Pre-owned luxury goods specialist Xupes is highlighting two rare Omega Speedmasters with links to NASA’s Apollo space program on the eve of the 50th anniversary of man’s first steps on the moon.
First up is an Omega Speedmaster Professional 145.022-69 ST Moonwatch, a sought after special edition put into production in 1969 by Omega to commemorate the first watch worn on the moon.
From 1975 comes an Omega Apollo-Soyuz Speedmaster ST145.0022, which was created to commemorate that year’s experimental test project Apollo-Soyuz, the first joint US and Soviet space flight.
The 1969 Moonwatch has the words FIRST WATCH WORN ON THE MOON engraved on the case back in straight writing, which gives this example its rarity. Future editions had a more mass-produced version of that engraving, as well as the NASA certification for all manned space missions, an engraving which has since featured on the reverse of all Speedmasters since 1969.
Joe McKenzie, co-founder of Xupes, says the watch would have been a fantastic investment for anybody who bought one new. “In 1969, if you were lucky enough to find one, you could have bought this watch for under £200. At an average annual inflation of 6% that’s around £1,500 today. The enduring fascination with space flight means that these highly sought after watches now command nearly forty times their original price, with this one on offer at £7,500. Collectible watches continue to be a far more exciting place to put your money than in a bank,” he says.
The Omega ‘The Apollo-Soyuz’ Speedmaster has engraving on the case back in both Russian and English paying homage to the collaboration between the two superpowers long before the Cold War ended with the re-unification of Germany in 1989.
It was the only choice authorized for space travel by NASA and the Russian space program for astronauts and cosmonauts at the time.
An interesting side story highlighted by Xupes is that the watch on offer is one of the so called ‘Di Marchi’ editions, one of only 100 of the 500 of a limited series that were sent to Di Marchi, the Italian distributor of Omega, not complete, but in kit format, and then fitted with existing older movements.
These models therefore had much earlier movement numbers as they may have been sources from already delivered watches and mostly all of the same features of the series.
It is listed with Xupes for £37,999.