Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Buzz Aldrin's Omega: first watch on the moon

What was the first match to be worn on the surface of the moon? The Omega Speedmaster worn by Buzz Aldrin, who followed Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong down the ladder while wearing the only watch to be approved by NASA for extra-vehicular activity (or EVA).

More than 40 years on, Aldrin still wears an Omega Speedmaster Professional 3570.50.00. Today’s model features a steel case, black dial and 42mm diameter case, along with a tachymeter. The watch is manually wound.

You can read why NASA (and later the Russian space programme) opted for the Speedmaster here on the Omega website.

But why was the first watch on the moon worn by the second man to walk there, and not by mission commander Neil Armstrong? Well, Armstrong opted to leave his own Omega Speedmaster inside the lunar module as the module’s clock had malfunctioned.

Sadly, Aldrin’s speedmaster went missing while being shipped to the Smithsonian Institute, but wouldn’t that one be worth a fortune if you could find it.

The photo above of Buzz Aldrin was taken aboard Apollo 11 by Neil Armstrong and shows him wearing the famous watch. It comes courtesy of NASA.