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Historical Horology – The Omega Speedmaster

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When it comes to watches, many brands seem to have an iconic model that comes to mind when you hear the name of the brand. For Omega, that watch is (for me, at least) the Speedmaster. This is a watch that started life in the late ’50s, and has seen some interesting developments. Read on for a dive into the history of the Omega Speedmaster.

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The Speedy first came into being in 1957, which saw the very distinctive “broad arrow” handset being used. At this time, of course, it was not yet known as the Moonwatch. It was part of a lineup of Master watches from the brand (that also included the Seamaster and the Railmaster); the Speedmaster was intended to be the racing watch.

Omega-Speedmaster-Moon-Cert

Of course, that all changed around when the Speedmaster first went into space in 1962, became official NASA-issue in 1965, and landed on the moon in (verify date of moon landing). At that point, the Speedmaster was no longer destined for association to motorsports – it was the Moonwatch, through and through.

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That doesn’t mean that there haven’t been other editions that have come out. As you might imagine, there were some, let’s call them unique, designs that came out in the 1970s. And of course, there have also been quite a few rather unique (and rare) special editions of the Speedmaster throughout the years as well.

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For a full rundown of these topics, I’m going to point you to this three-part series over at Monochrome. In part 1, they cover the era prior to the Speedy becoming the Moonwatch. In part 2, they cover what happened with the lineup in the 1970s. Finally, in part 3, they cover the rare and limited editions that can be found.

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All three articles are good reads, and worth the time spent even if you’re just passingly familiar with the Omega Speedmaster. My hearty thanks definitely goes out to the Monochrome crew for putting together the series, especially with how they’ve organized things.

All images courtesy of Monochrome

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