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Tagged with 'speedmaster'

Why Snoopy deserves his place on the Omega Speedmaster

Snoopy and Omega have always had a very close and interesting connection. So far, Omega has released 3 different Snoopy editions, each one more impressive and more sought after than the last one.

But why? Why does a titan like Omega put a cartoon character on their dials, and why Snoopy? Why not the Simpsons or Garfield? (Off the record, how cool does a Garfield Speedy sound!)

Timex also uses Snoopy on their watches. Is there a link between Omega and Timex, or is this a mere coincidence? Let’s find out!

 

 

Omega Speedmaster Snoopy

Why is he on there?

The Snoopy on the Omega watches doesn’t represent the cartoon figure, but it represents the prestigious Snoopy award. The Snoopy on Timex has nothing to do with this award, they just want to make funny looking watches.

Omega received the ‘Silver Snoopy Award’ from NASA in 1970, the highest honor one can receive while working on a space program. The award is only given to a NASA employee, supplier or individual who has delivered an outstanding effort or contribution for space exploration. Omega received the honor because of the events that occurred at the Apollo 13 mission.

Mid-flight, an oxygen tank of the Apollo 13 capsule exploded. This explosion knocked out most of the electrical supplies on board. The astronauts lost most of their navigation equipment, and the blast blew them way off course. In other words: they were floating in space with no idea where they were going. This is where their Omega watches played a big role. All their electrical equipment and radars were down, but the mechanical gears in their hand-wound Speedmasters worked just fine.

The crew used their chronograph to time the ignition of the rockets to get the capsule back on the right course. This was a tricky job, since overtiming or under timing would result into the crew missing earth and flying into eternity. Once the crew was close to earth, the chronograph was once again used to time the ignition of the rockets to slow them down.

The astronauts all got out without a scratch, all thanks to their Omega Speedmasters.

Because of the important role Omega played during this unfortunate event, Nasa gave Omega a Silver Snoopy award to recognize the importance of the Speedmaster, especially on the Apollo 13 mission.

So far, Omega has released three Snoopy editions to celebrate and commemorate their award and the role they played in saving the mission and the astronauts’ lives. Which one is your favorite?

 

Discover our selection of Omega Speedmaster Moonwatches

Professional Moonwatch Vs Regular Speedmaster, What’s The Difference?

The Speedmaster might be one of the most iconic chronographs ever made. I would even go a step further and say that it’s one of the most well-known and most popular watches available.

The Speedmaster jumped to mainstream success when NASA selected the watch for their first mission to the moon, the Apollo 11 mission. The watch has been widely popular ever since.

 

 

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch

2021 brought us a new Speedmaster Professional with many impressive and even more hidden upgrades. The Speedmaster has had many variations and countless limited and special editions over time, but the Professional has always been a fan favorite.

The Speedmaster Pro is the modern iteration of the watch that was worn on Apollo 11 in 1969. The Professional is often referred to as the Moonwatch, but what makes a Pro a Pro?

All Moonwatches are Speedmaster, but not all Speedmasters are Moonwatches. What’s the difference, and what should we look for?

 

Pro=Better?

Let’s make one thing clear: despite what the name claims, the Pro is not ‘better’ than any other Speedmaster, nor is a regular version ‘worse’ than a Pro.

The Pro is based on the original Moonwatch, and is usually slightly larger than other models. Other models of the Speedmaster follow their own philosophy, while still carrying the very visible Speedmaster DNA.

The biggest difference is in the movement and the crystal. Most modern Speedmasters have an automatic movement and a sapphire crystal, the pro has a hand wound movement and a hesalite or sapphire crystal.

‘But an automatic movement is more convenient than a hand wound movement, and a sapphire crystal is way stronger than hesalite, why does the Pro have these features?’ The reason why is simple: the original Speedmaster that went to the moon had a hand wound movement and a hesalite crystal. The Die-Hard-Moonwatch fans only want to wear the closest thing to the original. Even though a hand wound movement requires more work and hesalite can break more easily, this watch is made for the true enthusiasts.

The true enthusiasts got some great news in 2020. Caliber 321 was the movement that powered the Speedmaster that was approved by NASA. Sadly, Omega discontinued the legendary caliber after 1969.

In 2020, Omega announced that the new professional models will be powered with a modern, updated caliber 321. This means that the enthusiasts can finally get a real modern take on their beloved watch, closer to the 1969 original than ever.

 

Discover our selection of Omega Speedmaster Moonwatches

5 Things You Didn’t Know About The Omega Speedmaster

The Omega Speedmaster is one of the most well-known and best sold watches in the world. It has been a bestseller and mainstream success for decades. Why is the ‘Speedy’ so popular? Of course, the fact that the Speedmaster was the first watch on the moon plays a big role, but it’s not the only factor. Many other watches have gone to space, and have since been forgotten. Why is the Speedmaster such a timeless success? Below, you can find 5 facts about the Omega Speedmaster you didn’t know.

 

 

Omega Speedmaster

1. No Upgrades

It’s a well-known fact that the Speedmaster was the first watch on the moon. Still, Omega forgets to tell us a more impressive fact.

