It is the copy that made the Speedmaster Professional the “Moonwatch”.The Omega reference ST 105.012 from Buzz Aldrin is the first watch on the moon to be one of the most important timepieces of the 20th century. The fact that the clock mysteriously disappeared from the scene in the early 1970s nourishes the myth around the official equipment of Apollo 11, which once became a major cultural artifact.
First Watch On The Moon As An Exhibition Piece
When Buzz Aldrin entered the moon just a few seconds after Neil Armstrong, he made the Omega Speedmaster Professional the first watch on the moon. A myth was born. Just a few copies of the story, which was written in 1969, should disappear without a trace a few years later. The sudden submergence of this historical watch exhibit raises questions to this day.
In the early 1970s, Buzz Aldrin ordered his “Speedy” to be delivered to the National Aerospace Museum (Washington, DC). Together with Neil Armstrong’s identical specimen, which had functioned as a time-measuring device on board the moon module during Apollo 11, and was not the “First Watch Worn on the Moon”, it was to be permanently displayed there and made accessible to the public.
Disappeared On The Way To The Museum
The shipment was carried out by a team of forwarders in the special order of NASA. But as if it were the prologue in a crime drama, the clock fell directly on the way to a theft. Unlike the Speedmaster Professional from Neil Armstrong, the most original of all Moonwatches should never reach the space travel museum in the US federal capital. Instead, they found an empty carton.
NASA, who ordered the return of all Apollo 11 Speedmasters shortly afterwards, had little joy in the loss of the important time document. The memorabilia initially believed in privately remained the property of NASA.Aldrin later admitted to having had a bad feeling about his colleagues, because the other crew members had to do without their speedmasters because of this incident.
The Moonwatch With The Number 43
At regular intervals rumors about the finding of the clock have surfaced since then. For example, in 2003, after discovering a small engraving with the number 43 on the inside of the case, Stephen Morley was in the possession of Buzz Aldrins Speedmaster. This is because Buzz Aldrin had also received the Speedmaster Professional with the number 43. Morley himself had bought the watch in the early 1990s. Discovered in a newspaper of a student whose father had found her on a beach near Santa Barbara in the state of California. The selling price: 175, – USD.
Taken from the idea of owning the original Moonwatch, he became involved with the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and then with NASA.Morley initiated a legal dispute about legal ownership. A year later a NASA expert opinion came to the conclusion that this watch was not the historical exhibit. The statement said that among other things, Buzz Aldrin himself had found the clock to be false. Well, it is possible that the mysterious 43 is only an ordinary revision marker.
Ownership Would Be Unclear Today
In the free market, the original Moonwatch would probably reach an amount in millions. In any case, the importance of contemporary history would be difficult to break down on a number. If the clock still exists, a sudden appearance of the clock after decades of the disappearance is quite possible. Just think of the once-lost Breguet Marie Antoinette, who suddenly appeared again. But unlike the magnificent pocket watch made of gold and its many complications, the invaluable value of the watch is not so obvious. So it is conceivable that today’s owner holds the watch for a very ordinary Speedmaster Professional.
To whom would the clock belong in the event of a sudden appearance? The answer is by no means clear. It is not only Buzz Aldrin and NASA, but also the Smithsonian Museum, that will be the target of the almost half-century-old program. All three parties saw themselves as a legal owner in 2003, although the authenticity of Morley’s Speedmaster was at first disproving.
Perhaps the last chapter in the history of Ur-Speedy is not yet written and perhaps it is just in the ignorance of the owner in an unseen secretary drawer. Moon original – the myth of the Omega Speedmaster Professional aka Moonwatch is still part of the current Omega collection. The delivery of the reference 3188.8.131.52.01.005 as well as the variant with sapphire glass floor (reference 3184.108.40.206.01.006) is, besides other goodies, a black NATO bracelet, as it was once worn by the Apollo crew.