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Article: Omega Speedmaster Professional: Diving into the Spacewatch

Omega Speedmaster Professional

Omega Speedmaster Professional: Diving into the Spacewatch

The Omega Speedmaster Professional, fondly known as the "Moonwatch," holds a unique place in the horological world. As the first watch worn on the moon, it has earned the moniker "space watch," and for over six decades, the Speedmaster has been synonymous with space exploration and human achievements. But what exactly does it mean for a watch to be considered a space watch? Let's find out:

The Space Exploration Connection

The Omega Speedmaster Professional's journey to becoming the ultimate space watch began in 1962 when NASA started its search for a timepiece that could withstand the harsh conditions of space exploration. The Speedmaster was competing against watches from other prestigious brands like Rolex, Longines, and Breitling. After a series of gruelling tests, the Omega Speedmaster emerged as the only watch capable of withstanding the trials, and in 1965, it was officially certified as the watch of choice for NASA's manned space missions.

The Omega Speedmaster's most significant moment came on July 20, 1969, when astronaut Buzz Aldrin wore it during the historic Apollo 11 mission, becoming the first watch ever worn on the lunar surface. Since then, the Speedmaster has been a part of every manned NASA mission, including the historic Apollo-Soyuz Test Project and the Space Shuttle program. The watch has even earned its place in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum as a testament to its illustrious legacy.

Design and Functionality

The Omega Speedmaster Professional has a distinct design that has not changed much from its original form, making it instantly recognisable to watch enthusiasts. The watch features a black dial with luminous hands and hour markers, a stainless steel case and bracelet, and three sub-dials for chronograph functions. The tachymeter bezel, a key feature that helps calculate speed and distance, is also a crucial element that sets the Speedmaster apart.

The watch's movement has evolved over the years, with the current model using the Omega Calibre 1861, a hand-wound movement with a 48-hour power reserve. The decision to maintain a manual-wind movement is rooted in the fact that automatic movements are vulnerable to the zero-gravity environment of space. Overall, the Omega Speedmaster Professional's design and functionality are tailored to meet the demands of astronauts, making it a true space watch.

Rigorous Testing and Certification

For a watch to be considered a space watch, it must undergo rigorous testing to ensure it can withstand the extreme conditions associated with space travel. When NASA first tested the Omega Speedmaster, it subjected the timepiece to 11 different tests, including:

  1. High temperature: The watch had to endure temperatures of up to 160°F for 48 hours.
  2. Low temperature: The timepiece was exposed to temperatures as low as -4°F for four hours.
  3. Temperature cycling: The watch went through 15 cycles of extreme temperature changes within 45 minutes.
  4. Humidity: The Speedmaster was subjected to 95% humidity for 240 hours.
  5. Oxygen atmosphere: The watch was placed in an environment with 100% oxygen for 48 hours.
  6. Shock: The timepiece had to withstand impacts from different angles.
  7. Acceleration: The watch was tested for its ability to function under rapid acceleration.
  8. Decompression: The Speedmaster had to endure a vacuum environment.
  9. High pressure: The watch was subjected to high-pressure conditions.
  10. Vibration: The timepiece had to withstand intense vibrations along three different axes.
  11. Acoustic noise: The watch was exposed to high decibel levels for a short period.

As you would have guessed by now, the Omega Speedmaster Professional passed all these tests with flying colours, earning it the title of the ultimate space watch.


The Omega Speedmaster Professional is not just a watch; it is a symbol of human achievement and technological prowess. The term "space watch" truly captures the essence of the Speedmaster, as it represents a timepiece that has proven itself worthy of accompanying astronauts on their voyages into the unknown. As we continue to explore the cosmos, the Omega Speedmaster Professional will remain a steadfast companion, reminding us of the infinite possibilities that lie ahead and the incredible achievements we have made thus far.

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