What the hell is a cute cartoon dog doing on a serious chronograph watch made for astronauts? It might seem odd, but fans of NASA and Omega watches likely already know the answer: Snoopy has been associated with the Space Program since the 1960s, just as Omega has. Even more unexpected is how popular and collectible the last Omega x Snoopy Speedmaster watch became, and fans are more than a little excited about a new version Omega just released.
NASA conceived of the Silver Snoopy Award as a way of recognizing outstanding service and achievements among employees and contractors, and the familiar character from Charles Schultz's Peanuts comic strip was meant to promote awareness among the public. Omega received the award in 1970 for its famous contributions to the Space Program, and in particular, for playing a critical role in getting Apollo 13 safely back to earth. Now known as the Moonwatch, of course, the Omega Speedmaster as worn by the astronauts themselves is iconic in its own right and the natural choice for a celebratory special edition watch.
Omega marked the 45th anniversary of its award in 2015 with a Speedmaster in black and white with snoopy motifs. Now, for the 50th anniversary, it's in blue and white, with "Snoopy the Astronaut" in silver relief prominently spacewalking in the 9 o'clock subdial. The watch's case back shows Snoopy in a spacecraft (the Command and Service Module) exploring the far side of the moon like during the Apollo mission. A unusual touch is that when the chronograph seconds hand is activated, Snoopy moves behind the moon, which is in the foreground and decorated on the sapphire crystal.
The elements that make this a special edition notwithstanding, the LE is underpinned by the classic 42mm Moonwatch case housing a manually wound Omega cal. 3861. Retail price for the Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Award 50th Anniversary watch is $9,600, and though though it's not a limited edition and will be available from Omega boutiques this month, it's sure to be hard to get your hands on.