The Omega Speedmaster is a watch that needs no introduction. First produced in 1957 and worn by numerous astronauts including Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin during their lunar surface in 1969, the "Moon Watch" has essentially become an icon of space travel. There have been many special Speedmaster references throughout the years, with quite a few centering around Armstrong and Aldrin's historical Apollo 11 spaceflight that first landed humans on the moon.
In 1989, Omega celebrated the event's 20th anniversary with a set of limited edition Speedmasters. Around 6,000 pieces were made for different markets, some numbered and some not. The example here is one of the 4,000 un-numbered editions with “Apollo XI 1969” engraved on the 9 o’clock case side. It also comes with the highly sought after “holy grail” reference 1450 bracelet, which has D-shaped three-piece links and solid endlinks. Many claim this to be the most comfortable Speedmaster bracelet ever made.
This example is further set apart by its extraordinary condition with a near flawless case. Traces of the original blue protective sticker remain on the right lugs, the caseback still bears an unbroken red seal at 6 o'clock, and the hippocampus is covered by a clear sticker. The bracelet is in equally as impressive condition and retains all of its original links. Topped off by a beautifully preserved long S/R dial, this is quite a compelling package for those in search of a special pre-modern Speedmaster.
Speedmaster 20th Anniversary Apollo XI
Omega 1450 stainless steel bracelet with 808 end links
Max Wrist Size:
8.125 in (22 links)
Hand model has a wrist size of 6.2 in
UNWORN: Case is pristine with no signs of use. Original stickers may still be present. Dial, hands, and lume have no imperfections and may show natural, even aging.
MINT: Case has only a few superficial hairlines. Lugs are thick, full, and sharp with superb finishing. Dial, hands, and lume may have micro imperfections visible only with a loupe.
EXCELLENT: Case has very light scratches or nicks. Lugs are thick, full, and well-defined. Dial and hands may have imperfections visible upon close inspection. Lume is fully intact and may show slight discoloration.
VERY GOOD: Case may have a few moderate scratches or nicks. Lugs are thick and full but may have softened edges. Dial and hands may have light stains or marks. Lume may have cracks or discoloration.
GOOD: Case has many scratches and nicks. Lugs may show signs of moderate polishing with worn edges. Dial and hands may have noticeable stains or marks. Lume may be damaged or show significant discoloration.
Case: The mid-case is pristine with only a couple micro hairlines present. Some of the original blue protective sticker remains on the 3 o'clock side. The lugs are thick and sharp with excellent contouring and superb definition between brushed and polished surfaces. The tachymeter bezel is super clean with no scratches, dings, or peeling. The crown has a couple micro dings and a tiny scratch at the center. The "Apollo XI 1969" engraving on the case side at 9 o'clock remains sharp and deep. The caseback shows some hairlines and light scratching on the outer polished area, mostly near the endlinks and likely from resting on the bracelet. The painted red seal is still present between the lugs at 6 o'clock. There are two small scratches on the back of the lugs at 1 o'clock and 7 o'clock. The central caseback with the hippocampus and engravings is protected by a sticker.
Dial, Hands, & Crystal: The matte black dial and white painted hands have been wonderfully preserved. There is a tiny bubbling of tritium in the arrow of the chronograph seconds hand that is visible on close inspection. Overall, the tritium has aged to a nice and consistent golden hue. When exposed to UV light, it briefly glows and then fades away within 1 minute. The hesalilte crystal is clear and scratch-free.
Bracelet/Strap: The fully linked Omega stainless steel bracelet shows practically no signs of wear and very little stretch. The brushed finishing is beautiful and consistent with only a couple micro scuffs near the endlinks and the clasp. The clasp has a couple micro hairlines at the edges and retains its chamfers. The Omega logo and "Speedmaster" engraving are nice and sharp.
Functions: All functions including the crown winding, time setting, and chronograph start/stop/reset are working as expected.
Service History: Unknown.