This gold Speedmaster may not have actually gone to the moon, but it celebrates many of the people who made the lunar landing possible. It was first presented November 25, 1969, at a banquet in Houston, Texas, to honor NASA astronauts. Watches 1 and 2 were dedicated to then-U.S. president Richard Nixon and his vice president Spiro T. Agnew, though both politicians politely declined the gifts due to rules preventing public servants from accepting highly valuable items – you can see Nixon’s in Stephen’s post from last month here. Watches 3 through 28 were presented to astronauts at the aforementioned banquet. In all, 1,014 were made between 1969 and 1973.
There is something fascinating to me about taking a watch used to perform a mission or a specific task and reinterpreting it in a material – yellow gold – that conveys unambiguous luxury. Like the gold Heuer Carreras given by Jack Heuer to members of the automotive community, these gold Speedys were made for an elite class of professionals to celebrate their extraordinary achievements.
I think that a gold Speedmaster looks fantastic, and totally different from your standard steel-cased Speedy. It’s a great thing that Omega recognized this watch with an homage earlier this year. And though the original didn’t use a 321, here’s hoping for a 321-powered Speedmaster during this anniversary year, in gold or otherwise.