Omega has released a solid-gold Speedmaster “Moonwatch” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the moon landings. Among other notable watchmaking developments in 1969, American astronauts went to the moon wearing Omega Speedmaster watches and, that same year, Omega presented special limited-edition Speedmasters in solid gold with red bezels to notable people including the American president and various astronauts.
That model, known as the reference BA145.022, was limited to 1,014 pieces and naturally became part of Speedy-collecting lore. The new Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 Anniversary Limited Edition for 2019 recreates that model and is limited to the same number of pieces as the original, but beyond the consistent gold case and red bezel, Omega has updated certain materials and the movement to make the watch more than a one-to-one recreation.
The new solid-gold Speedmaster uses a new gold alloy from Omega called “Moonshine gold” which contains more palladium than normal, features a paler hue, and is promised to retain its color longer over time. Onyx is used for the black hands and indices, and the bezel is in ceramic printed with Omega’s Ceragold.
The movement visible through a display case back (which has a depiction of the earth and a moon inlaid with actual lunar meteorite) is called the 3861, and it is a variation of the hand-wound 1861 movement associated with the modern Speedmaster Moonwatch. The 3861 is Moonshine gold-plated and features Omega’s well-known co-axial escapement with a silicon hairspring.
Expectedly priced like a solid-gold watch, the Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 Anniversary Limited Edition will cost around $32,000, is limited to 1,014 pieces, and will be available from July 2019. More average-guy Speedy fans will just have to hope Omega has more accessible Moonwatch goodies on the way.
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