Live televised to 33 countries, including Portugal, and seen live by more than one million people, who joined, on July 16, 1969, at Kennedy Space Center, the launch of the Saturn V rocket, with its Apollo 11 spacecraft, was the beginning of the first manned trip to the Moon. On board, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin were officially equipped with Omega Speedmaster wristwatches, manual chronographs.

 

The trip was a success. Five days later, on July 21st (already on the 22nd in Lisbon), Neil Armstrong stepped on lunar soil and Humanity took a giant step. One of the editions of the Omega Speedmaster commemorating the half century of going to the Moon is the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition, of which only 6,969 watches will be produced.

Following the path of pioneering that guides Omega, a special material, 18k Moonshine ™ gold, appears in the piece. This exclusive brand alloy, in the process of being patented, has a slightly paler color than yellow gold, offering more resistance to the passage of time.

 

 

The 42mm steel case has a polished black ceramic bezel, has a Moonshine ™ gold bezel and inserts of Ceragold ™ (another Omega exclusive material) on the tachometer scale. The dial has two distinct zones: in the center, gray varnished surface, and black minutery. The indexes are Moonshine ™ gold, while the Omega logo and hands have a vintage look. Only the central chronograph second hand is coated with Moonshine ™ gold PVD.

 

Armstrong had forgotten about his Omega on board the lunar module. But his companion Buzz Aldrin wore one on his wrist when he descended the Eagle’s stairs, precisely at 03:15:16 UTC, also touching the lunar soil. And Omega was the first – and to this day, the only – watch to have been on the Moon. Having even returned there in all the classes that followed. This included the Apollo 12, Apollo 14, Apollo 15, Apollo 16 and Apollo 17 missions. To date, only 12 men have stepped on lunar soil, all of them with a Speedmaster on their arm, outside the space suit.

Fernando Correia de Oliveira
Fernando Correia de Oliveira (Lisbon, 1954), is a journalist and researcher of Time. With a law degree, he spent 20 years as a staff member of Portuguese News Agency, leaving as Deputy Director of Information to be Lusa's (news agency) first correspondent in Beijing, where he lived between 1988 and 1990. He joined PÚBLICO, where he was Society Editor and specialist in International Politics in the Asia-Pacific zone (China, Japan, Korea) between 1993 and 2002. Since that year he has been a freelance journalist, specializing in Time and Watchmaking, one of his passions ever. Editor-in-chief of the Yearbook Watches & Pens, in its paper and online editions, maintains the blog Estação Cronográfica (the most important of its kind in Portuguese, with more than 40 thousand monthly visits). He collaborates with many other specialized titles in the field of Watchmaking, in Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Mexico or South Korea. Member of several international organizations dedicated to the study of Time and of several foreign juries involved in the choice of Watches of the Year, he is a consultant to Portuguese Government in the area of Watchmaking Heritage. He has a wide range of published works on the subject - namely History of Time in Portugal or Dictionary of Watchmaking.