps the most famous and desirable chronograph in the world? Even if you ignore its historical importance, the watch is still anchored by a timeless design that has endured for 60 years. Evolution may have produced different variations, but these are just some of the “classic” Speedmaster features that have helped create an icon.
Twisted Lugs & Tachymeter Scale
Since 1964, the “twisted lugs” of the Speedmaster have given the watch a truly distinctive look. Their addition enabled the creation of an asymmetric case that provides extra strength and protects the crown and pushers. The Speedmaster was the first watch in the world to take the tachymeter scale off the dial and place it on the bezel. The change was initiated with racing car drivers in mind and this is where the “Speedmaster” name originates.
Pure Dial & Box-shaped Glass
Loved by watch fans for its understated simplicity, the classic triple-register Speedmaster design delivers superb readability thanks to its black dial with luminous markers and contrasting hands. The glass that protects the dial is cleverly domed to give the impression of an overall thinner watch. Over the years, both hesalite and sapphire-crystal glass has been used.
Aside from the Broad Arrow and Alpha hands associated with early models, it is the Baton style hands that have been most used. Slim and elegantly flat, they further add to the uncomplicated design.
For more information on the regular Omega Speedmaster, please click here. More details on the Omega Speedmaster 1957 can be found here. While more informattion on the Speedmaster Moonphase 42mm click here.