Almost all equipment that is taken into space is heavily modified by NASA’s engineers. The astronauts take tons and tons of gear with them, but nothing they carry is available in regular stores for normal mortals like you and me to purchase. The Speedmaster was the only exception. There was no need for NASA to modify or upgrade this watch, they thought it was perfect the way it was.

 

2. Moonwatch Or Olympic Watch?

Omega likes to remind us every few months that their watch was the first watch worn on the moon. Countless limited editions and a big part of their marketing budget makes sure we won’t forget. But did you know that the Speedmaster was never intended to go to the moon?

The Speedmaster was introduced in 1957 as a racing chronograph and sports watch. Omega was the Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games (and still is today), and they needed a robust and sporty watch that could time laps and rounds.

 

3. Tachymeter

A tachymeter are the numbers on the bezel of a racing chronograph.

Many brands have tachymeters fitted on their chronographs today, but Omega were the first to place it on their watch. Another impressive innovation!

 

4. Snoopy

Omega has released a few limited edition Speedmasters with Snoopy on the dial. Why have they done that? It can’t just be a gimmick, can it?

Omega received the ‘Silver Snoopy Award’ from NASA. The award recognizes the effort and contribution someone (a brand, supplier or employee of NASA) has done for space exploration.

This was given to Omega because of what happened during the Apollo 13 mission. During this mission, an oxygen tank exploded, resulting on heavy electrical problems on the spacecraft. This meant that the astronauts were flying way off their course, and they could not fully rely on their equipment.

Their Omega Speedmaster saved their lives and mission. The chronograph was used to time the ignition of the rockets to get them on the right course again. Burn the rockets for too long or too short, and they would miss earth and fly into infinity.

They also used their chronograph to time the ignition of the rockets to decrease their speed when approaching earth, since that part was damaged too. Mistiming this could lead in horrible accidents, which would lead to a certain death. The astronauts miraculously all survived the return, even though the odds were heavily stacked against them. Omega was (and still is) very proud that their watch saved lives and saved the mission, so they put Snoopy on some of their watches to honor their Silver Snoopy reward.

 

5. Michael Schumacher had his own Speedmaster line

You might associate Michael Schumacher with Audemars Piguet, and you wouldn’t be wrong! Schumacher was indeed an ambassador for AP, but before, he was Omega’s man!

In the 90’s and 2000’s, Omega wanted to profile the Speedmaster as a racing watch to attract a new and bigger audience. They hired Schumacher, and even named a few racing models after him!

 

Discover our Selection of Omega Speedmasters
  1. Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
    Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
    €5,950.00
  2. Speedmaster Moonwatch Dark Side of The Moon
    Speedmaster Moonwatch Dark Side of The Moon
    €11,600.00 Now Only €9,650.00
  3. Olympic official timekeeper
    Olympic official timekeeper
    €5,100.00 Now Only €3,890.00
  4. Olympic official timekeeper
    Olympic official timekeeper
    €5,100.00 Now Only €3,990.00

Omega and the Moon

Omega’s participation in the legendary space race began unofficially on October 3th 1962 when NASA astronaut Wally Schirra wore his own personal Speedmaster on the Mercury-Atlas 8 Sigma 7 mission. NASA saw this and began a research about this timepiece.

Omega on the Moon

Then in 1965, NASA qualified the Speedmaster for manned space missions. The fourth edition Speedmaster outperformed chronographs from three other manufacturers during a bunch of stress tests taken by NASA to determine viability for the space program.On March the 23th 1965, the first manned Gemini flight launched the ‘Molly Brown’ capsule into space, and you know what? The iconic Omega Speedmaster was on board!Then weeks later, astronaut Edward White made a picture of his Speedmaster during the first American spacewalk, and the watch became instantly famous. His extra-vehicular activity was an unbelievable achievement but it was a bit overshadowed by the first lunar landing on July 20 1969. On this historic day, astronaut Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the surface of the Moon. The moon has only one-sixt the Earth’s gravity but his 'Speedmaster' performed flawless. It passed the ultimate test; performing in an environment devoid of atmosphere and foreign to mankind. From that moment on, the Speedmaster was reborn as ‘the Moonwatch’. Only twelve men have set foot on the moon since 1969. And each of them wore a Speedmaster during their respective missions.The Speedmaster gained more fame as the mission of Apollo 13 was aborted at 200,000 miles above earth when a service module oxygen tank exploded. The crew, who wore the famous Speedmaster Professional, used the chronograph to time the fuel burns critical to achieving the proper trajectory for re-entry. Omega became the standard choice for the most of the world’s top space agencies.

This year Omega celebrates the 60th birthday of its iconic ‘moonwatch’. Take a look below for our selection of Omega’s moonwatches.

Focus on Omega Speedmaster

Omega Speedmaster

The Speedmaster is one of Omega’s most iconic series. The Speedmaster Professional or "Moonwatch" is the best-known and longest-produced. It was worn during the first American spacewalk. The Speedmaster was not originally designed for space exploration. Instead, it was introduced in 1957 as a sport and racing chronograph following on from the early chronographs of the 1920s and 1930s.