We all know that an Omega was the first watch on the moon, mostly because Omega won’t let us forget (ever). However, the first automatic chronograph in space was the far more humble and less publicized Seiko 6139-6002, now known as “the Pogue.” This is because Colonel William Pogue brought his aboard on Skylab 4 and Omega makes a watch to commemorate that mission, naturally. This watch made its way up to space without any authorization, making it a bit of a rebel amongst the space-watch elite. It is also the most affordable mechanical watch for those who want to feel there is something historically “spacy” about their watch, and it was also one of the first automatic mass produced chronographs, which isn’t too shabby either. (It first came out in 1969, at about the same time as the Zenith El Primero and the Heuer/Bruen/Hamilton caliber 11, and was the first full rotor, vertical clutch, column wheel controlled automatic chronograph ever.)
Since the history of this piece is very well documented, I will not go into it in great detail. Some great pieces can be found here and here. History aside however, there are some things to be aware of when venturing into the purchase of this or any of the 6139 family. It has a great story to it, and is incredibly affordable, but for a collector the restoration process can be a money pit relative to that affordability.