Mission Accomplished: Omega's Golden Astronaut Has Landed In New York's Hudson Yards
To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the moon landing, Watches Of Switzerland has an astronaut of its own.
History in the Making
It was a moment seen around the world. Millions of people were glued to their TV sets watching as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. On July 20, 1969, wearing bulky spacesuits, boots, and Omega watches! The two men walked where no one had set foot before.
The year 1969 was historically rich in other ways, too. In terms of flight, in addition to the Apollo missions, the first 747 took to the skies, and the Concorde made its first test flight. The epic Woodstock music festival drew 500,000 people to upstate New York, and The Beatles played their last public performance on the rooftop of Apple Records.
Omega on the Moon
The day when Neil Armstrong declared "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," marks one of the biggest technological advances in human history. And Omega's Speedmaster was the watch on the Apollo 11 astronauts’ wrists. In fact, it was the only watch that was approved by NASA for space flight.
Fifty years on, Omega is still making watches equipped with a similar manual-wound movement to the ones that powered the watches that went to the moon. This year, Omega has produced the 50th Anniversary Moonwatch Professional Chronograph in honor of the first moon watch, and it’s a winner. The watch comes in a special 50th Anniversary presentation box, with a NATO strap and an astronaut strap. The best part, though, is that the watch’s hand-wound movement is visible through the sapphire crystal caseback.
An Astronaut Touches Down in New York
Watches of Switzerland is celebrating the lunar landing on a grand scale at their new store in New York’s Hudson Yards. Founded in 1924, Watches of Switzerland had already been in the watch business for 45 years before the historic moon landing. It’s safe to say that they’ve got a pretty solid handle on what makes a great wristwatch by now. In their new space (pun intended) in the Hudson Yards complex, New York’s hottest new shopping mecca, they’re celebrating the moon landing and Omega’s watchmaking mastery in a big way.
Go Big Or Go Home
While casually strolling by the sprawling Watches of Switzerland boutique in the newly-opened Hudson Yards, you wouldn't expect to come upon a larger-than-life golden astronaut statue, fitted with a spacesuit and all, standing in the store’s foyer. If you’re walking by, it’s hard to miss, and whether or not you’re a watch geek or a Trekkie, it’s a great spot for a selfie.
On the vast wall behind the golden astronaut, a streaming video plays, with incredible photography of the moon and glimpses into Omega’s glittering gala celebrating the 50th anniversary (read HERE). And yes, George Clooney was there. Along with Watchonista!
Omega’s Stellar Depiction of the Lunar Landing
Omega masterminded the creation of the display. “The video is Omega's own production and was created to introduce our Golden Astronaut,” the brand said in a statement. “When the Apollo 11 astronauts walked on the moon in 1969, the OMEGA Speedmaster became the first watch worn on the moon. Now, for this golden anniversary of the lunar landing, we have proudly created this Golden Astronaut to stand at the center of our celebrations. This video was a creative way to bring the idea to life at our exhibition.”
“The Golden Astronaut is OMEGA’s symbol of the Apollo 11 anniversary celebrations. It firstly represents the golden anniversary, but also the remarkable achievement of the mission. The design is not modeled after any particular astronaut, it is simply an overall representation of humankind’s first footsteps on the moon. Furthermore, OMEGA has incorporated the theme of gold into its watches, thanks to the introduction of 18K Moonshine Gold in our Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition timepieces.”
What’s In Store?
Watches Of Switzerland is showcasing four new Omega timepieces, all of which pay homage to the brand’s integral role in the Apollo missions. The aforementioned 50th Anniversary OMEGA Moonwatch Professional Chronograph is joined by the Co-Axial Master Chronometer Moonphase Chronograph 44.25 mm, the OMEGA Moonwatch Professional Chronograph 42 mm, and the OMEGA Co-Axial Chronograph 44.25 mm Dark Side of the Moon.
Which one would you pick if you were getting ready for liftoff? You’ll find OMEGA's descriptions of all of them below, with prices, to help inform your choice.
OMEGA Co‐Axial Master Chronometer Moonphase Chronograph 44.25 mm
The Speedmaster is one of Omega's most iconic timepieces, having been a part of all six lunar missions. Taking the spirit of exploration a step further, this new Moonphase features two infinitely small yet photo-realistic moons.
This 44.25 mm model features a blue sun-brushed dial, with rhodium-plated indexes. At 6 o'clock is the accurate Moonphase indication, which features a metallic crystal disc micro structured to obtain a high-resolution image of the moon. The stainless steel case is complemented by a blue ceramic bezel ring with Liquidmetal tachymeter scale and presented on a blue leather strap with a polished-brushed fold-over clasp. Powering the timepiece is the Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer 9904, which has been officially certified by METAS. Priced at $10,600
OMEGA Moonwatch Professional Chronograph 42 mm
The Speedmaster is one of Omega's most iconic Timepieces. Having been a part of all six lunar missions, the legendary Speedmaster is an impressive representation of the brand’s adventurous pioneering spirit.
This Speedmaster Professional “Moonwatch” features a black dial covered by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and graced by a small seconds sub-dial, 30-minute recorder and 12- hour recorder along with a central chronograph hand. The black bezel, with its tachymetric scale, is mounted on a 42 mm stainless steel case and presented on a matching bracelet.
At the heart of this chronograph is Omega's mechanical calibre 1863, the legendary manual-winding movement worn on the Moon, visible through the transparent caseback. This timepiece is offered with a special Moonwatch presentation box which contains a "NATO" strap, a strap for astronauts, a tool to change the bracelet and a book highlighting Speedmaster's adventures. $6,350
Omega Co‐Axial Chronograph 44.25 mm Dark Side of the Moon
Emblematic of Omega's bold style, forward-thinking innovation, and adventurous spirit, this ceramic Speedmaster "Dark Side of the Moon" represents a sleek and sporty new addition to the iconic collection. This unique timepiece features a black zirconium oxide ceramic dial with striking 18K white gold "Moonwatch"-style hands and two ceramic subdials at 3 and 9 o'clock.
A matte chromium nitride tachymeter scale - among the most identifiable design features of the Speedmaster - stands out on the polished ceramic bezel which is set on a 44.25 brushed and polished ceramic casebody. Engraved on the ceramic case back just above the sapphire crystal, are the words "Dark Side of the Moon" - an appropriate tribute to this Speedmaster's heritage and captivating design. This timepiece is powered by the OMEGA Co-Axial calibre 9300. Retail price $12,000
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)