Shocking News about Replica Omega Speedmaster

On Saturday July 20th, the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, Sotheby’s will mark the occasion with an auction called “Omega express: back to the moon”. Tomorrow, Friday, Sotheby’s brings together a selection of watches that highlight some of the more unusual and interesting changes to the watch since its 1957 debut. omega omeg-077120_03
Comprised of 50 lots, the selection includes some of the references that have propelled the Speedmaster beyond simply a fake watch that was worn on the Moon, to becoming a large part of horological lore. The Speedmaster’s initial design blueprints have spawned an entire design language that’s defined the sports chronograph category of watches in the latter half of the century. It’s hard to imagine the Speedmaster as anything other than the Moonwatch, but even though it hadn’t greatly been adopted by NASA in the early days of space flight, it surely would have still been an icon.
The replica watches are previewed online here, and can also be seen in person at Sotheby’s in New York City. The live auction takes place at 2 PM on Friday July 19th. Launched in 1957, this reference, with a base 1000 bezel in steel, is the archetypal sports watch in many ways. It was developed for timing automobile racing, featured a radium-lumed dial, and highly legible Broad Arrow hands, and was powered by the legendary caliber 321. The replica watch introduced the design element of a fixed bezel mounted on the exterior of the watch for the best usability.
There’s even a “vide poche” tray from 1980 depicting an astronaut wearing a Speedmaster in space, as well as a couple of ashtrays, if watch ephemera is your thing.
Lot 17 features a Prototype Alaska III, an improved Speedmaster designed specifically for spacefaring applications, but NASA would turn it down, instead favoring the tried and true standard production Speedmaster. According to Speedmaster, the replica Omega is sending a prototype to NASA in the hope of getting a contract for a newer model. The prototypes went through the desks of NASA engineers without being picked up, but I suspect the Alaska III will be picked up by an avid collector as it crosses the block.